I spent a month based in Medellin Colombia in August and absolutely fell in love with it. I was lucky enough to be in town when the biggest festival of the year Feria de Las Flores was on, had a very photogenic day trip to Guatape and saw the key sites from Narcos on a Pablo Escobar Tour.
In addition to all this boy did I eat. There are some brilliant food restaurants in Medellin as well as cafes. But, this post is about the Best Restaurants in Medellin. But if you are looking for exciting activities to add to your trip, there are a variety of wonderful things to do in Medellin that aren’t foodie experiences.
There is an astonishing amount of variety and fusion and new places popping up every day. Medellin is a big place so I have focused on the El Poblado neighbourhood in this post with a couple of exceptions.
I stayed in El Poblado Medellin so it is where I ate the most and it is where most tourists stay. It is also known as a key restaurant area in Medellin and for having some of the best restaurants in Medellin, Colombia.
The biggest surprise for me of the Medellin restaurant scene is its amazing value. Even the most expensive restaurants would be considered cheap in other big cities.
The quality and serving sizes are not compromised nor is the service. I would say Medellin is the best value eating destination I have ever visited.
So I highly encourage you to take advantage of this whilst in Medellin and eat eat eat! When it comes to the best places to eat in Medellin I don’t think there is one best restaurant Medellin on offer.
It is much more about your favourite food types and matching those with the huge variety of eating choices available in this wonderful Colombian city.
⇒ Interested in becoming a digital nomad in Medellin? If so don’t miss this fantastic ebook Medellin Digital Nomads Guide
Colombia Travel Highlights
Table of Contents
- Colombia Travel Highlights
- Best Restaurants in Medellin: The Ones Not to Miss
- 1. Mondongo’s Medellin
- 2. La Causa Medellin
- 3. Carmen Restaurant Medellin
- 4. Ocio Medellin
- 5. Crepe and Waffle
- 6. Mondoverde
- Other Good Medellin Restaurants:
- 7. Verdeo
- 8. Natto
- 9. Mistura
- 10. Bonhomia
- 11. La Matriarcha
- 12. Kabuki
- 13. Pergamino
- 14. 37 Park
- 15. Velvet
- 16. Al Alma
- 17. Urbania
- 18. Ganso & Castor
- 19. Desayunos
- 20. Botanika
- 21. Herbario
- 22. Elciel
- 23. Alambique
- Food Markets in Medellin
- Top Tip When Choosing the Best Places to Eat in Medellin
- How to Get to Medellin
- Where to Stay in Medellin
- Who Paid for What with this Post
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Columbia, here is my Colombia Itinerary: 2 Weeks. I found some of the most interesting activities in the country to keep me busy, and I’m sure you’ll love them too.
Best Restaurants in Medellin: The Ones Not to Miss
If you’re looking for the best restaurants, Medellin has an incredible amount on offer. The food selection in the city is pretty much endless, but here are a few that I thoroughly enjoyed and felt were worth checking out. These are some of the top Medellin restaurants.
1. Mondongo’s Medellin
Mondongos is one of the most famous traditional Colombian restaurants in Medellin. This place is frequented by locals, presidents, tourists – pretty much everyone.
Mondongos Medellin has a great location in El Poblado on Calle 10 – right in the heart of everything and is known as one of the best restaurants Medellin has on offer.
The menu at this Medellin restaurant is classic Colombian. Mondongo’s has the Bandeja Paisa classic – as one of the top restaurants in Medellin, this is probably the place to have it.
I had the chicken which was basically grilled chicken with a massive side serving of avocado (I love how liberal they are with the avocado servings in colombia), loads of salad, those plantains of course as they are served with everything.
Mondongos Medellin is most famous for their tripe soup or Sopa de Mondongo.
2. La Causa Medellin
This was my second favourite restaurant of the best restaurants, Medellin. La Causa is a mix of ceviche, sushi, and revolution.
The menu is extensive and everything sounds amazing with La Causa Medellin (ceviche with a bit of a milky sauce that tastes amazing) mega fusion sushi and classic ceviche and sushi.
I think I went to La Causa four times when I was staying in Medellin and it was always amazing.
