Medellín is an up-and-coming destination for foodies, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado.
Once marred by violence, drug crime, and a controversial reputation, Medellín has undergone a radical transformation, blossoming into one of the most progressive cities in Latin America.
Amid public investment projects in poorer neighborhoods, innovative public transportation systems, and leafy parks, new, world-class restaurants are sprouting up seemingly overnight in the La Ciudad de Eterna Primavera, or the City of Eternal Spring.
Today, exceptional local and international restaurants speckle the city. But if you want to witness Medellín’s culinary renaissance at its finest, the vibrant barrio of El Poblado is a natural place to begin.
As Medellín continues its rise into becoming the next international foodie destination, this prestigious, fast-growing neighborhood is leading the way. The lush, upscale El Poblado is home to innovative restaurants from top chefs from Colombia and around the world.
You could spend weeks exploring the dynamic and delicious restaurant scene in Medellín. In this article, we’ll guide you through El Poblado, one of the city’s best places for food.
Cambria Café Resto
A cozy, off-the-beaten-path El Poblado gem, Cambria draws diners with a creative menu of international eats. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes pull inspiration from French, Italian, and Colombian cuisine.
Start your day with their version of French toast, powered in brown sugar and drizzled in a sweet red berry sauce.
For lunch, go for the salmon rolls served with a decadent creamy cheese, or go vegetarian with their savory crepes with cheese, spinach, and sauteed vegetables.
Pair meals with a selection from their extensive wine and cocktail list, which includes inspired concoctions like the Black Thai Spritzer with white wine and soda or the fruity but potent Watermelon Cooler.
Still have room? The carrot cake is not to be missed.
Cambria Café Resto: Carrera 43E #12-16, Medellín
No foodie tour of El Poblado would be complete without mention of La Provincia, one of Medellín’s most long-standing and beloved restaurants.
Dishing out generous portions of Italian and French-inspired fare, La Provincia shines when it comes to seafood. Many dishes are designed to share, making the restaurant an ideal date spot.
Savor stars like squid ink risotto and the catch-of-the-day with basil and pistachio pesto, then dig into unmissable desserts like passion fruit crème brûlée amid warm, red-painted walls and French windows.
Service is [almost] as impeccable as the lobster fettuccine, and reservations are recommended.
La Provincia: Carrera 42 #3 Sur, Medellín
Café Zorba (Vegetarian)
Long hailed as one of the finest vegetarian and vegan pizza joints in Medellín, Café Zorba features an unassuming facade that doesn’t betray the exceptional eats that lie within.
Once inside, you’ll be greeted with exposed walls decorated with local artwork and a roaring open kitchen. While the restaurant offers a variety of tapas and dessert, the specialty here is vegetarian pizza.
Browse the menu to choose from red and white pies, like the red marinara or the white chimichurri with white wine mushrooms and Monterey jack cheese.
Pizzas come in sharing sizes sliced into six portions. For dinner and a show, visit during one of their regular live music, art expedition, or independent theater nights.
Café Zorba: Parque Lineal de la Presidenta, Calle 8 #42-33, Medellín
As any local will assure you, Mondogos is where it’s at if you’re after traditional local cuisine.
Located on the bustling Calle 10, Mondongo draws both locals and tourists with its superbly executed Colombian classics.
Their signature dish is unquestionably the sopa de mondongo, a hearty tripe soup served with avocado, banana, and corn cake arepas.
If offals make you uneasy, you can also try the juicy grilled chicken paired with a heaping helping of avocado.
We recommend coming on Sundays at lunchtime to experience the full glory of flocks of locals and tourists chowing down on hearty authentic eats.
Mondongos: Calle 10 #38-38, Medellín
Cooking up modern and traditional foods within a stylish space, Carmen is frequently named one of Medellín’s finest.
The restaurant is spearheaded by a Cordon Bleu-trained Colombian-American husband and wife team, who fold regional ingredients from local purveyors into inspired meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes.
Consider ordering the chef’s tasting menu (available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions), which includes seven courses with wine pairings.
Savor your meal in the elegant dining room overlooking the kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows, or take a seat outside to sip creative cocktails in the leafy garden.
Carmen: Carrera 36 #10A-27, Medellín
Spearheaded by the Michelin-starred Chef Laura Londoño, Ocio places its emphasis on slow-cooking, spending hours tenderizing and enriching local meats.
Try the 12-hour roasted pork short rib with garlic caramel and lemon, or go vegetarian with entrees like the roasted eggplant, goat cheese, and tomato jam.
Oci: Carrera 33 #721, Medellín
A favorite among breakfast and brunch lovers in El Poblado, Betty Bowl’s whips up a variety of fresh bowls topped with fruits and acai berries, blending in goodies like coconut milk and yogurt.
Along with bowls, the popular spot—beloved by backpackers and digital nomads—offers toast topped with egg, avocado, apple, or cheese, in addition to fresh juices and coffee.
Betty Bowl’s: Carrera 32D #7A-77, Medellín
Perched on the rooftop of an art gallery, Alambique boasts a trendy vibe that complements its inspired menu.
Sip on thoughtful cocktails while awaiting Latin American, slow-cooked dishes. On some nights, you can enjoy delicious dining while being serenaded by live music.
Note that Alambique can be tricky to find. To enter, go through the painted blue doors and follow the staircase past the art gallery.
Alambique: Carrera 41 #10-6, Medellín
These are just a small handful of amazing foodie destinations within El Poblado and there are a myriad of choices beyond this neighborhood so when you’re choosing your place to stay with Lifeafar for your upcoming trip to Medellín, you can be safe in the knowledge that wherever you choose, you’ll be surrounded by excellent dining out options.