Fav Colombia Street Food Champions

20.06.17 10:27 PM By Putri

Unlike most adults in my age that seem to have figured out their lives, I somehow still struggle to understand some basic knowledge, like understanding the four cardinal directions and deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger (but then again, aren’t we all?). But today I am not going to talk about cardinal directions. Next time I need to ask people about directions and they answer me with cardinal directions, I might just accept my faith to be lost for eternity. Let’s leave it to that.

Now move on to the next problem we all have in life (okay, we means me); how to differentiate between being bored and hungry. Have any one of you master the different? I am sure there is a scientific explanation about it (or perhaps even an entire episode of Myth Buster about it), but spare me the details. Tell me nothing about it. What I would like to know more is what food do you usually crave when you have this boredom hunger? Is it a specific kind of food or just any kind of food?

In my case, I would snack on anything (un)healthy, preferably those from the street vendors. I would even feed myself on street food for my daily meal if I could. Now, let me specify what kind of street vendor I am talking about because apparently in Quebec City, the meaning of street food and or street vendor means those big restaurants who bought themselves a food truck and participate in specific events, like this one here. The only street vendor I know in QC that is not a part of a big restaurant is Becane au Beouf.


The street vendor I adore is the one who works out on a cart or a food truck that stands by the road or in parks. They are not a part of a big restaurant chain, they are merely hardworking Samaritans who have a passion for nothing but serve good food for good people for a reasonable amount of profit. Most of them also have their secret recipes that make their food stand out and lovable.

Being unsatisfied with the limited street food choice in QC, I always go wild and crazy for local street food whenever I travel. Nico seemed to pick up this habit too (another mission accomplished!). The last trip to Colombia was no different, we literally went on street food hunt whenever we have the chance. Luckily the Colombians are fond of this kind of culinary style too, the street vendors are everywhere (it reminded me so much of my hometown, the Big Durian)! Hashtag euphoria. 

These following are the champions of street food in Colombia that we wished we have it here in QC (preferably open 24h and situated right under my balcony):

Obleas. Obleas is a type of sweet snack that consists of two round thin wafers (which I thought it was similar to the holy wafers they give out at church) with tons of filling choices, from jams to coconut shred, peanuts, and whatnot, but my favorite is the one with dulche leche (some kind of buttery sweet and salty caramel). This wafer sandwich is light yet satisfying. I had this almost in every city we went to, but the one I had in La Candelaria, Bogota was by far the best. It was even Mick Jagger approved. This obleas rocks! Hastag satisfied. Hastag yummyyumyum

Fruit vendor. Nothing beats the luxury of a ripe mango served to you freshly cut and peeled for less than two dollars. Mango is my fav fruit, so this kind of vendors wins my heart. Hashtag fresh. Hashtag satisfied.

Orange juice. IMHO, orange juice is nasty. Don’t get me wrong, I love oranges but I hate orange juice. So when Nico bought a plastic cup of fresh orange juice in Cartagena, I didn't bother to ask for one for myself, until I gave it a taste. Ay caramba!! It was surprisingly very fresh and not sour at all, not overly sweet either. Hastag fresh. Hastag perfect

Ceviche. Apparently, ceviche is a must-try delicacy in Cartagena. According to a guide book, the best ceviche in Cartagena can be found on the street (if you are not squeamish about eating semi raw seafood in a searing hot day from a cart by the side of the road). To be honest, at first we wasn’t sure how it would taste. We ordered the smallest portion there was of classic shrimp ceviche and we fell in love with it on the first bite. It’s fresh and super tasty! Two champion vendors of them all are: La Moderna ceviche, located on the outside of the Getsemani area facing toward the Walled City. The other one was Ostreria Sincelejo, a classic ceviche joint located at the market. Both offer great ceviche with a generous portion and reasonable price. 

Shaved ice with syrup. Now this one is definitely a reminiscence of my childhood cold snack, we call it Es Serut (lit: shaved ice)in Jakarta. It is literally nothing but shaved ice with a dollop of syrup. Did you grow up eating this simple treat too?

Bolis/congelada. Another treat that reminds me of my childhood, frozen fruit juice in a condom tube shape plastic bag. In Jakarta, we have a fancy name for it; Es Mambo. We found this sweet treat by accident. We were walking in a neighborhood inside the Walled city, Cartagena. Houses in this area do not have any lawn, their windows open straight to the street. One of these colorful windows has this sign, a handmade picture of the tubed popsicle. Out of curiosity, I knocked on the window, a man popped up and that window is his living room window. With a fluent Tarzan language, I managed to get him to understand that I would like to have two of the ice with mango flavor. All of this transaction happened thru the window in his living room. Hastag weird. 

I have been told that I am misusing hashtag in this article. They said this is not how hashtags work.

Hashtag don’tcare.