As you may know, Dan and I will go almost anywhere Anthony Bourdain visits, and he went to La Cevicheria. We also fell in LOVE with ceviche a few years ago in Peru. And, if this restaurant wasn’t already stacking up as a must-visit, La Cevicheria was recommended to us by multiple friends. Since it came so highly recommended, we obviously bee-lined right to La Cevicheria on our first day in Cartagena.
La Cevicheria is located in the far corner of El Centro (the old town), about block past Parque Fernandez de Madrid. While I say “far corner,” nothing in El Centro is very far. You can walk from one end to the other in 15 minutes.
La Cevicheria is a small restaurant with a few tables outside and a small interior. There are no reservations and there is always a line. We arrived just after 11:30 and there was already a 40 minute wait. Luckily, there is a bar directly across the street to kill the time., and the food is TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT!
We were seated a little earlier than expected at an inside table with two friends who we ran into in line! Since there were 4 of us, we split several dishes, all of which were amazing! For starters, we split three ceviches. Each was served with unlimited crackers and the most delicious (and spicy) hot sauce. The hot sauce was sold in bottles to take home and I am kicking myself for not buying one!
First ceviche – lobster! Absolutely delicious. Just sweet enough and marinated with lots of onion and cilantro.
Next – octopus! Probably one of my favorite sea foods. I would definitely order this again.
Finally, to round out our ceviche, a mixed bag with shrimp, squid and conch! This was totally delicious, but it was probably my least favorite of the three. When ordering, keep in mind that each of these is considered a “mega” size. Very deceptive title.
For our main meal, the four of us split the Black Squid Ink Rice. I was a little nervous ordering this dish, as sometimes I do not love the taste of squid ink on non-squid food items, but this was amazing – and huge! The squid ink was “just enough,” and the rice was packed with squid. The squid ink rice was particularly good on the fresh bread! Highly recommended.
If you cannot tell, I loved my meal here and I am so sad that we did not return for another meal.
Some thoughts if you are planning to eat at La Cevicheria. The restaurant does not take reservations and there is almost always a long wait. It is generally easier to get a table at lunch than dinner. The restaurant is very casual and you can wear whatever. I came straight from the plane. In addition, the menu is almost all seafood based. It is available online (linked below) so you can check it out if someone in your party is adverse to seafood.
STEAL OUR DINNER
La Cevicheria – Casual restaurant specializing in ceviche. No reservations. Menu consists solely of seafood. Calle Stuart 714, Cartagena de Indias. T: [+57] 5 660 1492 – 5 579 5552. E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON A BUDGET
La Cevicheria is not terribly expensive, but the fresh seafood does make it somewhat pricey.