Want a list of the best restaurants in Medellin?
But maybe you want a more specific list of restaurants… that are categorized by price and budget?
You’ve got it! We created this list of the best restaurants in Medellin but divided it depending on your budget size – low, mid-range or high-end. There’s something for everyone on this list!
Medellin’s food scene is some of the most diverse and best in the world. You can have almost any cuisine you can imagine – Thai, Indian, Colombian, Amazonian cuisine and so much more! We were pleasantly surprised (and a little overwhelmed) by the number of restaurants we wanted to try and dine in.
We spent nearly 4 months living in Medellin and the list of restaurants in Medellin kept growing. I think you can easily spend months maybe years and not try all the restaurants in Medellin. But it’s pretty fun to tick spots off the list!
In this blog post, you’ll discover the 25 best restaurants in Medellin that you shouldn’t miss! There’s a wide range of cuisines and a choice for every budget – you can’t go wrong with any of the recommendations below.
What Are The Restaurants In Medellin Like?
Medellin’s food scene is so underrated!
Before arriving in Colombia, we didn’t really know what to expect. With this digital nomad lifestyle, we like to mix it up by eating at home half the time and eating out the other half of the week. This works well for us because we try to keep a *somewhat* healthy diet when we can (unlike our Bali digital nomad days).
This became real hard in Medellin because we had a long list of saved places to try and it kept growing! It was the same experience with the restaurants in Antigua Guatemala too. Here’s why we loved the restaurant scene in Medellin-
You can have any type of cuisine you want in Medellin, Colombia:
- Asian Food (Japanese, Thai, Indian and more)
- Indian Food
- American (🇺🇸) Food
- Colombian Food
- Italian Food
More than that finding your favorite cuisines or exciting new food you want to try – the best restaurants in Medellin put a lot of effort into making it a whole dining experience. You can eat these cuisines in cool, unique spaces like:
- cheap eats, no-frills restaurants
- upscale restaurants
- rooftop restaurants with city views
- trendy restaurants
- garden/courtyard restaurants
…and so much more to discover! The best restaurants in Medellin aren’t only the high-end ones – that’s for sure. You can have cool dining experiences without spending a lot of money in Medellin!
That’s why we loved going out and trying some of the best restaurants in Medellin! This brings us to our next point…
A lot of people told us that Colombian cuisine wasn’t the best. We heard it was pretty heavy and bland at times. The bandeja paisa is the most famous Colombian dish in Medellin and we gotta be honest it was just okay…
Are The Restaurants in Medellin Cheap or Expensive?
Yes and no.
You can have very cheap meals and you can have very expensive meals – it all depends on what you’re willing to spend. But that’s the best part right? You can lavish out when you want and save when you need to!
💰 For cheap eats, it can cost anywhere between $5,000 COP to $20,000 COP ($1.20-$5 USD). This could be a small snack like an empanada or our personal favorite for cheap eats – menu del dia which is around the $15,000 COP to $20,000 COP ($3.50-$5 USD) mark.
💰💰 For mid-range restaurants, you’ll pay more like $25,000 COP to $45,000 COP ($6-$11 USD) for a meal out. With this price, you’ll still get a great ambiance, atmosphere and dining experience.
💰💰💰 For fine dining restaurants or high-end in general, the meal will cost anywhere from $50,000 COP to $80,000 COP ($12-$20 USD). For tasting menus, they will cost much more than this. You can expect these prices at a decent steakhouse or specialty restaurant.
These prices aren’t including drinks which are a whole thing in and of itself. There was a huge price difference between ordering a beer or a cocktail. A beer is very cheap – only $7,000+ COP ($1.80 USD) while a cocktail costs more like $30,000-$50,000 COP ($7-$12 USD). For some reason, cocktails are very expensive in Medellin!
This show that the Medellin restaurant scene has something for everyone.
17 Drool-Worthy Restaurants Medellin Has To Offer
We’ve categorized the blog in order of budget/cheap eats, mid-range restaurants and more high-end restaurants. Depending on what you are after or occasion – you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the best restaurants in Medellin.
Best Cheap Eats Restaurants in Medellin
Don’t want to break the bank? In Medellin, you don’t have to! Some of the best restaurants in Medellin don’t cost that much, tbh. Here’s where you can get decent cheap eats in town!
Empanadas El Machetico – best emapanadas
Craving empanadas? I stumbled on this place when I was researching where to eat in Medellin and apparently, this is a local’s favorite!
Matthew and I were ready to try these empanadas before the Colombia soccer match but when we arrived…the lines were very long! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to wait so we couldn’t try them. Please try them for us!
