Restaurants in Medellin
Let's start in Parque Lleras since its inevitably the “ground zero” for visitors to Medellin, listed in every guidebook as the must-visit place. Often referred to as the Zona Rosa (entertainment district), Lleras is full of bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants and a few hotels/hostels. Similar to any tourist area around the world, the restaurants tend to be mostly overpriced and not always the highest quality. There is also a high turnover of restaurants, making it difficult to recommend great options. If you must eat in Lleras some of the more reputable and longest established restaurants include:
- Basilica - a mix of Peruvian and sushi
- Al Rojo - Italian and steak restaurant
- Il Forno - Italian restaurant
These 3 restuarants are shown on the following map. We've also listed many other great options in the general Lleras area, see descriptions below.
Around Parque Lleras
- Ferro – white tablecloth service with great steak and grilled meats
- Zorba - vegetarian pizza in a lively romantic atmosphere
- Chef Burger – the best burgers in town
- Federal Ribs - Some of the best ribs in town
- Hanami - Probably the best Japanese restuarant in town, although pricey
- El Cielo – award winning molecular gastronomy at it's best
- Carmen – everyone favorite restaurant serving international food in a classy atmosphere
- La Provincia – mediteranean restaurant, often awarded "best in town"
- Osea - don't let the size fool you, this restaurant packs a punch with experimental food
- Tipicos - perfect if you're craving Colombian food but want something a little better quality than the average Colombian restaurant
- Herbario - trendy restaurant serving Colombian influenced food
- Crepes & Waffles - famous Colombian crepe restaurant
- Le Coq - upmarket roasted chicken restaurant
- Paralelo17 - trendy Asian inspired restaurant with Thai and Vietnamese flavors
- Halong Vietnamita - Vietnamese restaurant with refreshing outdoor seating
- Mondongos - if you want to try traditional food this is the place. Servings sizes are large so starve before going.
- Peru Mix - this restaurant serves tasty Peruvian food including sandwiches and cervices
- Mario Bross - apart from ripping off of the famous computer game's identity this fast food restaurant is a great late night option
- Turban - Arabic style kebabs & shawarmas
- Chabuca -another Peruvian restaurant with top quality sandwiches accompanied by some of the best fries in town
- Cosechos - not a restaurant but a juice bar, don't forget to tell them to go easy on the sugar
- Medellin Beer Company - if you're looking for a beer and pub grub, this venue has some good options and daily specials.
If you’re looking for a quick & cheap meal before or after enjoying some drinks in Parque Lleras then Calle 10 ("la diez") has a myriad of fast food options including hotdogs, burgers, arepas, fried chicken and even the usual American fast food chains such as KFC, Domino's and Subway.
If you prefer fine dining or simply being seen at the latest "in" places, there are a ton of options simply by walking a few streets in any direction away from Parque Lleras. Some of the restaurants may be a little hidden but it's worth exploring, especially now that you have our handy restaurant map highlighting some of our favorite restaurants.
Barrio ProvenzaOur Recommendation
A visit to Medellin wouldn't be complete without checking out Barrio Provenza, the hippest zone in town.
Take a stroll around Provenza and you'll be amazed by the beauty of the area where the streets are neatly divided by running creeks and lush green bamboo forests. People come to Provenza from all over town to enjoy some of the highest rated restaurants & bars in Medellin with a mixed crowd that ranges from backpackers, hipsters to the glamorous set.
You can get a feel for the area by checking out the Barrio Provenza Facebook page and the following video.
How to find Barrio Provenza
To find Barrio Provenza walk up Calle 10 on the right hand side and continue past Parque Lleras. When you get to Carrera 37 (also called Via Primavera) this is where Provenza begins on the right hand side. Looking at the map you'll see that Provenza stretches between Calle 10 and Calle 7 and from Carrera 33 to 37.
Recommended Provenza Restaurants by Street
The following is a list of our recommended options on each street.
Carrera 37 (also called Via Primavera):
- Bonhomía - deli style meat and cheese platters, sandwiches & ribs with great sangria
- Mundo Verde - aimed at healthy eaters they have a good selection of salads wraps and juice blends etc
- Juicy Lucy - Burger restaurant with good service and plenty of choices
- Pergamino - Medellin’s most famous café
- Velvet -Superb Belgian influenced café popular with those who work online
- Flip Flop Sandwich Shop - American style food aimed at the backpacker market
- Me Late - the favorite of every chocoholic in Medellin. Amazing chocolate cakes, cheesecakes & truffles.
