Our ‘Container City’

A food court in Bogotá with a reusable purpose.
A food court in Bogotá with a reusable purpose.

Near Parque 93 in Bogotá, there’s a place where all that can be satisfied in one visit. It’s Container City, a food court ingeniously constructed with 100 percent recyclable materials. In fact, the builders brag that the whole place could be packed up and shipped off to a recycling center as is. Occupied by some of the top gourmet restaurants in the city, it’s a space that’s hip, casual and fun.

And the most important part: It was constructed with recycled shipping containers. Twelve of them are set around an internal dining courtyard, with another dining area along one side and at the back. The containers are painted sky blue, lime green, fuchsia, bright red and lollipop orange, transforming it into a fun food court with plenty of personality.

The project began to be developed in 2010, obtaining the necessary permits took 14 months, and construction took just 73 days. Opened February 2013, the concept of Container City was to create an eco-friendly food mall. Everything used in the construction is either recycled or can be. The plastic floors, for instance, are made from residue left over from coffee production. Yes, 100% Colombian coffee…floors.

A twelve foot container is the center of the food court. Amazingly, it’s standing up on one end, with no external support. And it doesn’t fall down. A Colombian architect specializing in bridge construction helped design the internal structure whose base moves on springs, so it’s even earthquake resistant.

Now let’s talk about the food.

Undeniably, cooking in a shipping container has its challenges. The kitchens obviously have to be small, and the staff must be on good terms to work in such a reduced space. But the results have been remarkable. Among the options are hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza, baked goods and ice cream, all with a gourmet twist.

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Colombian cuisine can be tried at Santo Pecado and Andres Express. Fresh Italian pasta and delicious sauces are offered at Bottega Firenze – and check out their ingenious vertical garden made with leftover tubing.

For a light meal, look to Fresco for wraps, salads and sandwiches. Tea Juliette prepares salads, paninis, and risottos with meat, sundried tomatoes, olives and other delicious ingredients. Gyropolys has tasty gyros.

Desserts, from gourmet to frozen, can be had at Myriam Camhi and Below Zero. For drinks, Bubble Tea Bar has gone tropical with flavors like lychee, passion fruit, papaya or guava. Latterra Café brews Colombian coffee from an adorable free-standing coffee cart.

Container City is open 7 days a week and is popular on weekends when families make an expedition of a trip to the 93 Park. Be in the know of the many food choices available and given its popularity, it’s often communal sittings, as tables are limited.

Container City: calle 93 No.12 – 11


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