Federal Ribs: a Chain of Good Rib Joints in Medellín

Federal Ribs in Sabaneta
Federal Ribs in Sabaneta

I happen to like BBQ ribs and Federal Ribs has quickly become my favorite place for ribs in Medellín.

I recently went to lunch with a neighbor in Sabaneta, who is a reader of Medellín Living. We decided to go to Mayorca mall and try one of the new restaurants there. We decided on Federal Ribs – the Mayorca location is this chain’s newest restaurant.

Federal Ribs was included in a story about the Best Ribs in Medellín on this site back in 2014. But it is worth updating this as Federal Ribs now has four restaurants in Medellín and they also have a different menu with new prices.

Federal Ribs has restaurants located in four of the most popular neighborhoods for expats in Medellín, in El Poblado, Envigado, Laureles and Sabaneta.

Federal Ribs was inspired by the cooking in the South in the United States, which drove their decision to open restaurants in Medellín specializing in BBQ ribs.

Full Rack of of ribs with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce
Full Rack of of ribs with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce

My Experiences at Federal Ribs

When I went to Federal Ribs for the first time with my neighbor I had a half rack with Ron Medellín BBQ sauce with sides of buttery corn on the cob and salad.

Both my neighbor and I were impressed with the ribs, which were tender, juicy with meat nearly falling off the bone.

I liked the ribs so much I returned a few days later to Federal Ribs with my Colombian wife for lunch. We had onion rings as an appetizer, which were very tasty.

We shared a full rack of ribs with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. We had corn on the cob and fries as sides. My wife loved the ribs and they were just as good as the first time for me.

The total for the two of us for lunch including two juices and tip was 73,000 pesos ($23.84).

Federal Ribs also offer delivery (domicilio) services. So if you are located near one of the restaurants you can have ribs delivered to your home.

Onion Ring appetizer
Onion Ring appetizer

The Menu at Federal Ribs

Federal Ribs specializes in ribs and they offer three types of “special” ribs priced at 25,900 pesos for a half-rack and 43,900 pesos for a full rack:

  1. Ribs with Federal BBQ sauce
  2. Ribs with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce
  3. Ribs with reduction of black beer

They also offer six additional types of “traditional” ribs priced at 24,900 pesos for a half-rack and 41,900 pesos for a full rack:

  1. Ribs with Chipotle sauce
  2. Ribs with Ron Medellín BBQ sauce
  3. Ribs with reduction of espresso, caramel and balsamic sauce
  4. Ribs with reduction of Maracuyá
  5. Ribs with Diablo sauce (spicy)
  6. Ribs with Louisiana sauce

So that is a total of nine different rib options available at Federal Ribs.

Each of the ribs orders comes with two sides and you can chose from coleslaw, corn on the cob, caramelized red onions, green salad, chili, French fries, and several other potato options.

They also have on the menu BBQ chicken for 23,900 pesos, certified Angus beef New York or Texas steaks for 49,900 pesos or grilled Salmon for 34,900 pesos.

In addition they have a great Rib-burger (with beef, bacon, rib meat and cheese) for 27,900 pesos plus a couple of salad options as well, priced at 19,900 pesos and 21,900 pesos.

They also have several appetizers priced at between 8,900 to 14,900 pesos, including chicken wings, chicken tenders, baby back ribs, cheese fingers and onion rings.

For drinks they have natural juices for 6,900 pesos, sodas and bottled water for 3,900 pesos, several beer options priced from 5,500 to 8,000 pesos. They also offer wines and Sangria.

In addition they have several liquors available including Whisky, Vodka, Tequila, Baileys and Rum.

Inside the Sabaneta Federal Ribs at lunch
Inside the Sabaneta Federal Ribs at lunch

How to Get There

Federal Ribs has four restaurant locations in the Medellín metro area.   The easiest one to get to is probably the Federal Ribs located in Sabaneta. It is located on the top floor in the new expansion of Mayorca mall. This mall is conveniently right next to the Itagüí metro station.

So you can take the metro to get to this Sabaneta restaurant. This location is on the map below.

The other three Federal Ribs restaurant locations are as follows:

  • El Poblado: Carrera 35 # 10B-17 – domicilios: 368-8895
  • Envigado: Calle 30 Sur #44A-07, Calle de la Buena Mesa – domicilios: 366-9706
  • Laureles: Circular 75 #39B-21 – domicilios: 411-9830

The Bottom Line

I’m a big fan of BBQ ribs and my favorite rib place in Medellín before trying Federal Ribs was Mu, which I have been to many times over the past six years. But the biggest problem with Mu is that it is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights each week.

Federal Ribs in comparison is open every day for both lunch and dinner. It’s more the kind of restaurant you can casually drop into for lunch or dinner more on a whim.  This is unlike Mu that requires more planning. Federal Ribs also has a bigger menu.

Federal Ribs conveniently offers domicilio services so I can have ribs delivered at home, which is dangerous as they are good. By the way I love domicilio in Colombia.  It’s so convenient that you can have so many things delivered – groceries, things from the drugstore, food from so many restaurants and so many other things.

We actually ordered Federal Ribs domicilio last night, as my wife and I weren’t in the mood to cook. The ribs arrived about 30 minutes after we ordered.  And they were just as good as in the restaurant.

In short, if you love ribs, or simply want to gnaw on a juicy bone, then try out Federal Ribs.

Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!



  1. I like federal but there is no beating Mu.
    Yes they only open weekends but the owner Simon has personally cooked every rib that has been served for seven years, and it shows by the consistency, which for me has let down federal as they have expanded

  2. I took my chica there and she loved Federal Ribs -really thanked me for it afterwards!

    Mu, way too expensive for me and too many gringos. Like to be where the locals are!

    • I agree with you. My wife loves Federal Ribs and it’s more convenient as it’s open more of the time than Mu. I understand why Federal Ribs now has four locations in the Medellín metro area.

  3. My issue with Federal Ribs is that it’s unfathomable to me that a ribs joint inspired by southern cooking didn’t serve cornbread.

    I went to the one in Envigado in early 2016.