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Every country has its own version of street food, and Colombia is no different. Medellin is a large city and has a wide variety of street foods to choose from.
However, it can be hard to know where to go and what to order as a tourist. That’s where a street food tour comes in.
This article will not only give you a play-by-play of what to expect on the best street food tour in Medellin but will also have your tummy grumbling by the end. So, shall we get to it?
Tours, in general, are a great way to indulge in a city’s history, food scene, and nightlife all in one go.
What’s even better is that you get to do all of those things on a street food tour while walking around the city and stuffing your face.
A local company runs the Guilty Pleasures Food Club in Medellin with the goal of showing visitors the best that the city has to offer, all while sampling some of the most delicious food.
The tour starts off in El Centro, the historic center of Medellin.
Your guide will give you a quick rundown of the area as well as some tips on how to order street food like a pro.
From there, the guide takes you to Ayacucho, one of the oldest and most important streets in the paisa culture.
If you book the tour during the week, you might get lucky and have a small group. This is nice because you get more one-on-one time with your guide.
Depending on the size of your group and how fast everyone walks, the tour lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours.
During that time, you will walk a lot which is good because you’ll have a lot of calories to burn off by the end.
The tour includes 10 different stops, each with its own unique dish. So, lets take a look at each one, so you know what to expect.
First on the list is the delicious fried donut ball known as a buñuelo.
You can find these all over Colombia, but they are especially popular in Medellin. The buñuelo is made of deep-fried dough and then covered in cheese.
The result is crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with a hint of cheesy deliciousness that will have you hooked from the first bite.
These fried dough balls are a special treat during the month of Christmas for the Colombian people.
It didn’t take long before we had a sugary treat. Solterita’s, which translates to “young single ladies,” are sweet, crunchy orange cookies that are topped with sweet cream.
Ours were made into a cookie sandwich, and, let me tell you; they were heavenly.
The perfect mix of sweet and crunchy, with a soft cream filling that was to die for. These cookies are so good that it is hard to eat just one.
However, they’re a mess so ask for a spoon if you want to avoid getting cream all over your hands.
Empanadas don’t really need an introduction, but just in case you are not familiar, they are a turnover that is typically filled with meat, cheese, or both.
The pastry is then fried or baked and can be served as a snack or a meal. Empanadas are great for a quick on-the-go snack, and ours were no different.
The inside was filled with ground beef and peppers, and the dough was nice and flaky—the perfect little package of deliciousness.
I didn’t realize there were so many varieties of arepas until I came to Colombia. I guess there is an ongoing debate on whether Venezuela or Colombia has the best arepas.
The Arepa Boyacense is a Colombian-style arepa that’s made of cornmeal and is typically filled with cheese. Don’t forget to add a guayaba sauce for a sweet and savory combination.
This particular arepa was on the smaller side, but it was packed with flavor. The cornmeal dough was soft and chewy, and the cheese was gooey and delicious.
The guava sauce added a nice sweetness to the dish that brought all the flavors together perfectly.
Butifarra took me back to my home country because they remind me of little smokies. They are sausages that are made of pork and spices and then grilled.
They are perfect for a night out on the town after having a few cervezas. The vendors will have an array of sauces for you to choose from, but I recommend the aji or barbeque.
Time for another arepa but this time, it is the Arepa de Chocolo. These arepas, to me, look like a pancake made of cornmeal.
The crazy part is that this pancake-looking arepa is then topped with a slab of white cheese. Your tastebuds will be going on a wild ride with this one.
This is a filling stop, so it is worth sharing if you are with someone.
Ever had a beer mixed with an orange soda? Well, that is exactly what Refajo is, a beer mixed with a pop that tastes like an orange Fanta.
The drink was introduced in 1993 by the Bavaria Brewery and is said to be a champagne soda with a beer twist.
Don’t worry; the drink is only 2% alcohol, so you can enjoy a few without getting too buzzed. It’s quite refreshing and would go well with any of the above-mentioned dishes.
Next, our tour guide took us to an award-winning gelato spot. Amor-Acuyá won the best gelato in the America’s in 2016.
They had a wide variety of flavors to choose from, but we had to have the winning flavor, passion fruit & chocolate.
The passion fruit was tart, and the chocolate was rich and creamy. They were a perfect match and left us wanting more.
Amor-Acuyá also has other unique flavors, and there is something for everyone.
The last food stop on the tour was chunchurria. What is chunchurria, you ask? Well, it’s fried or grilled pig, lamb, or cow intestines.
I know that may not sound appetizing, but it is actually quite tasty. The intestines are marinated in a variety of spices and then fried or grilled.
They can be served with a dipping sauce and are another snack to grab while you are out on the town.
If you didn’t know what it is, you would never guess that it is intestines. They have a slightly chewy texture, but they’re delicious other than that.
We stopped at a local aguardiente spot to wash the intestines out of our mouths. Aguardiente is a sugarcane-based liquor that is popular in Colombia.
It is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane juice. The alcohol content can range from 20% to 60% and is usually consumed only as a shot.
Our tour guide made it clear that is uncommon to make a cocktail with aguardiente. As to why is unclear, so just do what the locals do and take a shot.
To finish the night off, we took a ride on the Metrocable. The metrocable is a cable car system that was built to help locals get around the city.
It is inexpensive and efficient and gives you a birds-eye view of the city. This was an excellent way to end the tour and see Medellín from a different perspective.
I would say yes, the tour is definitely worth it. It’s a great way to see the city and try new foods.
Our tour guide was excellent and extremely knowledgeable about the city and its history. He was born and raised in Medellín, and his love for the city was evident.
He made sure to answer all of our questions and give us suggestions on other places to check out during our stay.
The tour itself was great, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Medellín. It’s a great way to see the city and try some of the local food.
Food tours are a great way to get to know a city and its culture. They’re also a great way to try new foods that you may not be familiar with.
So, what are you waiting for? Go on a tour and bite into history.
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