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Welcome to the best restaurants and bars in Santa Marta, Colombia!

Recently voted as the number 20 destination in South America by trip advisor members and highlighted as the second most important city on the Colombian coast by Lonely Planet, Santa Marta is a city that’s growing rapidly, so it’s no wonder there are hundreds of restaurants & bars to choose from. To make things easier we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites,  and what we consider to be some of the best restaurants and bars in Santa Marta.

One of our favourite restaurants in Santa Marta, Ouzo was one of the first to open it’s doors in the newly renovated Parque de Los Novios in the historic centre of Santa Marta in 2011, with head chef Michael McMurdo working tirelessly to create what many consider to be one of the finest restaurants in Santa Marta.  Originally from the United States, Michael cut his teeth at the award winning restaurant; The Gamekeeper in North Carolina before moving to New York city to work at the 1-Star Michelin restaurant; Anthos.

Lavinia is a stylish & sophisticated cocktail bar, located a short walk from Parque de los Novios on the busy pedestrian street; Calle 19. With cleverly inspired Colombian cocktails featuring local fruits and a mixture of sharing tapas plates to accompany your cool bebidas.

Located in the colonial dining room of the luxurious boutique hotel Casa Carolina on calle 12, Eli’s restaurant is one of those surprising hidden gems you might not expect to find in Santa Marta. With an expansive “international menu” created by head chef Decireth Castilla and British owner David Schickler, the restaurant has three different dining areas to choose from (poolside, the larger dining room, and their romantic 2nd floor balcony).

It might be a little bit on the extravagant side price-wise but it’s definitely worth every every penny, and the quality and freshness of the food always shines through here. Personal favourites include; Tuna Sashimi, marinaded in Ponzu sauce with hummus and avocado wasabi, Tomato Gazpacho, and possibly the best traditional British fish and chips in town.

Eli's Restaurant Tuna Sashimi with hummus and avocado wasabi
Eli’s Restaurant Tuna Sashimi with hummus and avocado wasabi
Eli’s Restaurant: Hotel boutique Casa Carolina, Centro Histórico, Cl 12 #3-40
Tel: (5) 423 3354 – www.hotelcasacarolina.com/santa-marta/dining

A Deriva is a recently opened french-styled bistro restaurant just off Parque de los Novios on calle 19. Originally located in the small neighboring town of Taganga, by popular demand it moved to it’s new home in El Centro about a year ago and has an interesting mix of French, Asian and European inspired dishes on the menu.