If you’re heading to Colombia, one of the best things you can do is experience the street food as it helps you to familiarize yourself with the culture and eat like a local.

Here are 10 local street foods to try when you’re in Colombia. Keep in mind that street food varies from region to region. An arepa or tamale in Bogotá will be prepared differently in Cartagena.

1. Almojábana


Photo by: Demi Doffaleks


Almojábana is a traditional Colombian bread that is very similar to pandebono. Pandebono is made with yuca flour and costeño cheese, and almojábanas are made with white cheese and cornmeal flour.

This small, round bread is traditionally served warm.

2. Arepas de Chócolo

An Arepa is made from deep-fried sweet cornmeal dough. In Bogotá, the arepa de chóclo is buttered then griddled and served with a crisp brown crust topped by a slab of cheese.

3. Arepas de Queso

In Medellín, you will find the arepa de queso: made with cornflour and cheese mixed together. It’s then flattened and griddled and served with sweetened condensed milk and topped with white farm cheese.

In Cartagena, you can find arepa de huevo: made with an egg cooked inside the twice-fried dough. Arepas in Cartagena can also be prepared with meat, veggies, and cheese inside.

RELATED: How To Spend 24 Hours In Medellín, Colombia

4. Buñuelos


Photo by Luis Echeverri Urrea


Buñuelos are usually found during Christmas, but they’ve become so popular that some cities serve them year-round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee.

5. Churros

Forget the traditional Spanish churros you may know served with chocolate. Colombia’s churros are often served solo and sprinkled with sugar.

6. Empanadas

Empanadas are a street-vendor staple and a favorite among tourists and locals alike.

7. Hormegas Culoñas

Don’t knock it until you try it but Hormegas Culoñas translates to big a** ants and yes, people eat them.

8. Jugos

There are fresh juice vendors everywhere so be sure to take advantage of the fresh goodness they have to offer.

9. Patacones


Photo by Aamulya


Patacones are green plantains squashed flat into a patty and deep-fried.

10. Tamales


Photo by Larisa Blinova


Colombians have their own spin on the tamale— corn dough mixed with meat or veggies, and sometimes cheese and steamed inside wrapped banana leaves. Colombians substitute banana leaves for corn husks.