Brunch in Bogotá


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A typical breakfast in Colombia – orange juice, eggs, arepa, hot chocolate, cheese, bread.. Breakfast credit to Martha Salazar.

There are different kinds of people. The meat lovers who love a big fat piece of steak, the sweet-tooths who can’t finish a meal without something sweet. And I am one of those breakfast people who love anything made with eggs. So it’s about time for a breakfast/brunch review!

When it comes to breakfast, there are plenty of options because breakfast meetings are common for the early-risers. (Plus, the combination of expensive rent and relatively low labour costs has also given rise to unlikely premises such as P.F. Chang‘s starting to offer breakfasts..) Although options abound, talking about the best breakfast in town can be tricky. What kind of breakfast are we talking about? Is it the traditional arteries bursting beef rib soup and fried rice? American pancakes? Continental?

COLOMBIAN

Club Colombia: I simply send all visitors there for the all-encompassing solid Colombian experience, i.e. three kinds of tamales, two calentaos, even costeño arepa huevo and
carimañolas (the costal presence is really rare in Bogotá). It’s COP 45.000, USD 15 for the buffet brunch including service charge. It’s worth it because you won’t want to eat anything else for the day after that..! Excellent value!
Puerta Falsa: Best traditional – tamal, chocolate completo and ajiaco if you can stomach all of that. Enough said.

Andres Carne de Res: the plaza version (food court) in El Retiro serves up reliable, quality Colombian flavours. Like Club Colombia, it never fails, only cheaper (but only because you will order from the menu and probably eat less.

Gaira: costeño/Caribbean breakfast from coastal places like Baranquilla, Santa Marta and Cartagena, i.e. deep-fried. A recent discovery, their ‘super’ arepa huevo which comes with added cheese and mince is really quite impressive to say the least!

EUROPEAN

Crepes y Waffles: definitely the winner in terms of price/quality ratio and the sheer size of the menu so you’ll for sure find something you are happy with.
Philippe: a good sugar-free option and if you want French. They have one of the best croque madames in the city.
La Luzia: a great setting, right in front of it is a tranquil patch of green. Where else would you find a place like this here? European with healthy options like ‘the athlete’s omelette’.
Cafe Illy: good for people watching and if you want to rub showers with the rich and powerful. My problem is of course not finding Colombian coffee. Otherwise their breakfast set menu which comes with an orange juice, capuccino, omelette and croissant is good. Their croissant is not really French, though chunky enough and the three cheese omelette is delicious.

Eric Kayser: best continental breakfast as their pastry and bread is hands down the best in town (27th Aug 2016 update: not AMAZING anymore due to presumably cost-cutting pressures). Upping its game with its recent new breakfast menu. Not many other places serve you ‘real’ European hot chocolate!

 

BUFFET BRUNCH

 

Hilton: An all-round winner because the snapper and steak caballo steak (beef topped with an egg) were just really fresh, oozing quality. They also make you a special dessert on your special occasion and the chocolate dessert we had was just the heavenly (a rare find in this city). COP 63.000
JW Marriot: looks better than it tastes.. Still the free-flow bubbly was unbeatable. At COP 69.000 USD 25.000 a head it’s definitely easy mostly only for the gringos who make US dollars. Still Worth trying once.

W: a beautiful new model alternative to the establishment. Loved the granola parfait and asparagus. Also limitless bubbly. at COP 58.000 USD 20.000.

THE OVERHYPED

People say Masa is great but I really don’t understand what the big deal is! I guess it’s the space. They have a bright and airy space in Zona G for journalists and freelance workers.

Bagatelle: honestly!? Just don’t bother. Don’t be disappointed.
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