The revitalization and resurgence of Medellín that began in the early 2000s has also led to culinary revolution, with countless new dining options popping up throughout the city. The best neighborhoods for dining are Provenza and El Poblado and the Zona M in Envigado.
Mondongo is a tripe stew, a Colombian comfort food.Mondongo’s (Cra. 70 No. C3-43, tel. 4/411-3434, 11:30am-9:30pm daily, COP$20,000) is a well-known and popular place for typical Colombian food and for drinks with friends. Mondongo is a tripe stew, a Colombian comfort food. In addition to the Carrera 70 location there is another Mondongo’s on the busy Calle 10 in El Poblado (Cl. 10 No. 38-38, tel. 4/312-2346) that is a popular drinking hole as well. They’ve even got a location in Miami.
Another popular place on the Carrera 70 strip is La Tienda (Cra. 70 Circular 3-28, tel. 4/260-6783, 10am-2am daily). It’s a festive restaurant that morphs into a late-night drinking place as Medellín evenings wear on. Their bandeja paisa is famous. It’s a signature Antioquian dish that includes beans, rice, sausages, and pork rinds.
Along the Avenida Las Palmas above El Poblado are several large and famous grilled meat and comida típica restaurants. They are especially popular on weekend afternoons. Hato Viejo (Cl. 16 No. 28-60, Av. Las Plamas, tel. 4/268-5412 or 4/268-6811, noon-11pm daily, COP$25,000) is a popular place for a weekend lunch with the gang. On Friday nights they have live music. San Carbón (Cl. 15A No. 30-80, tel. 4/311-7602, noon-10pm weekdays, noon-2am on weekends, COP$29,000) often has live music Wednesday-Sunday. Specialties include barbecue pork ribs and pepper steak.
The Provenza area has a number of cute and original Colombian specialty restaurants. Cazuelas de Mi Tierra (Cra. 37 No. 8A-116, tel. 4/448-6810, 8am-5pm Mon.-Wed., 8am-7pm Thurs.-Sat., 10am-4pm Sun., COP$20,000) has a special each day and always plenty of hangover-combating creamy cazuelas (stews).
Mi Buñuelo (Cl. 8 No. 35-33, tel. 4/311-5370, 6:30am-8pm Mon.-Sat., 6:30am-3pm Sun.), meanwhile, is a tribute to those unassuming, perfectly round, fried balls of dough, buñuelos. Arepitas Pa’ Papa (Cra. 34 No. 7-73, tel. 4/352-2455, 11am-2:30pm and 6pm-10pm Mon.-Sat., COP$15,000) lets you create an arepa (cornmeal cake) with your favorite toppings.
Queareparaenamorarte (tel. 4/542-0011, cell tel. 316/741-4458, 12:30pm-8:30pm Mon.-Wed., 12:30pm-10:30pm Thurs.-Sat., 12:30pm-7pm Sun., COP$25,000) is not your typical comida típica restaurant. Juilian, owner, chef, and expert on Colombian cuisine, has traveled the country over and has brought the secrets back from grandmothers’ kitchens from the Amazon to Santa Marta.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Colombia.