Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Alice Ko.
The choices for a sweet treat can be overwhelming in Medellín. So before you waste those calories and step into the first panaderia you see, we’ve curated a mix of popular hot spots and hidden gems. This is our list of the 10 best desserts spots in El Poblado, so your taste-buds can get their sugar fix on.
Arequipe, guayaba pastries and ice cream — oh my! Take a walk around any block in any neighborhood here and it’s quickly obvious: locals love desserts in Medellín and they aren’t shy about it. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see people enjoying helado (ice cream) in the early morning hours.
Here are our recommendations for the 10 best desserts spots in Poblado. And these best desserts spots are in no particular order, as everyone’s tastes are different.
1. MeLate Cafe
MeLate is the first of our best desserts spots. It’s a chocolate lovers dream come true (at least it was mine). This shop may be small, but MeLate sells everything. And I mean everything. Find handmade chocolates and truffles, fondues, cakes, cookies, baked goods, chocolate drinks and chocolate cocktails (the ‘Omen’, a blend of chocolate and mint liqueur, should perk you up!)
Everything in this cozy cafe is made from 100% Colombian chocolate and you can even pre-order cakes for special occasions.
Chocolate lovers should try the ‘Negra Intenciones’ (Black Intentions), a chocolate cake filled with arequipe, that comes with a side of fresh strawberries and semi-bittersweet ganache.
If you’re looking for unique gifts, MeLate has you covered. Their 40g bean-to-bar chocolate bars come in a variety of mixes (we prefer the 80%), and they carry special gift boxes that fit 2-12 chocolates, and 9-12 bars. Note the above photo from MeLate Cafe is by Alice Ko.
Address: Cra. 36 #8A – 40, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Thursday (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (10 a.m. – 10 p.m.), Sunday (1 pm – 7 pm)
2. Arte Dolce
Arte Dolce’s mouthwatering gelato tastes like it is flown in straight from Italy. Therefore, it was no surprise to learn that Arte Dolce is owned by an Italian, Lorenzo Luciano, and his Colombian wife Luisa. These two have brilliantly combined the refreshing texture of perfect Italian gelato with unique Colombian flavors like guanabana, and watermelon lemonade.
This place definitely belongs on our list of the best desserts spots. My personal favorite at this best desserts spot is the peanut butter and chocolate caliente. The gelato is also made on the premise so if you’re lucky, try to catch a fresh batch coming out of the kitchen! Hungry? Try their gigantic gelato sandwich cookies.
This gem place only has outdoor seating and is hidden on one of the quieter corners of Poblado. So it’s the perfect place to unwind, relax and eat your gelato. Arte Dolce also offers excellent coffee, baked goods and a variety of savoury items.
Address: Cra.33 #7-167, Medellín, Antioquia (they also have a location in San Lucas Mall)
Hours: Monday (Closed, Tuesday – Thursday (8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.), Thursday – Saturday (8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.), Sunday (8:30 am – 7 pm)
3. Crepes and Waffles
I was skeptical of this chain and had low expectations. Crepes were just crepes right? I was proved wrong. As a chain, there are over 100 Crepes and Waffles locations in Colombia with expansions all over South America.
I was immediately impressed with the large wall made from living plants at the location on Cra.36. I was soon given a laundry list of options featuring a laundry list of savory and sweet crepes and waffle combinations.
I have since come back to Crepes and Waffles too many times to remember. My recommendation is to pick anything with Nutella. If you’re looking for a taste of Medellín, try the crepe with sautéed plantains and raisins, soaked in cognac.
This place even has a separate luxe menu with ‘specialty’ sweets which may make you think you’re looking through a program for an art show. Try the Capricho de Maracuyá o Curuba if you’re looking for a more elegant choice.
Address: Cra. 36 # 1054, Medellin, Antioquia (other locations are listed on their website)
Hours: Monday – Wednesday (12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.), Thursday (12 p.m. – 10 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.), Sunday (12:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
4. Cafe Velvet
Ask any digital nomad where they go for a good cup of coffee and they’ll likely say Cafe Velvet. A hotspot for freelancers and remote workers, Velvet is modeled after its Belgian counterpart and they even roast their own beans.
What else is Belgium known for? Chocolate. That’s why you’ll go back to Velvet for their dense, creamy, rich chocolate cake (at least I do!) This is the cake that will turn chocolate skeptics into chocolate lovers.
Velvet also sells other baked goods, lunch items and an assortment of drinks. You’ll want to give yourself time to review the variety of chocolate drinks as it will be hard to choose! Take your pick of dark, milk or white chocolate. If you’re not in the mood for chocolate cake, the warm apple cake to carrot cake are a strong second contenders.
Bonus: All drinks are accompanied by a mini madeleine cookie or piece of chocolate.
Read Dave’s original review of Velvet Cafe here .
Address: Cra. 37 #8a46, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Saturday (8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.), Sunday (11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
Wine bar, cafe, restaurant, library – whatever you call it – Saramago is a place where stories are built and read.
Named after Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, José Saramago, this charming spot pays homage to famous authors like J.K. Rowling, Ernest Hemingway, and Gabriel García Márquez. Each dish is created specifically with each writer in mind.
