Caffé Lunático

A Great Value Tapas Restaurant that Eclipses the Competition

Caffé Lunatico's poised menu is absolute dynamite—blasting off to every corner of the earth and bursting with authentic Catalan dishes, tapas and Colombian delicacies wrapped in inventive panache.

  • This Is What We Love

    • The intimate, homely atmosphere that lets the food do all the talking
    • The promising new brunch menu and tapas selection that can be enjoyed all day long (tapas is served from 11:00-23:00)
    • The lunch menu is one of the best in Cartagena. There is nowhere else you can eat so cheap and so well at lunchtime
    • Supporting a family run business who make you feel at home whether you pop in for a fresh cup of coffee or a big meal with friends
    • Kick-starting a night on the town with a cheeky jug of sangria or fresh and fruity Caffé Lunático cocktail
  • What You Need To Know

    • Caffé Lunático is closed on Sundays
    • The restaurant seats 30 and gets busy on the weekends. We recommend reserving a table
    • They sometimes throw impromptu events, keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram for more info
  • The Details

    Type of Food: Tapas

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sat: 11:00-23:00 | Sun: Closed ?

    Price Range: $$

    Address: Calle del Espíritu Santo 29-184, Cartagena, Colombia

    Neighbourhood: Getsemaní

    Rating: TIC User Rating

    Rating: Trip Advisor

  • THE LOWDOWN

    Our Full Review

    Passion, especially in the dog-eat-dog restaurant business is everything. Lucky for us, Caffé Lunatico's seasoned owners, Maria Delgado and Felix Sanchez, aka, Cartagena's coolest power food couple hailing from Cartagena (her) and Catalonia (him) know how to play the game.

    For starters, their combined CV is one hell of a globe-trotter. With spells in Diverxo (Madrid), Libreji (Holland) and many other unpronounceable restaurant name-droppers that have a Michelin star ring to them.

    Mediocracy doesn't cut the dijon mustard here. The kitchen is open all day, and the open plan geography means it's very much integrated into the atmosphere. All eyes are on the prize and there is no room—or time—for error.

    But these guys work wonderfully under pressure. Food is served fast (a godsend in the Caribbean) with lashings of TLC for everything that comes out of its kitchen straight to the mouths of hungry visitors, who've heard the local buzz and want to see if it's worth it (it is).

    The lunch menu is an mazing deal for budget travellers looking for a fabulous lunch that doesn't cost the earth. For USD$5, you can have a soup or salad starter, main dish of the day with a juice, dessert or coffee.

    The autumnal slow-cooked suckling pig that falls off the forks and slips down your throat in a silky sweep served with a summery strawberry salad deserves a star in its own right.

    All ingredients are fresh, locally sourced and thoughtfully applied to dishes. The squidgy aurbegine sticks sweet, sticky crunch of panela sauce is a darling flirtation between Spanish and Colombian tastebuds.

    Hamburgers are homemade, as is the bread. You might even see local providers stop by during your midday coffee stop (organically sourced from Minca in case you were wondering). If that's not the pinnacle of clean living, we don't know what is.

    For a small place these guys think big, racking up an impressive amount of food miles with stopovers in Asia (curries, spring rolls and peanut based sauces), as well as Spain (succulent fideuás, tasty tapas and stellar wines) and South America (seafood and exotic fruits).

    Europe takes care of the more unique alcoholic options. The organic Spanish wines match very nicely with the tapas tasting platter. The Spanish Estrella Damm cañas are a fantastic guilt-free boozy lunch option and the cava sangria pops and fizzles with a celebratory feel.

    Of course in the end, much like these well-travelled chefs, there’s no place like home. Colombia still basks a lot of the menu limelight-and rightly so. The Tribute to the Arepa is a triumph, the natural fruit juices are the ultimate thirst quenchers, the signature cocktail is a heady mix of coconut, rum and mango biche. Go figure.

    Don't spend your whole meal with you head down in your food, look up. The starry ceiling mural by local street artist Andrés Molina glitters hovering over the evening crowd like plankton.

    It's a somewhat soothing end to a truly out-of-this world culinary experience at Caffé Lunatico.

     

LOCATION & MAP

  • Getsemaní

    Cartagena's second historic walled city has gone from no-go to must-go in less than five years thanks to some of the city's hippest new bars and restaurants. 

    If Centro is Manhattan, Getsemani is more Brooklyn – an up-and-coming hipster hangout trying desperately to cling to its roots. 

    A little rougher around the edges than the already gentrified districts of Centro and San Diego and the lofty ambitions of the beach districts, Getsemaní offers a glimpse into the more unruly historic centre of the past. 

    A fiercely traditional barrio offering a heady mix of bars, dancing, affordable diners, hostels and hotels for backpackers and bohemian colonists looking to mix it up with the carefree locals. 

    Historically populated by merchants, smugglers and freed slaves thriving from activity in the port and main marketplace, Getsemaní has always been more raucous than the hoity centre with all its regal airs and graces. 

    Much of the district's newest bars, follow in the city's loudest traditions. 

    While much of the area's carefree population are direct descendants of the hell-raisers of yesteryear it is no longer the terrifying place that rich Cartageneros used to scare their children into staying at home. 

    Backpackers, never averse to roughing it for a cheap place to stay have braved the bogeyman with few problems for decades and a growing number of boutique hotels and hostels have followed their lead setting up shop in some of the bigger properties on Calle Guerrero and Calle del Carretero. 

    Uber-hotel chains, Viceroy and the Four Seasons have plans to kick the barrio into the stratosphere with stellar openings in 2017 / 2018.


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