The street food scene in Colombia is incredibly diverse, not just for residents but also tourists. From traditional snacks to hearty meals and sweet treats, Colombian street foods offer something special for everyone. In this article, we will explore 13 traditional Columbian snacks found on the streets of many cities across Colombia.

1. Arepas

Arepas are a traditional Colombian snack that can be bought from street vendors. They consist of dough made out of cornmeal or flour that is s into circular discs and cooked on griddles. Arepas can also be filled with savory ingredients such as cheese, eggs, meats, and vegetables to create an incredibly delicious treat.

The popularity of arepas has grown over the years due to their ease of preparation and the wide range of fillings available. They also make for a great snack while walking around town or sitting down during the day. Arepas allow people to connect with their culture by eating something that embodies the flavors and traditions of Colombia. As such, these snacks have become a symbol of belonging for many Colombians who enjoy them daily.

2. Empanadas

Empanadas are a traditional Colombian snack that can be bought on the street. They are hand-held pastries made from unleavened dough and are filled with ingredients such as beef, chicken, or vegetables. Empanadas vary in shape depending on the region they come from. Some regions prefer round empanadas, while others like them to be semi-circular or triangular.

The fillings of empanadas also depend upon regional tastes and preferences. In Colombia’s Caribbean coast, for example, empanada fillings often include fish and plantains. You might find shrimp and coconut milk on the Pacific Coast inside your empanada. What all empanadas have in common is their deliciousness – they make a great snack whether eaten alone as an afternoon pick-me-up or shared with friends over a conversation.

Colombians had enjoyed these tasty treats since colonial times when African slaves brought their recipes to South America’s shores. Today, many vendors sell empanadas on the streets of Colombia’s major cities, where locals line up to enjoy this classic snack whenever hunger strikes. 

3. Chorizo

Columbian food culture is known for its unique and tasty snacks, many of which can be found on the street. One such snack is chorizo, a popular sausage Colombians have enjoyed since the 19th century. 

Chorizo comes in various shapes and sizes, with some recipes calling for pork or beef as their main ingredient. The spices used to flavor it is also varied, depending on the region where it’s prepared. That makes chorizo ideal for those seeking new flavors and textures in traditional Colombian cuisine.

Chorizo is often served plain or stuffed into tortillas, making it easy to grab and go from local vendors. It’s also commonly served alongside dishes like arepas (corn cakes) or tamales (meat pies). In addition, chorizo can be grilled over charcoal for added smokiness and depth of flavor. Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, one thing’s certain: Chorizo brings a bit of Latin American flair to any meal!

4. Chunchullo

Chunchullo is a Colombian snack that can be purchased on the street. It consists of dried pork skins, which are fried and then spiced with salt, cumin, garlic powder, and other seasonings. The resulting product is crunchy and salty, making it an ideal accompaniment to beer or any beverage. Chunchullo is also enjoyed as a standalone snack by locals in Colombia who enjoy its unique flavor profile.

This popular dish has existed for centuries and is widely available throughout Colombia today. Its popularity stems from its versatility; depending on individual preference, chunchullo can be served with various condiments such as lime juice, hot sauce, or guacamole. Additionally, it is low-cost compared to other snacks and can easily fit into people’s budgets when purchasing food while out on the street.

5. Obleas

Obleas is a traditional snack from Colombia that can be bought on the street. These snacks consist of two thin wafers made with wheat flour, eggs, and sugar, sandwiching a layer of dulce de leche or jam. Like other Latin American treats such as paletas and empanadas, obleas offer sweet flavors that appeal to children and adults alike.

Obleas have become iconic in Colombian culture due to their versatility; they can be enjoyed at any time of day and come in wide different varieties. For example, they may contain guava paste, coconut flakes, or chocolate chips between the wafer layers. 

They often feature colorful toppings like sprinkles or shredded coconut for added flavor and texture. Whether eaten plain or topped with something extra special, obleas make a delicious treat perfect for sharing amongst friends and family members who crave a taste of nostalgia.

6. Tamales

Tamales are a classic snack from Columbia that can be bought from street vendors. These snacks are made from masa dough and are usually filled with different ingredients such as potatoes, chorizo, and chicken. Tamales are wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and steamed until cooked. The result is an aromatic and flavorful dish enjoyed for centuries throughout Colombia.

Tamales offer many benefits to those who purchase them on the streets of Colombia. They provide a convenient source of food that can easily be carried away by vendors, making it ideal for commuters or people on their way to work or school. 

