Described by many as a town forgotten by time, Mompox’s culinary scene left a lot to be desired for many years. However, with an influx of tourism and community funding, this beautiful riverside town has exploded back into life. From freshly-caught bocachico fish to crispy wood-fired pizza, you’ll no longer be short of a delicious meal during your stay in Mompox.
One of the oldest standing restaurants in Mompox, family-run Jhon Parrilla is a local favourite serving no-nonsense, dirt-cheap Colombian fare with a breezy, riverside view. A warning to vegetarians: this is a strictly meat-only menu. If tripe, tongue or eye soup doesn’t take your fancy, then go for the steak, lamb shank or bocachico fish perfectly grilled on their bbq and served with the usual sides: patacones (fried plantain), rice and salad. It really doesn’t get any more Momposino than this.
Introducing Mompox’s best local coffee and sandwich shop. Housed in a stunning 1700s colonial mansion and decked out with luxurious, mix-and-match colonial-style furniture, Cafe 1700 serves up the town’s (maybe even Colombia’s?) tastiest farm-fresh cheese platters and sandwiches. Their secret? They use home-baked bread! Sounds silly, but getting your hands on crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-and doughy-on-the-inside bread in Colombia is like finding a needle in a haystack. With a focus on using fresh, local ingredients, you can expect plenty of queso de capa, sweet relishes made from Mompox’s exotic fruits and, of course, Colombia’s best coffee beans.
Located in the beautiful Plaza de la Concepción with a stunning view of the river Magdalena, Crónicas was created by the Fundación Escuela Taller to train aspiring young chefs, mixologists, and waiters from the town and its surrounding communities. The students here receive intense training from the Cartagena-trained head chef, where they learn to prepare and serve traditional Momposino dishes, such as plantain croquettes filled with chorizo and coconut bocachico fish, using contemporary cooking techniques. Be sure to arrive early to watch the spectacular sunset over the river from their romantic balcony.
The no-nonsense Comedor Costeño has been a long-lasting town favourite long before tourists started to arrive in Mompox. Resting along the riverfront, the family-run comedor serves up typical, unfussy Colombian meals with a beautiful view of the Magdalena River. Their delicious, affordable, and generously sized plates include various meat and fish dishes served with their homemade ají picante (hot pepper sauce) and the usual sides: patacones, rice, and salad. If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the seriously fresh bocachico fish.
We don’t know what it is, but Colombians absolutely love a good pizza – and Mompox is no different. You’ll find a couple of pizza joints scattered around town, however, if you’re looking for crispy thin, tasty and great value slices of cheesy heaven, then look no further than Luna de Mompox. The chef and owner here welcomes visitors to create their very own pizza by choosing from their varied selection of toppings, which he then makes fresh to order. If you can’t decide what to have, try their signature pizza: ciruela con tocineta, which translates to a plum and bacon pizza. Trust us, it works.
In a town where gourmet food is hard to come by, Ambrosía – set in a stunning inside/outside colonial courtyard – is a welcomed dose of tasty, creative and beautifully presented dishes. There’s a combination of international and Colombian food (think anything from pomodoro pasta to fried fish and patacones), however the local classics like queso de capa, coconut shrimp and ceviche trio are some of their winning dishes. Their cocktails aren’t bad either!
For the best brunch and cappuccino in town, you’ll need to make a stop at Sol de Agua. Located close to the beautiful colonial houses of Portales de La Marquesa, this trendy hostel and cafe serves up fresh juices, loaded omelettes, and sandwiches made with love. Sipping a fresh lemonade while you sit back in their rocking chairs with prime river views, you’ll feel like a Momposino here in no time. Don’t miss the cabeza de gato, a popular traditional puree made from the locally-grown mafufo banana.