A new culinary trend began to emerge in Medellin these last couple of years, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
I see restaurants promoting causa, ceviche and lomo saltado all over the place.
Peruvian restaurants are hot. Everyone is getting to know them and like them and I wanted to know where I can find the best Peruvian food in the city.
I’ve seen 10, and Trip Advisor says there are 17, and I automatically eliminated some of them because I can’t get on board with a place that serves Italian and Peruvian food. But it’s a big city, so maybe there are more I don’t know about yet, and if you do, please tell me in the comments below.
After all, I’m going to list only my Top 5 so you are welcome to disagree with me or ask me if I have tried your No. 1 place.
Because Peruvian food is one of my favorites, price is not really an issue for me if the taste is right, so I’m making recommendations strictly based on how strongly the flavors moved me.
Well, that and location. Sorry Cuzco, but going to Parque Comercial El Tesoro or Las Palmas to eat at your establishment is a one-time thing. I’ll be going that way only when I’m taking a shortcut to Poblado via the Inferior, or headed to and from the airport.
OK, enough chit-chat. Let’s get to the list.
Calle 30 Sur #44A-41, Envigado
This is your place, if you are looking for the most authentic Peruvian food in Medellín. I didn’t realize it at first — the reason our No. 3 restaurant on this list was originally No. 1 — but after almost a month in Perú, I do.
The ceviche at Chiclayo was delicious, a necessity at a Peruvian joint. The two pieces of yucca that came with it were a nice addition on an already-amazing presentation.
Then came the arroz con pollo, which just looked Peruvian, maybe because the rice had a green tinge, and I think of that color being associated with Peru because there is so much jungle there, once you get to the country’s eastern regions.
Even better was the flavor and how the chicken was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the best I’ve ever tasted when it comes to this dish, and I’ve had some pretty good arroz con pollo, thanks to Cuban friends and restaurants in South Florida.
I loved little things here too, like the dinner table mats with designs and material that made me think about Peru, and the pictures on the wall depicting parts of the country, such as Machu Picchu.
If you’re in the beautiful Jardines neighborhood, give it a try. Overall just a great dining experience.
2. Restaurante Piqueo
Carrera 35 #10B-50, Poblado
Yet another place that needed a second look (or taste) for me to realize what ranking it truly deserves.
I have to thank the readers who championed the food at Restaurante Piqueo, because now I am as well.
The platter for two — tuna tataki, ceviche de pescado, chicharrón de camarones, sauteed octopus with potatoes, and fried shrimp on causa with shredded crab on top — is my favorite menu item.
The ambience might be even better.
As one reader said, the restaurant is in an old colonial house. It reminds me of The Veranda, a popular Florida restaurant where the who’s who of Fort Myers used to eat.
I can see Piqueo being one of those places in Medellín.
3. Peru Mix
Calle 10 #37-08, Parque Lleras or Calle 38 #75-06, Laureles
I won’t bore you by writing the same things I wrote in a previous post, which has all the details about how awesome the food is here.
What I’m most impressed with is how fast the restaurant is growing.
Founder and owner Juan Luis Vera is looking for a bigger location than his busy spot along Calle 10 about a block from Parque Lleras, which he opened in September 2011.
He’s franchising what he started too.
The company launched with three of Juan’s best paisa friends as his partners, and after a lot of hard work and investment, they opened a second location by the rompoy at Segundo Parque de Laureles, a place that has become immediately popular in the neighborhood.
The next location could be in Envigado. It just depends on when the next investors come along.
4. Peru Mania
Carrera 43A #18 Sur-145 Local 3037, Poblado
Hidden to so many because of its location in the Sao Paulo Plaza at the frontera (border) of Envigado and Medellin, you can get some pretty decent food at Peru Mania.
I started with an appetizer platter: ceviche, causa, onion rings, wings. Then I had fish, tilapia I think it was, and the citrus flavor was great. It came with rice and a bit of vegetables.
It can get a bit crowded because the restaurant is crammed into a food court with a handful of places to eat. But if you’re about to have lunch before doing something else, such as going to a meeting in the plaza or buying groceries at the Carulla next door, consider this place.
5. Puerto Inka
Transversal 39 #74-47, Laureles
The first time I had Peruvian food in Medellin, it was here.
I liked it. The ceviche is good. And the solomito nazca, a piece of beef tenderloin smothered in a garlic cream sauce, is pretty good too. I also like the chaufa.
You can’t go wrong if you eat Puerto Inka, and it beats out a handful of places to make my Top 5.
But I think I’ve been pretty clear: If I eat Peruvian food in Medellin, it’s gonna be at Chiclayo.
It is in a class by itself.
* The inclusion of Piqueo led to the removal of Revolution from the Top 5.