7 Delicious Must-Try Colombian Street Foods
Updated: Nov 19
Colombia is a mecca for food lovers given its rich culture and extraordinary geography. With Colombia you get five countries for the price of one: the Andes, the Pacific coast, the eastern plains, the Amazon, and the Caribbean – each with its own culinary traditions and native ingredients. On every street corner, you find stalls delicious must-try Colombian street food.
In every region of Colombia you can find different varieties of empanadas. The majority are made with fried cornbread and can be stuffed with potato, shredded chicken, beef, fish or pork, egg, cheese, rice, all of the aforementioned combined or whatever combination you can imagine. They are usually served with ají (Colombian hot sauce).
If a survey were made about which country loves empanadas more, Colombia would come out in first place! They are eaten at anytime & any day of the week by the majority of Colombians.
The word empanada comes from the Spanish verb empanar which means to bread or to stuff.
Mexico has tortillas, France has croissants, Colombia has arepas. In Colombia, there are at least 42 or 43 types of arepa! Arepa styles vary by region in Colombia, and in Latin America the arepa is perhaps the most representative legacy of indigenous cuisine in contemporary cuisine.
Arepa is a corn-based staple food in Colombia varying by names, textures, processes, types of corn and, essentially, flavours. Much like the empanada, they can be eaten at anytime & any day of the week.
Obleas are thin round wafers that are customarily spread with sweet Arequipe (Colombia’s caramel) on top or between two wafers to create a delicious dessert-sandwich. They can be found just about anywhere on the streets of Colombia.
Some vendors sell it with tons of additional toppings, like grated cheese, fruit jams, or colored sprinkles. With the first bite, you can feel the different textures & taste the different flavours - a champion combination.
Fruit & Fruit Juices
In Colombia, you will see pretty much everywhere fruit & fruit juices being sold in the street. There are plenty of places where you can order almost any juice and even combine fruits to give an exquisite flavor, the variety of exotic fruits and different combinations is almost infinite.
While tropical standards like mango, papaya, banana, avocado, and pineapple are available, Colombia offers a stunning variety of other, lesser-known fruits, some grown exclusively in Colombia.
Colombians love buñuelos - fried cheesy, doughy balls. They use a special type of cheese called queso costeño which can only be found in Colombia and give them a special & unique flavor. They're served any time of year and any time of day, and in every city you can find a bakery or street stand selling buñuelos.
Bocadillo (con queso)
No trip to Colombia would be complete without trying the famous Bocadillo.
Bocadillo is a sweet made with guava pulp and panela, or sugar cane, that is condensed into a bitesize snack wrapped in a banana leaf.
What is so great about bocadillo? It is one hundred percent natural. It doesn’t have any chemicals, preservatives or flavorings, meaning it is one of the healthiest snacks you’ll ever find, and it is used as a natural energy source for the body.
This sweet snack is such an intrinsic part of Colombian life that it was declared a cultural symbol of Colombia in 2006 in a national survey by Revista Semana.
Cocadas are delicious treats and a traditional popular dessert in Colombia.
There are so many types of Cocadas, the main ingredient is always grated coconut, which is an important part of Caribbean cuisine, while other ingredients depend on the region.
It's sweet and crunchy flavor makes it an enjoyable sweet after a meal or as a snack.