Feed The Need: Must-Try Colombian Foods

Two people hold arepas. Explore the best Colombian foods with The Travel Yogi.

Travel is the perfect time to ditch picky-eater habits and delve into the unknowns of local cuisine. If you’re traveling to Colombia, or are dreaming of the day you can make the trip, you’re likely wondering about the kinds of foods you can expect to encounter there. (Even if it’s just to mentally prepare yourself to ditch the American diet.) Here are the Colombian foods you need to make sure not to miss when you visit.

4 Must-Try Colombian Foods

From sizzling fresh street food to traditional dishes bursting with flavor, there is no shortage of tasty treats to explore in Colombia. Sound good? Let’s eat!

1. Arepas

Talk about iconic. You have to intentionally avoid arepas to miss them on your visit to Colombia. But we still felt we needed to remind you… Eat arepas in Colombia, you won’t be disappointed! This iconic Colombian food is a type of corn cake made from ground maize dough or cooked cornmeal dough. It can be eaten alone or used as a base for other dishes. Lots of Colombians enjoy arepas for breakfast, so you’ll be able to find them on pretty much any street corner. Fill them with cheese, eggs, avocado or whatever your stomach’s heart desires.

2. Carimanolas

Carimanolas are another popular street food in Colombia. They are similar to empanadas, but instead of being baked, they are deep-fried. So, in other words, they’re like 1000% yummier. Carimanolas are made from a mixture of yucca, beef and potatoes and are shaped like a small football. Vamos, vamos! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, these things are really good y’all. Eat them as a snack on the go or a sit down meal that you enjoy with friends and cervesas.

3. Hormigas Culonas

Remember when we said you might need to mentally prepare for food adventurousness? You can do this. Hormigas culonas are a traditional Colombian food… that involves ants. Well, basically, they are ants. But, they’re so good! These ants are native to the Santander region of Colombia and are known for their unique taste. (They’ll taste a lot better than the ants roaming your kitchen counters!) The ants are harvested by locals for seven-ish weeks during the rainy season every year. They remove the legs and wings from the queen ants, soak them in salted water, and roast ‘em. Perfectly enough for our travelers, the main regions of production for the hormigas culonas are San Gil and Barichara! (Guess you’ll have to try one in the countryside.) Hormigas culonas taste like peanuts and crunch like popcorn. If you consider yourself a foodie, you can’t get out of this one. Sorry!

4. Arroz con Guandú y Pollo Guisado

Ok, we’ll spare you the ants on this one. This dish consists of rice cooked with pigeon peas, chicken and spices. The dish is flavorful and hearty, making it a perfect meal for lunch or dinner. It is often served with avocado and a side of plantains.

¿Qué Pasa Con Las Bebidas?

Drinking (whether it involves alcohol or not) is a pivotal part of a culinary adventure. An arepa might not feel complete without a thirst-quenching and refreshing ahh. Here are our must-try Colombian drink recommendations for an added bonus.

Soursop Juice

Soursop (aka guanábana) is a tropical fruit that is native to Colombia. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that is perfect for making juices and smoothies. Perfect for when the days get hot (and hot they get!). Soursop juice is often served with ice and sugar but if you want to spice it up with some rum or vodka, that’s acceptable, too.


For over a century, Aguila has been a Colombian favorite beer among locals. It’s a lager-style beer (meaning it’s easy to drink!). Light and refreshing, Aguila is brewed with a traditional brewing process that results in a smooth and crisp finish. And while you’re sippin’ away, don’t ignore the iconic eagle logo on the bottle. It symbolizes Colombia’s strength, freedom, and independence. 

Club Colombia

If Aguila is a light beer, Club Colombia it’s a feisty, daredevil cousin. A stronger beer with a richer taste, Club Colombia is another beer that’s vital to Colombian culture and a must-try for beer drinkers! 


Coffee lovers, check your kitchen cabinet. Odds are that some of your coffee beans (if not all of them) are grown in Colombia. That’s because Colombian coffee is an international sensation. While you’re in Colombia, be sure to find some coffee grown in volcanic soil for a treat.

Feed The Needs

Those are just a few must-try Colombian foods for your next Colombian adventure. If you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to plan a Colombian trip, that’s where our Colombian Yoga Adventure comes into the picture. We cultivate and lead immersive, experiential adventures in Colombia and over a dozen other destinations around the world. When you travel with The Travel Yogi (that’s us), you get wellness, adventure, yoga, relaxation, and daily, local culinary experiences to give you a well-rounded, real feel for the country and culture. 

Oh, and when we say we like to feed the need… we mean it. Explore our other deep dives into international cuisine in Fiji and Sicily.