When looking for cheap eats in Medellin, you don’t have to look far as the city has plenty of affordable eateries to offer as well as street food vendors serving arepas, empanadas, chorizo or other finger food. But we like to challenge ourselves and in this article, so, we cover some of the most exciting cheap eats in Medellin at proper restaurants that can compete against the most popular places the city has to offer. And yes, we also recommend super tasty empanadas and arepas. We applied two simple rules when making this list: 

Rule 1: The food has to be Colombian.
Rule 2: It shouldn’t cost more than 25,000 COP.

With that being said, let’s jump to our recommendations. 
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The best cheap eats in Medellin are: 

 

1. Ajico (22,500 COP) - Ajiacos y Mondongos


When visiting Medellin, you must try Mondongo, which is a typical soup from this region made from beef tripe and tasty herbs. The most famous version can be found at Mondongo’s but does not qualify as a cheap eat according to our definition. You can find a really tasty version for under 25,000 COP at Ajiacos y Mondongos, a famous restaurant that is specialized in soups. We definitely recommend you to try Mondongo here as well, however, their Ajiaco is even tastier! Ajiaco is a typical potato and chicken soup from Bogota. The soup is served with capers and cream, which you can add according to your taste. Once all ingredients are mixed, you get a fresh, savoury, thick soup that is almost a complete meal and it is very satisfying to eat. This restaurant also has a Wall of Fame which Colombian celebrities sign, similar to Mondongo’s (the most famous restaurant in Medellin). Ajiacos y Mondongos is a much more authentic restaurant compared to Mondongo’s and we highly recommend you give it a try!

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Ajiacos y Mondongos.

Relevant food article: Best Mondongo in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Ajiacos (22,500 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Mondongo (22,500 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Cazuela De Frijoles (22,500 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Delicious, cheap Colombian food!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
The Wall of Fame.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Plenty of recognition by Colombian celebrities.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
Typical Colombian food for a bargain!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
The traditional atmosphere at Ajiacos y Mondongos!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Ajiacos y Mondongos
A highly recommended affordable restaurant in Medellin!
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2. Roasted Chicken with Arepas & Papas (18,300 COP) - Pollos a la Brasa Mario La América


Pollos a la Brasa Mario La América is a type of Colombian restaurant in Medellin that I simply love and look for in every city I visit. What kind of type of restaurant am I talking about? This restaurant is in business since 1968, specializing in grilled Asado chicken. They do one thing and that one thing they do, they do it really good. Half a chicken with four arepas and potatoes only costs you 18,300 COP. As you might expect with these kinds of prices and flavours, this place is often crowded. Especially during lunchtime, there often is a line. But here is the catch. Most customers come here to pick up the grilled chicken and the restaurant itself is often empty. So you can wait while enjoying a drink and air-conditioning in peace while they prepare your juicy chicken. Instead of cutlery, they give you plastic gloves so you can eat the chicken like a real carnivore: with your hands!

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Pollos a la Brasa Mario La América.

Relevant food article: Best Colombian restaurants in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Roasted to perfection!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
A regular plate of roasted chicken is served with arepas and papas. 
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Deliciously juicy roasted chicken.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
The interior of Pollos a la Brasa Mario La América
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Where the magic happens.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Tasty, affordable food!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Roasted chicken with that crispy brown skin. 
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Pollo
Pollos a la Brasa Mario La América

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3. Arepa Paisita (13,900 COP) - MAO 33 Arepas Rellenas


In our article about the best arepas in Medellin, we’ve come up with exciting arepa shops that bring this popular, yet plain bun to the next level. Among these highly recommended shops is MAO 33 Arepas Rellenas, which offers a large variety of arepas. Aside from the food, this restaurant has quite a unique theme, and when visiting this place, it’s like you're sitting inside an American diner. One of the tasty creations is their Arepa Pasta (13,900 COP), which is an arepa with typical “Paisa” ingredients. When people say the word Paisa, they refer to the Antioquia region of which Medellin is part. In other words, this arepa is stuffed with all sorts of typical ingredients from Medellin, including Chicharron, beans and shredded meat. The combination of these typical Paisa ingredients is impressive and we highly recommend you to try this tasty arepa. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of MAO 33 Arepas Rellenas.

