El Poblado or El Gringlado as the locals call it, is the most popular area for us white folk to stay and visit in Medellin. It’s more built up, and a lot more money has been invested in the hospitality sector. Streets are lined with cafes, bars and restaurants all entertaining the travellers and holiday makers. We found the prices are a little higher than Laureles but not too noticeable, just avoid the central square bars if you’re after a cheap beer, the prices seem to rocket!
This multi level cafe is situated just up the hill from the main drag and looks over a lovely green patch of El Poblado. The family run business is perfect for breakfast or lunch. If you’re up for a boozy one just wait till 4pm and their roof garden opens, spot on for a coldy after a day in the sun.
As it was lunch time I couldn’t resist the chicken bowl with shawarma chicken, avocado, quinoa, cucumber, tomato and rocket accompanied by bread and hummus. Just what I needed alongside a Club Colombia Rojo (my new favourite local beer).
The chicken was amazing, juicy and tender, I would have been happy with just a bowl of that tbh!
Georgi went for the smoothie bowl that included more strawberries than anyone needed, banana, granola, mango and soooo much smoothie, the bowl was huge. Felt like we were back in Bali. It was beautifully cold, helping us cool down from the 30 degrees outside.
The family have brought out a new range of health drinks, being sold directly from the cafe. They were lovely, a lot lighter and fresher than I thought they’d be. The cucumber lemonade was our favourite, but pop along and try them out for yourselves.
El Tabun $$
We had been craving an Indian for ages so when we got invited down to Tabun, a local Arabic/ Indian restaurant we were super excited! After an initial struggle with the hosts (no English from them and equally as bad Spanish from us), we relaxed at our table in this modern looking restaurant to enjoy some food.
The owner sent us over a huge naan and selection of ten dips to start, they must be famous for it as we saw it on all the Tripadvisor posts. It was so good to be fair, up there with the best way to start an Indian (popadoms and chutneys).
For main I went for the lamb vindaloo, all the flavours where there but it was missing spice! It was so weird, when you expect the kick at the end it never came. The meat and the complexity of flavour was abundant in the dish, maybe the chef forgot the chilli? Who knows, but I still enjoyed.
I went for an aloo gobi on the side as I love a curried cauliflower and potato dish and it didn’t disappoint.
Georgi’s veggie option was the malia kofta. There are quite a few veggie options as you’d expect and this tasted really good. But again, maybe our taste buds have acclimatised to spice but there was not a hint.
Flavours are fantastic though and I’d highly recommend going to get your Indian curry fix. Maybe we should have asked for a spicy version to tickle our fancy.
We had such a fun evening chatting away with the owner of Herbario. A bit more of an up market restaurant but it was still a very casual dining experience. The restaurant has been designed in a way to make the customer feel very relaxed and at home whilst eating. Everything from the furniture to the menu design is well presented and to a high standard.
The food was immaculately plated and the tastes were very unique. This restaurant is a must if you are in the El Poblado area. It’s also hidden away from the hustle and bustle, perfect for a quieter evening or at the start of a louder one.
I went for the cerdo retono, which is a pork loin rolled with asparagus and palm hearts coated in thyme butter and served on a bed of light mushroom risotto.
If I ever owned a restaurant and could have a menu serving my top ten dishes I tasted whilst travelling, this would certainly be on the list. Sorry in advance for stealing your dish Carlos!
Georgi had the asparagus and goats cheese risotto, not a spec was left, which is always a good/ rare sign with G lol. The chef has amazing risotto skills, both our dishes had light creamy risottos with immaculately cooked accompaniments.
Check this out for a dessert! The chocolate nest was more of a chocolate cookie cup but it was amazing and not too sickly. The ice cream tilted the savory-sweet seesaw just right, to ensure that even my savory pallet enjoyed.
We were a couple of weeks too early to enjoy the coffee shop they are installing at the front of the venue. Someone will have to visit and let us know how it is!
The busy bustle of El Poblado’s blogger central cafe is not to be missed. We popped in for some coffees and pastries and were captured by this coffee shops amazing atmosphere. It was packed with loads of staff rushing around and keeping the punters happy. It was electric in there, and it was easy to see why.
Whilst we sat and waited for our caramel frappe and caramel latte we saw the bakers delivering the fresh pastries. The smell took me back to family holidays to France, hot croissants and butter. I couldn’t resist and ordered us breakfast, 2 croissants and 2 what looked and tasted like danish pastries, I just pointed and smiled.
Adding to the obviously amazing coffee and pastries the WiFi is actually really good, which is honestly a rarity in this part of the world. Well worth an afternoon sit and people watch session. I think that’s Georgi’s favourite activity in the world haha.