Bogotá dining: Great pizza for the Colombian Famiglia

One of the delectable pizzas at Famiglia. Photo: Courtesy Famiglia

Mauricio Peña squirms at being called a chef. This publicist turned baker turned pizzaiolo abandoned a 10-year career in advertising during the coronavirus pandemic and never looked back, going on to open a bakery production center to supply fresh rolls to restaurants, burger joints, and cafés in Bogotá. Only last year did he venture into restaurant ownership with Famiglia.

Located within Lolita Casa Cultural, a quaint spot for art and good food right next to Quinta Camacho’s hottest block, Famiglia is all about comfort and accessible gastronomy — a striking contrast to the neighborhood’s more decidedly upscale offerings. With no reservations available, Famiglia is the spot to walk in for a casual weekday date, a fuss-free family meal, or a cozy drink with friends. Don’t wait around too much to get there as the guestlist gets booked quickly, sometimes with over 12 groups waiting in line during the busiest hours. When we got there, the place was bustling on a Wednesday night.

Famiglia offers a well-selected array of “Italian for Colombians” (in the words of Peña) specialties, of which the star is, of course, the pizza. With a dough that rests for a minimum of 48 hours, or “48 ore d’amore”, this restaurant’s main event is one you won’t want to miss. And there’s something for all types of palates here — from typical Italian fare like Margherita to reinterpreted Hawaiian (made with top-quality ham, rum-roasted pineapple, and stracciatella), and even the cheeky Cheese Norris (which combines pretty much every single cheese type in Famiglia’s fridge). The icing on the cake? Besides the delicious taste, quality ingredients, and wide flavors offering, Famiglia is not trying to make a dent in your wallet: pizzas at the venue range from COP$26,000 to COP$39,500.

Besides sharing – or not – a savory pizza, guests here can take their pick from a select wine list, cocktails, no-frills appetizers (we couldn’t help but be curious about the “Bordes de pizza” starter), dessert, and coffee. Regardless of what guests decide on, Famiglia delivers – both insitu or pizza at home. If you want my advice, though, don’t miss out on the Aperol Spritz. And be prepared to chuckle throughout your visit, this is a spot that doesn’t take itself so seriously.

From the mismatched wall art (random gifts from customers) and hand-picked chairs to ambient music playlists to set the mood – if you stay until closing time – you might notice a recurring theme in the songs that emanate from the speakers. And take note of the smart-alecky food names, such as the “Italian Nightmare”, where American-style pepperoni and pineapple have become a house favorite. A great pizza experience always starts with exceptional dough and generous toppings, and under Peña’s watch, our favorite Italians are welcome in a very extended Colombian famiglia.

Famiglia on Instagram: @famigliapizzeria

Visit Famiglia at one of their two Bogotá locations:

Quinta Camacho / Calle 70 No.8-25

Antiguo Country / Carrera 16 No.85-14

The dining room at the Bogotá’s pizzeria Famiglia. Photo: Famiglia