La Vitrola Restaurant
Book ahead to avoid missing out on one of Cartagena's superior culinary experiences at this A-list, Cuban eatery in the heart of the Old Town.
La Vitrola - or jukebox in Spanish - serves up an intoxicating mix of live Cuban son, a mean Mojito and a gratifying surf n' turf menu that borrows heavily from the flavours of everyone's favourite communist holiday resort.
You can forget about the austerity measures in Fidel Castro's revolutionary island in this cosey corner of Cartagena, however, there's no rationing when you get the bill.
At the elegant end of the Decameron tourism empire, La Vitrola has ruled the roost in Cartagena's restaurant scene delivering intimate soirees for Colombia's most privileged and demanding public for more than a decade.
Foodies be warned, the glittering mix of celebrities, politicians and their wealthy patrons are here more to be seen than for the menu. The restaurant's Cuban inspired menu has grown tired after a decade sitting at the top of everyone's Cartagena bucket list.
Gourmands looking for a real dining treat in Cartagena would be better off hanging out with the culinary clever clogs leading the charge on Cartagena's exciting new gourmet scene at Carmen Cartagena and Marea by Rausch.
THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE
* The sounds of Cuban son and the conspiratory atmosphere
* Great service by people who have worked in the restaurant for years
* One, maybe two of some of La Vitrola's most excellent Mojitos
* Mixing it with Colombia's ruling elites. This is where the country gets carved up on holiday
* The history of the place always makes for a special evening
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* The food's better elsewhere. Read our Gourmet Guide to
Cartagena's best restaurants
* Getting a table in December and January when the rich Colombians arrive is nigh impossible
* Men dressed in shorts and flip-flops are not allowed in
* Children under 7 years old are not allowed in