Edelweiss Helados Artesanales: A Noble Quest for Gelato in Barrio Manila

Gelato at Edel Eis in Barrio Manila
Gelato at Edel Eis in Barrio Manila
Gelato at Edel Eis in Barrio Manila
Gelato at Edel Eis in Barrio Manila

In case it hasn’t become clear by now, I love to eat.

My most recent conquest in Medellín was a German-owned gelato shop, Edel Eis (also known as Edelweiss), whose name translates to “noble ice.”

Finding the place was a noble quest indeed. Located in the neighborhood of Manila, even the taxi driver was unsure of where to find the address we were searching for.

He dropped us on what we assumed was the correct block and we began to wander.

Upon discovering a building on Calle 12 marked 43D-17 that was not, in fact, Edel Eis, we finally asked a shop owner where we could find the noble ice we were after. Clearly I had the wrong address—or so I thought.

We were directed back down the hill in the direction from which we had just come. The second pass failed to reveal the gelato shop once again. We asked for directions a second time, to be directed back up the hill, from where we had just come. We must be blind, we thought.

On the brink of throwing in the towel, I finally spotted the big blue sign reading Edel Eis in all caps, hidden behind a giant blue umbrella.

Edel Eis Gelato, Medellín
Edel Eis as seen from the street

As we approached the tiny shop, I was flabbergasted to see the address plastered on the outside (also hidden behind a metal gate) that read 43D-17.

Rather inconveniently, there were two identical addresses on the same street, a block apart from one another.

We later noticed there is also a sandwich board that reads “Edelweiss Helados Artesanales” on the sidewalk that we hadn’t seen, and then realized perhaps it was because it’s facing the wrong direction on the one-way street, invisible to passing cars.

The fact that it appears to be known by two different names only confused me further.

Edelweiss gelato
The Edelweiss sign

My Paisa friend who had accompanied me could only shake his head and laugh: “Welcome to Colombia.”

The inside is sparsely decorated with not much to hint at German ownership, other than the word “Eismanufaktur” scrawled across the top of the chalkboard menu and a sampling of German breads and pretzels for sale on the left-hand wall.

They had 14 gelato flavors on offer that day; three water-based fruit flavors (mandarine, passionfruit and berry) and the remainder creamy milk-based flavors like stracciatella (the Italian version of chocolate chip), mint chocolate or Snickers.

The fruit flavors contain no animal products and thus would be suitable options for vegans and vegetarians.

Like any good gelato shop, they offer as many samples as you’d like before committing to one (or two). I regret not sampling the basil flavored gelato purely for novelty’s sake, but the apple pie flavor was quite good.

Edelweiss Gelato
A few of the available flavors

You can choose from three sizes of cups, a cone, a milkshake or an ice cream bar.

I ordered a two-scoop cup with cappuccino and tartufo (chocolate and hazelnut) flavors for 5,000 pesos ($2.50) and my friend ordered a single-scoop of stracciatella for 3,000 pesos ($1.50). He eventually went back for a bar of stracciatella as well (3,500 pesos, or $1.75).

I’d heard rumors that Edel Eis served some of Medellin’s best gelato, so my expectations may have been unreasonably high.

I have to admit, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the product. The flavors were nice, but it didn’t have that dense, creamy texture that I am accustomed to; instead it felt a bit too icy and grainy.

Stracciatell gelato at Edel Eis
A bar of stracciatella gelato

I finished my gelato without complaint, but would I return to Edel Eis again? Probably not. With so many other gelato options in the city, I’m much more likely to continue searching for that perfectly creamy cup.

Additionally, I would have loved to sip an espresso or cup of coffee with my gelato, but the only beverages Edel Eis has to offer are a couple of fruit juices or soft drinks.

When I later visited the Edelweiss website, I was surprised to find photos of elaborate gelato creations served in crystal glasses and covered in toppings and sauces, quite a different picture than what we found on our visit and none of which was advertised in the shop itself.

Overall, I felt this trip to Edel Eis fell short of noble. Of course, this is only my opinion; if you happen to be in the Manila neighborhood and craving a cold treat, it might be worth it to stop by—if you can find it, that is.

Should you decide to pay Edel Eis a visit, the correct address can be found on Calle 12 between Carrera 43D and Carrera 43E.

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  1. Any place that shows elaborate confections in the advertising but which aren’t on offer at the actual store is somehow dishonest…in my mind anyway.