Medellin has an incredible array of dining, restaurants and food spots that travelers adore. Every time we go to Medellin, we’re floored with the cool options for eating, drinking and desserts.

Whether you’re a traveler with a gastronomy passion or a casual guest at great dining locales, you’ve got to see this list of the best places to eat, have a cocktail and grab dessert in Medellin, Colombia.

Let’s jump right in, for where to eat and drink in Medellin, complete with the best places to sit down for brunch, happy hour or a romantic dinner in a garden setting.

I’d like to thank my good friend and Medellin expat Alex of Alex & Ryan Duo Life for contributing her favorite restaurants, bars and dessert shops to this list!

Best lunch restaurants in Medellin

You’re in luck if you’re ready to make a big deal out of brunch and lunch time every day during your Medellin trip. Take a look at these excellent restaurants that serve up delicious delights.

Good Ely

Ely is located in the Wake Hotel and it is a stunning exuberance of great design, open air dining and a beautiful chic space. Here, you’ll find lots of people on laptops, having business lunches or seated alone reading or enjoying a meal.

We went to Ely with Alex and Ryan for lunchtime, and the service and food was excellent. Just look at the photos I took!

Pergamino

Oh, we just love Pergamino — the cafe makes a big appearance in our Medellin travel guide. Having discovered this “best cafe” in Medellin for its excellent coffee (which we take home to the US every time), we’ve also been enjoying Pergamino’s lunch offerings like pancakes, granola, toasts, eggs, waffles, sandwiches and bowls.

All Pergamino locations are also great spots for working remotely, as they have WiFi, bathrooms, great ambiance, cool staff and of course, some of the best coffee drinks in town to go with your meal. Check out our full Pergamino Cafe review.

Floretto Brunch & Coffee

Is Floretto the best brunch in Medellin? We ate at this indoor-outdoor lunch spot right near Parque Lleras and enjoyed being seated in the shade, but with the breeze of the outdoors. I had the chicken bowl and Dan had a smoothie bowl, with some little sides for our toddler daughter. The waitstaff was super friendly and nice! What more could you ask for?

Burdo

Burdo, and anywhere else on this lovely tree-lined pedestrian street, is foodie paradise. Burdo is a restaurant with perfect ambiance and a big range of well-plated food options. Everything is ready for a photo! With tacos, fries, burgers, pancakes and eggs on the menu, everyone in your party will find food to enjoy.

(Also, Burdo is open til 2am on Friday and Saturday, so you can come for midnight snacks and nice cocktails, too.)

Apilados de Autor

Apilados de Autor is a lunch and brunch spot for fresh (and photo-worthy) sandwiches and salad. Come here for bagels with bacon, banh mi sandwiches, French Toast with tiramisu and fresh breads. They also have takeaway breakfast boxes with sandwiches, fruit and a juice.

Alex noticed their Google Map location was not correct, so click on this link to find the actual spot!

Smash Avocaderia

While “avocaderia” isn’t a real word in Spanish, this Medellin spot for smoothies and healthy avocado toast sure is! Smash is known for its acai bowls, fruity pancakes, fresh juices and avocado-filled menu. You can also order online for takeaway.

Betty’s Bowls

I told a friend from our Remote Year network that I was heading to Medellin, and she said, “I see Betty’s Bowls in your future.” Ha!

Betty’s Bowls is a go-to place for tropical smoothie bowls, toasts, bagels, salads, drinks and everything clean and green. The menu is marked with “VEGAN” for plant-based items, which should really help out vegetarian and vegan travelers.

There’s also a cassava waffle, which the menu says is gluten-free (but celiac travelers should double-check with the waitstaff regarding ingredients).

23 Hotel lobby restaurant

The gorgeous and modern plant-themed 23 Hotel has a lobby restaurant and a rooftop bar. It’s usually quiet, and so pretty with nice pizza and apps. Check out the website here and follow the Instagram to see the perfection.

Criminal Taqueria

When we spent a month in Medellin, Criminal Taqueria was our #1 taco spot in El Poblado! It has now expanded to six locations throughout the city. Now that Carrera 35 is a pedestrian-only street, enjoy lots of shaded street-side and sidewalk seating at Criminal, with lots of tables and umbrellas.

You’ll see that it has reviews on Happy Cow for vegetarian and vegan options, too. Check it out on Instagram.

Medellin’s cafes for brunch

In all the research I did regarding the best cafes in Medellin, I found that so many of them serve brunch in addition to coffee. So, that’s where we headed, during our stay in Medellin! At so many of the cafes on my list, we were able to eat eggs, avocado toast, baked goods, fruit bowls and juices.

Most of the cafes serve brunch, but not all, so look at menus beforehand if you’re ready to sit down for a meal. Just remember, like the tip from our Medellin safety guide, to still keep your guard up if you’re coming with a laptop or expensive electronics.

Best spots for drinks and happy hour bars in Medellin

For an afternoon or evening drink, head out to any of Medellin’s cool bars for a cocktail, glass of wine or a beer. You’ll always be in good company (and probably with some amazing views) at these rooftop bars, fun dives and excellent watering holes in the city.

