Dining and Nightlife in the Zona T

A common scenario:

You get to the Zona T (Tourst Zone) — the area between calles 79 and 85, and carreras 11 and 15 — and there’s so much to choose from. What, exactly, should you do?

Well we here at Lifeafar are here to help.

Below are tips for dining and nightlife in the Zona T.

What are you in the mood for?

We’ve heard people complain that there is no great sushi in Colombia. Nonsense! Just go to Arigato (Calle 80 #11-28).

Chef and owner Kenji Tokai flies in fresh fish weekly, and his creativity is worth the experience as well. The kenshin maki (salmon on top, eel on the inside) and the kaisen maki (octopus and seaweed salad inside) are two of the best.

And if you don’t like sushi, it’s ok. There are authentic Japanese hot dishes as well.

The eel is great, but if that seems too exotic, go with the chasyu ramen (traditional noodle soup with chicken or pork) or the katsu karei (breaded and fried chicken or pork with a curry sauce and rice on the side). You’ll like it.

Now let’s say you want something that really reminds you of home, a place to just have a few beers a bunch of bar food. There is a Hooters (Calle 85 #11-44) in the Zona T. It’s just like the states — same food, same uniforms — only the waitresses are prettier.

If you’re feeling like pizza instead of burgers and wings, there a great place to go for a nice pice. It’s called Julia (Calle 85 #12-81).

The crust, perhaps the toughest part of the pizza to perfect, is as good as it gets here. So is the sauce and the variety of options. We recommend the prosciutto and arugula pizza.

Just be prepared for a wait on the weekend…it’s quite a popular place.

For a great dessert, we’re sticking with Italian, Sicilian to be specific. Raffaele, when he’s there, which is often, will greet you with a smile as you enter his ice cream parlor, La Cremería, which has the best gelato in the city. The gelato cakes and other desserts are amazing as well.

Watching the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight at HootersSo you’ve filled your belly and now you’re looking to have a good time. There are a handful of places you can go.

The most obvious is La Villa (Carrera 14A #83-56). Go for Gringo Tuesdays, on, yes, Tuesdays, when there is a language exchange and then a party after. Foreigners get in free.

La Villa is also a good time Thursday through Saturday as well. The music here ranges from rock to electronic, providing a good time for all.

Another place with a great mix of music, although mostly rock, is Armando Records (Calle 85 #14-46). If you get there after midnight, you might have to wait a while to get in.

But maybe you want something more local, some pure salsa. Then you can go to Cachao (Carrera 13 #82-52). It’s one of the most popular salsa bars in Bogotá.

Finally, for something more laid back, you can go to Johnny Cay (Carrera 13 #82-17), where reggae is dominant tune.

Just remember, these are only suggestions. There is a lot to choose from in this area. The main thing is, you come to Bogotá and take a peek at what is available. You might like it so much, you’ll never want to leave.

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