Top 5 most traditional restaurants in Medellin


Medellin, the city nestled in the lush mountains of Colombia, is known not only for its culture, beautiful landscapes, and warm people, but also for its rich culinary traditions. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” Medellin offers a wide variety of traditional restaurants that have become landmarks in their own right. Among these, five stand out for their unique specialties and long history: Podestá, Versalles, El Rancherito, Mondongos, and Hatoviejo.

First, we have Podestá, an Italian treasure on Colombian soil. Operating since 1958, Podestá was the dream come true of Italian musician Adolfo Podestá. Known for its pastas, ravioli, and succulent meats, the restaurant has its roots in the heart of Italy. Currently located in the Indiana Shopping Center, in Las Palmas, it continues to leave a delicious Italian flavor on its visitors. It is also worth mentioning that it is the oldest restaurant in the city, although it does not serve traditional Colombian food.

Mondongo’s, the second restaurant on our list, started small in 1976 with a capacity of only 20 people, but quickly made a name for itself with its star dish, mondongo. Balancing a mix of avocados, plantains, lemon, cilantro, rice, and arepa, along with a touch of sweet and spicy chili, Mondongos offers an unforgettable taste of Colombia. It is also worth mentioning that it only has 2 restaurants in the city and a third one in Miami, United States.

Next, let’s venture into another continent as we visit Versalles, located on Junín Street. Founded in 1961, it is known for its Argentinean empanadas and its atmosphere that evokes Buenos Aires. It was a favorite spot for the “nadaístas” (a literary movement) and Argentinean soccer players, giving it a unique, eclectic, and cultural aura.

The next one is El Rancherito. Starting as a roadside food stall in 1975, it expanded to become a beloved chain of nine restaurants serving traditional Antioquian dishes. Whether it’s buñuelos, empanadas, arepas, or delicious preparations of pork, chicken, fish, and beef, El Rancherito has earned a great reputation for serving the heart of Colombia on a plate.

Last but not least, there is Hatoviejo. Conceived by four architects in 1979, this restaurant stands out for its Colombian and grilled dishes. Among them, their star dish is the bandeja paisa, a variety of traditional offerings that includes beans, rice, ground meat, pork rinds, fried egg, avocado, plantain, and arepa, a true tribute to Colombian culinary tradition.

Each of these five restaurants in Medellin, with their unique specialties, adds its own flavor to the culinary portrait of the city. They are a testament to the history, culture, and unbreakable spirit of Medellin, making them a must-visit for both locals and tourists.