El Rancherito is a very popular chain of restaurants with nine locations in Medellín and nearby. This chain serves good comida típica – traditional Colombian dishes.
Reportedly El Rancherito is the biggest restaurant chain serving traditional Colombian food in the Antioquia region. El Rancherito restaurants will normally be packed with Colombian families. And they tend to have a nice relaxed atmosphere and will sometimes even have live music in the evenings.
In addition, you can find most of the 15 traditional Colombian dishes we previously looked at on the menu at El Rancherito. Note the above photo is courtesy of El Rancherito.
History of El Rancherito
The history of El Rancherito goes back to June 1975, when one of the founders reportedly dreamed she was building a small ranch to sell fritters, empanadas, chicken cakes and hot chocolate.
So, with her husband they began to shape that dream and started with a wood stove cooking food typical of the Antioquenos. Cars started to line up for this cooking. And this was the beginning of the first El Rancherito restaurant that opened in 1975 in Amagá, which is located south of Medellín.
After the success of the first restaurant, they decided to open a second restaurant in nearby Caldas in 1981, which is also south of Medellín.
Since that time, the chain has continued to expand where El Rancherito now has nine restaurants in Medellín and the nearby municipalities. Also, they have a restaurant in Pereira.
The Food Menu at El Rancherito
El Rancherito has a huge menu of over 25 pages. It specializes in comida típica – traditional Colombian dishes.
On the menu you’ll find over 30 traditional Colombian dishes including bandeja paisa, mondongo soup, ajiaco soup, sancocho soup and many more. Prices for Colombian dishes range from 8,800 to 33,900 pesos. And the bandeja paisa is priced at 26,500 pesos or 22,900 pesos for a smaller size.
Also, there are over 20 meat dishes on the menu ranging in price from 15,500 to 35,500 pesos. And there are 11 chicken dishes priced at 14,500 to 28,800 pesos.
In addition, there are 11 fish dishes priced at 21,500 to 40,200 pesos. Also, there are six vegetarian dishes priced at 7,200 to 17,800 pesos.
Furthermore, they also have a kids’ menu with eight options priced from 6,900 to 19,600 pesos.
Also, there are over 20 desserts on the menu with prices ranging from 3,400 to 10,200 pesos. But I rarely have room for a dessert after eating one of the hearty meals at El Rancherito.
In addition, you can see the full El Rancherito menu online (in Spanish).
The Drink Menu at El Rancherito
The El Rancherito restaurant chain has a fairly sizable drink menu. The drink menu includes eight different beers for 4,800 to 8,300 pesos each. And there are 17 different wines on the menu for 16,700 to 83,200 pesos per bottle. Also, they have pitchers of sangria for 31,300 to 51,200 pesos.
There are 10 different cocktails for 12,900 to 22,100 pesos each. And they have cocktails available without alcohol. Also, they have several liquors on the menu like aguardiente, rum and whisky available by bottle, half-bottle or shot.
In addition, the menu includes several sodas for 4,200 pesos each, four water options for 4,200 to 4,500 pesos each, four lemonade options for 4,300 to 7,500 pesos each, nine juice options for 4,500 to 7,500 pesos and 14 hot beverages for 2,300 to 10,200 pesos each. Also, they have pitchers of juices or lemonades for 17,200 to 29,900 pesos.
My Experiences at El Rancherito
It’s one of my go-to places for a great bandeja paisa and other Colombian dishes. They have very good Colombian food in my experience. So, the El Rancherito restaurants are popular and typically full of local Colombians.
Recently I went with a friend to the El Rancherito location in Mercado del Rio for lunch. He had the Pandeja Paisa and I wanted something lighter. So, I had the Ajiaco soup, which is a popular Colombian chicken and potato soup.
My friend said the Pandeja Paisa was very good and also that he was stuffed. And the soup I had was also very good. In addition, the total for the two of us with juices was 63,600 pesos ($21.90 USD), including tip.
Locations of El Rancherito
How to Get to El Rancherito
El Rancherito has eight restaurant locations in the Medellín area and nearby listed below with the year each restaurant opened. Also, the restaurants are found on the map above. And each of the restaurants has different hours they are open, which are also listed below. In addition, some of these restaurants are large, with seating for 300 or more like the one in Rionegro with capacity for 350.
1. Amagá (1975): Vereda Salinas, Vía Amagá Km 6, 200 meters before the toll.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 207
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:15 am to 5:30 pm, Friday to Sunday: 6:15 am to 8:45 pm.
2. Caldas (1981): Kilometer 2 Vereda La Tolva.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 206
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 6:15 am to 8:45 pm, Friday to Sunday: 6:15 am to 9:45 pm.
3. Copacabana (1985): Kilometer 14 Vía Girardota, Vereda Noral.
Telephone: +57 4 444 95 76 ext. 202
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 6:00 am to 10:45 pm, Friday and Saturday: 6:00 am to 11:45 pm.
4. Guarne (1987): Kilometer 30 Medellín to Bogotá highway, 500 meters before the entrance to San Vicente.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 204
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:15 am to 9:45 pm.
5. Las Palmas (1997): Calle 18 # 35 – 50, Kilometer 2 Vía Las Palmas, Medellín
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 201
Hours: Sunday to Wednesday: 6:30 am to 9:45 pm, Thursday to Saturday: 6:30 am to 11:45 pm.
6. Rionegro (1999): Vereda Sajonia, diagonal to the Texaco station, 500 meters before the airport.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 203
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 6:15 am to 9:45 pm, Friday and Saturday: 6:15 am to 10:45 pm.
7. Los Molinos Mall (2010): Calle 30A # 82A–26, Local 3281, Belén barrio of Medellín.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 205
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 6:15 am to 8:45 pm, Friday and Saturday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.
8. Mercado del Rio (2016): Carrera 48 #26-1, Medellín.
Telephone: +57 4 444 9576 ext. 209
9. Viva Envigado Mall (2018): Carrera 48 # 32B Sur-139, Envigado.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
You can call to make reservations at any of these restaurants except on Sunday or holidays. You’ll need to call at least two hours in advance for reservations.
Also, El Rancherito offers domicilio (delivery) services from all of the above locations except its location in Amagá. Note that domicilio services start later and end earlier than the listed hours the restaurants are open.
In addition, El Rancherito has a ninth restaurant, which is located in Pereira that opened in 2017. It’s located at kilometer 18 on Vía Pereira to Cartago.
The Bottom Line – El Rancherito
El Rancherito has grown to a chain of nine popular restaurants for a good reason. They have very good comida típica – traditional Colombian dishes.
That’s why on the weekends, this restaurant chain’s restaurants are usually busy. Also, it’s a good place to soak up the Paisa atmosphere.
So, if you are looking for traditional Colombian dishes, El Rancherito is recommended.
The biggest competition to El Rancherito is Hato Viejo, which has four locations in Medellín and also has very good traditional Colombian food in my experience.
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Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 with a new El Rancherito location in the new Viva Envigado mall.