Serving traditional and delicious Antioqueño cuisine, Mondongo’s is a hugely popular restaurant with locals that is is best known for the sopa de mondongo (tripe soup) which is accompanied with a side of avocado, banana, and arepas (corn cakes). This hearty soup offers travelers and locals a break from the typically hearty chicken, beef, and pork entrees served in Colombia. Be sure to visit Mondongo's on an empty stomach because the servings are absolutely HUGE! To make matters even better, Mondongo's is incredibly affordable with main dishes ranging from $21,000 -28,000 COP (about $7-10 USD). If you eat anywhere in Medellín it should be at Mondongo's.
Itaca doesn't look like much from the outside, but this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant walking distance from La Calenderia prepares some fantastic plates bursting with flavor at great prices ($4-$8 USD for main dishes). There is no menu; just tell the chef what you like and he will whip up a modern Colombian dish from his collection of market-fresh ingredients. There's no sign outside of Itaca, so look for the blue door. Sitting on the street is a fun way to see the local life and enjoy your meal.
If your looking for something upscale and delicious, than Carmen is your place! Run by an American-Colombian couple, Carmen prepares sophisticated international cuisine with a Californian influence. Carmen features gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options on their menu so that diners of all different diets can enjoy. However, be warned, this is one of Medellin's most popular dinner spots, so reservations are ESSENTIAL. Main courses range from COP$39,000-50,000 ($13-$17 USD).
4. La Provincia
One of Medellin's top restaurants, La Provincia offers a sophisticated menu, with plenty of seafood, and a few surprises, like escargot-stuffed ravioli. Beyond the food, diners will enjoy the upscale environment, and top-notch service. The location is great, the ambience is warm, the decor is fabulous. Main dishes range from $13-$20 USD.
5. Verdeo (Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free options!)
This restaurant caters to vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten-free! Meat eaters won't even miss the meat (definitely order the Albondigas al Pomodoro). Each and every food ingredient is a conscious ingredient, delicately prepared by the hands of Verdeo's enthusiastic chefs. Verdeo is a family-run restaurant with a truly inspiring story rooted in Colombia's darker days. It's a beautiful example of how Colombians are turning darkness into light; primarily because this restaurant is about celebrating life: life of the people and of all creatures alike. The minute you climb the stairs to the restaurant, you're engulfed by their bright open-air setting. On top of all this, its affordable too! Main dishes range from COP $14,500-21,800 ($4.50-$9 USD).