Restaurante Barcal: Excellent Contemporary Food

Inside Restaurante Barcal
Inside Restaurante Barcal

I wanted to take my Colombian wife to a nice restaurant for her birthday and we had heard good things about Restaurante Barcal but we hadn’t tried it yet so we decided to try it out.

Barcal is also rated one of the best restaurants in Medellín on TripAdvisor, it’s currently ranked #3.

This restaurant caters to a more sophisticated, adult clientele. The interior offers an intimate atmosphere suitable for any occasion, from business lunches to a night out with friends, or a romantic dinner date.

The main dining room has views of the open kitchen as well as being open to the back vegetable garden.

The restaurant chef at Restaurante Barcal is Miguel Warren, a young chef. Warren started his culinary studies at age 18 in at Colegiatura Colombiana.

He then traveled to San Sebatián, Spain, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary hotspots, to continue his studies at the Basque Culinary Center.

Miguel then moved back to Medellín and started crafting a plan to offer a modern restaurant that employs cutting-edge techniques while trying to stay true to traditional culinary concepts.

Restaurant Barcal opened in January 2015 and it is an upscale restaurant that is popular with locals and foreigners. On the weekends, this popular restaurant reportedly can get busy so I would recommend calling for a reservation.

Outside Restaurante Barcal
Outside Restaurante Barcal

Our Recent Experience at Restaurante Barcal

When we arrived we ordered a bottle of Malbec wine from the decent wine list and decided to try two of the appetizers – the Ibérico Bellota ham and the octopus with popcorn appetizer.

The Ibérico Bellota ham is from Spain and it was extremely thin cut and was very tasty.

The octopus was served over a bed of crushed popcorn with mango sauce, bolo dressing and beurre noisette.  I never tasted better grilled octopus.

My Colombian wife decided on the beef tenderloin, which comes with roasted garlic and potato purée. It was perfectly cooked and cost 37,000 pesos ($12.72).

The Beef Tenderloin with roasted garlic and potato purée
The Beef Tenderloin with roasted garlic and potato purée

I wanted something other than meat so I decided on the shrimp with crispy quinoa, soy sauce, cilantro and green papaya. The cost was 49,000 pesos ($16.85).

The shrimp was perfectly cooked and tasty but I tried my wife’s beef tenderloin and it was even tastier.

For desert we had the chocolate sphere, which you break open with caramel sauce inside over a bed of candied almonds. It was absolutely delicious and cost 17,000 pesos ($5.85).

The service was very attentive and professional and the ambiance was superb. Every dish was well prepared with some with exciting twists of flavor. They also have both English and Spanish language menus.

For two of us for dinner, including two appetizers, two entrées, a shared dessert, a bottle of Malbec wine plus including tip, the total was 262,000 pesos ($90.08).

Shrimp with crispy quinoa soy sauce, cilantro and green papaya
Shrimp with crispy quinoa, soy sauce, cilantro and green papaya

The Menu at Restaurante Barcal

Tired of Bandeja Paisa and Arepas and want to try something new and interesting?

Restaurante Barcal has a short but interesting menu. The appetizers include a sprout and citrus salad, mushrooms, salmon, ham, octopus, calamari, tomato soup, gazpacho and a few others that range in price from 19,000 pesos to 39,000 pesos.

Entrées include three pasta dishes ranging in price from 29,000 to 34,000 pesos, two shrimp dishes that each cost 49,000 pesos and a catch of the day fish that costs 39,000 pesos.

There is also boiled chicken for 29,000 pesos, suckling pig for 41,000 pesos, two different beef tenderloin dishes for 37,000 pesos and 39,000 pesos.

The restaurant also has lamb with asparagus, honey and rosemary, which is for two people for 88,000 pesos.

On the dessert menu are the chocolate and caramel sphere and the cookies & cream sphere – both cost 17,000 pesos. There is also olive oil ice cream for 16,000 pesos and Appenzeller cheese for 23,000 pesos.

The full menu can be seen here.

The restaurant has a decent selection of wines as well as your typical rum, whisky and aguardiente as well as a number of cocktails available from the bar. The restaurant serves many types of beers as well as natural juices and sodas.

Bellota ham appetizer and in background the Octopus with popcorn appetizer
Bellota ham appetizer and in the background the Octopus with popcorn appetizer

How to Get There

Barcal is located in El Poblado a couple blocks from Parque El Poblado and it’s also within walking distance from Parque Lleres, which is about five blocks away.

It’s also located near Hotel Dann on the other side of Avenida Poblado on Calle 7D.

By taxi simply give the address of Calle 7D #43A – 70 to the taxi driver.

The chocolate and caramel sphere with candied almonds and chocolate sponge
The chocolate and caramel sphere with candied almonds and chocolate sponge

The Bottom Line

Restaurante Barcal was an excellent experience for us from start to finish.  The restaurant has an interesting menu and we saw several items on the menu we would like to try so we plan to return.

We were really impressed with this restaurant and understand why it has such a high ranking on TripAdvisor.   After our first trip I would have to say this is now one of my favorite restaurants in Medellín. It’s one of my wife’s favorites also.

Some of the dishes are really creative and I understand the chef does keep the core dishes on the menu (most likely the most popular) but also makes occasional changes to the menu so there will be new things to try.


Top Restaurants from the Latin Hosts Medellín Guide

Barcal is included in Latin Hosts list of top restaurants based upon the experiences of their visitors and hosts in Medellín. Discover their other Medellín restaurant recommendations.

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  1. First found this place in January from Trip Advisor. Went with one other person and loved it, had the octopus and beef tenderloin and both were amazing. Went again in May and took a much larger group (11) and the food was still on point. Agreed menu is small and you might be able to argue that the plates are the same (smaller side) but we all left happy. I haven’t visited many restaurants in Medellin / Colombia but this is definitely my top.