Delight Your Senses at Cande, Cartagena, Colombia


I don’t like tourist trap restaurants. Do you?

Traversing the ancient, narrow streets on hungry stomachs on a hot summer evening, we did, in fact, stumble on Cande and decided to try it. What a pleasant surprise. Boy, was I wrong! My suspicions were one hundred percent unfounded. We discovered what I since have confirmed is one of Cartagena’s best places to eat– and Cartagena is known for its wonderful dining.

This long narrow seating and dining area make for intimate dining at Cartagena’s best. (All photos in this article are provided by Cande.)

I always become suspicious when I see a restaurant featured within a city map, let alone an historical one. Such was the case with Cande in Cartagena, Colombia’s historic Walled City. When our concierge at the Conrad Cartagena, recommended it as his first choice for my wife and me, I still wasn’t sold, but he also volunteered that this is where he takes his family for special occasions. I though “maybe,” but I would keep my options open.

Situated in a narrow converted space between two old buildings, you will delight at the architecture, enjoy the music and live dancing, appreciate the friendly attentive service and last, but not least, relish the perfection of the dishes.

You can tell a lot by observing fellow diners. Everyone here looked engaged and delighted with his or her culinary choice. Except for a young couple from Colorado adjoining us, the group looked to be international. As for our U.S. neighbors, he is a restaurateur from Vail and they were both raving about Cande – their second visit in their nine-day vacation.

Have you ever sat in a restaurant and wished you could also try some other dishes being delivered? Such was our experience at Cande. Our solitary dinner in the Walled City would only allow for this one visit, but we so wanted more. The exotic cocktails and the seafood stew, lobster bisque, and ceviche seemed to even be a notch above sublime. And for an added bonus, the cost was a pleasant surprise given the experience.

The inclusion of Cande on the city map of the restaurant proved sage marketing on their behalf, as there are so many options. And you had better believe me that the next time we return to the Walled City of Cartagena, you can be certain it will include an encore visit to Cande.


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