Writer’s note: This is the fifth story in a monthly series on the “best of” Medellín and the surrounding area. To read the fourth story, click here.
This post was updated on Aug. 28, 2013.
Few foods are as ubiquitous as pizza. No matter where you go, you can find pizza, good and bad. Medellín is no different. So let’s focus on the good.
There are a handful of places in the city where you can find great pizza for all budgets. Like other places in this “best of” series, I had a hard time ranking these places.
Taste is always the biggest factor but price comes into play as well because do you really want to pay 20,000 pesos more for a pizza that tastes only 5,000 pesos better? I don’t.
But, as always, your feedback is welcome. We love opening a dialogue at MedellinLiving.com.
Opera Pizza El Graspo de Uva
I wish I knew about this place before writing this post. It’s a bit embarrassing to leave out the No. 1 place the first time around.
But that’s why I decided to do this revisions post, to make sure I get it right in the end, and El Graspo de Uva deserves the top spot.
It was about 24,000 pesos (or $13 or so) for my pizza (pictured above), but I would pay for it again. The sauce, crust and ingredients were perfect, the prosciutto especially delicious.
Next time you’re around Parque Poblado, keep walking down the hill, down Calle 9, until you’re about a block south of the park, and you’ll see a white building with vegetation growing all over it. Go inside. Have a pizza. You won’t regret it.
Pizzeria Olivia Cafe Zorba
This looks more like a place for sandwiches and poetry readings but it’s the pizza that’s going to keep me coming back.
Sure, I’d go back even if I had not just eaten something so good — I like its stealth location on this narrow strip of Calle 8, just off Avenida Poblado — but for me the pizza is the biggest reason to return.
The tomato sauce was perfect. The crust was perfect. The price was perfect (10,500 pesos, or almost $6).
I suppose the only complaint is that there are not a lot of pizza options. But like I said, it’s not really a place that you go to find great pizza.
It just happens to have that.
Pizzos Opera Pizza
Owned by four Italians, I learned about this place from a reader who commented on a past post. I went to find out if it would make my Top 5 Italian restaurants in the city, and it snuck in at No. 5.
Yeah, the pasta and other dishes are good. But it’s the pizza that’s great.
So is the price: the most expensive pie is about 20,000 pesos (about $11.25).
As I said last time, they don’t deliver, their only flaw. But that’s fine with me. I live in Laureles, near the restaurant. I can eat there whenever I want.
4. Restaurante Toscano Trattoria e Pizzeria
As you can see, it ranked a little lower for pizza but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.
You can choose your toppings so I picked ham, tomatoes and pesto, a good combination, something I’ll do again.
I like the price too, 22,000 pesos for my pizza (almost $12.50), somewhere between Opera and Pizzos, and the owner, Felix, an Italian from his country’s southern region, is so friendly.
An outdoor table, by the sidewalk, is also preferable, considering its location just up the hill from Parque Lleras.
You’ll enjoy the entire experience at Toscano.
Cafe Zorba Pizzería Olivia
This nearly dropped out of the Top 5, and only stayed instead of Pizzos because getting up near El Tesoro for a pizza is too much work if you don’t live near there.
The pizza at Pizzeria Olivia is good, but I’ve had bad service enough times that I wonder if I’ll ever go back. The failure to bring me a glass of water unless I ask twice is annoying, but I can put up with it, because that seems to happen at most Colombian restaurants.
But having a waitress who is unfriendly, as well as inattentive, is too much.
Good thing the pizza is good. The sauce and crust are very good, and the price isn’t too bad (22,000 pesos, or almost $12.50), considering I ordered seafood toppings and something unique.
Now if the service eventually matches the pizza, it could make a case for No. 1.
1969 pizza down in zona rosa i would recommend. Domino’s is there, otherwise in general the food there isnt so hot. It tends to lack flavor, only my humble opinion, but I know others agree. bon appetit
tried 1969 in laureles. it was good. just missed the top 5. these things are so hard to decide
This is the best pizzeria –> http://www.martincarrera.com/2011/01/la-mejor-pizzerria-de-medellin.html
I have heard good things about Zorba, but my personal favorite is the pizzeria on Calle Argentina. They actually have a brick oven with wood fire and spectacular meats and sauces.
i just heard about that place recently. i’ll have to try it and maybe amend the post. yikes! no, but seriously, i want to make sure i have the best ones so i’ll give it a shot and we’ll see. hope all is well at colombia reports!
Zorba very inconsistent quality and service….I like their salads,limonada and the patio. Went to Pizzeria on Calle Argentina tonight. I rate their pizza in a first place tie with CRESPO DEL UVA….however a bit pricy;no credit cards accepted…nice atmosphere!!
Depends on what kind of pizza you like. If you like American/Canadian style, Dominos is far and away #1 in Colombia, Medellin and Cali at least. This article is def much more geared toward legit Italian style.
I can tell you where NOT to get pizza though, Jeno’s, just not very good, piccolo’s wasn’t very good either and it was kinda pricey.
There’s a place next to Unicentro basically that sells giant slices, it wasn’t bad for Colombian style pizza (not thick enough and with things like corn as toppings) also there’s a franchise called Pizzaco and it’s pizza in a cone, that’s pretty good actually.
pizzaco sounds really interesting. i’ll definitely try that!
