Just over a year ago, Mia Italia opened its doors in Barranquilla and this Italian sensation has been a hit ever since.. literally – every afternoon and evening, the place is packed. And for good reason too – the food is exquisite, the atmosphere fresh and pleasant, and the service, impeccable.

I had an opportunity to visit last week with some clients and I was delighted. We went for lunch and were able to get in right away (the trick is to get there before the rush – around noon is good – otherwise, you’ll need a reservation). We took a corner table inside, but once people began to arrive it got quite noisy and we decided to head outside. At first, we were worried about the heat on the patio but ample fans made it comfortable. The terrace is very nice, and surrounded by plants; it’s very agreeable.

Pasta Telefono from Mia Italia in Barranquilla
Pasta Telefono from Mia Italia in Barranquilla

According to head chef José Lapeira, the food at Mia Italia is simple, pleasant to the palate and very delicious. When he and partner José Ignacio Vengoechea launched the restaurant, the plan was to only offer pizza and plates of pasta leveraging elements of the Italian Tuscan area upon which the restaurant is themed. Since then, the menu has grown somewhat and now patrons can enjoy not only various gourmet pizzas and pastas, but everything from Risottos and seafood lasagna to delicious pepper steaks and numerous fresh salads, plus cheeses, bruschettas and soups, with many options for vegans and vegetarians alike.

Speaking of pizza.. if you’re an aficionado, you’ll definitely want to check out Mia’s – they offer a wide variety of unique flavours, mixing ingredients like seafood, prosciutto, eggplant, pepperoni and even apples, pears and a marvellous fig jam. The mix of salt and sweet is to die for. The food is served in more than ample portions and if you still have the room, I highly recommend ordering one of the home-made desserts. Valentina Lapeira, the owner’s daughter, is also the head pastry chef, whipping together a wide variety of flavours on the spot including my favourite, the chocolate brownie (with a creamy interior) topped with meringue, caramel and ice-cream.

Brownie with Ice Cream from Mia Italia in Barranquilla
Brownie with Ice Cream from Mia Italia in Barranquilla

I had the pasta telefono.. linguini with sliced mozzarella and chopped tomatoes in a rustic cream sauce – in a word, magnificent. I washed it down with a refreshing locally-browed Fulana and topped it all off with the brownie and ice cream. Needless to say, I was stuffed – or as the Colombians say, “Barriga llena, corazón contento (stomach full, heart content). My wallet was content too – all up with tip, I paid less than 50,000 pesos, more than reasonable for fine dining.

Mia Italia is open every day from noon onwards. They’re located at Carrera 57 #75 – 160. For a reservation, call 3608336.

Click the top left corner of the map below for an interactive map of this and many other great places in Barranquilla:

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After a decade of roaming around the planet, Mike has decided to (at least for now) settle down in the Caribbean, right on the Northern tip of Colombia in Barranquilla. He lives there with his partner Gabriel and their two four-legged daughters.

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