Set on the Caribbean with colonial charm, Cartagena is a great place for a romantic getaway. Whether walking the picturesque streets of the old walled city, walking along the wall itself, or catching the sunset, there’s no shortage of great things to do with your special someone. There are also some great places to treat them to a romantic dinner. Read on for a list of places to take your date in Cartagena, Colombia.
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Where to Have a Romantic Dinner in Cartagena
There are tons of great dining options in Cartagena, from street food to fine dining. In this post, I am going to discuss 15 great places to take your date in Cartagena.
I’ve decided to split the post into two parts. In this first part, I will discuss higher end, and higher priced, fine dining. These include some of the best and most famous restaurants in the city. In the second part, I will discuss more moderately priced, but still nice options where you can still treat your date without breaking the bank.
This isn’t just some regurgitation of the list of the highest rated restaurants on Tripadvisor either. My wife and I have actually had been to all these places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. We do keep a wishlist of places we haven’t been yet, and I’m going to include a few bonus options at the end from that list, but the main list are all based on our real life date experiences. Take my word for it, all of these options are sure to impress your date, making them perfect for where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
8 High End Places to Impress Your Date in Cartagena
1. Club de Pesca
Located on the corner of a colonial fortification and overlooking the city’s bay, Club de Pesca has great food and a charming atmosphere. That easily qualifies it as one of the perfect places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
As the name implies, the restaurant serves up some great seafood dishes, but there are also beef and chicken dishes on offer for the landlubbers. Everything is loaded with flavor, and there is often live music in the evenings, making for an even more romantic atmosphere.
For bonus points, head there early as Club de Pesca is also on our list of best places to enjoy sunset drinks in Cartagena. While the food here is pricey given the quality, the drinks are quite reasonably priced. So, there’s even more reason to head there a bit early and enjoy the beautiful sunset before dinner (Club de Pesca also makes our list of the top 10 best places to have sunset drinks in Cartagena).
Located in Manga and with limited seating, it’s a good idea to make a reservation, especially on weekends. You can learn more and do so at Club de Pesca’s website.
Another good reason to make a reservation is that there are two tables set into the slots for cannon emplacements right on the water that give an exclusive, private feeling to your romantic dinner. With historical charm, a great view of the bay, and even better food, there’s no wonder Club de Pesca is at the top of our list of places to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena!
2. Restaurant 1621
Located in the Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, Restaurant 1621 is in the center of the beautiful courtyard of the colonial era convent. Besides the charming atmosphere, it also boasts terrific food. Therefore, it easily makes our list of great places to take your date in Cartagena.
1621 serves up a French inspired menu. It is actually where I proposed to my wife. Everything, the food, the place, the service, is terrific! When someone asks me where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena, 1621 is always one of my recommendations. It is sure to wow your date.
You will want to try to take full advantage of the locale by getting one of the limited tables in the beautiful garden. Therefore, it’s best to make a reservation. You can find out how to do so at the restaurant’s website.
3. Marea by Rausch
Next up on our list of places for a romantic date in Cartagena is Marea by Rausch. The Rausch brothers have to be Colombia’s most famous chefs with numerous top restaurants around the country and having been featured in Colombia’s Top Chef. So, it goes without saying that the food is great! What I really like about the food here is they are creative with their dishes, mixing tradition with their own unique touches.
Their waterfront deck just across from the walled city is just icing on the cake. Like one of the restaurant’s flavorful creations, everything at Marea combines to make it another one of the best places for a date in Cartagena.
My wife and I have gone without reservations and gotten a table no problem before. However, it’s probably best to make them, especially to make sure you get a table on the deck (trust me, that’s where you will want to be).
Marea is located on the bottom floor of the city’s Convention Center. Entrance is behind the statue at the corner of Calle El Arsenal. Check out their website to take a peek at the menu and make reservations.
4. El Gobernador
Located inside one of the swankest hotels in the city, the Luxury Hotel Bastión, El Gobernador is also managed by the Rausch Brothers. The luxurious and exclusive atmosphere is sure to impress your date, making it one of the perfect places for a romantic date in Cartagena.
Like Marea, the dishes and flavor combinations here are creative. Serving up some real culinary masterpieces, the food here is top class. So is the service and the setting. The scallops served with confit pork belly appetizer is especially tasty, as is the lamb served over mashed chickpeas. There’s also a variety of fish and seafood dishes and great desserts, including the Coco Loco. Even the complimentary assortment of bread they give you is delicious and creative. We, for example, had a bread made from beets.
All of that makes it a truly great fine dining experience and easily puts it on our list of best places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. You can learn more and make a reservation at their website or their facebook page.
