Editor’s note: This post was updated on March 24, 2018. The original post was published on June 3, 2014.
In her latest post, Sophie completely updates our list of the best cafés in Medellin. Many of these spots are ideal for digital nomads, so we’ve included details such as the upload speed and download speed for each café. For those who prefer coworking spaces, check out Sophie’s previous post here.
Ten years ago it was pretty much impossible to get a decent cappuccino in Medellín, but now the city is synonymous with delicious coffee that goes much further than the Paisa people’s beloved tinto (black coffee).
In the many cafés around the city, it’s common to see digital nomads working on their laptops with a flat white in hand, and coffee shop owners in Medellín have cottoned on to the fact that their establishments make an excellent alternative to working from home or in coworking spaces. Now, there are a lot of great cafés to meet colleagues, get through some emails, or simply have a productive day of work.
We’ve listed our favorite cafés to work from in Medellín, as well as a few other great places that are worth visiting. (Photo above courtesy of Pergamino Café).
Café Cliché, Laureles
French-owned Café Cliché is a great place to set yourself up for nomadic working. Furniture is mismatched in a cool way and the entire place is super quirky and European. The space is split into three different areas, so it’s easy to find somewhere quiet to work, and the low-key playlist is the perfect soundtrack for productivity.
Their menú del día is one of the best in the city, and there are lots of European-style eats on the menu, including tapas and quiches. Their cappuccinos are 4,500 COP ($1.57), or, if you want to make it a Paisa coffee, they’ll add rum and Chantilly cream to it for an extra 7,500 COP ($2.62).
Cliché is closed Sundays and Mondays and doesn’t open until 12pm every other day. But it’s open until 10pm each night (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays), so, if you’re at your most productive in the afternoons, this is the place for you.
Upload speed: 3.10 mbps
Download speed: 20.83 mbps
Carrera 76 #41-41
Ondas, La Floresta
This cool bohemian café is attached to a brilliant hostel that holds events, including language exchanges every Wednesday and Friday. The café itself is centered on a large communal bench which gives you a nice way to meet nomads and travelers. There’s also a nice patio area if you prefer to work al fresco.
The food and drink menu is extensive, and a cappuccino is 4,500 COP ($1.57). The pizzas are a popular choice with hungry nomads, and with good reason, and there are also lots of smaller dishes like bagels and empanadas on the menu.
The opening hours are great: you can drop by any time from 9am to 9:30pm every day. The setup of the café means that you might not be able to sit next to a power point, so make sure you have a full charge on your laptop just in case.
Upload speed: 2.99 mbps
Download speed: 18.59 mbps
Carrera 81 #45g-52
Café Zepellin, Laureles
A Laureles institution, Café Zepellin is loved by nomads and locals alike. The space is big and quirky, there are plenty of power points, and there are lots of quiet corners to tuck away in and get some work done (the cute patio at the back is especially popular).
The menu is extensive, and the owner imports cured meats and cheese from Europe, which is a blessing for nomads wanting a taste of home. The menú del día is delicious and will only set you back 14,000 COP ($4.88). There’s also a huge range of well-made coffees on offer at an average price of 5,000 COP ($1.74). The café is open noon-11pm Monday to Friday and 2pm-11:30pm Saturday and Sunday. And there are live music events once a month if you want to hang out with a beer or a cocktail once your work is done.
Upload speed: 1.57 mbps
Download speed: 13.9 mbps
Transversal 39 #76-12
Hija Mia, El Poblado
Hija Mia is tucked away in Manila, one of the fastest-growing areas of El Poblado, and is the area’s best-kept secret.
This small café has a great tranquil vibe to it, and it’s easy to focus on your work. The English-speaking staff are friendly and attentive, which further adds to the relaxed mood of the café. The outdoor area catches plenty of sun, the inside seating is comfortable and the power points are plentiful.
Hija Mia take their coffee seriously, and there’s a wide range on offer. They originally opened their doors to combat the lack of decent flat whites in Poblado, and their perfect version is 4,500 COP ($1.57). The café is closed on Sundays and open for a half day on Saturdays, but during the week it’s open 7:30am-7:30pm.
Upload speed: 8.45 mbps
Download speed: 12 mbps
Calle 11a #43b-9
Café Revolucion, Laureles
Café Revolucion is very popular with expats, and the friendly owner and great location means that it’s always full and buzzing. The inside of the café is small and there’s only space for around ten people, but there’s also an outdoor area in which to enjoy your caffeine hit.
The café is open Monday to Saturday 8:30am-7pm, and Sundays 9am-6pm. For early workers, there’s a tasty breakfast of eggs, toast and salad for 6,500 COP ($2.28), and there are cookies and cakes if you fancy a snack. The drinks menu is huge, and their cold teas are incredible. A flat white is 4,500 COP ($1.57), and there’s a good range of smoothies available for 6,500 COP ($2.28).
