The 19 Best Restaurants in Medellin Locals Love

Visiting Medellin you will find incredibly fresh, tasty and nutritious ingredients in restaurants and markets across the city. This means even when keeping things simple, you can expect some good quality food.

I have lived in Colombia for almost 15 years and I have picked out some restaurants that do something a bit special.

That could be by offering a high-quality interpretation of the local classics, by innovating with unforgettable culinary moments, offering amazing value for money, providing incredible vegetarian dishes or an experience the whole family will love.

These are my restaurant recommendations in the city of eternal spring.

馃毃 No time to read it all? Here are my recommendations in a nutshell:

  • The best restaurant for a truly authentic Medellin exp茅rience: Hacienda Junin
  • The best restaurant for Michelin-star quality food and a unique experience: El Cielo
  • The best restaurant for vegan pizzas that even carnivores will love: Cafe Zorba
  • The best restaurant for a filling, healthy, hearty lunch with a drink for US$4: Uno Mas Uno
  • The best restaurant for dancing horses and delicious steaks: La Mayor铆a


Traditional Colombian Fare: A Taste of Local Cuisine

鉃★笍 Restaurant Hacienda Jun铆n

馃搷 Cra. 49 Jun铆n #52-98, La Candelaria, Medell铆n

Haciendo is an excellent restaurant to experience classic paisa food and culture. First opened downtown in 1991, there are now six branches around the town.

The feel is very traditional and the Junin branch on the second floor provides a peaceful slice of rural Antioquia in the heart of hectic downtown Medellin. It is an excellent place for a hearty traditional Colombian lunch.

The bandeja paisa is their specialty and is the most famous dish associated with the Medellin and surrounding Antioquia region. With piles of pork, rice, eggs, beans, sausage, plantain, beef and avocado, you definitely won鈥檛 leave hungry. You can also enjoy sancocho, a popular local soup which includes meat, corn, potato, plantain and cassava. They also offer excellent chicharr贸n, which is deep-fried pork belly.

At the weekend you can enjoy live music, it is a great place for a relaxing family meal.

Price: Between $7 and $13 USD for a main dish

Why I like this place:

  • Classic, traditional Antioquia-style restaurant that provides an authentic representation of local culture
  • Possibly the best bandeja paisa in the city, a local favorite that all visitors should try at least once
  • The restaurant has a nice buzz with relaxing music and very good service

鉃★笍 Restaurant Mondongos

馃搷 Cra. 70 # c 3 – 43, Laureles – Estadio, Medell铆n

Another important local restaurant is Mondongos, which is a real favorite with families enjoying a big family meal on sundays. They now have branches in Laureles and Poblado.

The restaurant is named after mondongo soup which is made with tripe and served with avocado, plantain and arepa. While this is the headline dish, they also have huge portions of other Colombian dishes such as bandeja paisa.

Mondongos are really popular with locals and they have filling, hearty dishes. Again, the feel is traditional and the service is very professional. It is a restaurant that is proudly Antioque帽o and has been serving up local favorites since 1976.

Price: between $7 and $15 USD for a main dish

Why I like this place:

  • A great place to sample important, high quality local dishes such as mondongos soup
  • The restaurant is a Medellin institution and locals have been enjoying Sunday lunch here for decades
  • A restaurant that has a clear identity; they know what they want to offer and do so to a high standard

鉃★笍 El Cielo Restaurant

馃搷 Calle 7D #43c36, El Poblado, Medell铆n

El Cielo is Medellin鈥檚 most internationally celebrated restaurant, with Chef Juan Manuel 鈥淛uanma鈥 Barrientos using high-quality Colombian ingredients combined with innovative modern cooking techniques to create a special culinary experience of 21 moments.

Set aside at least 2-3 hours and book well in advance, particularly at the weekends. El Cielo opened in Medellin in 2007 with a second restaurant in Bogota in 2011 and they have now expanded to Miami and Washington. While the Michelin Guide doesn鈥檛 yet have a book for Colombia, the Washington branch does have a Michelin star.

This beautiful restaurant really does provide a truly world-class experience with each moment offering something new. You are encouraged to use your hands, connect with the food and each moment provides something truly unique.

The set menu can be accompanied with selected wine options at additional cost. Reservations can be made online and a deposit may be required. It is expensive but it is something that goes beyond just very high-quality food.

Price: The full tasting menu is US$93 per person

Why I like this place:

  • This is a truly world-class culinary experience of Michelin star quality
  • An amazing place to spend hours enjoying and connecting with food
  • The perfect date restaurant or an amazing place to enjoy with family

鉃★笍 Restaurant Carmen

馃搷 Cra. 36 #10a-27, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Carmen describes their culinary offering as 鈥渁 journey through Colombia that pays homage to small artisans, fishermen and farmers with the best proposals for quality and flavor, offering contemporary food鈥.

