Cachao: Cuban Food & Salsa in Parque Lleras

Cachao happy hour
Take advantage of the daily 30% off happy hour discount.

Editor’s Note: As of January 2013, this restaurant was closed, and replaced by a different establishment.

Cachao Restaurante and Mojitos was the new kid on the block when I returned to Medellin in mid 2010, and the first time I stepped inside this Parque Lleras establishment was to be interviewed by Christine (from Almost Fearless) for her video documentary.

Inside, you’ll find red tables and chairs, and leather couches which act as a semi-lounge, sip your mojito in style kinda area while you’re waiting for your Cuban food to be served.

While we were there for the interview, we enjoyed a beer as it was mid-afternoon, and I spied the menu, which seemed expensive (at least the drink menu did).  The cocktails and mojito prices began around 18,000 pesos ($9), and so I made a mental note that the place was out of my price range.

Unfortunately for me, I’d be purposefully missing out on an awesome environment, delicious Cuban food, AND great salsa music as a result.

Fish, served with plantains, coconut rice, and salad.
Fish, served with plantains, coconut rice, and salad.

Earlier this week, I decided to give Cachao a shot for a dinner date, and was more than satisfied with the service, food, and ambiance.

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays feature a live salsa band, and the couches are usually full of people enjoying the music, so I know those nights would be good.

My dinner was on a Sunday night, and we practically had the whole place to ourselves.  We picked the couch we wanted (in a back corner, of course) and enjoyed a pre-dinner beer before moving to one of the nearby tables to enjoy our entrées.  Both of our entrees were super delicious, and it seemed like the musical playlist for the night was taken from a list of my favorite salsa songs.

Chicken breast in cream sauce
Chicken breast in a decadent cream sauce. Substituted coconut rice for french fries.

After dinner, we returned to the couches to continue lounging, talking, and enjoying our beers.

The entrees ran about 22,000 pesos ($11) each, which meant the Pilsen beers were probably about $8,000 pesos ($4) each.  Including tax and tip, the bill for two came out to about 80,000 pesos ($40).

By US standards, that’s reasonable, but if you’re still thinking the prices are too high, then stop by Cachao for lunch where you can get dishes for 13,900 pesos ($7) while taking advantage of their daily happy hour which allows 30% off drinks from 12 – 7 pm.

Cachao Restaurante & Mojitos occupies a prime corner location diagonally opposite the Juan Valdez Cafe in Parque Lleras.  Whether you want to sample the cuisine on a budget for lunch, or enjoy the live salsa music with a date on the weekends, Cachao is worth your time.

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