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Short on time? Carmen Restaurante is the top fine-dining spot in Medellin.
Ultra-proud of their pork-heavy platters, paisas have traditionally ranked the experience of eating out on quantity over quality.
As a result, until recently, it’s been hard for visitors to find a restaurant worthy of a four or five-star review. That’s not to mention finding one that they’d label fine-dining!
Thankfully, a handful of pioneering chefs have transformed the city’s culinary scene in the last 15 years. These chefs combined with a more international outlook have completely changed the attitude toward eating out.
The result? Today, fine dining abounds in the city. Let’s take a look at some of the top fine dining restaurants in Medellín.
The lush leafy backdrop to Carmen’s sophisticated tasting menu, sensational collection of craft cocktails, and a devilish attention to detail has helped this El Poblado culinary landmark hold off an army of upstarts for the title of the best restaurant in Medellin for more than a decade.
Created by a pioneering couple, Carmen Angel and Rob Pevitts, this restaurant goes above and beyond to create tantalizing platters.
On the menu, you’ll find delicious dishes like tamarind glazed pork belly and tenderloin, or Colombian duck with cassava puree and cloud forest berries that 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. The dishes are all 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.
One thing to be aware of is that this restaurant gets booked out weeks in advance, especially on the weekends.
But, if you can’t score a table, don’t panic!
You can also 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.
If you’re lucky enough to bag a table at Carmen Restaurante, you’ll want to make the most of your experience. We’ve got some mouthwatering recommendations for you to try:
The restaurant is open five days a week with varying hours, so be sure to check in advance before planning a night out. That way, you’ll be sure you’re snagging a table at this venue.
Address: Carrera 36 No. 10A-27 El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
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.
Founded 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 is working tirelessly to take the city in a healthier direction. Don’t let that put you off their food, however. Every dish on the menu is perfectly crafted so that you’d never know you’re consuming your daily dose of fruits and veggies!
One of our favorite items on the menu includes every paisa’s favorite food – pork. Here are our other recommendations for what to order while you’re at the restaurant:
Unlike some of the other fine dining restaurants in Medellín, Oce.Mide has slightly more extensive opening hours. They’re closed on Sundays, but aside from that, you can visit whenever works for you.
Address: Carrera 33 No.7-21, El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
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. In this experience, each item is inspired by one of Barrientos’ journeys across Colombia.
Don’t think that the experience is stingy, either. If you go for the full experience, you’ll get to try a total of 18 delicacies!
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. Enjoy repurposed Colombian classics like pork and beans, that become ultra-Instagrammable moments with this chef’s touch.
When it comes to ElCielo’s menu there really is nothing better than their 18-course tasting menu. This menu features tons of incredible tidbits, such as their Salmon paired with lemongrass and potatoes.
The menu also comes with wine pairings. That makes this tasting experience a two-for-one deal in our book!
In terms of opening hours, ElCielo has pretty extensive hours. The restaurant is open during the afternoons for lunch-time diners, but then closes until 18:30 when it opens again for dinner service.
Address: Cra 40 No. 10A 22, El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
A mainstay of Medellin’s fine-dining restaurant scene for nearly three decades, La Provincia, is where the heavyweight checkbooks of Medellin’s old money go for a power lunch. It’s also a hot spot for celebrating special occasions with loved ones thanks to its cozy atmosphere.
At this venue, each mouthful is the foodie equivalent of a time machine, a tantalizing 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 recognized 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.
There are so many good dishes on the menu at La Provincia that you’ll want to make sure you come hungry. Our top picks are:
Like some of the other restaurants on this list, La Provincia offers extended opening hours. You’ll find the restaurant open most days of the week and allowing for both lunch and dinner service.
Address: Carrera 42 No. 3 Sur 81 Milla de Oro Distrito de Negocios Local 303, El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
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 alfresco ambiance combined guarantee memorable moments even if the food is more steady than spectacular.
The menu includes a mix of seafood ceviches, risottos, and slow-cooked meats that will satisfy even the biggest appetite.
The only downside to this restaurant is that tables book out fast. Make sure you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
The menu at Colosal is not for the faint of heart, with tons of unique dishes for you to try. Our recommendations include:
One of the (many) things we love about Colosal is that it’s open every day of the week. Plus, you can enjoy extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Address: Envigado, Medellin, Colombia
Medellín is jam-packed with fine dining restaurants that you can eat at. Whether you’re looking for traditional Colombian food or you’re wanting to try something off the beaten path, we guarantee there’s something on this list for you.
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