The Poblado restaurant looks to innovate on classic local flavors with modern techniques and innovations. They also have an excellent range of craft cocktails and a varied wine list available.

Chef Juan Jose Cardenas has developed a delicious seven dish tasting menu with paired wines which is available for US$125. They also have a seven dish vegetarian option for the same price.

The restaurant has a light, classic feel with a beautiful, green outdoor space. It is perfect for a romantic, candle-lit dinner with your significant other.

Price: The seven course taster menu costs US$125 with wines included

Why I like this place:

  • The perfect chance to sample delicious Colombian flavors with a contemporary twist
  • A relaxing, stylish restaurant for a perfect evening meal
  • Excellent service and an intimate atmosphere

Budget-Friendly Options: Satisfying Your Cravings Without Breaking the Bank

鉃★笍 Arepatodo Al Carbon Restaurant


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馃搷 Calle 43 76 02 Laureles, Medell铆n

Arepas, a round, flat, cornmeal cake, are the essential Colombian dish and are eaten daily by millions across the country. They are simple and tasty, enjoyed for breakfast or dinner, often topped with cheese.

Arepatodo takes this important culinary Colombian institution, cooks it on a barbeque and then fills it with handfuls of street food favorites. Options include ingredients such as chicken, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, chicharron, chorizo, mushroom and pineapple or you can just ask for a bit of everything piled in.

Price: An arepa with everything costs just US$3.20 with a drink included

Why I like this place:

  • Very popular and affordable Colombian fast food restaurant
  • They have one specialty dish they offer at a consistently high standard with a range of ingredients
  • Your chance to enjoy a Medellin favorite full of classic street food ingredients

鉃★笍 Uno Mas Uno Restaurant

馃搷 Cq. 4 #71-3, Laureles – Estadio, Medell铆n

If you want delicious, healthy food in Medellin then 鈥渕enu del dia鈥 (menu of the day) are your best options. These are available in every neighborhood around the city and usually include a soup, a main and a juice for an affordable set price.

Uno M谩s Uno in Laureles offers excellent variety and high-quality options. Every day of the week the meal is different. Menu of the day mains typically feature meat or chicken with rice and salad. Uno Mas Uno has greater variety than many of the restaurants with pasta dishes often included.

The full lunch costs around 15,000 COP and make sure to arrive early as it is a popular spot for lunch.

Price: The set menu is around US$3.75 for starter and main with a drink

Why I like this place:

  • Excellent value for money with a different set lunch option each day
  • Good quality ingredients with a well-balanced meal
  • A nice restaurant with soft lighting on the corner of a residential area with outdoor seating

鉃★笍 Chicharron City Restaurant

馃搷 Cq. 5 #69 15, Laureles – Estadio, Medell铆n

Chicharron may not be the healthiest option but it is delicious and Chicharron City in Laureles is a great place to hang out with friends.

Chicharron, fried pork belly, is the fatty, crunchy and delicious specialty of this restaurant. Chicharron is available in five different forms – original, barrel-smoked, honey-glazed, popcorn or spicy.

You can get it in a box with a side (yuca, arepa, french fries or chips), sauces and a drink or a sharing platter. The sharing platters are an excellent option and will allow you to try a selection of flavors.

They also offer hamburgers, burritos and sandwiches with chicharron as a key ingredient. The restaurant has an open-air space and is away from the busiest streets of Laureles. It is the perfect place for munching on some crunchy pork and enjoying some cold beers.

Price: Single combos cost around US$4 with platters ranging from US$4 for 2 people up to US$23 for 7 people.

Why I like this place:

  • The perfect place to drink beers and enjoy some delicious chicharron
  • A nice open-air space and a relaxed atmosphere
  • Affordable pricing and a focus on producing one popular product to a high standard

International Cuisine: Exploring Global Flavors in Medellin

鉃★笍 Panka Restaurant


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馃搷 Barrio Provenza, Cl. 7 #33-4, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Panka offers some high-quality Peruvian-Japanese fusion dishes in the heart of Provenza, Poblado鈥檚 most popular bar, club and restaurant area.

The restaurant is beautifully designed with lots of greenery and nature alongside the stylish, oriental-influenced warehouse feel. The food is delicious with a range of colors, flavors and textures. They have nigiri and maki sushi as well as ceviche, nikkei and panka bites available.

They also have some excellent craft cocktails which go perfectly with the food. It is a great place to visit on a Saturday night before heading to a nearby club or bar.

Price: Prices range from US$7.50 up to US$30 for a main course

Why I like this place:

  • The seafood and sushi options are superb but there are also some tasty Angus beef plates available
  • They serve delicious cocktails which are the perfect accompaniment to the meal
  • The stylish space is perfectly located and it is a great place to start your evening before heading out to a bar or club

鉃★笍 Amelie Fondue Restaurant


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馃搷 Cl. 10b #3623, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Amelie is a Swiss-inspired restaurant full of character with a mosaic floor and stylish decor. The speciality is of course the fondue as well as the excellent crepes for dessert.