Definitely Cafe Zorba …..awesome pizza…loved it. Good price too.
yeah, i really liked zorba too. it’s so hard to decide among these places, sometimes i think maybe i should just roll out a top 5 and let everybody vote. hmmm, there’s an idea…
Out in Santa Elena is El Monasterio.simply perfect pizza and fresh breads.
The place is mistic and the ride there is awesome.
i love the ride to santa elena! usually i go to parque arvi first, on the metrocable, then take the bus through santa elena, to take in the great view from a different vantage point as you make your way into the city. next time, looks like i have to make a quick stop instead of taking the bus the whole way. thanks for the tip!
After trying MANY different Italian/pizza places in Medellin, both my husband and myself are fanatics, we accidentally came upon Toscano, while walking thru the neighborhood…..and WOW, what a great find!!! We have travelled extensively throughout Italy, and Felice’s (the owner) recipes are 100% authentic!!! The ingredients, the cheese, the CRUST, all to die for!! Along with all of his other dishes on the menu, what a great place to eat authentic Italian in Medellin, you will not be disappointed!!! Great family styled service and amazing ambiance make this a great place for an unforgettable meal, a can’t miss stop while in this beautiful city!!!
thanks for commenting on the blog as well! i saw felice recently and we talked about the story and your comments, and how i should have written the same on the blog. it’s tough to choose, it really is. i know this: you’re definitely right that the food and the pizza is great at toscano!
Yes, he thanked me for my comments, Felice is a great guy, and wonderful host!!! We really look forward to visiting our hometown, AND eating at Toscano’s!! And thank you for introducing me to this blog/website, even being a paisa, I’ve gotten a great perspective and a lot of interesting info from others of my beautiful city! 🙂
thanks for reading! and to tell you the truth, while the blog includes the perspectives of foreigners and caters to their likes as well, most of my tips come from paisas because the overwhelming majority of my friends in medellin are paisas, my roommates are paisas, and all my coworkers at my other job are paisas. so most of what i write is already paisa-approved 🙂
I am partial to NYC style pizza (thin crust), so I really enjoy the pizza here in Medellin. But there is a very good (albeit expensive, 35.000COP for a personal size pizza) Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza joint in San Lucas Plaza. So if you get a craving once in a while for real Chicago style deep dish, they have it! Here is the link to their facebook page if anyone is interested in checking them out:
And of course you lazy bastard didn’ t bother to write the addresses. Maybe you even haven’t visited the places?
There’s no need for name calling Jack. Click on the links for the restaurants to find their addresses. We now try to include all the addresses in the actual blog post itself.
My favorite pizza spot is El Graspo de Uva. However, I tried a place out the other day that was actually recommended by the chef at El Graspo de Uva that is simple called The Pizzeria. It may have bumped El Graspo de Uva off of the top spot on my list…….I need to go back again to make sure. The owner of The Pizzeria was actually trained by the owner of El Graspo de Uva and used to work there before he went out on his own. It is downtown on Argentina Street and Giradot. (about 2 blocks up from Giradot). It opens at 5PM. If nothing else, it will get you out of the Poblado-Laureles Matrix!
Thanks for the tip Gary!
The place used to be called “Donde Quién (cocina más bueno)”. I found the name fantastic. Sad they changed it to something so generic as “Pizzeria”. I went there the first time in 2009 and it’s my favourite Pizza and a lovely old house with patio. It could suit your ‘hiding restaurants’, too.
Calle 57 Argentina #41-57
For me, the best pizza place in Medellin is Bruno. It is a new place, located in the Poblado. The place is beautiful. They have a brick oven, and the recipe is Italian. It is the best pizza I ever taste. The tomato sause, the cheese, everything!
The music is awsome. If somebody wants to go and try it, the address is Carrera 35 # 10 b – 33. But be careful, on fridays and saturdays, you must reservate a table. The number is (4) 2663445.
Hey Ryan I’m totally with you on El Graspo and Zorba, but how Opera gets in at number 3 completely escapes me – uninterested, unwelcoming staff, red wine with ice crystals virtually hanging from the glass, and most importantly, insipid, tasteless, unseasoned pizza! Yes, the crust is good, but if I wanted cheese on toast I’d make it at home! Since I live in La Floresta and El Poblado is a trek, I was hoping for something good in Laureles – I won’t be going back to Opera though!
Went to Graspo de Uva for lunch a few days ago and had pizza. The pizza at Olivia is much better (haven’t tried the other places listed). I would not return to Graspo. The pizza is brick oven and edible of course, but it’s far from anything special. I had the margerita and my partner had the Italian sausage which also came with the Colombian mystery meat that could have been taken from a zenú package. Also, it took a very long time, despite the fact that we were the only ones in the restaurant at lunch time. I was also bitten by mosquitoes about three times in the courtyard! In general the place is pretty run down and probably not where you would want to go on a date.
*if only* . . . this list of best pizzas in Medellin were added to a custom Google map!
This list is dated. IMHO Pizza en Leña in Sabaneta beats every pizza on this list if you like thin crust pizza cooked in a brick oven. There is a new Pizza en Leña location that is near Parque Sabaneta. It is found on the right from the church down a food alley with several restaurants, it’s less than a block from Parque Sabaneta – See here with a map to the original location: http://medellinliving.com/pizza-en-lena/.
Indeed I do. Thin crust, brick-oven cooked is needed for perfect pizza! I’m glad you’re fond of Pizza Leña, as I may well end up choosing Sabaneta when we move there. It’ll be one of the first restaurants I go to. Reading and saving the article now. Thanks Jeff.