Pelavacas – best birria tacos
The tacos in Medellin are good but they aren’t great. It’s pretty hard to beat the tacos in Playa del Carmen, Mexico City or Mexico in general (for obvious reasons). But Pelavacas is the closest thing we could find to mouth-watering tacos!
This shop is very small and only sells one thing – birria tacos. This is the BEST restaurant in Medellin for tacos, in our opinion. It’s juicy, tasty and similar to the ones we’ve tried in Mexico. You can also have consome with the birria which you can add ramen noodles or not. We tried both!
Must try if you love birria tacos! Make sure to keep an eye on their Instagram though – they update their opening hours here. Google’s opening hours are incorrect because they change so often!
PIZZAS GARAGE – best takeaway pizza
Cheap, delicious pizza is the best way to describe Pizzas Garage. It’s nothing fancy but it’s crazy cheap and perfect for takeaway!
For a 30cm pizza, it will only cost you between $15,000 COP to $$24,000 COP ($3.60-$5.80 USD). That’s right – for less than $6 USD you get a delicious pizza! It’s not the best pizza we’ve had in Medellin but it’s also surprisingly not the worst. The pizza is decent and perfect for a movie night at home!
Taquería Cuernavaca Laureles – best variety of tacos
This is another great Mexican restaurant located in Laureles that is cheap and tasty! You can get all kinds of tacos – al pastor, birria, beef, shrimp and chicken. They are only about $4,500 COP ($1.10 USD) per taco.
This is quite popular and you might have to wait in line on weekends. The birria is better at Pelavacas but this is a great option if you want cheap, delicious Mexican cuisine.
Best Menu del Dia In Medellin
Ever heard of menu del dias? Well…if you’re anything like us – they are going to be your new favorite thing! Here’s how it works: you get to a restaurant that serves a menu del dia (menu of the day) – for a set price you will get an appetizer (usually soup), a main dish and a juice.
This is a great way to save some cash but get good value for money! Here are some of our best restaurants in Medellin to have a menu del dia:
Uno Mas Uno (Laureles) – best menu del dia, period
Our #1 spot for menu del dia is Uno Mas Uno. They have a good variety throughout the week – you’ll never eat the same meal twice! The portions are pretty generous and we were fully (even Matthew) whenever we left.
They had flavorful soups for their appetizer – veggie, chicken, etc. For the main, they did some good pasta dishes, chicken dishes with potatoes or rice and more. The drinks were usually a juice – tamarindo or hibiscus, etc.
It was one of the cheaper menu del dia’s in the neighborhood of Laureles for about $15,000 COP. We recommend going early (around 12pm) because it does fill up pretty quickly!
Cafe Cliche (Laureles) – best variety for menu del dia
Just a few blocks down the road from Uno Mas Uno is Cafe Cliche. If we couldn’t get a seat at UMU, we went to 2nd best restaurant in Medellin for menu del dia – Cafe Cliche.
The menu del dia here is much more elevated and the dishes are much more creative. We went several times and never had the same dish! My favorite meal here was this slow-cooked beef with rice and squash. It was delicious!
The menu del dia at Cafe Cliche costs $17,000 COP and there is usually plenty of space!
Restaurante Santas Melonas (Poblado) – cheapest Colombian menu del dia
If you want Colombian food for lunch, Restaurante Santas Melonas has you covered! They offer a menu del dia on the weekdays serving good Colombian dishes.
It’s a very basic, no-frills restaurant that serves generous portions for their menu del dia. This has also got to be one of the cheapest menu del dia offers in the city for less than $12,000 COP ($3 USD)!
Don Magolo (Poblado) – local spot for Colombian menu del dia
Don Magolo is located across the street from one of our favorite coworking spaces in Medellin – Open Space. If you happen to work from there for the day – Don Magolo is a cheap and tasty option for lunch that’s close by!
You can order a bandeja paisa for only 15,000 COP while their menu del dia is more like $14,000 COP which comes with a soup of the day, a protein, rice and/or salad.
Mondongo’s (locations everywhere) – local’s favorite Colombian chain
Want to try local Colombian food?
This seems to be the best restaurant in Medellin to try Colombian dishes for the first time. The locals love to eat here especially on a Sunday for lunch, I’m still not sure why that time specifically but we saw lines every Sunday out the street of people waiting to eat at Mondongo’s.
You can try all kinds of Colombian dishes which make it a great place to go for your first time! The chicharron and bandeja paisa are some of the most popular dishes.
Best Mid-Range Restaurants in Medellin
Looking for the best restaurants in Medellin with a mid-range budget? There are plenty of options for you with a variety of cuisines to choose from.
WOKHOUSE/Mekong – Thai, Asian food
Craving some Asian food? We were too! I must say that Asian food wasn’t the best as we traveled through Latin America.
But when you crave it, any restaurant will do. Thankfully, WOKHOUSE and Mekong are great choices when you’re living in Medellin! Both restaurants are located in Poblado and they have a great ambiance to dine in. They have curries (red and green), pad thai and more Asian dishes.
SMASH Avocaderia – Smashed Avo, Healthy Food
Feeling like a health reset? SMASH is a great health food restaurant located in Laureles. You can order an acai bowl, various types of toasts, salads and wraps!
The best thing about SMASH was that it’s pretty affordable for healthy food. A single avocado toast would cost only $12,000 COP ($2.85 USD)!
Chef Burger – Best Burgers In Town
People love Chef Burger because it’s relatively cheap and the burgers taste amazing!
If you’re craving a burger, go to everyone’s favorite – Chef Burger! It’s loved by the local, expats and everyone in between. Chef Burger is a popular restaurant with many locations across Medellin with
Oh La La Bistro – French Bistro, Comfort Food
We discovered Oh La La Bistro from our French friend, Jeremy. He went to dinner here and posted it on Instagram – the food looked amazing! Once we moved to Poblado, this was the first restaurant we went to for date night!
The dish at Oh La La that sold me was the “xyz dish” and let me tell you – it did not disappoint! At night, it’s a cozy and intimate ambiance which is perfect for date night.
Al Alma – Best Brunch Spot
Want a cute brunch spot to eat some smashed avo (as Matthew would say)?
Look no further than Al Alma! It’s a great spot with a huge selection of breakfast/brunch options. We often went here for brunch because it’s just the best one in Medellin. Some of our favorite dishes at Al Alma were Avocado Toast, croissant with serrano ham and campesino plate. They also have great pastries and coffee at Al Alma! You can’t go wrong!
Caduff Pasta Fresca – Homemade Pasta
If you love pasta, you have to try Caduff Pasta Fresca! It’s only handmade pasta and it’s absolutely one of the best restaurants in Medellin for pasta. I mean – you can choose from 11 different types of pasta. It’s gotta be good right?
You can order carbonara, pesto, arribbiatta and even lasagna at Caduff Pasta Fresca! The price for their pasta dishes starts from $20,000 COP – $40,000 COP ($5-$10 USD) which is very reasonable for handmade pasta.
Tamagotchi Ramen Bar – Great Vibes, Decent Ramen
Craving a bowl of ramen? We were in Medellin near the start of the rainy season and a warm bowl of ramen is just the perfect pair.
There’s another famous spot for ramen called Ichiraku Ramen but after spending some time reading the Google reviews – we opted for Tamagotchi Ramen instead! We recommend going early for dinner service because it’s a small space that fills up very quickly!
You feel like you’ve stepped into Japan once you enter. It’s a whole experience from the small little wet towel to the decor and more! The ramen is decent, I wouldn’t say it’s the best ramen we’ve had but it was pretty good for Latin America.
Bao Bei Cocina Asiática Contemporánea – Best Baos And Asian Food
Matthew and I love Asian food and this place stood out in Medellin. It’s only open from 6:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday! We think that means it’s good enough to only be open for a select time.
Judging by the Google reviews, it’s an awesome place to have Asian food like their famous bao buns, katsu curry or xiao long bao (the soup dumplings). It’s a very small space that’s got a vibrant atmosphere. The only thing is…they don’t take reservations and the lines are usually out the door. We recommend going by 6pm to see if you can put your name down (jury’s out whether the list is a thing or not).
Best High-End Restaurants in Medellin
Want to check out the fine dining in Medellin? These are the best restaurants in Medellin to have a high-end culinary experience.
Alambique – Local Favorite For High-End Colombian Food
We’re convinced – one of the best restaurants in Medellin is Alambique.
It might be the best one in terms of taste, flavors and value for money! Our friend, Jeremy who is a real foodie, suggested Alambique one day for lunch. He said it was always booked out every time he tried to go. We went for an early lunch and easily snagged a table! If you want to go for dinner, reserve ahead of time.
Alambique is a little hidden away. It’s located near the main street in Poblado and it doesn’t look like much from the outside but keep walking through – trust me you’ll know once you’ve arrived. It’s a whole vintage and rustic aesthetic that’s quite cool!
And the food? Don’t even get us started! Some of the best food we tried in all of Medellin. Seriously – one of the best restaurants in Medellin, definitely top 5 in our opinion.
OCI.mde – Best Short Ribs In Town
OCE.mde has to have some of the most famous ribs in Colombia. We have heard about their short ribs from our friends and it’s all over other foodie blogs! It’s been cooked for hours and you get a sweet, crunchy and savory flavor bomb in your mouth.
