Cartagena Stole My Ceviche Loving Heart

There is no single food, I love more, than ceviche. It’s fresh, light and often has spicy heat or acidity. If it’s an option in a city Bello and I are visiting, it’s happening. I’m having it. Every night. End of story. I know, poor Paolo right!

Finding the Best Ceviche in Cartagena, Colombia

The man must really love me because he didn’t complain once while I dragged him all over Cartagena Colombia to hunt down the best Ceviche. Trick is, ceviche is not exactly what I’d call cheap eats. My hunt turned into a two-fold quest. Find the best ceviche in Cartagena, without breaking the bank.

La Cevicheria

We started at Anthony Bourdain’s famous pick, La Cevicheria. Here, they take a simple, classic approach. Serving scoops of ceviche with a side of saltines. While the ceviche is good, I’ll give them that, the wait is more extreme post-Anthony than other options. Waiting it out under Cartagena’s midday sun is brutal.

I felt bad and offered to buy Paolo a beer. Pretty sure he thought that was the best part. The quest continued.

Bello Signing Up for Club Colombia
Bello Signing Up for Club Colombia

La Vitrola

Next up, was La Vitrola “an institution” “not to be missed” said Cartagena Restaurants New York Times roundup. We had to go! Our ceviche appetizers hit all the right notes, fresh fish, bright acidity and a touch of heat. The food was amazing and… expensive. The white glove service helped to soften the blow but we ordered light. The quest, continued!

Restaurant Carmen

The next night, the quest took us downstairs. Literally, to restaurant Carmen, located conveniently in our hotel! Here Haute Cuisine meets hot scene. We would have loved to try the Carmen Tasting Menu but after La Vitrola we were feeling, well cheap. I tried “The Beach” a fish dish with edible sand, coconut rice and “sea foam.” Great! Amazing… but not ceviche. Poor Paolo!

Brujas de Cartagena

The quest went on until finally, we arrived at Brujas de Cartagena.

Brujas de Cartagena
Brujas de Cartagena

Oh man was I in heaven here. Paolo knew from my face when I got my hands on that menu, he was in trouble. We went to town ordering the tiradito AND the ceviche samplers. Each sampler came with four Peruvian style variations. Each was stupendous.

Tiradito and Ceviche Samplers at Brujas de Cartagena
Tiradito and Ceviche Samplers at Brujas de Cartagena

Fresh fish, check. Bright citrus check, check. A little heat…. check, check, YES! From the octopus to the yellowtail, I was delighted. Our quest was victorious.

La Perla

Not to be a totally selfish wifey, the next night, Paolo and I dined at La Perla on braised Ox Tale slow cooked for six hours. Pretty sure that’s why he tolerates my ceviche obsession, my meat laden apologies are pretty tasty affairs.

At the end of the day, Brujas de Cartagena gets my vote for the best ceviche in Cartagena but Paolo’s vote goes to La Perla for the best restaurant in Cartagena.

In Love In Cartagena With Cartagena
In Love In Cartagena With Cartagena

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