Category Archives: Tastes of Bogota

Taking the Restaurant on the Road – El Cielo Restaurant

I’m packing for a trip. I’m surrounded by the usual disaster scene: suitcases are scattered around my living room, my closets look like they’ve been ransacked, and items on my packing list are getting crossed off. It’s complicated to pack for a trip – and I’m just packing for two.

Now imagine packing for 1,000.

That’s the challenge facing Juan Manuel Barrientos and his team at El Cielo. They’re taking his famous restaurant – with locations in Medellin, Bogota and Miami – on the road for the months of September, October and November.

Taking the El Cielo Restaurant on the road

What’s involved in taking a luxury tasting menu on the road?

Good planning. And lots of it. After more than a year of planning, the team is ready to take this nearly 5,000 km trip. With 1800 plates. And 500 luxury Italian wine glasses. With a 13 member cooking team. And of course, all the implements that have helped Juan Manuel earn his place as one of the top chefs in Latin America.

Imagine that packing list.

Why all the work? The 10 year anniversary of his El Cielo restaurants. And since not everyone can get to one of his restaurants, he’s taking the experience to Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, and Cali. So if you look at a map of Colombia, you’ll see that they’re going way west, way east, and quite a ways north.

The menu

Juan Manuel keeps his menu focused on Colombia and its traditions, and that’s no exception for this tour. He’ll be changing the menu slightly in every area he visits to accommodate some regional ingredients, and the 13-course meal will include:

  • Ropa vieja croquettes
  • Aborrajado
  • Chocolate therapy
  • Gallina ravioli (in Bucaramanga this will be served with hormiga culona)
  • Posta cartagenera
  • Yellow butterflies (don’t worry, you won’t be eating real butterflies)
  • Ceviche with Colombian fruits. The fish will be marinated in typical Colombian fruits rather than lime. These fruits will vary according to the area, so in Barranquilla count on the flavors of green papaya, guanabana and guyaba agria, in Bucaramanga feijoa and curuba, in Cartagena mangostino and in Cali lulo, borojo and chontaduro.
  • Colombian desserts
  • Coffee tree experience

If you’re going to be in any of the cities on the our route, here are the details you need to join in the tasting experience.

El Cielo Tour by Nacimiento


Barranquilla: October 11 and 12

Bucaramanga: October 18 and 19

Cartagena: October 26 and 27

Cali: November 1, 2

Cost for dinner


How to purchase tickets

Only by Whatsapp message – +57 350 532 4747

Restaurants in Colombia: El Cielo

El Cielo is a restaurant in Colombia that will knock your socks off. Baby-faced chef Juan Manuel Barrientos’ inventiveness and his experimental tasting menu will challenge your preconceptions about food. In fact, it’s better not to come with any expectations at all – the experience will be different than anything you imagine.

Continue reading Restaurants in Colombia: El Cielo

Learning about Colombian Food: La Mesa Food Tours

I looked up at the sky. I should have known better. When I left the house it was sunny, and just half an hour later the clouds had gathered quick and dark above me. But that’s typical of Bogota and its weather. During the rainy season, 15 minutes of sun and 15 minutes of rain can alternate all day long.

But I was promised that the street food tour by La Mesa Food Tours would go on rain or shine, so I had my umbrella in hand as I walked through the Parque de los Periodistas in Bogota’s La Candelaria neighborhood. Mt. Monserrate loomed over me, it’s head in the dark clouds.

Continue reading Learning about Colombian Food: La Mesa Food Tours

A Chocolate Trail to Peace

One of those odd things about Colombia – perhaps part of that magic realism that everyone talks about – is that the country has a hidden war. Hidden from the very citizens of the country, since those who live in big cities often forget their country has not known peace for decades due to a war that started in their grandparent’s lifetime and still hasn’t ended. However, it’s a war that doesn’t touch their lives very often – a bomb goes off every once in a while in a big city, and they remember.

Continue reading A Chocolate Trail to Peace

It was such a pleasure to take the Flavors of Bogota Coffee Tour last week!

Here’s what people are saying about the Flavors of Bogota Coffee Shop Tour:

It was such a pleasure to take the Flavors of Bogotá Coffee Tour last week! Over the course of the morning we visited three craft coffee houses, where we sampled a different variety of bean and preparation. As we sipped, our guide, Karen, walked us through the different aspects of evaluating and tasting each one. I live in Bogotá and have sampled my fair share of coffee, but it was amazing to learn about the history and complex culture of coffee in Colombia, as well as the unique factors that make Colombia’s coffee some of the best in the world. Not only that, but as you make your way to the different coffee shops, you’ll get a quick run down of the Bogotá restaurant scene and best places to eat. This tour is a must for locals and visitors alike! – Danielle Owens

Juan Valdez Coffee Shop gets a New Image

Need a place to linger over a cup of coffee? The Juan Valdez coffee shop on Carrera 9, just next to the JW Marriott hotel, sits under leafy trees and has one of the largest outdoor seating areas of any coffee shop in the city.

Continue reading Juan Valdez Coffee Shop gets a New Image