In this article, you will find some of the best typical drinks in Bogotá you should definetely try, from warm to cold to alcoholic! Colombia is full of exotic fruits, some of the best coffees and chocolates you can find, and lots of other amazing flavors!
In Colombia, and especially Bogotá, you can find a wide variety of food and drinks. In this article I list my favorite thirst quenchers in Colombia’s bustling capital city.
Bogotá is known as one of the coldest areas in Colombia. Average temperatures range from seven to 20 degrees Celsius (approximately 44-68 degrees Fahrenheit) and it has a long rainy season from April to December, so having plenty of choices of hot drinks to warm you up on a chilly day is important here! Learn more about Bogota’s climate, read our article.
Of course, you can’t come to Colombia without trying the coffee! Bogotá is filled with great coffee shops, especially in the popular La Candelaria neighborhood. You can find great coffee in small local shops and larger chain cafes alike. The great thing about Bogotá is that you can find anything anywhere, so no matter what kind of taste, budget, and time you have, you can find what you want here!
I love finding nice local cafes and relaxing while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. If you are not sure what kind of coffee you prefer or want to learn about how and where coffee is produced and the flavor profiles, pay a visit to Café Arte y Pasión in La Candelaria.
Where to get it: My favorite local cafes are Azahar Cafe in Chicó and Café Magola Buendía and Selina Bogotá in La Candelaria. My favorite chain cafe is Juan Valdez, with Oma Café coming in at a close second. These can be found all over the city.
Price: $500-8.000 COP ($0.17-2.75 USD)
2. Colombian Hot Chocolate
Colombian Hot Chocolate, also known as Chocolate Caliente con Queso (i.e. hot chocolate with cheese), sounds weird to most people at first, but believe me it is amazing! Steaming hot chocolate is served with a large piece of white cheese similar to mozzarella and is usually accompanied with bread.
You break the cheese into medium to large chunks and drop them in your drink. Once you are about halfway done with the hot chocolate, the cheese will be sufficiently warm and melty and ready to eat. Grab a spoon or fork and enjoy bites of gooey cheese between sips of rich hot chocolate. The flavors of the two amazingly do not affect each other, they simply work together to make a great sweet and salty combination.
Where to get it: You can get this traditional drink at almost any traditional cafe or restaurant in the city. Many people say La Puerta Falsa in La Candelaria has the best in the city. The ingredients for Colombian Hot Chocolate are also cheap and easy to find, and it is incredibly simple to make at home.
Price: $3.000-8.000 COP ($1-2.75 USD)
3. Coca Tea (Té de Coca)
Coca Tea is made with dried coca leaves and has many health benefits. It has a mild flavor similar to green tea and sugar, panela, or honey can be added if you want it a bit sweeter, although I like to drink mine without. My first few weeks in Bogotá I was having a lot of trouble sleeping due to the high altitudes. I started drinking coca tea daily and it made a huge difference! It also helps with elevation sickness, so if you are having trouble acclimating definitely get yourself a box.
Where to get it: Lots of cafes and shops near Plaza Chorro de Quedevo and at Monserrate sell Coca Tea by the glass or in boxes of tea bags. You can also buy the tea bags at the Sunday market in Usaquen.
Price: $1.000-3.000 COP ($0.35-1 USD) per glass or $18.000-25.000 COP per box.
Aguapanela, literally meaning “panela water,” is simply panela dissolved in water. Panela is dehydrated sugar cane juice and has a similar flavor to brown sugar. It can be enjoyed hot, by itself or with white cheese just like the Colombian Hot Chocolate. It can also be used as a base for other drinks such as limonada and canelazo (see below) and added to coffee.
Where to get it: La Puerta Falsa in La Candelara is also a favorite spot for hot aguapanela with cheese. Most restaurants and small cafes with traditional Colombian food and drinks serve hot aguapanela. You can also make it easily at home by dissolving panela into hot water.
