Wondering what to eat in Medellin? In this article, we cover typical Medellin food that you should not miss during your visit and recommend you restaurants in Medellin you must visit. We try to recommend typical Medellin food only and skip general Colombian food. If you’re looking for general Colombian restaurants in Medellin, have a look at our article about the best Colombian restaurants in Medellin. With that being said, let’s jump to the results of what to eat in Medellin.
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What food is Medellin known for?

 

The food Medellin is known for includes Bandeja Paisa, Mondongo, Cazuela de Frijoles, typical Arepas, Calentado Paisa and Pasteles Paisas. Chicharron can also be added to that list, as it's nowhere else more eaten than in Medellin. In this article, we dive deeper into these typical foods from Medellin.

 

What is Paisa Food?


Paisa food is typical food from the Antioquia region. Paisa food is heavy, for example, the famous Bandeja Paisa is a plate full of meats, sausage, beans, eggs and rice. There are many other Paisa food that you must try when you're in Medellin, which we discuss in this article. 

 

What to eat in Medellin:

 

1. Bandeja Paisa


Literally translated Paisa Platter, this typical “Paisa” dish is one of the most popular Colombian dishes the country has to offer. People from the Andean region and Medellin citizens are called Paisa and we cannot come up with a more typical Medellin dish than this heavy, greasy and satisfying dish. This huge plate comes with pinto beans, beef, pork belly (chicharron), chorizo fried egg, avocado and white rice. You can compare Bandeja Paisa with an English breakfast, but even heavier. Restaurants that serve Bandeja Pasia often offer different versions of this platter as well, which is just a variation of different meats. Make sure to visit a restaurant really hungry and with an empty stomach as you will eat at least a thousand calories. Without a doubt, Bandeja Paisa is a dish you must try when wondering what to eat in Medellin. Check our article about the best Bandeja Paisa in Medellin if you want to try some extraordinary Bandeja Paisa.
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Bandaja Paisa
What to eat in Medellin? - Bandeja Paisa!
 
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2. Mondongo


Mondongo is yet another typical Medellin food you must try when visiting the City of Eternal Spring. In fact, one of the most famous Colombian restaurants in Medellin is Mondongo’s, that is specialized in this typical Medellin soup. Mondongo is a colourful soup made with beef tripe, although there are different versions to be found as well. Because of the use of beef tripe, Mondongo is not immediately the tourist’s most favourite Medellin dish, but if you don’t mind eating beef stomach, this soup is a real treat. So-called sopa’s are an important part of the Colombian cuisine and I must admit, the flavour of this popular soup itself is really tasty thanks to the strong usage of garlic and cilantro. Check our article about the best Mondongo in Medellin if you want to try some extraordinary Mondongo.
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Mondongo
What to eat in Medellin? - Mondongo!
 
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3. Cazuela de Frijoles


Cazuela de Frijoles is another typical “Paisa” dish and definitely a recommended option when wondering what to eat in Medellin. This so-called red bean stew is a bit of a heavy dish, but much lighter when you compare it with Bandeja Pasia. This bowl of stew is packed with red beans and pork belly (chicharron) which is finished with avocado, corn and baked banana. Cazuela de Frijoles is usually served with rice, an arepa and some aji. What I personally like the most about this typical Medellin food is the combination of savoury (beans and pork belly) and sweetness (baked banana and corn) together with the crispiness of the pork belly. 
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Cazuela
What to eat in Medellin? - Cazuala de Frijoles

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4. Arepas


Arepas are an important part of the Colombian Cuisine, which can be eaten as a side dish or as the whole dish itself. The origins of arepas are still debatable as both Colombians and Venezuelans claim the invention, but no matter where you go in Colombia, you will see arepas. Each region has its own type of arepa. For example, in Carthagena you can find deep-fried arepas and in Medellin, you can find the typical white cornflour, toasted arepas. In our article about the best arepas in Medellin, you can even find arepas with a typical Medellin filling: beans, chicharron, shredded beef and baked banana, which is absolutely delicious. But without a doubt, when visiting a typical Colombian restaurant in Medellin, arepas will be served with the food. Also, in Medellin, you usually eat arepas for breakfast, often with only a bit of cheese and fried eggs. There are several breakfast cafes to be found in the city if you want to try this typical breakfast from Medellin. 
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Arepa
What to eat in Medellin? - Arepas!
 
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Aside from these typical white cornflour arepas, another typical food from Medellin is Arepa de Chocolo. But you can find this arepa that originates from the Antioquia region everywhere throughout the country. Arepa de Chocolo is a yellow-coloured arepa that is topped with so-called Queso Blanco, a typical white Colombian cheese, although you can find versions where the arepa is stuffed with this cheese. Compared to the arepa described in the previous paragraph, Arepa de Chocolo is much lighter and better when you don't have a large appetite. Make sure to visit Las Chachas if you want to taste some of the best Arepa de Chocolo in Medellin.
 
Best Arepas In Medellin - Las Chachas
Arepa de Chocolo at Las Chachas in Medellin.

 
 

5. Calentado Paisa


By now, you might have noticed that many times a dish is called “paisa”, it is flavoured with typical Medellin ingredients, which includes beans, chicharron and baked banana, and Calentado Paisa is no exception. Calentado Paisa is a savoury, fried-rice dish, usually made with leftovers and is served with avocado and arepas and topped with a fried egg. The bits of chicharron give a savoury flavour to your bites, while the baked banana gives it a slightly sweet flavour, which is a pleasant variation. Compared to other typical Medellin food, Calentado Paisa is not as heavy and therefore perfect for lunch! One of the better versions I’ve tried was at Leños y Carbón, a successful restaurant chain with several restaurants in Medellin and Bogota. You can find more information on the TopTravelFoods review page of Leños y Carbón.
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Calentado Paisa
What to eat in Medellin? - Calentado Paisa!
 
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6. Pasteles Paisas


Empanadas play a major role in the Colombian cuisine. Variations to this deep-fried treat are always welcome. Pasteles de Pollo is such variation, but then again - and similar to regular Empanada - you can get them everywhere. Luckily there is a variation of that Pasteles de Pollo that you basically can only find in Medellin, namely Pastel Paisa. Richly filled with typical Paisa ingredients such as chicharron and chorizo, this Pastel is super tasty. One of the best places to get Pastel Paisa is La Choripolleria, which is a restaurant that is specialized in homemade sausages, Chichcarron and roasted chicken. You can find more information on the TopTravelFoods review page of La Choripolleria.
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Pasteles Paisa
What to eat in Medellin? - Chicharron!

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7. Chicharron


Although you can find this dish (or better call it an ingredient) everywhere in the country, it’s by far eaten the most in and around Medellin. Chicharron is deep-fried pork belly and is used for many typical Medellin food, such as Bandeja Paisa, Cazuela de Frijoles and Calentado Paisa. Chicharron is definitely not the healthiest type of food, yet it’s incredibly tasty thanks to its savoriness and greasiness. In our article about the best Chicharron in Medellin, we dive deeper into this popular type of Medellin food. We would recommend you visit La Gloria de Gloria, as this local restaurant is famously known for its Chicharron. You can find more information on the TopTravelFoods review page of La Gloria de Gloria.
 
What To Eat In Medellin - Chicharron
What to eat in Medellin? - Chicharron!
 
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This article will be updated in the upcoming weeks and many more of the typical Medellin food will be added soon. In the meantime, check out our free food recommendation app that helps you find the best restaurants in Medellin as well as in Bogota. 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. 

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