Relevant food article: Best Arepas in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
Arepa Paisita (13,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
Arepa Paisita (13,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
The American diner-style interior. 
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
Tasty arepas with all sorts of fillings.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
Again, the American diner-style interior.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arepa MAO
MAO Arepas Rellenas.
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4. Crispetas de Chicharrón (16,900 COP) - Hacienda


Hacienda is one of my personal favourite Colombian restaurants as it serves traditional Colombian specialities with loads of flavours. Although the larger plates cost more than 25,000 COP, there are several options to choose from the menu that don’t exceed that limit, including the Crispetas de Chicharrón. This plate is a mix of deep-fried crispy pork belly with a crispy layer of batter along with potatoes which are both covered in a nice, fresh dressing. What’s so good about this dish is that the Chicharrón has that extra crispy layer, something I haven’t seen or tasted before. Another excellent cheap eat at this restaurant is the Lentejas, which only costs 22,900 COP. This bowl of lentil soup comes with rice and fried banana. Most importantly, the savoury soup is among the best I’ve tried in this city. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the:

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - Junin branch

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - Ciudad del Rio branch

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - La Central branch

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - De Moda branch

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - Manila branch

TopTravelFoods review page of Hacienda - La Strada branch


Relevant food article: Best restaurants in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Hacienda
 Crispetas de Chicharron (17,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Hacienda
Lentejas (22,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Hacienda
Trio Antioqueño (18,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Hacienda
The beautiful interior of this restaurant.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Hacienda
Hacienda - La Strada Branch
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5. Colombiano (15,900 COP) - Chip Station


Whether it’s a late-night snack after a full night of drinking in Poblado or when you’re just craving fries, Salchipapa is a Colombian dish that you always welcome. Salchipapas are fries served with all sorts of toppings and sauces. Although you might think it’s a combination of Salchicha (sausage) and papas (fries), there are all sorts of toppings you can think of that don’t necessarily have sausages on them. One good example is the Colombiano (15,900 COP) which you can find at Chip Station, a popular Salchipapa vendor with venues all over the city. The Colombiano has the topping with Chicharron (crispy pork belly), frijoles (beans), guacamole and pico de Gallo and it’s absolutely delicious! 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Chip Station

Relevant food article: Best food in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chipstation
Colombiano (15,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chipstation
Mexicano (15,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chipstation
Salchipapas!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chipstation
One of Chipstation's branches.
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6. Patacón Pollo (20,000 COP) - Los Chamos Arepa Venezolanas


Patacones are crispy fried, salty banana cakes that are eaten as a side dish. But similar to Arepas, Patacones can also be eaten as a standalone dish. Instead of serving it plain, they often serve it with all sorts of toppings. Many Arepa shops also offer Patacones like that, and one of the tastiest Patacones we’ve encountered in Medellin is the one at Los Chamos Arepa Venezolanas, which is specialized in Venezuelan food. Now, in the introduction, we’ve mentioned we solely recommend Colombian food. But there is a never-ending discussion about whether the Arepa is invented by the Venezuelan or Colombian people. So the food that’s served here, is basically identical to Colombian food and the Patacones and Arepas taste the same. The Patacón Pollo costs 20,000 and is richly filled with a slightly spicy, creamy shredded chicken topping. Absolutely divine! 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Los Chamos Arepa Venezolanas.

Relevant food article: Best Arepas in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Patacones
Patacón Pollo (20,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Patacones
Shawarma (18,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Patacones
Arepa Catira (16,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Patacones
Desayuno Criollo (15,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Patacones
Los Chamos Arepa Venezolanas
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7. Picada de Morcilla (20,000 COP) - Mamasita Medallo


In many of our articles, we recommend this restaurant as it serves some of the most exciting Colombian food. But most of the dishes available on their menu exceed the 25,000 COP limit, so for that reason, we did not place Mamasita Medallo on top of this list. Luckily, the tastiest dish we tried, the Picada de Morcilla, only costs 20,000 COP and therefore we can them to this list of cheap eats in Medellin. What makes it so special is that the Morcilla, which is a typical blood sausage from Colombia, is carved in slices and then fried on all sides. Then, the crispy, savoury blood sausage is placed on superb guacamole along with tasty roasted potatoes. Every part of this dish is crafted to perfection. Definitely go check this dish out!

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Mamasita Medallo

Relevant food article: Best Colombian restaurants in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
Picada de Morcilla (20,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
Picada de Morcilla (20,000 COP) - The best morcilla in the city!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
Colourful and flavourful dishes at Mamasita Medallo. 
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
Mamasita Medallo's open kitchen.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
The interior of Mamasita Medallo. 
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Mamasita
Mamasita Medallo. 
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8. Empanadas (2,300 COP per piece) - Empanadas La Catedral


Empanadas are the ideal street food snack. A quick stroll through Medellin and you will encounter several vendors. But then there are also Empanadas shops, with proper hygiene regulations and a large variety of deep-fried snacks. In our article about the best Empanadas in Medellin, we listed some of the best empanadas shops the city has to offer. One of them is Empanadas La Catedral, which has two branches in the city. One of them is in Envigado, the other one is located at LA 70, the local nightlife district that foreigners rarely visit (but definitely should try). The Empanadas are richly filled and cost 2,300 COP per piece, which is the average price.  Empanadas La Catedral can measure itself with other impressive Empanadas shops and we highly recommend you give it a try!

