Multi-generational Colombian hospitality platforming Colombian produce


On the Pass

Leonor Espinosa

The idea: Celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa’s flagship restaurant showcases little-known Colombian ingredients and champions local communities and gastronomic traditions. Housed in the upmarket neighbourhood of Chapinero since June 2021, it features not one but two dining rooms under one roof: the first showcasing the creativity of renowned chef (and restaurant founder) Leonor Espinosa; the second overseen by her daughter and sommelier Laura Hernández Espinosa.

What’s the food like? Leo’s experience comes in the form of a tasting menu that traverses the country’s biodiversity, available in either eight or 12 steps. Diners are treated to the flavours of the sea, with albacore tuna, lemon ants and tucupí (fermented Amazonian sauce made from yuca); the land, with quail served with pine and trupillo; and the soil, with water pear, hibiscus flowers, genip (Spanish lime) and churro.

Inside the venue: An economist and artist by training, Leo’s love of anthropology, contemporary art and culture is evident in both her cooking and the restaurant itself: a bright, modern room adorned with bold lighting.

A helping hand: In 2008, Espinosa created the non-profit initiative FunLeo, which strives to safeguard the gastronomic traditions and heritage of marginalised Colombian communities.

La Sala de Laura: Hernández Espinosa’s upstairs space features a simpler menu and a greater focus on unusual wines and cocktails highlighting home-produced Colombian distillates, a line she named ‘Territorio’. In 2023, the bar made its sophomore appearance The World’s 50 Best Bars extended 51-100 list, ranking at No.80.