3. Carmen Restaurant Medellin
Carmen is one of the most famous El Poblado Medellin restaurants. We went to Carmen as a big group on a set menu.
Alas, it was a bit of a difficult evening as it turned out the most of the group had food allergies/issues which made the Carmen Medellin set menu pretty much unworkable and took some time to figure this out – the poor restaurant nearly went bananas.
This meant that I drank a lot of wine while this was being figured out and ended up a bit drunk by the time the food came. So I remember Carmen Medellin was absolutely delicious, I have quite a few slightly in the wrong spot photos and there was lots of it.
Carmen is known as perhaps the best restaurant in Medellin – or at least in the top five. The restaurant is quite big with a bar area, a rear patio and an open kitchen.
4. Ocio Medellin
In my opinion, Oci had the best food in Medellin Colombia – if you only go to one restaurant in El Poblado go to Ocio Medellin. And I would highly recommend that you book as it gets booked out. The food at Oci is amazing.
This restaurant in Medellin is a mix of modern European with some Colombian influences such as the amazing Chicharron. Long cook is the specialty of Oci Medellin Parisian trained chef.
There is also a super cute little bar at Carmen where you can eat. The online reviews are all very positive this pick of the El Poblado restaurants.
5. Crepe and Waffle
There are quite a few Crepe and Waffles in Medellin. This is one of those local chains that everyone loves – and with good reason. Let’s start with its employment policy. Crepe and Waffles choose to employ women who have experienced difficult times which is fantastic.
Crepe and Waffle Medellin are of course best known for their crepes and waffles and my gosh they are good. There is a very long menu with every type of flavour from savory to sweet.
This also means that the same menu works well at Crepe and Waffle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also stock some absolutely amazing ice cream. I bought a tub of the salted caramel/arequipe and it disappeared fast.
I also heard a rumour that they have an amazing value take away salad offer. I am afraid I never got past the appeal of the crepes and the waffles! A must visit.
Mondoverde became my go-to lunch place! They have a fantastic super healthy menu where you can either put together your own salad based on a formula or choose one of their suggestions. Mondoverde Medellin also has amazing juices.
Mondoverde is the perfect place for a healthy and tasty lunch. This is a good quality fast food restaurant and very much vegetarian-friendly.
Other Good Medellin Restaurants:
I found Verdeo to be a slightly odd restaurant. It is vegetarian-friendly and quite innovative. The food at Verdeo Medellin was okay but not amazing.
However, I am not a vegetarian so if you are one then I recommend giving Verdeo a try.
Natto is a great lunch spot. Healthy salads, wraps and juices. They provide a healthy alternative and offer some of the most picturesque dishes in the city. It is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Medellin for those wanting to eat light but delicious meals.
Whether you’re in the mood for a bagel, an acai bowl, or a smoothie, there are options available that will satisfy your hungry tummy.
Mistura offers good Japanese food at the edge of El Poblado. Mistura is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Medellin Colombia.
They give their Japanese food a truly Colombian twist, so you’re certainly in for a treat if you are looking for something different.
Mistura is often considered the best restaurant in Poblado Medellin, and it’s very easy to see why. With quality ingredients and food that is mouth-watering, you’ll certainly be back for more.
Bonhomia Medellin is meat-heavy! They do a great charcuterie platter and are also known for their cheese fondue. If you’re looking for the best restaurant Medellin has to offer with a cheesy twist, this has got to be on the top of your list.
This Medellin restaurant also has a good wine selection. Bonhomia has a nice mix of outdoor and indoor seating and is one of the best restaurants in Poblado Medellin.
11. La Matriarcha
La Matriarcha is a relaxed seafood-heavy restaurant with some Italian and classic Colombian thrown in. It’s also a great place to stop by if you are a meat lover as their steaks are absolutely to die for. Don’t hesitate to opt for their desserts either as you will be in for a treat that’s hard to find at other Colombian restaurants.
Kabuki has very good Japanese but has the bad luck of being next door to La Causa – and I would always choose La Causa as it is one of the best restaurants in Medellin. However, if you are in the mood to treat yourself to a little sushi, then opt for Kabuki. They serve melt-in-your-mouth salmon and some interesting sushi alternatives that are worth remembering.