5. La Vitrola
The favorite of many celebrities, including Charlie Sheen, Mick Jagger, and Shakira, and featured in the New York Times La Vitrola also makes for one of the best places to take your date in Cartagena.
Serving up classic, traditional Caribbean dishes, the food is very good. There’s a Cuban inspired atmosphere and decor, and there is often live music in the evening.
Prices here, considering its fame, are on the high end for Cartagena but not outrageous. The difficult part is getting a table! Tables on weekends are often booked weeks in advance, so if you want to take your special someone here, be sure to plan in advance and make a reservation.
If you are able to get a table, then it is definitely one of the best places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. You might even get lucky and see a celebrity or two!
You can find their contact information at their facebook page.
6. La Langosta
Located in a beautiful colonial style mansion in Cabrero just across from the wall, La Langosta’s exclusivity and charm make it another one of the best places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
As the name implies, the highlight of the menu here is the lobster. They always serve the freshest and the biggest I’ve ever seen and have a variety of different preparations. We haven’t tried them all, but the the Al Cognac, grilled then seared in Cognac, and the Caribeña, cooked in coconut juice and served covered with shrimp are exquisite.
My wife and I actually had our wedding on La Langosta’s lawn and it is a popular place for events. When there is not an event on, they are open nightly for dinner. There’s usually never more than a table or two occupied, giving it a quiet, private, and romantic setting.
It still might be worth calling ahead to check that there’s no event. You can find their number at their website.
La Langosta’s sister restaurant La Latina in the Old Town serves up great latino fusion cuisine and has a sweet rooftop terrace. That makes it another good place for a date in Cartagena.
7. Cafe San Pedro
In front of the San Pedro Claver Cathedral, Cafe San Pedro is next on our list of places where you can take your date in Cartagena. The restaurant has seating in the plaza in front of the church as well as inside, including a great view from the second floor.
Cafe San Pedro serves ups Asian inspired fare, including some great woks and oriental rices. All the seafood options are great as well.
You can probably get a table here without a reservation, especially during the week. However, if you must have a table on the plaza or by the windows on the second floor, it’s probably best to call ahead.
I haven’t been able to find a website for Cafe San Pedro, but you can check out their Tripadvisor page here.
8. Harry Sasson in the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa Restaurant
I have to confess that we have only actually eaten the appetizers at the Harry Sasson Restaurant. Given how awesome those were, I can only imagine how good the entrees are!
The restaurant is located in the courtyard of the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa. The ivy tumbling down from the beautiful colonial interior balconies and fountain in the center make it a charming atmosphere. One of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the restaurant is open to the public. You know you are in a swanky place when you find mouthwash in the bathroom!
It’s the combination of this gorgeous setting and food bursting with flavor that lands it on our list of the best places for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. The entree prices are certainly on the higher end, but the appetizers are reasonably priced and practically meal sized portions. Especially great are the crab meat nachos and soy and ginger pork tips.
You can check out the Hotel Charleston’s webpage here.
6 More Places to Have a Romantic Dinner in Cartagena on a Budget
9. Intriga Tropical
With a huge deck overlooking the lake El Laguito, Intriga Tropical kicks off our list of places to take your date in Cartagena on a budget.
Serving up great seafood Intriga Tropical has a nice, romantic atmosphere and is also a good place to have some before or after dinner (or both) drinks where you can enjoy the the tranquil view over Laguito.
10. Crepes and Waffles Rooftop Terrace
Crepes and Waffles is a popular casual-gourmet chain in Colombia that serves up…ahem…crepes and waffles. Their food is pretty solid and they have a large and varied menu. The reasonable prices also qualifies them as one of our budget options for a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
However, your typical crepes probably isn’t going to exactly wow your date. But the rooftop seating at their location just off the plaza in front of the Pedro San Pedro Claver Church will. You’ll be able to enjoy a nice breeze and the view of the church and plaza nearby for a perfect romantic atmosphere.
There’s a little area with a fountain on the first floor that would also make for a good place for a romantic dinner. With great ice cream and waffles on offer, you could also just opt for dessert here after dinner elsewhere as well. Regardless, you can enjoy this romantic place to take your date in Cartagena without breaking the bank.
Boka has become a new favorite of ours. Good food and drinks and a nice atmosphere land it on this list of places for a date on a budget in Cartagena.
There is a small patio out front and a pretty dining area inside. Boka serves up very tasty Mediterranean fare. Prices are a tad higher here than most of our other budget picks (expect to spend 40-60,000 pesos a plate). However, very reasonable wine and cocktail prices make up for it.
All of that makes it another great option for where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena. Learn more about Boka at their facebook page.
