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Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

New York City, New...
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Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

Hi There!

I am flying to Cartagena in 10 days and wanted to turn to the Trip Advisor community to get some suggestions on food places I must visit while down there?

I am hoping to go down there with a well rounded list of places to check out for the best food that is representative of the region/country.

Thanks for your help!

London, Canada
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1. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

This has been the subject of many posts on this forum, some quite recently, so probably the best way to see what is recommended is to type "restaurant" in the Search field above your post and you will get all kinds of responses.

Bogota, Colombia
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2. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

I like Krioyo restaurant in the walled city. Great seafood, beautiful place, elegant atmosphere.

There are a lot of reports on TripAdvisor about this restaurant.

Havana, Cuba
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3. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

Must try? The way I see it Cartagena is all about must avoid, Cartagena is one big tourist trap and it gets worse every day.

Havana, Cuba
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4. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

To moderate that somewhat... It is getting increasingly dificult to find good food in Cartagena at a reasonable price. Not to mention drinks. I was a bit rough with that last comment, I had just come back from a very simple bar having a few rounds and being handed a bill of over 100,000 pesos, so I wrote that with that in mind - and a drink too many as well perhaps :-)

In many places they add 10% to all drinks for tourists even though it says servicio voluntario on the drinks card. They don't even have the courtesy to tell in words how much it is, they just lift up a calculator with the number on it so the stupid tourist can see. When you ask them what's up they explain it's the propina, when you tell them it says n the menu that tips are not added, they say 'okay' and look sad.

It's my opinion and others may disagree, but I think Cartagena has changed a lot in just the last years. It was always more expensive and touristy, but the treatment of tourists has in my opinion gone downhill.

Oakland, California
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5. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

That's what it's like in tourist destinations the world over. Been to Prague lately? Cartagena's still a wonderful place. But it can be quite expensive, especially inside the walls.

Havana, Cuba
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6. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

Yes, I've been to Prague about 10 times, as recent as December, I wouldn't even begin comparing it. I have had fabulous 8 euro meals in Prague. And don't recall being charged twice for service when paying.

I could compare the view on tourists perhaps with Rio or Havana. Nowhere in Europa or North America.

I have returned exactly once a year to Cartagena for 3-4 years now, and during that short time span I find the level of tourist hassle and cheating has increased many times. If you disagree, good on you. I'm just trying to imagine the spiral in five or ten years from now.

Oakland, California
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7. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

I was in Prague in September and it was horrible. Much worse in my opinion in terms of tourist scams and indifferent service by locals who are clearly tired of it all.

I do wonder what's going to happen to Cartagena when the three massive new hotels they're building in Bocagrande (Intercontinental, Sheraton, Hyatt) come on line. At the very least it's going to completely seize up traffic on Una and San Martin.

Oakland, California
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8. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

Oh, and by the way, they're not too fond of non-tippers here in San Francisco, either.

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

Same question + answers:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297476-i4451-k615…

Havana, Cuba
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10. Re: Must try Foods/Restaurants in Cartagena?

I hear you, and the Intercontinental will be massive. I don't even know how Bocagrande can stay afloat anymore...

"Oh, and by the way, they're not too fond of non-tippers here in San Francisco, either."

I am fine with tipping. Not with tipping twice. This time in Cartagena at every second or third restaurant or bar they would add 10% service on the bill though it says on the menu that servicio is voluntario. Then ask for tips after that...

I'm aware Cartagena is a huge tourist destination and that most tourist destinations - especially in poor countries - means scams and hustlers. I can hold my own and it usually doesn't bother me much. But it does bother me to see Cartagena change that fast within just a few years.

Next time I am going to rent an apartament in Campestre or Nuevo Bosque somewhere faaaar away from Centro and Bocagrande :-)

As for Prague, I can walk 10 meters there without a tout trying to drag stupid tourist to the nearest strip club or some big mama trying to force a massage on me. And I have been to dozens of great restaurants with food at resonable prices. In Cartagena they charge about the same for a piece of rock hard pork and an arepa that top restaurants in Medellin or Cali charge for a three course dinner.

No more ranting about Cartagena. Originally I just wanted to address the headline and say there a way more must avoid restaurants in Cartagena than must try's.

I like Casa Don Juan and El Socorro, if you're in Bocagrande I like La Fonda Antioqueña and Riquisimo en El Laquito. And that's about it for me. Can't name any other restaurants where you can have a decent meal and glass of wine for under 40,000 pesos.