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Five Places to Go in Bogotá - The New York Times

Posted on 08 February, 2017 by James T. King
90 out of 100 based on 844 user ratings

As far as Bogotá neighborhoods go, Quinta Camacho is small — aboutsix square blocks. But a wave of new establishments in recent years has made this quiet pocketin the sprawling and hectic metropolis worth exploring. The centrally located enclave is known for its brick, Tudor-style houses built in the 1940s and ’50s. While the exteriors of these charming structures with shingled roofs have been protected from alterations by the city, their interiors are being transformed into restaurants, bars, boutiques and even a stylishhotel. Travelers often overlook the tiny area, but they shouldn’t. As you walk around, it feels like a buzzy, European village — different from anything else you’ll find in Colombia’s capital.

This bright, year-old boutique property feels more like home than a hotel. Its seven rooms are individually decorated based on personalities of the family members of its owner, local interior designer Helena Dávila; take the Luisa, a cheery room with tropical print wallpaper named for her young niece. The hotel’s cozy living room has puzzles and games, breakfast is served at a communal farmhouse-style table, and the kitchen fridge is stocked with snacks and drinks that guests can take as they please.

Carrera 8, 69-60; casalegadobogota.com


Since opening in 2014, this homey bookstore with floor-to-ceiling shelves has become a beloved neighborhood meeting spot. Set inside a three-story building with a creaky wooden staircase, it’s the kind of place that makes you want to linger. The bookstore has a full schedule of author readings, lectures and other literary events — and there’s a small outpost of the local, fair and direct trade coffee shop Café Cultor.

Calle 71, 10-47; wilborada1047.com


This impeccably curated design boutique is owned by four sisters — one of whom also runs the attached La Manola ceramic studio. The shop, which opened in 2015, carries high-quality, made-in-Colombia products such as geometric vases, pendant lamps and dishware, plus furnishings like colorful embroidered chairs.

Carrera 12, 70-29; lasheroinas.com

Set inside an old house, this romantic restaurant opened in 2009 and serves a variety of small plates that put innovative twists on local ingredients — all listed on a cloth menu that doubles as a napkin. Many of the dishes are inspired by the chef’s travels abroad. There are two dining areas — a bamboo-walled wine alcove with high-top tables and a lounge area with couches — but both provide views of the open kitchen. There’s also a speakeasy-style bar, Ocho y Cuarto, perfect for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.

Calle 70a, 10a-18; nueve.in


Ever since this bi-level cafe opened in 2014, there’s been no need to wait in line for breakfast at the original location in the historic neighborhood of Usaquén. The coffee comes from the Colombian countryside; the bread is baked in-house daily; and the arepa options are plenty, stuffed with fillings like eggs, cheese and shredded meat. Don’t miss the cake made with almojábana, a sweet, corn flour bread roll filled with cuajada cheese. Granola, honey and jam are also for sale.

Calle 69a, 9-09


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