CLOSED: Sol de la India - Gourmet Vegetariano

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 8 reviews )



Calle Tumbamuertos 38-43, San Diego, Old City (at Carrera 9 btwn Calle 38 & Calle 39), Cartagena, Colombia

Vegetarian restaurant that also offers accommodation. Dedicated to cleanliness and conscious preparation. Nice atmosphere with movies and music played. Offers menu del dia (menu of the day) where the server gives you a bit of everything in the buffet display. No eggs, onions, or garlic used. Has Wi-Fi. Also offers Arabian dance classes, henna tattoo art, and has a gift shop selling Indian imports. Previously at Calle Quero, 9-54. Reported closed to HappyCow April 2014.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Buffet, Take-out, Colombian

8 Reviews

First Review by seanpitt

Tasty Set Lunch - Edit

We ate here twice and found the set lunches to be consistently good. Though its an Indian restaurant, the food seemed very Colombian - very similar to the food I've had at other lunch spots in Colombia - beans, rice, salad, a croquette, juice & dessert.

Pros: Cheap, Healthy, Tasty

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Sol de la India - Edit

1stly thanks to the prev reviewers who advised to go along to this place with an open mind. I concur with the sentiment that this was like no Indian food I have had before.

I hoovered in here and tried to explain to the waitress (in bumbling Spanish) that I was vegan. She said this was no issue and directed me to the menu where 4 dishes were clearly marked vegan. Then the guy I believe is the manager came along and joined the conversation in English. He said that everything on the menu was in fact vegan apart from 2 dishes (the cheese burger and 1 other dish). He said otherwise I could order anything else. I took a look at the menu. The 1st thing listed was a paneer dish. The 2nd dish listed was a paneer dish. Then a little further along was something with yogurt. I pointed all this out to the gentlemen in question who agreed that they weren't vegan. By this time my confidence in the vegan knowledge of the establishment was crumbling. In my humble opinion the menu needs to be updated to reflect in forensic detail exactly what is and what isn't vegan. That info then needs to be made 100% clear to all waiting staff.

I eventually went for the Rajastan dish was pleasant enough, 25 000 pesos. I also had a drink that contained among other things, lemon, cucumber and tamarin, an interesting concoction.

Its 2 blocks along from Girasoles which I personally prefer of the two based on the unnerving conversation I had with the manager I refer to above. The lunch deal at Girasoles is also better value (7000 rather than 9000 at this place).

The kitchen closed around 9 pm when the customers coming in had stopped.

I did initially give this place 2 such as the concern I have re menu clarity that I mentioned above. However I have now eaten there three times so it can't be that bad. There's seating indoors and also 3 tables outdoors. I have always sat outdoors and any other customers there have all been from outside Colombia. Indeed on each occasion so far I have ended up in quite lengthy conversation with people at the next table.

If the issue I mentioned above was tackled I'd give this place 4.

Pros: Open evenings

Cons: Inconsistent info on whats vegan

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Decent pseudo-Indian food in a chill atmosphere - Edit

We got a mango curry (which was kind of bland and non-mango-y) and a sandwich (I forget which one, but it was in amazingly good Greek pita bread). Both were decent, although a bit pricey for what you get. We also got massages here which was OK but not great.

Pros: Indianesque Food (hard to find), Different, Very nice staff

Cons: Semi-bland, Semi-pricy

2 Responses
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jrfishe1 13 Jun 2012 - I forgot to mention that the actual location of the restaurant is 10.42754, -75.54746 (Carrera 9 between Calle 38 and Calle 39 on Google maps, although those numbers are not actually used on street signs).  

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jrfishe1 14 Jun 2012 - I just found some notes I took, the sandwich I liked (although my wife didn't) was the "Panne Cook" (and the bread was more like crispy naan than Greek pita, the filling was tofu and gluten in a tomato sauce), the mango curry (which had nice tender soy meat) was the "Punjab." Massage was 60,000 pesos (about $35 US) for an hour.  