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Empanadas La Catedral.

Relevant food article: Best Empanadas in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Empanadas
Empanadas with different fillings.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Empanadas
The empanadas at this place are pretty large!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Empanadas
Richly filled with shredded beef, delicious!
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Empanadas
Empanadas La Catedral.
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9. Calentado Paisa (25,900) - Leños y Carbón


This typical dish from Antioquia is so delicious that we allow it to be 900 COP above the limit we set for this article. Calentado is the Colombian equivalent of Asian fried rice: you use leftovers and fry it with rice. As you might know by now, typical Antioquian ingredients include beans and Chicharron and that is exactly what’s being used in a Calentado Paisa. You typically eat this the next morning, and contrary to many other Paisa dishes, it’s much lighter. One of my favourite Calentado Paisas can be found at Leños y Carbón, a popular, up-scale restaurant with many branches in the country in cities like Bogota and Medellin. I always recommend first-time visitors to dine there as the quality is great, the prices are reasonable and the food is impressive. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Leños y Carbón.

Relevant food article: What to eat in Medellin.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Lenos y Carbon
Calentado Paisa (25,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Lenos y Carbon
Morcillas Leños (10,900 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Lenos y Carbon
LeñosY Carbón in Arkadia.
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10. Menu del Dia (17,000 COP) - Cayito San Andresano


If you want to eat cheap in Medellin or anywhere else in Colombia, one of your best options is ordering the so-called Menu del Dia. Many restaurants offer this and you get a soup, a main and a drink for a bargain. It’s not an a-la-carte and each day of the week, there is a different main available. One of my favourite places to eat Menu del Dia is at Cayito San Andresano, which serves typical coastal Colombian food. The typical food in Medellin is often heavy, which actually applies to most food in Colombia. The typical food from the coast is much lighter, often with seafood and always with that typical coconut fried rice. Cayito San Andresano is a small eatery located in an open-air food court called La Plaza Comercial. For only 17,000 COP you get a complete meal that tastes amazing. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Cayito San Andresano.

Relevant food article: Best coastal Colombian restaurants in Medellin
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Menu del Dia
Menu del Dia (17,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Menu del Dia
Cayito San Andresano
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11. Arepa de Chocolo (4,000 COP) - Arepas Las Chachas


When looking for a cheap eat in Medellin, an Arepa is a straightforward option. Arepa de Chocolo is one of the most favorite Arepas among Colombians and the ones at Arepas Las Chachas are among the best. There are many branches in Medellin where you can get a delicious Arepa with that typical Colombian cheese. For obvious reasons, this franchise is also listed in our article about the best Arepas in Medellin. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Arepas Las Chachas.

Relevant food article: Best Arepas in Medellin
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chacha
Arepa de Chocolo (4,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chacha
Arepa de Queso (4,000 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Chacha
Arepas Las Chachas
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12. Arroz Con Leche (7,500 COP) - La Vacapeca


To finish this article, we like to end with a typical Colombian dessert, namely Arroz Con Leche. This is the Colombian version of rice pudding. And as Colombians tend to add Colombian cheese on and in everything, Arroz Con Leche is no exception. At first, I thought this was very weird in a dessert, but it’s surprisingly tasty and adds a nice texture to the dessert. Normally, we recommend the Arroz Con Leche from a shop called La Rivera Manjares, which is located in the hills of Envigado. But there is another favourite vendor that deserves some recognition, which sells the rice pudding from a van. La Vacapeca’s van is located near the earlier recommended restaurant called Cayito San Andresano. After you finish your Menu Del Dia, make sure to visit the van and enjoy a deliciously fresh Arroz Con Leche for just 7,500 COP. 

For more information about this cheap restaurant in Medellin, such as the opening times, location, complete menu, recommended dishes and the opinions from other TopTravelFoods users, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of La Vacapeca.
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arroz con Leche
Arroz Con Leche (7,500 COP)
 
Cheap Eats Medellin - Arroz con Leche
La Vacapeca
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There you have it, the best cheap eats in Medellin. Looking for more delicious food in Medellin and other Colombian cities? Check out our free food recommendation app that let you find the best food during your travel in Colombia. The app is completely free and helps you decide what to eat by recommending the best dishes and other specialities of (local) restaurants. Especially when you have no (or not enough) knowledge of the local cuisine, the app is a handy tool. Also, there is a very specific budget filter which allows you to set how much you want to spend per dish!
 

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