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Sustainable Eateries: Discover Medellin's Top Four Vegetarian- and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Being vegetarian (or even vegan) is hard in South America. The dishes contain beef as their main protein source and are accompanied by rice and beans. That fact makes it almost impossible to maintain a healthy, balanced, and plant-based diet while traveling.


Colombia is, unfortunately, not an exception. Their national dish Bandeja Paisa is exactly what I’ve described before - rice, beans, and meat.


Once I arrived in Medellin, I was on the lookout for vegetarian- and vegan-friendly spots. Finding spots for breakfast/brunch wasn't a challenge. However, finding places to dine for a proper meal was a bit of a challenge and after spending two weeks in the city, I proudly can recommend four eateries without any doubts.


So, if you’re in Medellin looking for dine-in spots, look no further! This blog post contains my favorite vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants in Medellin.

Tables of Contents:


Pita’s Buffet (Laureles)

Are you looking for a quick spot to fill your stomach with plenty of vegetables, grains, and legumes? And that comes with a substitute meat (for your protein intake)? And that tastes delicious? Pita’s Buffet is your place!


It’s not the most fancy-looking restaurant, but the food is mouth-watering and delicious plus is served at an unbeatable price.


It’s located in the neighborhood of Laureles which is around 20 minutes away from El Poblado by taxi. Unfortunately, the restaurant is only open until 6 pm but if you’re hungry early (or would like to visit for lunch) you’ll be rewarded.


For only 24,900 Colombian Pesos you get a plate full of veggies, rice, and substitute meat. The drink and a dessert are also included; for those still hungry, you can grab an empanada for less than 5,000 COP.


🤫 Next door you find an organic store where you can buy healthy snacks in between.


Pizzeria Olivia Maria (El Poblado)

Midst the touristy neighborhood of El Poblado there’s an Italian restaurant called Olivia. A restaurant chain that serves delicious Italian food and even more. It’s not specialized in serving vegetarian or vegan food, but as many probably already know - you always find something vegetarian or vegan in an Italian restaurant.


What I liked about this place was the option to create your own salad bowl, by picking a base, a source of protein, legumes, veggies, and extras.

Mushroom Tagliatelle at Olivia's

Smash Avocaderia

Another great spot for everyone who's looking for a nourishing and fulfilling meal that is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly in Medellin!


Personally, one of the best eateries in Medellin which I visited regularly. It's a more suitable place for brunch but can be visited for dinner as well since they serve continuously from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. I highly recommend the Vegan Bowl which is a bowl full of color. It’s packed with all the micronutrients your body needs and is a no-brainer if you don’t know what to choose.


If you’re looking for a more filling dish, Smash Avocaderia has your back by serving wraps and burgers with meat substitutes. They have two different locations, one is in Laureles the other in El Poblado. Lazy today? No worries, you can order the food via Rappi, the delivery service in Colombia.


Chef Burger

They advertise with: "Best Burger in Town!" and I can't deny that. The burger was in fact savoury and fresh.


Chef Burger is a restaurant chain offering various burgers with eight different locations in Medellin. They also are represented in Cali, Bogota, and Barranquilla (good news for those who are traveling around Colombia).


As for the vegetarians, you can choose between two different patties. One is made from Portobello mushroom and the other is made by a meat substitute.


On their menu, only two vegetarian burgers are presented, but all burgers can be adjusted, and exchanging the patty is not a problem.


Conclusion

Looking out for vegetarian places can be challenging, but worth it. I never suffered from food poisoning and thanks to traveling to selected restaurants I discovered other areas in Medellin, which is also a great way to explore the city.


The only downside was, that trying out typical food of Colombia never came into question, since the only vegetarian dish they served was a fried cheese empanada. Since I'm someone who likes to get to know the culture of a country (and also the food), I made an exception and visited a place called Mondongos.


Mondongos is a Colombian restaurant that serves only a few selected but typically Colombian dishes, such as Bandeja Paisa, Ajiaco, and of course the meat soup Mondongo.


It's a well-known restaurant especially popular among Colombians, and a local way to dive into Colombia's food culture.


✌🏽 Please note: This is not a recommendation for strict vegetarians or vegans. This restaurant does not serve a single meatless dish!





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