If you’re exploring El Centro there are two really historic cafes you must try both on Avenida Junin the main shopping Street (and where you’ll also find many traditional handicrafts for sale):
- Versalles – opened in 1961 this Argentinian café is famous throughout Medellin for its Argentinian and Chilean empanadas. Service is old style and food is very affordable.
- El Astor – founded in 1930 this Swiss cafe is another Medellin institution. As expected they specialize in all sorts of cakes & chocolate products but the most famous ítem is the Sapo, a small green fruit cake in the shape of a frog. Sounds weird but is a must try, along with a mandarin juice.
In recent years several new gastronomic zones have emerged in Medellin, Barrio Manila and Jardines, Envigado.
Copying the success of Jardines, new restaurants are springing up all the time in Barrio Manila which is a hidden gem just 10 minutes walk south of Toucan Spanish School. Some of the restaurants can be found in both Jardines & Manila such as Barbacoa (burgers) an Olivia (pizza). However our favorite is Cambria Café/Resto the Portugese food and cakes are absolutely amazing.
Located in Envigado a small enclave of suburbia has been taken over by some of the most popular restaurants in town. One of the most famous is Lucio a renown steak restaurant, make sure you book days in advance.