The mixed fondue is a great option to enjoy with friends and it has a wonderful combination of rich melted cheese and charcuterie to enjoy with a bottle of wine. Chocolate fondues are also very good if you want a sweet option.

Prices are very reasonable and it is a good option for a date night. The restaurant gives an authentic representation of Swiss food and they offer a fairly small but really high-quality selection of dishes.

The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Price: Mains are around US$7-US$8

Why I like this place:

  • A stylish, character-filled restaurant with a great atmosphere
  • Rich fondues with tasty cheese and high-quality ingredients
  • Delicious sweet crepes and ice cream for dessert

鉃★笍 Olivia Restaurant

馃搷 Av. 74B #39-46, Laureles – Estadio, Medell铆n

Olivia is a chain of Italian restaurants across Poblado and Laureles in Medellin. They have some of the best pizzas in the city while also offering really good quality pasta dishes, seafood, vegetarian options and tasty desserts.

The menu is constantly evolving but they have well-prepared classic dishes consistently produced to a high standard. The restaurants are fresh and classically designed and it is a good option for a family lunch or a date.

Meals are accompanied by delicious bread, the cocktails are really tasty and pricing is fair.

Price: Main courses are priced between US$7 and US$13

Why I like this place:

  • Amazing oven-cooked pizzas with high quality ingredients
  • Consistent level of excellent food and service
  • A nice stylish but not overly formal atmosphere which strikes a good balance

Vegetarian and Vegan Delights: Medellin’s Plant-Based Paradise

鉃★笍 Marietta Vegetarian Restaurant

馃搷 Cra. 35 #8A 107, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Marietta is a 100% vegan restaurant that offers an excellent variety of innovative and delicious meals.

The restaurant has meal of the day options for 12,000 COP (US$3) which include a starter, main, juice and a small dessert. These meal of the day options are included on the restaurant’s Instagram if you want an idea of what to expect.

The full menu is more expensive but still reasonably priced. The food is very tasty and the presentation is always excellent. The small restaurant is simple but stylish.

Price: US$3 for the menu of the day or US$6 to US$9 for a main on the menu.

Why I like this place:

  • A small but complete and well-priced menu of the day option
  • Innovative and tasty range of vegan food available
  • A nice space well located in the heart of Poblado

鉃★笍 Cafe Zorba Restaurant


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馃搷 Cl. 8 #42-33, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Cafe Zorba is a restaurant that specializes in thin-crust brick over-cooked vegetarian and vegan pizzas. The hummus is a really popular starter as well as sides and salads.

The entrance, close to Parque Poblado, is very low-key but Zorba is always very popular. The pizzas are ranked amongst the very best in the city and even meat lovers will opt for the vegetarian options available here. There is a small outdoor space alongside the Presidential Park.

Cocktails here are also very popular and they have live music downstairs in the evenings.

Price: Red and white base pizzas cost around US$7 each

Why I like this place:

  • Amazing vegan and vegetarian pizzas
  • An excellent atmosphere and buzz with live music
  • A restaurant that has become really popular thanks to word of mouth and high-quality food

鉃★笍 El Herbario Restaurant


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馃搷 Cra 43D #1030, El Poblado, Medell铆n, El Poblado, Medell铆n, Antioquia

El Herbario is a fashionable eatery which has a strong focus on well-executed, vegetable-based dishes. Some of the most popular include grilled legumes with goat鈥檚 cheese, green salads and soups. As well as vegetarian options, you can also find some very good seafood dishes.

The space is designed like a large warehouse with very high ceilings, wooden seatings and metallic finishes. There is a really nice ambience with live guitar music and they have a floor-to-ceiling varied selection of wines.

Price: between $7 and $10 USD for a main dish

Why I like this place:

  • A very stylish and open space with an excellent feel
  • Tasty vegetarian options and a focus on fresh vegetables, herbs and spices
  • A really good range of wines available

Meat Lovers’ Paradise: Savory Delights for Carnivores

鉃★笍 Restaurant Restaurante Don Diablo

馃搷 Cra. 36 #10A-45 2nd piso, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Don Diablo is an American-style steakhouse which looks to incorporate local Colombian techniques and use high-quality local ingredients. The restaurant was launched by the owners of Carmen and Don Diablo retained the same high-quality and creative approach.

They offer seven cuts of steak ranging from 250g to 600g. The meat used in Don Diablo is from independent farms around the country. While the approach is inspired by the US, they never import meat because Colombian cows are grass-fed and leaner. They use a dry-aging process which provides a dramatically improved flavor.