12. Di Silvio Trattoria
I’m not sure how I don’t have a picture of Susana and me at Di Silvio, because it is one of our favorite restaurants in Cartagena. It might honestly be the place we have had the most dates in our relationship. In fact, it was the site of our 2nd date when Susana joined some friends to treat me on my birthday.
Lack of picture aside, Di Silvio definitely qualifies as one of the great places for a date in Cartagena. Serving up terrific pasta (my favorite is the carbonara, Susana’s like everywhere is the seafood) and good pizzas, the food is great and the prices friendly.
Try to treat your date to one of the tables in the main dining area. There’s a big, beautiful tree growing in the pretty, back courtyard and the atmosphere makes it great for a date. It is popular, so there’s often a short wait, but you should usually still be seated within 20 minutes even when it’s full.
13. Santa Isabel Food Trucks
Since opening, the food trucks at Santa Isabel have quickly become one of our favorite places in Cartagena. With a spectacular view (it also makes our list of best places for sunset drinks), a good variety, and very reasonable prices, it definitely qualifies as one of the best places for a date in Cartagena on a budget.
There’s Mexican, burgers, sandwiches, sushi, pizza, and seafood on offer here as well as a truck serving up beers and cocktails. The quesadillas at the Mexican place are great, and the big, very fairly priced rolls at the sushi place are probably the best deal on sushi in Cartagena. Susana nearly always springs for the seafood place, which has great ceviche and shrimp al ajillo (in a garlic butter sauce).
The sangria from the sandwich place is also great and perfect for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. All in all, the great location, variety, and great prices make this a top pick for places where to take a date in Cartagena. Located on Arsenal Street, it also is within a short walk from many of the top nightclubs, making it the perfect place to have dinner before dancing the night away out on the town.
Learn more about the Santa Isabel Food Trucks at their facebook page.
14. La Girolata
Good Italian food with wine is always a winning ticket for a date. And that’s certainly the case with the next place on our list of best places for a date in Cartagena. Like Boka, the prices at La Girolata are a smidge higher than some of our other budget picks, the food, service, and ambiance are closer to the high end options listed above.
There’s absolutely terrific authentic pasta dishes on offer here. While we love Di Silvio for the memories we have there, La Girolata might very well be the best pasta in Cartagena. Rarely crowded and easy to get a table, La Girolata is also located just inside the wall a block away from Cafe del Mar.
Learn more about La Girolata their facebook page.
15. And for Dessert….Mila Bakery
Pastelería Mila does offer a small bistro/cafe style food menu, but the real attraction here is the baked goods. So have your romantic dinner in Cartagena at one of the other places on the list, but come here for dessert!
Brownies, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, cakes, all of it is really pretty and absolutely delicious! My favorites are the brownies with the golden icing drops. Mila is also the only place I know of in Cartagena that serves cheesecake.
The great desserts on offer here make it perfect to visit after dinner or simply for sweets and coffee. Regardless, Mila will not disappoint as a spot for a date in Cartagena.
Mila is located centrally in the walled city on Calle de la Iglesia a block from the Cathedral. Learn more about them at their website.
Other Places to Have a Romantic Dinner in Cartagena
So, we have a bad habit of finding places we like and going over and over again to those places. However, lately, we’ve been trying to try new places. In fact, several of the places on this list are places we’ve only gone to for the first time in the last several months. Here are a 5 more options for romantic dinners in Cartagena that are on our list of places to try next:
- Carmen– One of the city’s most famous and highly ranted fine dining establishments. Website here.
- Moshi– Run by the same management as Carmen and specializing in Japanese food. Website here.
- Alma– Featured in several magazines and on lots of best restaurants in Cartagena lists, Alma has a beautiful setting to go with highly rated food. Website here.
- El Burlador de Sevilla– Serving up Spanish food and with a nightly Flamenco show, El Burlador de Sevilla has been recommended to us by numerous friends. The picture of the paella on their website looks delicious! Website here.
- Pepe Anca– Pepe Anca serves up some great looking grilled dishes. Every time we walk by, we say we need to actually have dinner here. We will have to make a point to do so soon. Website here.
There you have it, our list of places for a romantic meal in Cartagena. All of them are sure to impress your date. Let us know in the comments which is your favorite and if there are any gems here we’ve missed!
Want to learn more about Cartagena’s food scene?
- If you’re really on a budget check out our guide to the 15 street foods you need to sample in Cartagena.
Ready to plan your romantic getaway to Cartagena?
- Be sure to check out our guide to the best areas to stay.
- Check out available properties for your dates and the latest deals from Booking.com below: