Best Restaurants In Medellin By Category
This blog post about the best Medellin dining options is sponsored by The Belmonte Penthouse, a 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom luxury experience penthouse in Medellin complete with a hot tub, VIP concierge, sky shower, dimmable and mood lighting throughout.
Welcome to the undiscovered foodie paradise of the world where you can find high-end steaks for $10, tasty vegan food, ribs specialists, and even legit Chinese fast food.
In terms of dining in Medellin, they have it all. Eat next to a river, eat at a restaurant with a view of Medellin, fine dining, Turisk food, street food.
Jura Kub – Amazonian Food
Carrera 34, one block from The Belmonte Penthouse, hosts the best restaurants in Medellin. From here on out, we call it Restaurant Street. It’s one block with a variety of really quality restaurants. You’ll find Peruvian, Middle Eastern, a steakhouse, Asian, Mexican, fusion, and even a pork-only restaurant. But none of those compare to hidden gem and the best restaurant in Medellin Jura Kub serving Amazonian food with a flare.
Now, this is a famous street. Botanico and Relato, located in the middle of this street, are maybe the two most famous restaurants in Medellin.
But Jura Kub is unknown. Even people who know this street, don’t know Jura Kub. First, it’s the only restaurant on the other side of the street. And it’s visually underwhelming from the outside.
You’d walk right by it and either not notice it, or not be inspired to enter. Even the entrance is unspectacular. You enter from the neighbor’s patio, make a 90-degree left turn into what seems like a rundown home, then a 90-degree right turn into the patio of the restaurant.
In fact, I just ate on this street with the owner of the hotel across the street from The Belmonte Penthouse, a self-proclaimed foodie, and she had no idea the restaurant was even there. She’s probably eaten on that street dozens of times. Amazing!
It’s truly a hidden gem restaurant, but it’s more than that. It’s an experience. But you’re going to pay for it. Each drink costs about 50-60K COP ($15) and a meal to share for two could be 200K COP ($55). As I mentioned, it’s more than a meal. It’s like a show with the majority of dishes coming with fire, exquisite presentations, dry ice, or some other visual feat. You’ll be welcomed with an alcoholic digestive firey drink on the house.
Jura Kub is best described with a video. In the meantime, here are some photos:
Kung Food – Chinese Fast Food
This was a recent discovery of mine, a small walk-up location on the walking street of Provenza, they service delicious fast-food Chinese. Highly recommended the branded Kung Food Edamame and the Bao dessert.
Basically, everything is tasty on this menu besides the dumplings. They’re bland.
Next door, and by the same owner, you’ll find a Taqueria if that suits your fancy.
Restaurante Mu – Ribs Only
Confession: I still haven’t been here. The last time I stopped by, if I recall correctly, they are open only on Friday and Saturdays and only for something like a few hours.
Anyone been there? Should it stay on the list or be removed?
I like the idea of having a specialty. They ONLY serve ribs. That’s cool.
678 Korean BBQ
This is my favorite restaurant in Medellin and the only “cook-it-yourself” one that I’m aware of.
It’s hidden on a cul-de-sac though still busy. The word is out on this one. In fact, you may need reservations.
If you don’t know how Korean BBQ works, you order a selection of meats and it comes with bao buns, lettuce, mouth-watering sauces, rice, and other accouterments. There’s a grill in the center of the table, cook at a pace you wish and enjoy with some Soju, Korean liquor.
Amsterdam Plaza – Dining Shopping Center
Amsterdam plaza is the newest dining addition to Medellin opened in late 2021. It’s a shopping mall dedicated to dining. There is a mix of options there from casual to fine dining.
When I visited, I saw Mexican, Peruvian, a few Asian food options, a steakhouse, and I’m sure there are some more options.
I ate at Sushi Market and for two people it was only 115,000 COP or about $30 including a vase of Saki containing 8 small shots.
Restaurante ítica – Personalized Dining
Full disclosure, I haven’t actually been here, but the idea is too cool not to mention. If you have been or go based on this article, let us know how it is in the comments.
Picture this: you walk into a nondescript restaurant in a random neighborhood. Looks average by all measures. But, something seems amiss when the waiter tells you there is no menu and the chef will be with you shortly.
Ten minutes later the chef comes out and asks you a few pointed questions among some light conversation. He then tells you what he’s going to cook for you based on your preferences.
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous (and, you’re already in Colombia so you’re probably feeling adventurous), you can just trust his judgment and be surprised with a meal in twenty minutes.
Roll Up – Shushi Reimagined
Sushi burrito? Sushi hamburger? Sushi cocktail? Sushi dessert? Sushi taco, pizza, anything you can think of, even traditional sushi is served here.
Moderately priced, open as a walk-in style causal dining experience, I recommend it for the Instagram photos alone. Just wait to see how many replies you get from your followers when you post a photo like this.
Ceres Mercado Organico – Vegan, Farm-to-Table
This Medellin vegan restaurant is near The Belmonte Penthouse and comes with a fine selection of a fresh organic market and other items for purchase.
This is a true farm-to-table vegan restaurant, but the stuff here is fresh and you feel your body thanking you after eating here.
La Otra Estacion – Traditional Colombian
After 5 years of consistently visiting Medellin and having this place saved on my maps, I finally visited it thanks to writing this article.
Authentic, hole-in-the-wall Colombian food and vibe right in the middle of Poblado. They only serve one thing all day, a menu of the day, a style which makes it easy. It’s cheap and tasty. It’s not going to be the healthy option, though.
Be careful. Google says it’s a 14-minute walk from The Belmonte Penthouse, but it is up a slight incline. You’ll have an appetite by the time you arrive.
Bao Bei – Contemporary Asian
Don’t just show up here for two reasons. First, reservations are required for this popular hole-in-the-wall joint. Even with reservations, plan on getting a drink nearby and waiting an extra 20-40 minutes. Second, the schedule is limited. There’s a ramen place next door that I frequent and ever time I’ve been there, I’ve seen a disappointed soul stand in front of the door to Bao Bei during diner time and cursing their luck.
The owner is still cooking away in the kitchen of this authentic, contemporary Asian food restaurant in Medellin. If you know me, you know I’m absolutely not a foodie. But I admit the food here was astoundingly delicious.
Mercado del Rio – Food Court
A multi-level western-style food court with numerous different food options and indoor/outdoor seating. There is a bar on the upper level overlooking the entire location. It’s going to be more expensive than normal Colombian prices, but it’s also close enough where you don’t have to worry about much planning or traffic.
Picnic Medellin – Outdoor Dining With A View
About a 30-minute drive from The Belmonte Penthouse, imagine a picnic scene with a nice view of Medellín. You pick a selection of grilled meats or patacones (just order them, trust me) and enjoy them with great conversation and a lovely view.
Also a good date spot. Be sure to check the weather, as the experience is mostly ruined with rain. If you want to up the romantics, you can rent a selection of a few small cabanas that are more private.
Alambique – Colombian Cuisine, Modern Twist
This is in the upstairs part of an art studio. Look for the sign that reads “Alambique” on the front of the building.
They make traditional Colombian food with a modern twist. The portions are large. The ambiance is tranquil. The prices are fair. The seating is comfy.
There is one small table on the upper level which is super private and romantic and set a little higher than everyone else. If you’re looking to up the ante, be sure to reserve this spot as it’s going to be the best seat in the restaurant.
Truchera Arcoiris – Catch A Fish Restaurant
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been to this one either. But, again, it’s too cool not to include on my list of best restaurants in Medellin.
Here you fish to catch your own trout and they cook it for you on the spot.
Have you been there? Tell me about it in the comments.
Colosal Restaurante – With A View
If you want a combination of high service, excellent views of Medellin and delicious food, here you go. Let me serve it to you on a silver platter.
But you pay for what you get here. It’s pricey. This is a rather famous restaurant so you may have already been recommended this one so I won’t go on about it.
Only a 10-minute drive from The Belmonte Penthouse.
Madolce Gamestaurant – Video Game Restaurant
Go explore the newest up-and-coming neighborhood in Medellin, Belen, before you enjoy good food, a relaxed atmosphere, and classic video games.
Poke Bowl – “Hawaiian Sushi”
For a quick, tasty, cheap bite near The Belmonte Penthouse, you can’t beat this dining option in Medellin.
Walk there in a hundred seconds, be eating in under 10 minutes. It’s cheap and the combinations are nearly endless.
Mention this blog to get a free house-made drink with your purchase of a bowl.
Yacky Chan – Asian Food
It’s kind of intimidating to enter. You’re not sure whether it’s a bar or a restaurant. It appears to be something like 5 levels high. Well, after three years and in preparation for this article, I entered. And, I’m glad I did. Delicious food and ambiance. Notice the attention to detail with the shark sushi dish..
