We look at eight of the best Asian restaurants in Medellín and nearby that are popular with good Korean, Japanese, Singaporean, Thai and Vietnamese food.
I like Asian food having lived in Asia for five years when I was younger. However, so far in over eight years living in Medellín, I haven’t found a really good Chinese restaurant, even though there are many Chinese restaurants in the Medellín area.
Also, be careful of using TripAdvisor, which can’t be trusted for restaurants in Colombia. TripAdvisor has many closed restaurants in its lists for Colombia.
I have eaten at over 30 Asian restaurants in Medellín and nearby over the past several years. With my Colombian wife’s help, we both collaborated to select and order the following list of the eight best Asian restaurants in Medellín and nearby.
Cuon is a popular and interesting Asian fusion restaurant in Medellín that has a mix of dishes on the menu from Japan, China, Vietnam, among others.
The dishes at this restaurant are mostly from Japan such as sushi and ramen but there are some dishes on the menu from China, Thailand, Vietnam and even Hawaii.
After you’ve been in Colombia for a while and had your fill of rice, frijoles, patacones and chicharrón and looking for Asian food for a change of pace, Cuon is a very good option.
The dishes and flavors at this restaurant are quite different than any typical Colombian dishes. And there is a wide variety of Asian dishes on the menu.
Address: Calle 8 # 43A-29, El Poblado, Medellín
From the creative umbrellas, to the stark black and gold finishes, Halong Vietnamita is as though you’ve stepped out of Medellín and entered a Vietnamese paradise.
The ambience within the Vietnamese restaurant is absolutely beautiful! At night, when the lights are dimmed, the place transforms as though you are stepping into a paradise that is no longer within Medellin.
If you’d like to try the delicious Vietnamese cuisine for yourself, take a sneak peek at their menu here before you go! Remember – there’s plenty of options for everyone including both vegan and vegetarian.
Address: Carrera 43F # 10-38, El Poblado
3. Bao Bai
Bao Bai is a small but popular Korean restaurant in Medellín. You will almost always have to wait for a table in this small restaurant but the wait is worthwhile.
This is a good restaurant and make sure to try the Baos, as the Baos here are tasty and fresh.
They don’t take reservations here and your name will be put on a list and there is a chance you have to wait long.
I have eaten at the restaurant a few times but we haven’t yet covered it on Medellin Guru, we plan to cover this restaurant in the future.
Address: Carrera 36 # 8A-123, El Poblado
Lemoncillo is a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado offering very good and authentic Vietnamese food with reasonable prices. The name of the restaurant Lemoncillo means lemongrass.
Lemoncillo originally opened in December 2014. This is a very small restaurant with only five tables. The interior is simple with a few photos of Vietnam on one wall. And the other wall has Vietnamese words with the Spanish translation.
The chef of Lemoncillo is originally from Laos, where he was born of Vietnamese parents. He also reportedly lived in Saigon and Germany and knows how to cook authentic Vietnamese food.
I especially like the Sườn Ram Mặn at Lemoncillo, which are pork spare ribs that are slowly braised in coconut juice until they are fall-of-the-bone tender. In addition, I really like spicy food. So, I always order the spiciest version of this dish.
Address: Transversal 33 Sur # 39-39, Envigado
BaoBar is a restaurant in El Retiro with very good and authentic Singaporean food. This restaurant was created by a Singaporean and her Colombian husband.
The restaurant was started by Singaporean Yan and her Colombian husband Jose. Yan and Jose moved to Medellín after living in Singapore. And after living in Medellín, Yan started missing food from home.
They started out cooking for friends and neighbors. Also they started selling mochi ice cream to restaurants in El Retiro and El Poblado and later opened the BaoBar restaurant in August 2018 in Parque Llleras.
Also, they opened a second restaurant in El Retiro in July 2019. But the first location in Parque Lleras was closed in October 2019. So, there is only BaoBar located in El Retiro now.
This restaurant serves authentic Singaporean food that is consistently good in my experience. When I was younger I lived overseas in Indonesia and my family traveled to Singapore frequently. So, I have experienced the real and authentic food of Singapore.
Address: Km 23.5 via las Palmas, Los Salados, El Retiro, Antioquia.
Oppa Asado Coreano is a popular restaurant in Medellín with very good and authentic Korean food. Also, this restaurant is owned by a Korean who is also the chef.
The dishes and flavors at this restaurant are authentic Korean and quite different than any typical Colombian dishes.
This restaurant has some good Korean dishes. And it has been discovered by some foreigners who like Asian food due to being located in Laureles not far from the Primer Parque in Laureles.
Address: Calle 40 #73-108, Laureles, Medellín
7. District 1
District 1 is a popular restaurant in Medellín with good Vietnamese food that has reopened. The owner is an expat from the U.S. with Vietnamese parents.
After you’ve been in Colombia for a while and had your fill of rice, frijoles, patacones and chicharrón and looking for Asian food for a change of pace, District 1 is a good option. District 1 was located in El Poblado but closed last year but it has now reopened in Laureles.
The dishes and flavors at this restaurant were authentic Vietnamese and quite different than any typical Colombian dishes. I ate at this Vietnamese restaurant several times and there are several good dishes on the menu.
In December 2020, we confirmed that District 1 in El Poblado closed. But we confirmed the restaurant has reopened in Laureles in April 2021.
The menu at District 1 has several typical Vietnamese dishes. The highlight of the menu is probably the soups. Also, there are also eight other Vietnamese dishes on the menu with prices under 30,000 pesos each, including several vegetarian options.
Address: Calle 40 # 74-88, Laureles
8. Khlua Thai
Khlua Thai is a home-based restaurant in Envigado with a Thai cook, which has very good and authentic Thai food available for delivery. This restaurant was started by a Colombian named Oscar and his wife from Thailand.
Khlua Thai used to have a Thai restaurant in Envigado near Parque Envigado (located at Calle 38 Sur # Carrera 43 A-18), which reportedly opened in 2019. But this restaurant had to close due to lack of customers during the pandemic.
However, the husband and wife still offer authentic Thai food for delivery from a home-based restaurant or at a couple tables outside their home in Envigado
I like Thai food and had given up on finding authentic Thai food in Medellín. But Khlua Thai has authentic Thai food and you can order spicy, which I really like. Also, you can order for delivery at home.
Address: Carrera 42C #45B Sur-16, Envigado (note only two tables available).
The Bottom Line: Best Asian Restaurants in Medellin
Medellín isn’t known for its Asian food but there are some good Asian restaurants in Medellín. We looked at eight of the best in this article.
We recommend all nine of these restaurants if you are looking for good Asian food. In addition, we have more detailed reviews of seven of these eight restaurants including the food and drink menus, which you can see by clicking on the heading for any restaurant.
So far in over eight years living in Medellín I haven’t found a really good Chinese restaurant, even though there are many Chinese restaurants in the Medellín area.
What is your favorite Asian restaurant in Medellín? We are happy to add to this list of the best Asian restaurants in Medellín.
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Editors note: updated on August 17, 2021 to remove Eden Bistro that is closed and add Messkla,
Editors note: updated on September 17, 2021 to remove Messkla that has closed.