Alongside extremely high-quality meat, they also offer a range of other dishes strongly influenced by techniques from around Colombia. Many of the desserts are US comfort food favorites such as Baked Alaska, ice cream sandwiches and Derby pies.

Price: A 7 course tasting menu with paired drink options is available for US$100 while steaks range from US$21 to US$52.

Why I like this place:

  • Very high-quality streak expertly cooked
  • Classic steakhouse feel but with a Colombian twist
  • A sharp, sophisticated restaurant with excellent service

鉃★笍 Colosal Restaurant

馃搷 Calle 16a Sur # 9F-13, Casaloma, Medell铆n

Colosal is an amazing restaurant with the most incredible views over Medellin. The restaurant has live music, impeccable service, outdoor dining and there is a DJ on the upper floor in the evening.

The design is elegant and classy with soft lifting and candles. It is an excellent option for a date and very popular with family groups looking for something special. Steaks and seafood are the highlights on the menu with sushi, salads and pasta dishes also of a good quality.

They have great cocktails and tasty desserts.

Price: between $7 and $11 USD for a main dish

Why I like this place:

  • A really special view over the city which is perfect for sunset or into the evening
  • Very high-quality food in a classy, stylish atmosphere
  • Delicious cocktails with live music and DJs into the evening

鉃★笍 Oci.Mde Restaurant


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馃搷 Cra 33 #7-21, El Poblado, Medell铆n, El Poblado, Medell铆n, Antioquia

Oci.Mde is famous for delicious slow-cooked meat and generous portions. Head chef Laura Londo帽o was trained at a 3-Michelin star restaurant in Paris and has brought that international experience to combine high-quality ingredients with local techniques and innovations.

The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and is a good option for friends, families and couples.

Some of the most popular dishes include 5-hour braised pork and 12-hour braised short ribs prepared in lemon and chili caramel sauce. While the slow-cooked meat is the highlight, they also have very good vegetarian and vegan options available.

Price: Mains are available from US$10 up to US$33

Why I like this place:

  • Delicious slow-cooked meat dishes with a dash of local flavor
  • A clean, rustic restaurant which classic style
  • Perfect option for a quality, hearty lunch with friends and family

Family-Friendly Establishments: Dining Experiences for All Ages

鉃★笍 Crepes and Waffles

馃搷 Cra. 36 # 10 – 54, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Crepes is an excellent option for families and provides really good value with consistently high quality. The restaurant specializes in both sweet and savory crepes as well as soups, salads, wraps and delicious ice creams.

The staff are always very attentive, friendly and professional. The company makes a particular effort to recruit women and mothers. They have a really strong training program and endeavor to pay above-average salaries. This faith and investment in their staff really seems to pay off and you get the sense that the employees are pleased to be there.

There are dozens of Crepes and Waffles all over Colombia, the prices are great and you are never disappointed with what you receive.

Price: Prices for main courses around US$5 to US$7.

Why I like this place:

  • Excellent prices and consistently high-quality of food
  • Delicious desserts and really nice ice cream cones available for takeaway
  • Good service and a very upbeat, positive atmosphere

鉃★笍 La Mayor铆a Restaurante y Fonda

馃搷 Cra. 25a #36d Sur-446 a 36d Sur-674, Envigado

La Mayor铆a is an excellent option to experience classic Antioquia culture and enjoy an impressive horse show.

On Friday and Saturday evenings from 8-10pm horses will dance up and down the isles of the restaurant. Outside of this performance children can also go to the stables to pet the horses and visit the other animals. There is also a playground and during the day children can go on pony rides.

The restaurant offers mostly beef, chicken and pork with sharing platters and a children’s menu available. Options are fairly limited but it is all well-cooked, good quality food. They also have an extensive drinks menu.

While the show might run quite late for young children, teenagers who love horses will find the evening magical and the food delicious.

Price: Mains are priced from US$11 up to US$25

Why I like this place:

  • An amazing show on Friday and Saturday nights with performing horses inside the restaurant
  • Simple but high-quality and well-prepared steaks
  • Children have the chance to enjoy the playground, ride the ponies and meet the animals

鉃★笍 Archies Restaurant


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馃搷 Cra. 43A #1-50, Local 372, El Poblado, Medell铆n

Archies is a chain of pizza restaurants across Poblado as well as Arkadia Mall in Belen. The ingredients are fresh and the pizzas are tasty.

The restaurant also offers kids the chance to make their own pizza the way they like it before they are cooked in the oven and served. Pizza is always a popular option for children and the interactive fan in preparation makes it a fun choice.

Price: The make your own pizza option for children costs around US$7.50 with a drink, desert and toy included. Adult pizzas are around US$6.50.

Why I like this place:

  • Fun and educational experience for children as they prepare their own pizza
  • Good quality ingredients and uncomplicated but tasty pizzas
  • Fairly affordable and accessible with restaurants around Poblado

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