- La Choripanería - Argentinean gourmet hotdog restaurant
- Ganso & Castor - French inspired cafe/resto, their specialty is their breakfast and cakes
Carrera 35 (Via Provenza):
- Lenteja Express - Vegetarian hamburger restaurant
- Burdo - Comfort food in an extravagant setting like no other
- Alta Gracia – popular cocktail bar
- Konico - Small latin influenced treat that come in tiny cones, either soft or hard
- Como Pez en el Agua - An array of delicious pastries and cakes to check out.
- Tea Market - Small cafe for tea lovers
- El Social - popular local bar
- Toscano - popular Italian restaurant
- Naan - Indian restaurant
- La Fournee - real french croissants and bakery
- Formosa 101 - Taiwanese restaurant and tea house
- Bogota Beer Company - Famous craft beer and bar food
- Ammazza - popular but perhaps a bit expensive Pizza & Gin Restaurant
- Mu Ribs – Owned by an English gentleman named Simon, these are possibly the best ribs in town. There’s no menu, they only serve ribs accompanied by chips and handmade sauces. Thurs - Sat only.
- City Pizza - pizzas with a touch of Colombian influence
- 3 Tipicos - typical Colombian food, specialty is the Ajiaco soup.
Carrera 33 (Via Jardin):
- La Abarroteria - popular spot that specializes in meat platters, salads, sandwiches and burgers
- La Causa - An incredible fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food, mostly seafood. The risotto style dishes are fantastic and some of the best sushi in Medellin.
- Kabuki - Japanese restaurant
- Romero – excellent Mediterranean style restaurant with great selection of quality platters, pizzas, pastas, lasagna, salads and pretty reasonable priced.
- Delerio Exquisito - eclectic mix of oriental and Tex Mex attracting a up market crowd.
- Rocoto - Another great Peruvian restaurant, perched above the road level giving it an air of exclusivity
- Arte Dulce - delicious ice cream and desserts
- Tomasa - tiny little cafe with great coffee, cakes and breads
- Tabun – one of Medellin’s best Arabic restaurants where you’re guaranteed to leave full. Weds is 2-4-1 on main meals. On the weekend you might be lucky to see a bellydance show.
- Mistura - a delightful mix of Peruvian and oriental flavors.
- Ocio – very popular restaurant served in tapas style international dishes perfect for sharing amongst a glamorous crowd.
- Al Alma - popular little cafe with great coffee and pastries which they make on site. Tasty set lunch.
- Chocolate House - small chocolate themed cafe and a focus on healthy chocolate options.
- La Pizza de Alejo - surprisingly good food in this Colombian style pizzeria
The following is our selection of the best restaurants in Medellin according to category.
- Vietnamese - Halong Vietnamita and Lemoncillo (Envigado)
- Vietnamese/Thai Fusion - Paralelo 17
- Taiwanese - Formosa 101
- Korean - Korea House
- Japanese - Sushi Light and Hanami
- Thai - Royal Thai
- Indian - Curry and Naan
- French - Voilá Vinos
- Arabic - Tabun
- Greek - Zeta
- Peruvian - La Causa and Rocoto
- Italian - Toscano and Il Castello
- Sushi - La Causa. (Yes at a Peruvian restaurant)
Healthy & Vegetarian Options:
Restaurants: Further Afield
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.
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.
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.
If you're looking for the very freshest & authentic local experience we have two highly recommended options for you. The following restaurants are located at the wholesale markets, meaning they don't need a pantry as they can simply buy everything fresh when they need it. Don't expect anything glamorous, just great fresh food and very reasonable pricing.
Aqui Paro Lucho - based at the Minorista market Juan the owner is a local celebrity serving up delicious market fresh food, with an emphasis on meats and his famous paella.
Buena Mar - based at the Mayorista market Buena Mar is regarded by many reviewers on TripAdvisor to be the best seafood they have every tried.
They are not located in touristy areas so you will need to take a taxi and a reservation could be required.