District 1 – Vietnamese
If you’re headed out to Laureles, I encourage you to visit this Vietnamese restaurant. It’s very good. And, if you want Vietnamese food, it’s one of your only choices. Being in Laureles, you won’t need a reservation.
The Carmen Trio – Carmen, Moshi, Don Diego
Remember when I talk about the hidden side of Provenza in my article about the best nightlife in Medellin? Well, in this hidden part you will find a series of three restaurants one after the other, all with the same owner, and all with delicious food and drink. That’s the upside. Downside is that they are almost always full and on the expensive side.
Carmen is the most famous of the trio specializing in a fine dining experience. They receive the best ingredients of all the restaurants in Medellin in my opinion. The octopus was the best I’ve ever had. Carmen, surprise, is the owner.
Don Diablo – Fine dining steakhouse and contemporary bistro. They promote 100% grass fed Colombian beef. This has the nicest interior in my opinion. It’s a bit confusing, this is downstairs and Moshi is upstairs with the same entrance.
Moshi – A fusion between Japanese and Colombian food. I actually haven’t eaten here so if you do, please tell us in the comments how it was. Moshi is the cat’s name.
Sushi Bar – The final stop is the no-name sushi bar. You won’t find it on Google maps, but it is part of the same set of high-end restaurants because the waiter goes between the two locations (when you order a drink, they make it next door). There are only 8 seats in this place at the bar.
OCI + Panka – Modern + Peruvian/Japanese
Only recently did I realize these are two distint resturatns though they appear to the average person as siamosese twins. They’re definitely related.
OCI serves a modern, fancy menu that changes every 6 months. Basically everything is good.
Panka, technically to the right of OCI, describes itself as “Contemporary signature cuisine with a Nippon approach and a Peruvian trend.” Nippon is contemporary fancy person speak for Japan.
The bonus is that these two locations are about a hundred feet from The Belmonte Penthouse and even if it’s raining you can get the entrance with minimal water damage.
Parrilla Dejame Q’ Te Cuente – Colombian Bar & Grill
This winner is a more local choice with high quality steaks. They’re consistent, they don’t show off. Simple and good. Not a good date selection for a gold digger.
Delirio – Fine Dining
I was originally recommended this restaurant with locations in both Provenza and Laureles as a fine dining option. That it is not. However, it’s got an interesting menu. I ordered Spring Rolls and wonton tacos. But you’ll also find soups, salads, Asian dishes like noodles and rive, steaks, quesadillas, Mexican soup, bowls, and a nice seletion of desserts. Oveall, I liked this restaurant. I especially liked when my friend asked for her drink to go, they basically made her a new one with good presentation (it was one of the drinks with sweetener around the brim). That’s good attention to detail and the food was tasty. However, being in Medellin with a solid restaurant scene, Delirio is just another good restaurant without anything overly special for me.
Hall Of Shame – Tandoori Halal – Indian Pakistani
Sometimes foreigners are a little afraid of the water in Medellin. The water in Medellin is safe and drinkable. I even tested it. What you should be scared of is the Indian food here. Stay away. I threw up 4x starting about 2 hours after consuming a meal there, only attributable to food poisoning. In summary: not tasty, expensive, diarrhea and vomit.
Before I let you go, I must add one last-minute, super-authentic Colombian restaurant to this list. It’s called Marmaleo and it’s beautiful, the setting and the food.
My good Colombian friend Martin took me there. I definitely wouldn’t have found it without him, and even if I had, I’m unsure if I would have driven up the long, dark, sketchy, driveway into what surely I would have thought is a Colombian druglords Finca.
So good it gets two photos. This is the entrance:
Now that we got the pluses out of the way, let’s discuss the negative.
There’s really only one thing missing from the Medellin food scene and it’s so basic and it’s so sad and I miss it: Mexican Street Tacos. The only tacos you’ll find here the fancy-schmancy ones.
Yo! Shout out to Medellin restaurant chefs and entrepreneurs: we want simple tacos. Tortilla, onion, cilantro, and meat. Get creative with the salsas. Throw me a dozen differnet salsas. I’m in.
When you come to Medellin, the Poblado neighborhood is where 95% of the best restaurants are. That makes it easy. They’re also going to be priced about 50% cheaper than their American neighbors.
Do you have a restaurant in Medellin that I should try and add to the list? I’ll see you in the comments.