Often cited as the best café in Medellin and for good reason. Pergamino has mostly outdoor seating and is a lovely area that is very popular with locals and digital nomads.
Pergamino Medellin has excellent coffee and a great menu of interesting brunch and lunch options.
14. 37 Park
37 Park is a bit of everything. It’s inside and it’s outside. It’s a little bakery and it’s a bar. 37 Park Medellin is a restaurant and a café. It appears to be open all the time. And I really liked it.
This Medellin restaurant and bar does a fantastic brunch – interesting selections, great flavour combinations, and good coffee. 37 Parque is also a great place to meet for a drink and/or to have dinner.
Fantastic coffee and such a lovely space. Velvet is quite a long thin restaurant with a terrace at the front and an area in the back that is flooded with light. This Medellin coffee shop is a popular choice for digital workers and there are laptops at dawn.
The breakfast menu at Velvet Medellin is more limited but they do have delicious pastries and some nice yoghurt and muesli offerings. But the key reason to go to Velvet is the amazing coffee.
16. Al Alma
This was my favourite brunch spot in Medellin. Al Alma does a big brunch menu and has quite a few fusion western options. They have this amazing brioche type bread that isn’t actually brioche but gosh it tastes good.
Al Alma also has a bakery so you can buy this takeaway. And they do a proper English style fat pork sausage which is great on the brioche and their sweet cream cheese type spread.
There is seating outside as well as seating sprawling out onto the small street where Al Alma Medellin is located.
Urbania has outstanding coffee and some delicious local chocolates. It is quite small so best suited to take away coffee rather than digital nomad working. If you have the time, it’s worth grabbing a French toast to go as it is absolutely delicious!
18. Ganso & Castor
Ganso & Castor has fantastic breakfasts but bad coffee. Luckily they have a handful of freshly squeezed juices to choose from, which provide a great refreshing alternative. They also have some wonderful pastries, so if you’re in the mood for something sweet, then you should consider stopping by.
Desayunos has an interesting breakfast menu and the food was tasty. This Medellin cafe has decent coffee but not as good as Pergamino and Velvet.
Medellin’s most beautiful breakfasts! Botanika is well known for its amazing use of avocados. Botanika Medellin has a nice location and good coffee.
Herbario is an elegant restaurant located inside a rustic warehouse, giving it a completely unique feel. The chef combines a variety of ingredients and flavours to create a delicious fusion of flavours.
If you are looking to try something completely new, then this is a great place to come for unique foods and delicious cocktails. There are also often events taking place at Herbario, so check out their schedule if you are looking for something interesting to do in the city.
Elciel is an elegant restaurant in the very heart of Medellin. It’s a great place to go with a partner as the setting is romantic. You can expect a first-class dining experience with small plated meals that are packed with flavour.
Alambique provides a more casual dining experience and is a great place to meet up with friends for a night of fun and laughter. You can expect live music most nights of the week and absolutely delicious meals.
Restaurants and cafes in Medellin are opening and closing all the time! Please do let me know any updates or different views and I will look to incorporate them into this post.
Food Markets in Medellin
Mercado del Rio is a fantastic conglomerate of over 40 small stalls/restaurants in the heart of Medellin. There is also a great wine bar at Mercado del Rio (you can bring food in to have with your wine) and a couple of more formal restaurants upstairs.
When it comes to where to eat in Medellin, Mercado del Rio is a great choice in general and even better if you are with a group due to all the options on hand.
The key reason to go to Mercado del Rio Medellin is the amazing selection of different cuisines. There are quite a few stalls that do upgrades on Colombian classics like arepas.
This Medellin market has pretty much every other cuisine you could imagine – from bbq to Japanese to Mexican.
But if you only eat one thing on your visit to Mercado del Rio make it a popsicle. They have some amazing popsicle stalls and they actually taste even better than they look.
Every Sunday there is a Farmers Market in El Poblado. It is quite small but the quality is high. There are quite a few eat now options at this Medellin farmers market – and some amazing fruit juices of course. And also some great take away food options if you are staying in Medellin.
Top Tip When Choosing the Best Places to Eat in Medellin
Maximising your Wine in Colombia: Most Medellin Restaurants do sell some type of wine. However, I highly recommend you order wine by the bottle rather than the glass. A glass of wine in Colombia is more like a thimble of glass – they pour very very lightly!