Furthermore, tamales offer great value since they are inexpensive yet filling enough to satisfy hunger cravings. Finally, they serve as a reminder of Colombian culture and cuisine, offering a sense of belonging to people who live in this region.

7. Churros

Churros are long, thin pastries made from dough and deep-fried in oil before being sprinkled with sugar or dipped in hot chocolate for extra sweetness. 

Churros have been around since at least the early 1600s when they were first served to sailors returning from South America. The popularity of churros has spread all over Latin America, as well as parts of Europe and North America.

The traditional way of eating churros is by dipping them into sweetened condensed milk or drinking hot chocolate alongside them. However, other variations include adding cinnamon and nutmeg to give it an even more unique flavor. Some people enjoy pairing their churro with fruit preserves like guava paste and dulce de leche for other taste sensations. 

8. Changua

Changua is a comforting soup featuring egg and milk flavored with cilantro and onion. The dish is often served for breakfast or as an appetizer before lunch. Changua has been part of the Colombian diet for centuries, making it a special go-to meal in many households.

The ingredients used to make changua are simple yet flavorful – eggs, milk, onions, cilantro, and spices like garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. Combining these flavors creates a nourishing, nutritious, nourishing soup. Thanks to its easy preparation process and its high protein content, changua makes an ideal snack on the go or at home any time of day.

9. Pandebono

Pandebono is a traditional Colombian snack that can be bought on the street. It is made with cheese, cornmeal, and eggs, which are combined to form small dough balls. The dough is then fried or baked until golden in color. The result is irresistibly crunchy outside, while the inside remains soft and cheesy.

This popular treat has been around for centuries, originating from pre-Columbian times when it was served as part of religious ceremonies and rituals. Nowadays, pandebonos are widely available throughout Colombia and beloved by locals for their satisfying taste and convenience. They make great snacks for any occasion, whether to accompany coffee during breakfast time or take along on picnics. 

10. Carimañolas

Carimañolas are a popular snack in Colombia. These deep-fried snacks, made from ground beef and mashed potatoes, can be sold nationwide on the streets of many cities. Carimañolas have an interesting history that dates back to colonial times when they were eaten as part of religious festivals or during special occasions. The recipe has been passed down through generations and is still enjoyed today.

When trying carimañolas, people will find them crunchy outside while soft and flavorful inside. They often come with sauces like guacamole, salsa, or ají (spicy sauce). To enjoy the full taste experience, people should try different combinations of toppings depending on their preference. All in all, carimañolas offer a tasty way to get your hands on some traditional Colombian street food without having to travel far away.

11. Buñuelos

Buñuelos are deep-fried balls of dough made from wheat flour and water. This dough is then filled with cheese or sometimes jam, depending on which region they come from in Colombia. The buñuelos are served hot, usually accompanied by a cup of panela syrup for extra flavor.

The texture of these snacks is crunchy and flaky outside and soft inside, making them perfect for snacking any time of day. Buñuelos have become popular throughout Colombia and Latin America; they are often seen as part of traditional cuisine at festivals and other celebrations. With their unique taste, it’s no wonder that buñuelos have become such a hit!

12. Patacones

Patacones are a traditional Colombian snack that can be purchased on the street. This type of snack has been around for years and is enjoyed by many in Colombia. 

They consist of thinly sliced plantains fried twice, making them crisp on the outside while remaining tender inside. Patacones have a unique flavor due to their combination with spices such as garlic powder and cumin; these ingredients give it an extra kick compared to other snacks.

When served, patacones usually accompany various toppings depending on one’s preference – some popular examples are sour cream, cheese, or guacamole. These make up part of the appeal of this particular dish since they add different textures and flavors, which bring out its uniqueness even more. 

13. Pasteles

When it comes to traditional Colombian snacks, one street food stands out for its delicious taste and simplicity: pasteles. Pasteles are small deep-fried corn patties with various savory ingredients such as beef, chicken, or cheese. 

are usually served hot and accompanied by other typical Colombian condiments like sour cream and guacamole. Not only do they make an excellent snack on the go, but their flavor also pairs well with many dishes.

The process of making pasteles is quite simple yet labor intensive. First, the dough is made from pre-cooked white maize flour soaked in water overnight. The filling is added before the pastry is shaped into balls and fried. 


Columbian snacks are among the most popular street food options, as they can be found in many areas throughout the country.  From arepas to pasteles, these snacks provide a tasty and convenient way for people to get their fix of food between meals and offer a unique experience of culture, flavor, and tradition. If you’re ever in Colombia, try some of these delicious treats! You won’t regret it!