Andres Carne des Res – The Craziest Party In The World? Not quite, but still a good time.

Andres Carne des Res is a restaurant in the town of Chiá, Colombia that is most well-known for its crazy party atmosphere.  Chiá is about a 40 minute drive from Bogotá and makes an easy day (or evening) trip.  I visited earlier this year.  The food was really great and the restaurant was very fun, but it was not quite the party that I was expecting (maybe I didn’t drink enough).  Still a good time, and still highly recommended.

The Restaurant:   The restaurant is a jumble of several buildings, all with outdoor and indoor seating, and all with crazy, crazy décor!  With different themed rooms, it reminded me of everything from a German festival to a Moroccan souk.  Staff were dressed in theme (although not necessarily to match the room), there was a live band and a gentleman walking around giving all of the women free sunflowers (that wear about two feet tall).  We did not make a reservation and were seated immediately on a Sunday evening, and since the restaurant is so large, you probably only need a reservation in the busiest of times.  See below: there is also dancing on tables and a cigar bar.





The Drinks.  The drinks are very fancy here, and very pricey compared to other Colombian establishments.  While pricey, they are also pretty strong and well prepared.  We enjoyed some sparkling wine as well as a cocktail!  The fun glasses are not yours to keep.



The Food:  The food was superb!  I was expecting more atmosphere than food, but the food turned out to be excellent!  However, be prepared – the menu practically a book.  About 20 pages of delicious things to suit all tastes.  Per a recommendation, we started with arepa de chócolo.  Amazing.  This dish consisted of a sweet arepa stuffed with cheese with a special sauce for dipping.  We liked this so much that we went back to Andres Express (see below) for another serving!


For mains, I went with the coconut shrimp.  Again, huge dish and delicious.  The shrimp were served with coconut rice and another lovely dipping sauce(!).


Dan ordered the steak, which he seemed to enjoy.  It came with fried potatoes (not the best).  After the mains, we were stuffed so we couldn’t order dessert.  You can easily share food here.


How To Get There:  There are very limited public transportation options in the Bogotá area in general.  They best way to get here is to take a car.  We hired a driver for the evening from Tours of Colombia, who also did our day trip to Villa de Leyva.  The cost was $49/person round trip ($98 total),  plus we tipped our driver.  Our driver picked us up at our hotel, waited as long as we wanted at Andres Carne des Res and then drove us back to the hotel.  While pricey, it was worth the piece of mind knowing that we had a ride to and from.  If you do not hire a driver, it is easy to get a car from Bogotá to Chiá, and, surprising to me, easy to find a car home.  See the below list of prices.  I do not recommend driving, as the drinks are strong and overindulging is encouraged.


Can’t Make It To Chiá?  If you can’t make it all the way to Chiá, there is a Andre Carnes des Res in Bogotá in the Parque 93 neighborhood.  Note that this restaurant is neither as crazy nor as big, but it is in Bogotá proper.  In addition, an Andres Express – a fast food version of Andres Carne des Res –  is in the same area.


Andres Carne des Res: The original.  Calle 3 N° 11A – 56,  Chiá, Colombia. T: (571)8637880 | (571) 8612233 . Reservations typically not required.  More expensive than other Colombian establishments.  All Andres restaurants share the same website.

Andres Carne des Res: The location in Bogotá.  Calle 82 interior centro comercial el retiro #12-21, Bogotá, Colombia.  Claims to be open 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. everyday.  I would confirm before going too late.

Andres Express: The fast food version.  This is the location in Parque 93, although there are others in Bogotá.  11, Cl. 93 #12, Bogotá, Colombia.

Tour of Colombia: The tour company through which we organized our car.  $49/person round trip.  All organizing done via email.  The driver was prompt, polite and safe.  While this company is pricey, I cannot recommend them enough!


Andres Carne des Res is more expensive than most restaurants in the Bogotá area, but it is a destination in addition to a restaurant!  If you want to enjoy the food without the crazy atmosphere, check out Andres Express, which serves the same food at much more reasonable prices!


Villa de Leyva – The Most Worthwhile Side Trip from Bogota

     In my opinion, Villa de Leyva is by far the most worthwhile day (or overnight) trip from Bogotá. Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and is located pretty much in the center of the country, high in the Andes mountains.  While Bogotá is easy to fly in and out of, transportation between Bogotá and other Colombian cities without a major airport can be difficult, and is pretty much limited renting/hiring a car or taking a public bus.   As such, day trips, short breaks, etc. can be more difficult here than in other countries.

Continue reading

Colombian Wine: A Visit to the Gorgeous Marqués de Villa de Leyva Vineyards & Winery

When you think “wine vacation,” Colombia, not surprisingly, probably doesn’t come to mind.  South America has some world-class vineyards in Argentina and Chile, but Colombia has never made those those lists.  Nevertheless, Colombia boasts two (maybe three…still waiting for confirmation that the third one is working), wineries that, while not top-of-the-line producers, are decent and very interesting to visit, especially for the wine enthusiast.  Colombian wines are interesting to me because (1) Colombian wine is only found in Colombia; and (2) the grapes are grown at a very high altitude in the Andes mountains – unique in the commercial grape growing world.  In any case, once I heard about “Colombian wineries,” I knew that I had to hit a vineyard on my trip!

Continue reading