Less is so Much More at Simple

Simple puts the spotlight on great food, with a healthy eatery that's full of flavour and devoid of ego. Julian Calderon's restaurant concept is a daring one.

In a culinary climate where swanky foams, imported ingredients and 'deconstructed' dishes are the key to success. The owner, Julian Calderon, wants us to get back to basics and appreciate the nuanced simplicity of fresh food transported from the farm to your plate.

  • This Is What We Love

    • Clean cut food with a conscience is always a recipe for success
    • Try the Posta Cartagenera here and you won’t find an equal during your stay. It’s that good!
    • Having the luxury of ordering a stellar breakfast any time of day 
    • Hiring Simple to cater a party or event. If it’s good enough for the president, it’s good enough for us. Contact us on:
  • What You Need To Know

    • Simple restaurant is inside the NH hotel, but it’s so much more than a ‘typical hotel restaurant’
    • Food might be simple but it’s not cheap. A main dish will take you back around USD$15
    • The restaurant seats up to 30 diners. We recommend booking a table on the weekend
  • The Details

    Type of Food: Healthy Eating

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sun: 07:00-22:30 ?
    High Season Cartagena:
    Dec 15 - Jan 15

    Price Range: $$

    Address: Plaza de los Coches 34-10, Cartagena, Colombia

    Neighbourhood: Centro

    Rating: TIC User Rating

    Rating: Trip Advisor


    Our Full Review

    After opening thirty successful restaurant projects in Colombia, the owner, Julian Calderon, doesn’t just know what eaters want, but what they need.

    Turns out the journey for the perfect lettuce is exhausting and that's before you even get to the meat and fish (all organically reared by the way). Which might explain why it's presented so decoratively on your plate. We have never seen a rocket salad look—and taste—so damn good.

    The menu is an open book, and with no nasty GM atoms floating around, the food's as clean cut as a 90's boy band.

    Starters are light, fresh and blooming in flavour. The translucent Vietnamese rolls, stuffed with shredded pork, mango and veggies, will have your tastebuds falling over them like a teenager. Whilst the tuna tartare is the ultimate cleanser, lightly sating your palette for the main course.

    La Posta Cartagenera is the home run on the main menu. This traditional meat and sweet gravy dish is served to the president and his entourage when they're in town. And you can see why, the wonderfully dark and rich panela gravy is unrivalled in taste, and comes served with the most delicate patacones (baked, not fried) we’ve ever tried.

    The restaurant is attached to the renowned NH hotel, so you have a couple room service types on the menu like club sandwiches and all day Continental, American and local breakfasts. The service is impeccable, efficient, friendly and impressively well-rounded (our waiter spoke four languages).

    Simple doesn't chase publicity or PR. The crowds, an encouraging mix of loyal locals (they can’t get enough of the Posta), hotel guests and visiting strays, are drawn naturally to the uncomplicated menu that puts the spotlight on good food and nothing else.

    It's simple, but there’s diversity on the menu, especially for celiacs, vegetarians and any soul with a food intolerance, who can come here for a real feed.

    There is a separate menu for fussy tummies, and the kitchen is trained in substituting carbs and meat for suitable alternatives. They don't sell healthy, they just do it.

    This is food just as it should be: simple and delicious.


  • 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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