Sprightly young guns, Veronica Sumoza and José Panfoja, created the Bonche Gastrobar concept when they found themselves craving a hangout where they could chill with friends, drink amazing cocktails and not pay through the roof to hear great music.
Address: Calle de las Chancletas 25-78, Cartagena, Colombia
Rating: TIC User Rating
Rating: Trip Advisor
In true entrepreneurial style, Veronica and Jose decided to not rely on someone else to deliver their dream night out, and set up shop themselves in June 2016.
The result is very hip. So cool in fact that they’ve even got their own hashtag, #NosVemosEnBonche (Let’s meet in Bonche).
With simply too much creativity to merely follow the typical cocktail crowd, Bonche bar offers a truly eclectic mix of booze options to get you in the groove. Highlights include the cleverly named Gin Pa Ti (Gin for You in Costeño speak).
A heady combination of watermelon, lemon and peppermint that’s almost too easy to chug down your gullet, and the generous jugos of sangría, infused with rum as well as red wine and forrest fruits to really push the units off the scale.
The real crowd pleaser for anyone who appreciates marvellous mixology is the pineapple wine they make on site. You can enjoy what the locals call Guandolo by the glass, or better yet order the Papi Jose, a heaven sent mix of tequila, pineapple wine, basil and lemon.
Classic cocktails, all made with premium brand liquors, are VERY reasonably priced. With Margaritas and Martinis costing USD$6 a pop, even backpackers can give the Aguila beer a rest.
Like all of our favourite bars, Bonche really comes into own thanks to its unique atmosphere that’s rooted in Caribbean vibrancy and charm. Located in a stunning converted colonial house on the sleepier side of Getsemani, you bypass the been-there-done-it section of Plaza de La Trinidad and get plugged right into the authentic barrio swing.
Music is god here. From the pop art style music posters on the walls to the funky soundtrack that will get you locked in a Shazam whirlwind, it’s impossible to stay seated for long. Especially on the weekends when DJ’s take over the back room and get the whole place pumping.
A very tempting food menu brings the Bonche bar experience full circle. There’s nothing quite like immigrating from the bar to the terrace to gorge on Jack Daniels BBQ chicken wings, plantain lasagna or gourmet fish frito platters with friends.
Carnivores are strongly recommended to go for kill with the Bonche House Burger: a 200g mega stack of Angus beef, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with mozzarella cheese. It's the burger to end all burgers.
Food, cocktails, music and dancing—is there anything else you need to make a night out?
So it’s settled then, #NosVemosEnBonche.
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. It's regularly referred to as the coolest neighborhood in Colombia and has featured in some exalted lists as one of the world's most interesting places to visit.
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.
The fantastic mix of roots and laid-back bohemia has attracted the attention of a string of leading travel publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Wallpaper* and the New York Times.
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 like the Four Seasons have plans to kick the barrio into the stratosphere with stellar openings in 2021.
Some of the best restaurants in the city have now set up shop in the counter-cultural epicenter of Cartagena. Celele and La Cocina de Pepina are two standout options for foodies and Cafe Stepping Stone serves up the city's most popular brunch.
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