Beatrice Helman

A Brooklyn Girl’s Guide to Sunday: Exploring Cartagena’s Food Scene

Cold weather obviously means I spend hours daydreaming about summer sun, sand, beaches, and of course: gardens. In keeping with that theme, here’s a little sun-splashed city guide; welcome to Cartagena, Colombia, one of the hottest places I’ve ever been and home to fruit that actually tastes like pure sugar. If you go and see a small brown fruit that looks like a saggy kiwi, buy it, cut it in half and eat it immediately.


It’s kind of like a crystalized condensed sugar that’s actually just a fruit. Magic. Here are just a few tips, if you happen to need a sunny weekend away and have no idea where to start. Head to Cartagena and stay in the old city– we stayed at Casa Pombo and absolutely loved it beyond belief– and be prepared to see some of the biggest avocados you’ll ever see.L181602-R01-024A

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Even my friends from California were amazed. Make sure to stop at least once a day at La Paleteria for popsicles. Take a boat ride to a beach if you’re feeling antsy. Eat entire pineapples– there’s a grocery store where you can buy them, or you can find them on the street already cut. Bring a lot of sunscreen and not that many outfits because you’ll end up wearing the same thing every day.

L181606-R01-010AGo to La Cevicheria. If you want to go out, make sure you bring an outfit; they’re not messing around. Buy pastries, cakes, and anything else you could ever want, sugar-wise, at Abaco Cafe and Mila Pasteleria. And get ready to walk, because Cartagena has some of the most beautiful candy-colored walls you’ll ever see, and walking really is the best way to understand where you are. You’ll see things walking that you wouldn’t see otherwise, and when it leads you to drinking one-dollar beer while sitting on a sun-soaked corner as old men shop for limes across the street, it’s completely worth it.


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