Not only does the wine disappear fast it ends up being much more expensive to buy wine by the glass than to get a bottle. So I would suggest just ordering a bottle. You can most likely take it with you at the end of the night if you don’t finish it.
How to Get to Medellin
Medellin does have an international airport although the number of flights is quite limited. The airport is about a 45-minute drive from the centre of town.
I flew to Colombia with Iberia – read my Iberia Business Class Review. You can also read my Air France a380 Business Class Review and my American Airlines Premium Economy 777 Review – they both fly to Colombia.
Bogota is the main international airport in Colombia. There are loads of internal flights in Colombia and they are usually quite cheap.
As the country is so mountainous car journeys are long and twisty. So flights can be cheap and fast. Medellin to Colombia only takes half an hour and there are flights every hour
⇒ Flights Medellin to Cartagena and Medellin to Bogota
Where to Stay in Medellin
I would highly recommend staying in the El Poblado area for first-time visitors as it is full of great restaurants and shops and easy to get around.
El Poblado is also very tourist-friendly and just makes life a bit easier so you can enjoy Medellin. I think it is one of the best value Medellin hotels as well.
⇒ I had a fantastic stay in the Art Hotel Medellin – read my review of Art Hotel Medellin here.
⇒ Compare prices & read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now
I also used the gym at the Charlee Hotel and it was lovely! This El Poblado hotel also has a great central location in Medellin and a fantastic rooftop bar and pool.
The rooms at The Charlee Hotel Medellin are gorgeous and they also have a great restaurant on the ground floor. The Charlee is one of the best hotels Medellin has on offer.
⇒ Read reviews of Hotel Charlee on Trip Advisor ⇒ Book Now
For a quieter Medellin hotel option in the centre of town check out The Sites Hotel Medellin
⇒ Read reviews of The Sites Hotel Medellin on Trip Advisor ⇒ Book Now
And Hotel Loyds Medellin is another good hotel option in El Poblado.
⇒ Read reviews of the Hotel Loyds Medellin on Trip Advisor ⇒ Book Now
Who Paid for What with this Post
I paid for everything! This was completely me travelling and not working with any tourism boards or hotels etc. However, this post does contain affiliate links.
That means that if you click through on them and make a purchase I may well receive a small commission. I just wanted to make sure that you knew.
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Wednesday 2nd of May 2018
I'm taking my girlfriend to OCI for date night tonight and, based on your rave reviews, I'm drooling already.
Did you happen to have any favorite menu del dia spots in the city? I'm trying to visit all of the top ones to find the best.
The Boutique Adventurer
Thursday 3rd of May 2018
Chris how did it go? I am confident Oci delivered! Gosh Menu del Dia - I didn't do too many of those although I think you can get some great deals. Let me know any you find and I can update my post!
Wednesday 7th of February 2018
Wow, what a comprehensive food and destination post this is. I love the look of Pergamino and can see myself enjoying the relaxed courtyard and a coffee or two to keep me and my laptop company. (and Hubby of course lol)
The Boutique Adventurer
Thursday 8th of February 2018
Thanks Jan! I highly recommend Pergamino - great coffee and great pastries and food! Velvet is virtually across the road so you can try out both in one visit!
Tuesday 6th of February 2018
I am sitting across from La Causa right now reading this post at the Starbucks in Laureles. (I came across this post on Pinterest and was curious to see if I had eaten at any of your top picks.) I've heard great things about that restaurant and plan to try it soon. Are you still here in Medellin?
The Boutique Adventurer
Thursday 8th of February 2018
Alas Paul I have moved on - I loved Medellin! I am jealous that you are there and can have some amazing food! La Causa and Oci are the 2 not miss in my view! Let me know how you get on! Always keen to edit my posts with the most up to date information and any new finds! thanks for the comment
Sunday 4th of February 2018
You were serious about finding the best places to eat in Medellin. All these places look fantastic. I am not that familiar with Colombian food but I know it is good. I think I will go crazy in Medellin. Not sure if I will be eating all day (sound like a great idea to me). #TPThursday