La Vitrola

A Cartagena Culinary Institution that's Big on Atmosphere

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.

  • 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
    • The restaurant doesn't take any reservations during peak high-season, from 23 Dec-4 Jan
    • Men dressed in shorts and flip-flops are not allowed in
    • Children under 15 years old are not allowed in
  • The Details

    Type of Food: Contemporary Cuban

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sun: 12:00-15:00 & 19:00-00:00 ?

    Price Range: $$$

    Address: Calle Baloco 02-01, Cartagena, Colombia

    Neighbourhood: Centro

    Rating: TIC User Rating

    Rating: Trip Advisor


    Our Full Review

    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.

    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.


  • Centro

    Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city. 

    Centro has lost none of its importance thanks to the universal lure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area. 

    Cartagena's finest hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century. 

    The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze and first whiff of pirates. Today only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list can afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.

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