Price: $3.000-6.000 COP ($1-2 USD)
Chúcula is a warm drink made with a mix of spices, grains, cacao, and cinnamon. It can be found in grocery stores in balls or as a powder that can be dissolved in hot aguapanela to make the drink. It is a great mix of chocolate, cinnamon and other flavors and can be made as sweet or un-sweet as you want, so it is perfect for everyone!
Where to get it: Café Casa Galeria in La Candelaria
Price: $4.000-5.000 COP ($1.40-1.74 USD)
1. Fresh Juices
Fresh juice of all kinds is a staple in Bogotá and all of Colombia. It is standard to get fresh juice with meals, and is included in most restaurants’ daily menu (“Menu del Día”). You can also get freshly squeezed (or pre-squeezed) juices from street vendors. You can order your juice with your without sugar and in water or milk. Some restaurants also offer delicious juice combinations! My favorite juices are lulo and guanabana.
Where to get it: Street vendors in every neighborhood and almost every restaurant.
Price: $1.000 – 5.000 COP ($0.35-1,75 USD)
Avena in Spanish means oatmeal. This is a is a sweet, milky, smooth oatmeal drink with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg that is smoothly blended. It is pretty filling and is great with a pandebono for a quick breakfast on-the-go!
Where to get it: Street vendors and small restaurants or cafeterias. It can be found in most neighborhoods but can be most easily found in La Candelaria/Downtown, La Macarena, and Chapinero.
Price: $500-2,000 COP ($0.17-0.70 USD)
Salpicón is fresh fruit juice with chunks of fresh fruit. A cup or pitcher is filled with a variety of chopped fruits, usually including mango, banana, watermelon, papaya, pineapple and apples, then topped off with fresh watermelon or strawberry juice. It is absolutely perfect if you are thirsty and hungry at the same time, as it is a drink and a snack all in one!
Where to get it: Street vendors throughout the city, especially near La Candelaria.
$2.000 – 5.000 COP ($0.70-1.75 USD)
Aguardiente is commonly known as the national liquor of Colombia. Everybody from every social class drinks it. Aguardiente is an anise-flavored liquor made with sugar cane. In every department of Colombia you will find a slightly different type of Aguardiente, and of course they all claim theirs is the best! In Bogotá the most popular is Nectar, but you can also find Antioqueño and Cristal.
When you buy a bottle the seller will usually give you small plastic shot glasses. It is popular to take shots of aguardiente followed by biting a slice of lime. It can also be used in mixed drinks such as Canelazo, my favorite way to drink Aguardiente, and the next item on our list!
Where to get it: Any tienda, liquor store, or bar.
Price: $30.000-35.000 COP ($10.50-12 USD) in supermarkets or $75.000-120.000 COP ($26.40-42 USD) in bars and restaurants.
Canelazo is an alcoholic drink that will surely warm you up quickly! It is made with hot aguapanela, aguardiente, cinnamon and cloves. This has definitely been my favorite drink in Bogotá, especially on chilly nights. The panela and cinnamon are a perfect flavor combination, and the aguardiente adds that extra kick and flavor!
Where to get it: Selina Bogotá in La Candelaria or any Colombian party.
Price: 5.000-10.000 COP ($1.75-3.50 USD)
Chicha is a fermented corn drink originated by the indigenous peoples that is sweetened with, you guessed it, panela! It is traditionally drank out of a totuma fruit shell, which looks similar to a coconut shell.
It was banned after the tragic events of Bogotazo, massive riots that occured in response to the assassination of presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1944. The consumption of chicha was blamed for the riots. The Bavaria Brewery also published propaganda bashing chicha in order to promote drinking beer with messages such as “Chicha is for criminals, beer is for gentlemen.”
Where to get it: La Candelaria, especially in Plaza Chorro de Quedevo.
Price: $7.000 COP ($2.40 USD) for one bottle or $3.000 COP ($1 USD) for a glass.
I hope you enjoyed this journey thorugh the best typical drink in Bogotá!
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