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Best 4 Cafes in Cartagena, Colombia

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2 weeks ago

Colombians take coffee seriously – it’s no secret that Colombia is home to the best coffee in the world. Colombia is the third-largest coffee producing country in the world. Consequently, café culture is deeply embedded into Colombian society. I think one of the greatest joys of visiting Colombia is tapping into the coffee lifestyle. Before you head off on your Cartagena walking tour, don’t miss out on starting your day with a cup of Colombian coffee.

These days, it’s equally important that a high-quality cup of coffee is paired with something delicious. In Cartagena, many cafés offer the usual mix of Colombian fried snacks to complement your coffee, while others have ventured into more Western-style brunch food (which is definitely worth your time). With strong breakfast and brunch menus, Cartagena’s cafes are often among the best restaurants in town.

cartagena old town horse carriage unesco

Most travelers are based in the Old Town or Getsemani, which is ideal if you are searching for the best cafes in Cartagena, Colombia.

Guide to ordering coffee in Colombia

Before I jump into the best Cartagena café recommendations, it’s important to discuss how to order coffee in Colombia. Giving the Argentinians a run for their money, Colombians take coffee very seriously. Colombian coffee menus usually go beyond the trio of espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. But don’t worry, you can still find these classics (and even flat whites) on most Cartagena café menus.

I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new – it’s time to drink coffee like a local!

Your OrderWhat You Will Receive
MacchiatoEspresso + milk foam
Latte caramelEspresso + caramel + milk + milk foam
MochaccinoEspresso + chocolate + milk + milk foam
Café bonbonEspresso + condensed milk

Vegans and lactose-free friends will want to have this Spanish vocabulary on hand:

Your OrderWhat You Will Receive
Leche vegetalVegan milk
Leche de almendrasAlmond milk
Leche de avenaOat milk
Leche de cocoCoconut milk
Leche de sojaSoy milk

Keen to learn more about coffee and the unique flavors of Colombian coffee? You can join a specialized Colombian coffee tasting experience in Cartagena.

Best Cafes in Cartagena, Colombia

Abaco

First and foremost, Abaco is a bookstore. If you’re like me, the inclusion of a bookstore in a list of the best cafes in Cartagena is sufficient reason to visit Abaco. Abaco oozes sophistication: set in an old colonial building, with exposed brick archways and tall ladders reaching up to high bookshelves.

cakes at abaco one of the best cafes in cartagena

You’ll find a small café in the bookstore. The café tends to be extremely popular in the late afternoon and early evening. The menu covers the best of Colombian coffee culture, as well as a number of fresh juices (including local fruits such as lulo and guanabana). If you’re visiting on a hot day, I recommend their homemade coconut lemonade – the ultimate Cartagena refresher.

Abaco is also one of my favorite places to purchase unique Cartagena souvenirs. Unlike the markets in Parque Centernario, Abaco sells a number of unique art pieces, and professional photographs. The bookstore also has a large English-language collection, including numerous titles by Colombia’s most famous author: Gabriel García Marquez.

Época Café

This café is the manifestation of Cartagena old town charm with a particularly grand colonial atmosphere. Sitting here, it’s not difficult to imagine how prim and proper Cartagena once was. With two levels (I prefer upstairs), you’ll usually be able to find a table at Época Café to enjoy one of Cartagena’s best brunch menus.

The menu here is split between brunch, ‘light’ breakfast and full breakfast. There’s usually something for everyone. If you’re the type of traveler who avoids street food, Época Café is a great place to try Colombian street eats in a safer, clean environment.

For example, the Arepitas de Queso Fundido offer some of the best stuffed Colombian arepas with freshly melted cheese. Those looking for more Western-style breakfast offerings will enjoy everything from eggs to iced matcha lattes.

On a completely unrelated side note, I’m slightly obsessed with the painting overlooking the second floor of the café. If anyone would like to send me an early birthday present, I’m enamoured by the subtle magical realist tones of the painting.

Café San Alberto

Café San Alberto sits on of one of my favorite plazas in Cartagena: the Plaza de Santo Domingo. With one of Cartagena’s most famous churches, a Fernando Botero sculpture and the Spanish Embassy, this is one of the more scenic spots to sit for a cup of coffee.

coffee and ice coffee at cafe san alberto cartagena

The coffee beans here are all produced in the namesake Hacienda San Alberto. Coffee connoisseurs will find one of the most elaborate coffee menus in Cartagena. For example, would you prefer chemex (with a lighter body), drip cone or French press?

At Café San Alberto you’ll be able to select how your coffee is extracted and your preferred particular brewing method.

If you’re after a quick refreshing pit stop, Café San Alberto offer various cold and iced coffees. If you have sugar cravings, you can also add marshmallow or Oreo. Café San Alberto also houses a small souvenir shop, where you can buy coffee beans, soap and ‘coffee syrup’ all produced in the hacienda. For vegans, Café San Alberto only offer coconut milk (leche de coco).

Libertario Coffee Roasters

Libertario is one of Cartagena’s more upmarket coffee roasters. With a wide-ranging coffee menu, Libertario’s cold brew is truly a blessing in Cartagena’s Caribbean sun. If you’re excited by various blends or single origin coffee, do not miss a visit to Libertario where the staff can guide you through the elaborate menu.

libertario coffee roasters in cartagena colombia

Beyond some of the best coffee in Cartagena, Libertario offers a solid Western-style brunch menu. From ciabatta sandwiches to eggs with fresh tomato and a dollop of Colombian cream cheese, you’ll leave here extremely satisfied. If you’re a little done with arepas, beans or plantains, Libertario is the ideal spot for a meal reset.

Vegans will be excited to know that Libertario offer milk alternatives (leche vegetal), including soy and almond. If you’ve been spending time in more traditional cafes in Cartagena, you’ll know this isn’t always a given.


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Ángel

Friday 14th of June 2024

You should try La Garza Café Boutique. But all this places are quiet good! Greetings!