Set on the Caribbean with colonial charm, Cartagena is a great place for a romantic getaway. Looking for where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena? Read on for a list of great places to have a romantic dinner 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 some great places to take your date in Cartagena.
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. Take my word for it, all of these options are sure to impress your date.
So whether you’re looking for where to have dinner in Cartagena on Valentine’s Day, where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena for Love and Friendship Day (Amor y Amistad), or just where to have a date in Cartagena, you’re sure to find a great option here.
Notes on Budget
Most of the places here are on the higher end, but I made a point to include some more budget friendly places as well. For each I’ll provide an idea of what you might spend using the following system:
- $=estimated price of a meal 25,000 pesos or less
- $$=estimated price of a meal 25-50,000 pesos
- $$$=estimated price of a meal 50,000+
Great Romantic Restaurants in Cartagena
Located in the swanky Hotel Casa San Agustín, Alma is one of Cartagena’s most famous restaurants. It has a neat, colonial style decor with mini balconies adorning the walls.
Even better, the food is terrific. Alma serves up food inspired by the culinary traditions of Cartagena. The seafood rice, seafood pasta, and cazuela de mariscos are all delicious! I also got a great steak once. And the lobster empanadas are great as an appetizer.
By the way if you’re wondering what foods to try here or elsewhere on this list of romantic restaurants in Cartagena, be sure to check out my post on dishes to try in Cartagena.
When I first did this list, we actually had not been to Alma, but after going ourselves several times since, it definitely deserves to be number 1 on this list of places for a date in Cartagena.
Located in the equally swank Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, Restaurant 1621 is in the center of the beautiful courtyard of the former colonial era convent. Besides the charming atmosphere, it also boasts terrific food. Therefore, it easily comes in second on this list of great places to take your date in Cartagena.
1621 serves up a French inspired menu. It is actually where I proposed to Susana. 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.
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 or see it on TripAdvisor.
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 dessert, be sure to try the coconut pie, it might be my favorite dessert in all of Cartagena!
For bonus points, head there early as Club de Pesca is also on my list of best places to enjoy sunset drinks in Cartagena. So, it’s not a bad idea to head there a bit early and enjoy the beautiful sunset before dinner.
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 historic charm, a great view of the bay, and even better food, there’s no wonder Club de Pesca is near the top of the list of places to go for a special occasion in Cartagena!
Marea by Rausch
Next up on this list of places to go on a 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 to have a nice dinner in Cartagena.
My wife and I have gone without reservations and gotten a table inside. 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).
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 both 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.
La Langosta’s sister restaurant La Latina in the Old Town serves up great latino fusion cuisine and has a rooftop terrace. That makes it another good place for a date in Cartagena.
Restaurante Candé has become one of the trendiest restaurants in town. It opened in a new, big location just by the new La Serrezuela mall fairly recently.
It has a very neat like bohemian rustic, atmosphere, frequent live band, and terrific food. The food is traditional Cartagena fare, but many of the dishes have a bit of a creative or fusion touch to them. All of that makes it another great place for where to have a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
We only recently went here for the first time for our anniversary, and we were really impressed.
That was around the holidays, but it was very crowded, so you will most likely need to make a reservation here. The restaurant’s website is currently undergoing maintenance at the time of writing, but you can see their TripAdvisor page here.
El Burlador Gastrobar
This Spanish restaurant had been on our list of places to try for the longest time and once we finally went, we were not disappointed at all. It has a neat and romantic decor, and there was live music.
The food was also very good. Do yourself a favor and make sure you at least get the mini Spanish tortilla (omelette) as an appetizer as it was very tasty! And of course, the paellas are delicious.
Located in another swank hotel, 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. 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.
All of that makes it a truly great fine dining experience and easily puts it on this list of romantic restaurants in Cartagena.
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 for a romantic dinner in Cartagena.
Serving up classic, traditional Caribbean dishes, the food is solid. There’s a an old school, traditional, inspired atmosphere and decor, and there is always live music in the evening.
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 well 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!
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.
La Girolata has great food, service, and ambiance that are close to the some of the higher end options listed above.
There’s absolutely terrific authentic pasta dishes on offer here. 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.
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, located just off the Plaza de la Trinidad in Getsemaní, 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.
There is also a newer location in Bocagrande.
Café 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.
Like La Vitrola, Café San Pedro is one of Cartagena’s classic restaurants, having been around for years.
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.
You can check out their Tripadvisor page here.
With a big deck overlooking the lake El Laguito, Intriga Tropical also makes for a nice place for a date in Cartagena.
Serving up solid, standard 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.
Located just around the corner from the Hilton Cartagena, it usually isn’t necessary to make a reservation at Intriga Tropical. You can learn more about them at their facebook page or see their TripAdvisor page.
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.
Good food and drinks and a nice atmosphere land Boka 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. They also have very reasonable wine and cocktail prices.
Santa Isabel Food Trucks
After opening, the food trucks at Santa Isabel have quickly became one of our favorite spots 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 to accompany a romantic dinner or just to enjoy alone. 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.
El Bistro had long been a favorite for happy hour and tapas. They also have always done a great lunch.
However, their new location near the Clocktower would also be a great place for a romantic dinner. It tends to not get nearly as crowded as the old location (it is much bigger) and has a nice, modern style. The food continues to be very good, and the happy hour 2×1 is also still one of the better deals if you’re looking to get drinks before dinner.
See El Bistro’s TripAdvisor page here.
Located near the Plaza Santo Domingo, Zaitún has Caribbean-Arab fusion food. It has a neat little atmosphere and the service has been terrific every time I’ve been there.
There’s a large menu with good seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetarian friendly things. Their limonada de coco is also excellent!
Good food, in a good location, with a good variety, it makes it on this list of romantic restaurants in Cartagena.
Located near the Plaza Santo Domingo and serving up a huge menu of Peruvian inspired dishes, Cuzco is one of the most popular restaurants in Cartagena.
The food is very good, the Pisco Sours even better, and the atmosphere also makes it a good place for a romantic dinner in Cartagena. There is also often live music.
Check out their TripAdvisor page here.
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 tasty! My favorites are the brownies with the golden icing drops. Mila is also one of the only places 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.
Budget: $-$$(for food)
Other Romantic Restaurants 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 gone to fairly recently.
Here are a few 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 and TripAdvisor page here.
- Mar y Zielo Gastrobar – Fairly new, it has terrific reviews on TripAdvisor.
- La Catedral– Located, well near the Cathedral, this little place looks neat and I have heard good things about the food. See their TripAdvisor page here.
- Malagana Café– Ok, we actually have been here but just for drinks. In Getsemaní, it’s a neat little place that is truly local. The little rooftop would be great for a romantic dinner, and the food looks really good. Check it out at their TripAdvisor page.
There you have it, my list of suggested 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!
Cheers and Happy Exploring (and Eating)!
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