If there’s one thing the city of Medellín is not lacking for, it’s beautiful and thoughtfully designed cafés. The affluent neighborhood of La Zona Rosa in El Poblado is certainly no exception.
As I wandered one afternoon, armed with my laptop and searching for a good place to get some work done, I found myself on the lively and fashionable Vía Provenza (Carrera 35) browsing the menu of a lovely open concept café and dessert shop named Taller Como Pez en el Agua.
The warm glow from the dessert display drew me back to the register for a close-up look at their beautiful pastry selection.
I did a quick scan to make sure there were electrical outlets near the tables and before I knew it I was seated on a plush bench awaiting my coffee order, agonizing over which of the delicious treats I would eventually try.
Every single one of their bite-sized confections looked positively tantalizing.
In addition to individually sized sweets, Taller Como Pez en el Agua (or simply Como Pez en el Agua–“like a fish in water”) sells pre-made cakes, custom and themed cakes and wedding cakes and offers a wide variety of catering services.
Every dessert offered is as beautiful as it is delicious, crafted much like a fine work of art.
For those looking for savory options, there are plenty of those as well; on one of my visits I sampled a vegetarian quiche, which was excellent. Other options include croissants, quesadillas, empanadas, cheese bread and more.
A breakfast menu is on offer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays.
For this area of Medellín, the prices are fairly standard; the most expensive breakfast item is a bagel served with egg and four different types of cheese for 11,700 pesos ($5.85).
On a more recent visit, I ordered the second-priciest breakfast option, their Eggs Benedict (10,200 pesos, $5.10); I was slightly disappointed to find that I was served only one egg instead of two for that price, but I had nothing to complain about as far as the taste.
If I return for another breakfast one day I would love to try their muesli and yogurt parfait for 8,000 pesos ($4).
Questionable portion sizes aside, the biggest reason I keep finding my way back to Como Pez en el Agua is the coffee.
They brew Juan Valdez coffee and serve it just about any way you could possibly want it. Being a creature of habit I always order a simple Americano, but it is truly brewed to perfection each and every time.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, never fear–you have your choice of natural juices or flavored waters, milkshakes and smoothies, tea, beer from the Bogotá Beer Company or wine.
And I have yet to meet a pastry that I didn’t like from Como Pez en el Agua.
On a suggestion from an employee (because I can never decide what to order), I sampled a tartlet topped with arequipe and chocolate shavings and it was absolutely divine.
The confections are on constant rotation so you’ll likely encounter completely different options on any two visits. They also feature seasonal and holiday-themed desserts; this month they have several Christmas-themed creations.
Their gourmet sweets are generally priced between 2,000 and 5,000 pesos ($1-$2.50).
As for seating, there are two outdoor tables accommodating four people each; inside are two more four-seaters near the register, a long communal table dividing the space in two, and several two-person tables lining the far right wall.
Each two-person table has its own electrical outlet beneath the bench seat.
Another one of my favorite aspects of this café is its modern design. It’s bright and airy inside and the wood furnishings and abundant plants give it a comfortable, homey feel.
Whether or not Como Pez en el Agua is a good workspace for you depends on your tolerance for noise.
Upbeat electronic tunes are played at fairly high volume during opening hours; in the evening when nearly every table in the small space is filled, the drone of conversation in addition to the music can be somewhat distracting.
WiFi is generally reliable but can be slow at times.
If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee or delicious dessert, Como Pez en el Agua is a fantastic choice. With my insatiable sweet tooth, their innovative sweets are sure to keep me coming back.