BoCa Latin Flavors is a home-style restaurant and bar in Jing’an that serves heavy-hitting Colombian and Venezuelan comfort food.

Colombian and Venezuelan food at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s named after the capital cities Bogotá and Caracas, and is a joint effort between first time restaurant owners David Pastor (Colombia) and sisters Reyna and Diana Vieira (Venezuela).

Colombian and Venezuelan food at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar in Shanghai.

The space is homey, if not simple. When BoCa isn’t churning out deliciously gut-busting food, the dining room turns into a club of sorts on the weekend with Latin music, a DJ, and plenty of dancing late into the night. There’s also a lofted lounge, mostly for shisha.

Colombian and Venezuelan food at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Food from Colombia and Venezuela is quite similar; after all, the two were once a single nation. But there are distinctions, which are clearly stated in the menu. It’s mostly a cornucopia of heavenly deep-fried bites and meat-filled cornmeal cakes. Vegetarians don’t be dissuaded—more than half of the menu is vegetarian-friendly.

The Food at BoCa

Without further ado, sink your teeth into these:

Empanadas at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Colombian Empanadas (¥48/four) – Crispy pockets of delight stuffed with feta and mozzarella, chicken, ground beef, or Zrou. These are made with corn flour and yuca flour, making the empanadas crunchy and airy. Recommend the ground beef.
Tequenos at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Venezuelan Tequeños (¥45/four) – In short, fried cheese sticks. What’s not to love? Recommend the sweet guava filling, a fruity jam that pairs well with the cheese.
Pastelitos at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Pastelitos (¥48/four) – This beloved Venezuelan street food is made with a wheat-based dough, which gives the fried pastry a nice crust with a chewy center. Recommend the chicken, mildly spiced and extremely juicy.
BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Sample it all with the Detodito (¥168), which comes with three each of empanadas and tequeños, two each of pastelitos and mini cachapas with cheese, yucca chips, and sweet plantains.
Cachapas at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Mini cachapas

Cachapas, also known as the corn arepa, is a thin gluten-free pancake made with fresh ground corn. It’s pan-fried, then blanketed with cheese, and can be stacked with a multitude of toppings. The traditional cachapas are jumbo-sized when compared to the mini versions. One regular-sized cachapa is a meal in itself. It’s a Venezuelan breakfast staple, but can be eaten for any meal.

Cachapas at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Mini Cachapas Sampler (¥88/three) – Guacamole and shrimp, shredded beef, chicken and avocado.
Cachapas at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chicharron Cachapa (¥98) – Mozzarella cheese, deep-fried pork belly, pico de gallo, and smoked pepper sauce. This is a special kind of dirty-in-a-good-way comfort food.
Cachapas at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Crispy Chicken Cachapa (¥88) – Also recommend is the crispy deep-fried chicken thigh with house chipotle sauce and slaw salad. Good lord.

Toppings for the cachapas can also be done with arepas, which range from ¥35 to ¥68.

Bandeja Paisa at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Bandeja Paisa (¥138) – This dish highlights some of the best of Colombian food on one plate. It’s also the country’s national dish.
Bandeja Paisa at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
It comes with Latin-style chorizo, deep-fried pork belly, ground beef, red bean stew, green plantains, sweet plantains, fried egg, avocado, and a mini arepa, served with rice. The next time I need a hangover cure, I’m 100% ordering this.
Asado Negro at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Asado Negro (¥108) – This on the other hand, is a less aggressive main. Roasted beef served with Venezuelan traditional black sauce served on mashed potatoes with sweet plantains.
Flan (quesillo) at BoCa, a Latin restaurant and bar serving Colombian and Venezuelan food in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
For dessert, try the Coconut & Pumpkin Flan (¥45). This quesillo or flan is a traditional Venezuelan dessert that’s sometimes made with pumpkin. It’s rich and thick, much like the other dishes on the menu.

In Summary

Personally, I loved the cachapas. It’s filling, made purely from fresh corn, and pretty nutritious if you don’t count the oil and skip the chicharron. Plus, the empanadas are some of the best I’ve had in Shanghai.

Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine in Shanghai is underrepresented, and regrettably so. It’s not the kind of food for a healthy diet per se, but damn does it scratch that comfort food itch.


BoCa Latin Flavors
Address: 595 Wuding Lu, near Xikang Lu
Tel: 13621779856
Hours: Daily, 11:30am-2am