This isn’t the quietest of cafés, and, as it’s a popular place on a main road, you’re going to experience a fair bit of noise. But, if you enjoy sociable working or just need to answer a few emails, Revolucion is a great option.
Upload speed: 1.72 mbps
Download speed: 16.37 mbps
Carrera 73 #410
El Café de Otraparte, Envigado
Envigado’s best-known café is a lush haven that feels like a wonderful hideaway in the middle of the bustling barrio. The trees, pond, and abundance of outdoor seating create a lovely, tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for focusing.
Prices are very reasonable at Otraparte, with drinks starting at 1,200 COP ($0.42) for a tinto. The food menu is huge and features light dishes like salads and sandwiches, as well as more substantial eats including pasta. There’s also plenty of booze on the menu if your day calls for something stronger than coffee.
Opening hours are from 2pm Monday to Friday, and 12pm Saturdays and Sundays, so this probably isn’t the place for you if you’re an early bird. But Otraparte is open until 12am Sunday to Thursday and 1am Friday and Saturday, so if you’re having meetings or are a night owl, this is the perfect place for you.
Upload speed: 1.62 mbps
Download speed: 17.85 mbps
Calle 27 Sur #43a-61
Small but perfectly formed, this lovely little café is a great quiet spot for productive days of work. The seating is comfy and every table has access to a power point, so you can really get settled in here.
If you’re in the café at lunch time, their menú del día is fantastic. Prices vary, but the meat option is usually around 16,000 COP ($5.59). There are sandwiches and salads available too, and the owner and her staff bake everything in house, so be sure to check out one of their beautiful cakes while you’re there. If you just want a drink, a cappuccino is 5,500 COP ($1.92), and a delicious fresh juice is 7,500 ($2.62).
We love that this café opens at 8:30am, as you can get a nice early start on the day that way. It’s closed on Sundays, but is open until 8:30pm Monday to Thursday and 9pm on Friday and Saturday.
Upload speed: 6.88 mbps
Download speed: 12.52 mbps
Calle 42 #70-38
Pergamino, El Poblado
If you’ve been to Medellín, the chances are that you’ll already know about this incredibly popular café. As one of the oldest places of its kind in the city, it’s developed quite a following with backpackers and nomads, as well as Poblado locals.
There’s a huge outdoor area in which to enjoy the sun, or two separate rooms inside if you need a power point. Pergamino are known for the quality of their coffee, and their delicious iced lattes or cold press options are served in mason jars for around 5,000-6,000 COP ($1.76-$2.11). There are cakes and pastries aplenty, too, if you fancy a snack while you work.
Opening hours are 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 9am-9pm Saturday, and 10am-6:30pm Sunday, so there’s always time to get your work done here.
Upload speed: 7.7 mbps
Download speed: 12.37 mbps
Carrera 37 #8a-37
Café Velvet, El Poblado
Positioned directly across from Pergamino, it might seem brave/crazy to go up against Medellín’s best-known café, but Velvet has a lot to offer itself.
Seating is comfortable, and there’s a small outdoor area toward the back of the café which is lovely and bright. Individual and comfy desk-style seating lines one of the walls, which clearly shows that Velvet wants to cater to the city’s nomads. There are plenty of power points dotted around the large space, and it’s quiet enough to focus without the atmosphere feeling flat.
Coffee is slightly pricier than other options on our list, but at 5,800 COP ($2.03) for a cappuccino, you’re getting great coffee for what is still a relatively small amount of money. Opening hours are 8am-8pm every day, which is handy if you like to work at the weekends.
Upload speed: 8.35 mbps
Download speed: 22.82 mbps
Carrera 37 #8a-46
This café doesn’t look like there’s much to it from the outside, but don’t be fooled: it’s massive. The small front opens out into a huge and airy back room that has a nice productive buzz to it, thanks to all the nomads working in the space.
There are plenty of power points at the tables by the walls, and you shouldn’t struggle to get one of those spots. Tables are well spread out, so it’s easy to avoid distractions that can sometimes be annoying at other places on our best cafés list.
Be warned, there are some seriously delicious food smells coming from their kitchen, so you’re going to need to try one of their many lunch options. Hot drinks are an average of 5,000 COP ($1.92), or if you’re in a group try out the delicious French press for 8,800 COP ($3.08).
Upload speed: 1.19 mbps
Download speed: 14.46 mbps
Circular 3 #70-39
Other cafés in Medellín
Circular 74 #29b-22
Calle 30 Sur #43a-13
Tomasa y Al Alma, El Poblado (three locations in Medellín)
Calle 8 #35-37
Calle 39c #73-29
Botanika Lounge, El Poblado
Calle 9a #37-03
Do you have a favorite café in Medellín? Let us know about it in the comments below.
Sophie is a freelance writer from the north of England. She has been traveling and working in South America since August 2017, and currently lives in Medellín. She runs the blog Table for One, where she writes about what it’s really like to travel as a solo woman.