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Great food - a nice change of pace in Colombia - Edit

Let me start off by saying this is not like any Indian food you have ever tasted. But it is tasty.

I made it to a weekend lunch buffet, which didn't seem to have as many options as the weekday lunch service. With soup, raw salad, 2 veggie dishes and rice, there was still plenty to eat and abargain at 12,000 COP for a buffet service (9000 COP if they plate it). It also included a very nice basil lemonade. I loved how there were tons of veggies. I wouldn't be raving about the food, though, if I only came for the set lunch, though.

The a la carte menu, way more expensive, was where the resto shined. I really enjoyed the rajastan and tantra house specials (the bhima combo was a bit too sweet for me and I didn't really care for the mango suace in the punjab special). The samosas were very good and used green beans instead of peas. The dosa masala had a nicely flavoured filling but we were a bit let down because it wasn't a dosa. It was a roti instead and the same thing that comes with most meals - they called it a chapati elsewhere. The drinks were also really good, although expensive. Definitely try the 2 fruit cocktails. The one with grapefruit/tamarind was incredible and not sour as expected.

My only complaint is that they rarely opened at 7pm and it would take a while to get our food. I felt ok about that since it meant it was freshly made but my tummy was rumbling for a while until our meal arrived.

The meals were tasty, filled with veggies with some soy-based meat products and I suspect a fair amount of oil. tasty but not that healthy.

Has great wifi.

Pros: Tasty, Creative food

Cons: Expensive, Slow Service, Not that healthy

1 Response
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Stevie 22 Jan 2013 - Hi there,

Thanks for the review.

My admittedly poor understanding of the diff between roti & chapati is 1 is sort of soft and floppy and the other is harder and crisper in comparison.

Maybe someone better in the know than me can confirm?  

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another good Govinda's - Edit

For lunch, this Govinda's serves a set menu and a buffet. I had the set lunch, which included soup, entree with rice and some sort of seaweed-looking veggie, and sugary iced tea. COP$8000 (US$5). I was hungry and could have eaten twice what they served; it was a bit light. There is also a lunch buffet and a menu to order from.

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Vegetarian oasis - Edit

This is the only full vegetarian restaurant in Cartagena. Its nice atmosphere with soft sitar music in the background, smell of incense and Indian wall paintings makes me feel like I am visiting a place in Mysore or Mumbai. The outdoor seating area with lush tropical plants is a delight. The food is oke, vegetarian but not necessarily healthy. There is a good selection of burgers, rice and tofu dishes. I love the fruit juices (but ask them to put the sugar apart). The staff is really friendly.

The map showing the location on Happy Cow is not correct. To find Sol de India: ask for directions to the Santa Clara Hotel in the old city. Everybody knows this. When you stand in front of the main entrance of the hotel, you can see 'Plazuella de San Diego' in front of you. Walk to the other side of this square going into the small street in the far corner to the right. This is already 'Calle de Tumbamuertos'. The restaurant is after 300m on your right.

Pros: nice inside patio, friendly staff

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Excelent food and service - Edit

While my stay in Cartagena I visited several times El Sol de la India. The food is delicious and the service excelent. Very good value in a relaxed atmosphere. I highly recommended.

Pros: Excellent Food , Good Value, Healthy Cuisine

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Que rico! - Edit

Like many Govinda's restaurants around the world, Sol De La India provides amazing vegetarian cuisine in large portions at a very low cost. You will not leave without being totally satisfied. This boutique restaurant also offers therapeutic massage as well as classes in yoga, meditation, Arabic dance & vegetarian cooking. All this in a beautiful, breezy outdoor patio setting or inside the airconditioned dining room where Hindu art & deco set the scene. An oasis from the heat and humidity from the streets of Cartagena. However, the major drawcard of this place is the people who make the place what it is. They are friendly, warm, more than welcoming and they show a great interest in everyone who walks through the door. Well worth a visit while in Cartagena.

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