Medellin Food and Wine Tours
Taste the city of eternal spring
Hidden in the Aburrá Valley between the lush peaks of the Andes you’ll find Medellin, Colombia’s colourful second city. After a troubled recent past, Medellin is enjoying a renaissance, fast becoming a culinary and cultural hub of South America. This city was the base of Pablo Escobar’s infamous empire throughout the 1980s, and expensive regeneration since those troubled times has led to an engaging mix of high-rise buildings, old world charm, thriving nightlife and a foodie scene to match. Battling the reputation of years gone by, its people are determined to be more than welcoming; you’ll never be short of friendly advice and hospitality.
Medellin bathes in a pleasant climate all year round, so much so that it’s become known as the ‘city of eternal spring’. Any place with permanent sunshine can expect to have delicious local produce, and here it's no different. A wander around the daily farmers’ market, Plaza Minorista, will leave you spoilt for choice. It's a bustling market and any foodie's dream, with over 2,500 vibrant stalls and mountains of fresh fruit, vegetables and local meats.
With so much on offer, it's only natural that the city's cuisine has also made a name for itself. Medellin cuisine incorporates a blend of European influences, all combined with locally available ingredients. The cuisine in Medellin is dominated by traditional South American staples of pork and chicken, often served up with a combination of potatoes, beans, corn, or rice. Exotic fruits, from granadilla to guanabana and pitahaya, offer refreshing treats - if you can work out how to open them up! The traditional Paisa meal plan includes breakfast, followed by a hearty lunch and a smaller dinner.
As the national dish of Colombia, the bandeja paisa can be found in most restaurants in Medellin. Although it will vary wherever you go, the general theme is a vast platter of meaty goodness, with pork crackling, chorizo sausage and steak, on a bed of rice and red beans. It's also served with sliced avocado and fried eggs. Whatever else you eat in Medellin, this is a mouthwatering foodie challenge that you simply have to experience. The meaty theme continues with the traditional sancocho, a soup made with meat or fish and served with plantains, potatoes and yucca, a type of root vegetable. Adventurous foodies will find plenty of other dishes in Medellin to explore. Although it’s probably not an ideal place for vegetarians, Medellin has a sweet treat scene that more than makes up for its meat-heavy main courses. The arepas de chocolo are a common breakfast dish, and succulent empanadas offer tantalising surprises in pastry form.
Despite its difficult past, the city of Medellin is now well and truly open for foodie business. Its cultural sights and laid back vibes welcome visitors with open arms, and its big hearty flavours reflect the big hearts of the locals. Days of sightseeing and culinary exploration can be topped off with a night of salsa and vallenato, and a visit to Medellin will have you coming back for seconds in no time at all.