Náufrago Rooftop at the Click Clack Hotel

Náufrago Rooftop Mde. is one of Medellin’s premium rooftop bars and it ticks all the boxes of having beautiful sweeping city views, great cocktails, talented bartenders and trendy ambiance.

Just note that at night, the music might be pretty loud for a party vibe. And if you’re looking for where to stay in Medellin, see how the Click Clack Hotel made it into our list.

NDN

NDN is a classy spot for watching the sun set, or experiencing nightfall in Medellin from up above. Alex says it’s “not pretentious, with nice views,” and that seems like everything you could want in a bar for one of your vacation nights in Medellin. In addition to cocktails that make a splash and are worth a good photo, there’s a sushi-themed food menu.

El Social #2 Tienda Mixta

This is the most fun and casual bar in El Poblado. It has “local awesomeness” with futbol, according to Alex. We have used Social #2 as a meeting spot for us and other digital nomads or people we’ve met from coworking on past trips to Medellin. It’s the type of place where you spend a while, kicking back drinks and yummy Colombian bar food.

Best dinner restaurants in Medellin

When you return home from Medellin, everyone will ask where you ate your meals, especially where you went for dinner. Use this list of the best restaurants in Medellin to score some amazing food in trendy spaces.

Carmen

Carmen is well-known as one of the top restaurants in Medellin, for contemporary cuisine. It was voted one of Latin America’s top 50 restaurants in recent years.

Carmen has exquisite service, four or so different areas for seating (including a back garden) and a serious menu. Fueling Medellin as a culinary destination, Carmen’s staff works hard to create elegance and perfection. See more about the restaurant at the website.

OCI.MDE

OCI.MDE is a very cool and sophisticated restaurant located on a leafy street. The menu is refreshed every six months, to reflect the best local products, like fish from the Colombian Pacific region, flowers, vegetables and herbs. It’s “elevated Colombian cuisine,” with perfect cocktails to go with meals. Alex suggests making a reservation.

Restaurante Cuon

Restaurante Cuon is a pan-Asian venue in Medellin with exceptional atmosphere and cocktails. It’s located in the Manila neighborhood, and has a finely-decorated interior with thought and precision going into every dish. Check out the website to book a table, and the very popular Instagram to see the food.

Kaime

Attention vegan and plant-based travelers: Kaime is your dinner spot for vegan cuisine done right in Medellin! The woman-owned restaurant is clean and uplifting, with wood tones, open shelving and rattan lighting. Even for those who are not vegan eaters, dining here may give you a new outlook on eating plant-based. You can see the excellent reviews at Happy Cow.

Helecho

Helecho is the spot for vegan sushi, and based on amazing reviews, there is nothing bad to say about this plant-based restaurant that travelers love. It’s a casual restaurant designed like a Japanese sushi bar, and it’s a good spot to go with friends or new travel buds.

El Zorro y La Gitana

This friendly restaurant for pizza has creative pizzas with everything from Gruyere to sriracha as specialty ingredients on their pies. See more at the website menu.

La Revuelta

We had a great (and filling) meal at this cute Mexican restaurant with indoor-outdoor seating in a courtyard with sun coverings. With a fun vibe and lots of space to hang out in, we enjoyed the creative taco menu and vegetarian options. There’s also cocktails and cold drinks for when you need to cool off.

La Revuelta was super nice about us having a toddler in our party, and while we waited for the food, we were able to visit the boutique store in the same area for some distraction. If you’re wondering about Medellin with little ones, visit our guide to Medellin with kids.

Best desserts in Medellin

After dinner (especially a spicy or hearty one), we’re ready for dessert. Here’s where to go for your sweet treats in Medellin.

Amor-Acuyá Gelato

We had to stop at Amor-Acuyá Gelato for their award-winning gelato! Looking at all the flavors is pretty overwhelming (it was easy for me, though, because I went for the vegan Frutos Rojos sorbet). Everything is delicious. Keep in mind that the hours are 1-7:30pm or 8pm most days of the week, and 1-7pm on Sunday.

Tres Trigos

Tres Trigos is where you go in Medellin for great breads to take with you on any of the great best day trips from Medellin, or take back to your hotel. Tres Trigos (which means “three wheats”) is a bakery, serving up mouth-watering croissants, cinnamon rolls and snacks.

Best cafés in Medellin

Medellin’s best coffee shops usually double as cafes for ordering brunch or light lunch items. Try these recommendations!

Pergamino

Like we mentioned above, Pergamino has multiple locations, which are all fun and have good souvenirs and “merch” to take home. As a regular, Alex recommends that you buy your coffee here or at their duty-free, 24-hour new airport store inside the terminal to save on luggage space!

Urbania

Urbania is a gorgeous and expertly-designed coffee shop in the Manila section of El Poblado. Alex says to buy coffee here too, and you won’t regret it! See more about Urbania in our list of the best cafes in Medellin.

Ganso y Castor

Ganso and Castor is more like a general cafe. It has a refreshing and minimalist design, and everyone recommends trying the avocado toast, sandwiches, French Toast, salads, grain bowls and coffee drinks.