Make sure to reserve a table a couple of days in advance because it’s a very popular restaurant. We tried to go one night but it was full by 7pm! Our friend, Jeremy, went another time after our failed attempt and he said the short ribs were worth every bit of effort!
El Cielo – Fine Dining, Gastronomy Experience
Looking for the best restaurant in Medellin for a fine dining experience?
Look no further than the coveted Michelin star restaurant, El Cielo! The chef is very knowledgeable and offers interesting, unique flavor profiles. They have a 20-course tasting menu that goes for 3 hours minimum. If you want a whole fine dining experience for a special occasion – this might be the perfect place for you!
Restaurante Cuon – Asian Cuisine With Rainforest Vibes
Our dear friend, Keren, recommended Restaurante Cuon for our farewell dinner with Jody and Sander. She said she will never say no to dining at Cuon!
Once we entered the restaurant, we could see why! It felt as if we stepped into a rainforest with all the lovely greenery and fairy lights. Make sure to keep walking through because the courtyard area is in the back of the restaurant and it’s the best place to sit!
The food was good but portions could be bigger – it’s more of an Asian restaurant where you share small plates of food with your date or friends. There’s still an option to order individual meals but they told us they come at all different times and some might have to eat ahead of others which we just waited for each other.
The food was pretty good, the service on the other hand was a little cold. Maybe we just caught them on an off night but it was still worth a visit overall!
Don Diablo – Best Steakhouse In Medellin
It’s always debated in the Medellin Facebook Groups which is the best steakhouse in Medellin.
Don Diablo always gets mentioned at least once. You can order several cuts of steak – porterhouse, t-bone, sirloin and more. The service needs a little improvement but overall still a great place to enjoy a steak. The vibe is very cool and what you imagine a steakhouse restaurant would look like!
Dos Santos Cantina – Premium Mexican Dining Experience
Fancy some live music, dancing and good Mexican food?
You can’t go wrong with Dos Santos Cantina. The whole dining experience from start to finish is a lot of fun and laughter! The Mexican food is taken to the next level starting with the presentation style, the taste, and the flavors.
Dos Santos Cantina is a stunning restaurant that you can tell has put a ton of effort into the design and decor of the whole space.
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Medellin
Not sure where to eat as a vegetarian? Here are some of the best restaurants in Medellin for vegetarian or vegan food in town.
Restaurante Kai – Vegan Bali Vibes In Medellin
Restaurante Kai brings us back to our Bali digital nomad days. From the wooden aesthetic to the tropical decor and the beautiful plate designs of food.
This is one of the best restaurants in Medellin for vegan food. They have ‘fake meat’ and have things like chicken or pulled pork burgers. You can also order tacos, and health/buddha bowls too!
Restaurante Kai is the ultimate spot in Medellin for vegans!
Cafe Zorba – Best Vegetarian Pizza
We only heard great things about Cafe Zorba. They only serve vegetarian pizza but it’s darn good pizza at that! You can choose from having a red base or a white one. There are also vegan pizza options!
Our friend Jeremy, which you’ll know by now if you’ve read through this entire blog post) is a real foodie and he tried Cafe Zorba. He said the pizza was worth it! There’s usually a long line outside Cafe Zorba – he went on a Wednesday around 6/6:30pm and still waited nearly 40 minutes for a table. Go early and be prepared to wait!
Cafe Zorba is a top vegetarian restaurant you can’t miss in Medellin!
Betty’s Bowl – Health Bowls & Food
Want a decent acai bowl? There’s no better place than Betty’s Bowls for just that!
They offer healthy food such as tostadas with toppings like avocado, eggs, cheese and pesto. You can choose and make your own health bowls with ingredients like acai, banana, blueberries, orange, pineapple and so much more!
Betty’s Bowls gets bonus points because the food comes out looking very stunning and ‘Instagrammable’.
Our Top 5 Favorite Restaurants Medellin Has To Offer
This is a hard list to make because we had pretty good food during our entire stay. If we had to narrow it down to just 5 of our favorite restaurant in Medellin – this would be it:
- Alambique (Poblado)
- Oh La La Bistro (Poblado)
- Uno Mas Uno (Laureles)
- Pelavacas (Laureles)
- Bao Bei Cocina (Poblado)
You can’t go wrong with any of these options while you’re in Medellin!
Restaurants Medellin – Are They Any Good?
Yes – the best restaurants in Medellin are great and there are plenty of options! We were surprised at how much variety of cuisines there was and how good the quality control is for most restaurants in Medellin.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when you live in Medellin as a digital nomad! Whether you live in Poblado or Laureles, you are always close to good restaurants.
We hope you enjoy the restaurant scene in Medellin as much as we did. Comment below and let us know which restaurant you loved most!