Cartagena’s Burgeoning Restaurant Scene

By Jen Murphy Posted March 25, 2009

After some heavy-duty eating in Berlin, I crossed the Atlantic and headed to Colombia for my version of a detox (kite boarding, yoga, running, salsa dancing, hiking and eating tons of fresh seafood and fruit). I spent part of my time in Cartagena with Escape to Shape, a fabulous traveling spa that will be featured in our forthcoming May travel issue. In addition to eating the spa’s healthy spins on local dishes—like ajiaco, a traditional chicken-and-potato soup (you can find the recipe in the May issue)—I also checked out the historic walled city’s restaurant scene (much deserved after three hours of yoga each day!). Every, single, article recently written about this newly hip destination recommends the same restaurants: Cafe del Mar, set right on the wall, for sunset cocktails; La Casa de Socorro for authentic Colombian food; superstylish, Miami-esque 8-18 and Palma for modern Caribbean fare; and the Havana-themed La Vitrola, a Cartagena institution known more for its festive late-night scene (live music and salsa) than its seafood-centric menu. I was told I couldn’t miss La Vitrola, where I had an excellent cazuela de marisco, a local seafood stew studded with chunks of shrimp, crab, scallops, fish and lobster. But I wanted to find out what, if anything was new. With a bit of sleuthing, a found a handful of fantastic, newly opened spots that are putting this city on the map as a food destination. Read about my best meals tomorrow.

Villa Casa don Sancho, Cartagena

© Escape to Shape
Escape to Shape's villa, Casa don Sancho, in Cartagena

 
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