Bars and Cafes in Cali

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Cali's hot, sticky climate means that visitors here may find themselves in constant need of refreshment. Luckily, there's no shortage of spots to relax with a cold beer or fruit juice, at prices that range from blow-out to budget. The city's salsa scene is legendary, and when night falls the cafes and bars compete to win the custom of locals and visitors looking for a rumba (party). The area around the university is awash with inexpensive spots to eat and drink, as is the city center, and there are lots of simple pavement cafes centered around Avenida 6, in the north of the city. Be sure to try the tasty empanadas (little pastries stuffed with chicken, shrimp, meat or cheese), and, like the locals, boost your energy levels with a strong, sweet, coffee.

Budget Bites

Budget travelers needn't go hungry while visiting Cali. Virtually every street is home to several simple cafes that double as basic bars, and it's always possible to find a filling set lunch for the equivalent of a couple of US dollars. A good value vegetarian spot is Comedor Vegetariano y Cafe, at Carrera 5, number 7-38, which offers very reasonably priced lunches. It's always possible to find a cold beer or a spot of rum at even the simplest of bars, at prices far cheaper than the neon-lit bars that line Avenida 6 N.

Snacks and Salsa

Many visitors to Cali head here for the salsa - there are more salsa spots here than you can shake a stick at. At night, even the simplest of coffee shops or snack bars shake to the sound of salsa beats, as the famously beautiful locals lap up the opportunity to strut their stuff. Although the weather is very hot, be aware that many of the smarter bars have dress restrictions and may not let you in if you are wearing shorts and/or flip flops.  For bar-hopping, a good place to head for is Barrio Juanchito,  where there is a high concentration of bars, clubs and more relaxed cafes, all alive with the sound of salsa.
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