There is a full dessert menu and I tried the William Shakespeare, “a British dessert inspired by the love of Romeo and Juliet”. I was delighted when presented with bread and butter pudding, bathed in arequipe sauce and accompanied with strawberries, cherries, coconut ice cream, blueberries, and white chocolate.
Get lost in a corner with one of their many books, looking at the artwork, reading the quotes painted on the wall, or enjoy one of their live music and author events.
Address: Carrera 36 # 8a- 60, Medellin, Antioquia
Hours: Monday (5 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.), Tuesday – Saturday (4 p.m. – 11 p.m.), Sunday (12:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
6. Mandala Cafe
This is my favorite hidden gem of the best desserts bunch. If you’re looking for a quiet, calm place to retreat with coffee and sweets, look no further. Mandala Cafe just opened its door in early March and they describe themselves as: “a place where imagination, childhood, creativity and dreams can be experienced” and I agree.
The first thing I noticed when browsing the counter were the beautifully wrapped sugar cookies with mandala designs (too pretty to eat!) that matched the colorful, welcoming decor of the cafe. Mandala Cafe also serves coffee, and other treats such as assorted brownies and the staff favorite – chocolate cake.
If the cake and friendly staff don’t keep you going back — then the light-filled space with a shelf full of browsable books, paintable mandala placemats or meditation events will.
Address: Carrera 42 # 9-09, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Saturday (9 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
7. La Fournee
If Arte Dolce is an import from Italy, La Fournee is an import from France. This small, traditional, French artisan bakery is tucked away in Provenza and looks like a bakery you would find on the streets of Paris.
With panaderias on every corner in Medellín, you may be skeptical to make the trek to La Fournee. We promise you won’t be disappointed. The folks here keep it simple by specializing in just a few types of high-quality, French-made bread, and croissants. Their warm, soft and gooey chocolate croissants melt in your mouth and are so good, you’ll dream about them.
You might even cry when you see the doors closed when the staff are on break (like I did!). Bonus: They open early and on bank holidays!
Address: Cra. 35 #774, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Sunday (8 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
8. Lenteja Express
If you’re looking for a ‘healthier’ option, Lenteja Express is for you.
This popular vegetarian chain (known for their vegetarian burger patties) offer dessert options that you can feel good about, like the vegan chocolate cake. Warm, fluffy and light – this cake is a dessert that won’t make you feel bloated or give you a food coma.
They also serve delicious non-vegan cheesecakes that are creamy, topped with fruit and keep you very satisfied. Pay attention to Lenteja’s Instagram, they run promotions from time and time, and even gave out free dessert to all women on International Women’s Day.
Address: Cra. 35 #776, Medellín, Antioquia (check their website for other locations)
Hours: Monday – Thursday (11:45 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (11:45 a.m. – 11 p.m.), Sunday (11:45 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.)
9. Como Pez En El Agua
The best thing about Como Pez En El Agua might be looking at beautiful bite-sized treats in its glass display case at the front of the cafe. Their pastries, cakes and cookies are so gorgeous – you may not want to eat them as they resemble pieces of art.
The second best thing? Small-sized treats mean they can be eaten guilt-free and if you’re indecisive, you can eat more than one. And just because the treats are small, doesn’t mean they don’t pack a delicious punch. The mini fruit tarts come with a perfectly baked pastry crust, the bite-sized brownies are rich and the mini cheesecakes are creamy.
Como Pez En El Agua also have a very popular Instagram account where you can view daily creations. If their perfect presentations don’t get you salivating, we don’t know what will.
They also create custom creations for weddings, corporate events and holidays.
While we wouldn’t recommend the mini chocolate croissant (not enough chocolate, save your croissant hunger for La Fournee), give their chocolate arequipe, red velvet and and key lime cakes a try. Read our original review of Como Pez En Al Agua here.
Address: Cra. 35 # 8a67, Medellin, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Wednesday (9 a.m. – 7 p.m.), Thursday – Saturday (9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.), Sunday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
10. The Chocolate House, our final best desserts place
The Chocolate House name says it all. Filled with all things chocolate, this warm, cozy ‘casa’ was filled with locals when we visited for the first time on a Sunday evening.
The service we received was fast, welcoming and cheerful with a matching atmosphere as helium balloons were floating in almost every corner.
We tried the chocolate volcano cake and this was to die for (watch the video of this cake on their website). It was the perfect balance of cake, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. The cake was light, fluffy and not too sweet. The chocolate lava that flowed out of the cake was of perfect consistency and temperature – not too hot but just right. I can’t wait to try the chocolate lemonade and waffles next time.
If you’re seeking a healthy option, they also have a fitness collection where they sell healthy brownies, cakes and even sugar-free arequipe! Read our original review of The Chocolate House here.
Address: Cl. 8 #34-33, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Thursday (1:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.), Friday ((1:45 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m. – 10:45 p.m.), Sunday (9 a.m. – 8:45 p.m.)
Alice is from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and has lived in New York, Beijing, and most recently, lives in Medellín. Alice runs Pivot Six, a digital-remote collective of marketing professionals. When she’s not busy learning Spanish, or eating avocados, this expat in El Poblado helps people become morning birds at Love Your Mornings.
If you have any other best desserts spots we missed in El Poblado, please let us know!