What to eat and where to eat in Medellin. The top three.
Traditional Colombian food does not seem to be healthy, but it is quite regionally diverse. In Medellin, trying the regional cuisine is a must. It’s a huge city and finding what to eat and where can be overwhelming for first time visitors. So we enlisted help and this is our top three foodie list. The first two dishes are, without doubt, dishes that every local says are the dishes that sum up Medellin/ Paisa food. Number three in our list is the number one for the experience .
1. Bandeja Paisa
This is the number one dish to try in Medellin. It often arrives on a platter (or oven tray) as it is so huge. You won’t find it further north.
Bandeja Paisa is a collection of 10 different food items and about a billion calories on your plate. Always rice, a chorizo sausage, a deep fried strip of belly pork, some ground beef, a fried plantain, some beans cooked in a bacon hock stock, avocado, Arepas, fried beef, spicy sauce, sometimes a fried egg on top and about a fork full of salad. You can order extra meat items too! A good place to try this dish is Hacienda who have two restaurants in town. Also look out for causal cafes near the metro stations. A similar, slightly smaller version is often eaten for breakfast (it comes with hot chocolate, just to make sure the calorie level is high enough!).
Mondongo is a soup made of beef stomach lining (tripe) and potato. Sounds grim but looks fabulous, is rich tasting and silky in texture. Served, as most things are here with 1/2 avocado and a banana and some arepas. You put the avocado in the soup and eat. This is a Sunday treat for Medellin families who queue down the road to get into the best places.
Where to eat Mondongo – the top spot for locals is the huge Poblado restaurant, conveniently called after its signature dish : Mondongos.
80% of diners were eating Mondongo on the Sunday we visited. We ordered the steak and it was divine, but next time I’ll be ordering the Mondongo, as it looks so much better here than all the other places we have tried it.
3. Food Trucks
Jump on the bandwagon and eat like a local. Food trucks are now appearing more often and more regularly as the trucking trend feeds the social gatherings in the best barrios. A great way to “meet & eat” with old or new friends. The food might not all be Colombian, but there is something to suit all tastes.
Sunday Night in Medellin and most places are closed for dinner. Then, just like a mirage, a whole row of Food Trucks glowed in the distance. There were 20 “main course” trucks and more for desserts and drinks ! Such a social event with an overwhelming choice of North, South and Central American food trucks. Find these trucks behind the Medellin Museum of Modern Art every Friday and Sunday night.