Top Fine Dining Restaurants in Medellin for 2021

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Carmen fine dining medellin

Ultra-proud of their pork-heavy platters, paisas have traditionally ranked the experience of eating out on quantity over quality. Until fairly recently, visitors to Medellin have been hard-pushed to find a restaurant worth leaving a four- or five-star review, let alone one that an urbane traveler would label fine-dining.

Thankfully a handful of pioneering chefs have transformed the city’s culinary scene in the last 15 years. Juan Manuel Barrientos and Carmen Angel and Rob Pevitts blew things open when they broadened the city’s foodie horizons respectively in 2006 and 2009, paving the way for others to follow suit. A plethora of chefs with an altogether more international outlook have changed the attitude to eating out of the city’s traditional venues beyond recognition.

Even with the recent revolution in Medellin’s foodie scene, the city’s ground-breaking chefs have stayed faithful to what has historically moved the masses in this mountain metropolis. You’ll still find plenty of pork on the menu, albeit re-purposed for a more sophisticated palette. If you’re looking for something plant-based check out our guide to vegetarian and vegan eating in Medellin.

Carmen Restaurante

The lush leafy backdrop to Carmen’s sophisticated tasting menu, sensational collection of craft cocktails and devilish attention to detail has helped this El Poblado culinary landmark hold off an army of upstarts for the title of best restaurant in Medellin for more than a decade. Created by pioneering couple, Carmen Angel and Rob Pevitts, delicious dishes like tamarind glazed pork belly and tenderloin, or Colombian duck with cassava puree and cloud forest berries took Medellin’s fine-dining restaurant scene up about five notches when it opened in 2009. Popular with Medellin’s beau monde, everything on the menu will please your palette. Prepared with the finest locally sourced, organic ingredients and contemporary culinary techniques picked up by executive chef Pevitts in Le Cordon Bleu institute in San Francisco, the 7-course tasting menu is a tantalising shortcut to teasing your tastebuds. If you can’t bag a table (it gets booked out weeks in advance, especially at weekends) try their Colombian sushi venue, Moshi or the premium steak house, Don Diablo, named respectively after Carmen’s cat and mischievous father, just two doors down. Not to mention Abbiocco, Carmen’s newest Italian inspired venue located in the Marquee Hotel.

What to order: 

Starter: No Cualquiera Empanada – Caribbean crab and shrimp empanadas

Main: Cerdo 2 Veces 2020 – tamarind glazed pork belly and tenderloin

Dessert: Degustacion de Helados – four homemade ice creams you’ll want to repeat

Opening hours:

Tues-Sat:

12:00 – 15:00

18:30 – 22:00

Sun-Mon: Closed

Contact & Address:

http://www.carmenmedellin.com/

IG: @carmenrestaurante

Carrera 36 No. 10A-27 El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

 

Oci.Mde

Effortlessly laid-back, Oci.Mde serves up comfort food that’s slow-cooked to perfection in an award-winning architectural setting at the upper end of Provenza’s best tasting street. Born in 2013, this popular pillar of Medellin’s slow-food revolution is the baby of executive chef Laura Londoño and husband and architect Santiago Arango, one of Medellin’s power couples. While Londoño is at the forefront of the city’s farm-to-table culinary transformation, Arango is responsible for much of the lush vegetation adorning the city’s most striking new buildings. The duo are working tirelessly to take the city in a healthier direction. 

What to order: 

Starter: Tomato and ricotta jam – glazed shrimps, with crispy quinoa and basil.

Main: Short Ribs – braised 12 hours – in lemon and chili caramel sauce, served with sticky rice and peanuts.

Dessert: Warm, blackberry filled cookie with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Opening Hours: 

Tues-Thurs::  12:00–14:30 / 18:30-22:30

Fri-Sat:  12:00-15:00 / 18:30-23:00

Sun: Closed

Contact & Address:

https://www.ocimde.com/

@oci.mde

Carrera 33 No.7-21

El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

 

ElCielo Medellin

ElCielo’s creator-in-chief, Juan Manuel Barrientos, was the first to put Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià-style molecular tricks on the menu in Medellin, when he unleashed his heavenly fine-dining experience on El Poblado in 2006. His culinary reputation has only grown since he debuted in Medellin at the ridiculous age of 23, exporting his successful formula to Miami, Washington and Bogota in the following years. ElCielo’s signature tasting menu experience works its way through a mouth-popping selection of Colombian food sensations (18 in total if you go for the full experience), each one inspired by one of Barrientos’ journeys across Colombia. Borrowing avant-garde kitchen techniques from his heroes, Iwao Komivama and Juan Mari Arzak, the menu is a tribute to Barrientos’ imagination with inventive sensorial treats that repurpose Colombian classics like pork and beans into ultra-Instagrammable moments that will stay with you throughout your trip. After 15-years of picturesque plating just off Parque Lleras, the original restaurant moved in 2021, to become the star attraction of Barrientos’ latest venture, Elcielo Hotel, in upscale Astorga. Reservations only. 

What to order: 

18-course Tasting Menu: The Experience with wine-pairing.

Opening Hours: 

Mon-Sat: 12:00-15:00 / 18:30-23:00

Sun: Closed

Contact & Address:

https://elcielorestaurant.com/

@elcielorestaurant

Cra 40 No. 10A 22, 

El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

 

La Provincia

A mainstay of Medellin’s fine-dining restaurant scene for nearly three decades, La Provincia, is where the heavyweight cheque books of Medellin’s old money go to power lunch and to break bread with their loved ones on special occasions. Each mouthful is the foodie equivalent of a time machine, a tantalising window into the collective celebrations of a city. The menu mixes Mediterranean seafood staples with subtle oriental touches in a simple, yet stylish, setting. With a selection of impeccable pasta dishes that you’d be happy to savor staring out over the Amalfi coast and Cordon Bleu meat specialties that will whisk you off to Paris, it’s easy to see why this special family affair has endured in a city that hasn’t always been recognised for what’s on the menu. You only have to crack the crust of the city’s best creme brulee to understand how Maria Adelaida Moreno has kept her ultra-faithful clientele coming back time and time again.

What to order: 

Starter: Crab bisque with coconut milk

Main: Seafood risotto with prawns, scallops, squid and mushrooms or the Chateaubriand bearnaise with chipotle and cilantro

Dessert: Créme Brulée

Carrera 42 No. 3 Sur 81 Milla de Oro Distrito de Negocios Local 303

El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia

https://laprovinciarestaurante.com/

@laprovinciarestaurante

 

Colosal Medellin

Whether it’s a business lunch or date night, this open-air eatery high up in the hills of Envigado, is where Medellin’s moneyed movers and shakers take their prospective partners away from prying eyes to seal the deal. The fine-dining restaurant’s imperious views over the valley, live music and al fresco ambiance combined guarantee memorable moments even if the food is more steady than spectacular. If you’re worried about taking the trek up the mountain, don’t, the menu includes a mix of seafood ceviches, risottos and slow-cooked meats that will satisfy even the biggest appetite. Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

What to order: 

Starter: Octopus Carpaccio – wafer thin octopus with tiger milk

Main: Tomahawk / Eye-watering ribeye steak that’s worth the ride

Dessert: Pavlova – kiwis, strawberries with a ginger with thyme cream, almond crumble and lulo.

Opening Hours: 

Mon-Thurs: 12:00-22:30

Fri-Sat: 12:0-23:30

Sun: 12:00-17:00

Contact & Address:

https://www.colosalrestaurante.com/

@colosalmedellin

Envigado, Medellin, Colombia

+57 (316) 556-4641‬

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