Federal Ribs is a popular chain of five restaurants in Medellín that has some really good American-style BBQ ribs as well as good burgers and wings.
The inspiration for this restaurant chain is southern-style cooking in the U.S., which drove the owners to open four restaurants in Medellín that specialize in American-style BBQ ribs as well as these restaurants having good burgers and wings.
I have been to three of the five Federal Ribs locations in Medellín and the food and service has been consistently good in my experience.
In addition, I’m originally from Texas before moving to Medellín and I have found the BBQ ribs at Federal Ribs are similar to the BBQ ribs found in my home state in the U.S. Note the above photo is courtesy of Federal Ribs.
My Experiences at Federal Ribs
I first discovered Federal Ribs well over a year ago when looking for a new place to go to lunch with a neighbor. We ended up at the location in Mayorca mall in Sabaneta. And since that time, I have been to Federal Ribs several times and have also ordered delivery service several times.
I have tried the ribs with several different sauces and also the burgers and wings, which have all been good. My favorite sauces for the ribs are the Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, Diablo sauce and the 8-year Medellín Rum BBQ sauce.
I recently went to Federal Ribs with a reader of Medellin Guru. He had a half-rack of ribs with Diablo sauce and said they were the best ribs he has experienced in a long time. And I had a Beef Burger, which perfectly cooked and was very tasty as it uses Angus beef. Our total including drinks and tip for two was 72,400 pesos.
In addition, the Federal Ribs restaurants have free Wi-fi available. So, you can browse the Internet or work while there.
The Food Menu at Federal Ribs
Since I first discovered this restaurant chain over a year ago, the food menu has changed with more items added to the menu. In addition, the prices have increased somewhat.
The specialty is of course the ribs. They have six types of “special ribs” that are priced at 27,900 pesos for a half-rack and 46,900 pesos for a full rack:
- Special ribs with Federal BBQ sauce
- Special ribs with Chipotle sauce
- Special ribs with Buffalo sauce
- Special ribs with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce
- Special ribs with reduction of Black Artisanal Beer
- Special ribs with Bourbon sauce
Federal Ribs also offers five types of “traditional ribs” that are priced at 25,900 pesos for a half-rack and 44,900 pesos for a full-rack:
- Traditional ribs with 8-year Medellín Rum BBQ
- Traditional ribs with reduction of Maracuyá
- Traditional ribs with reduction of espresso, caramel and balsamic sauce
- Traditional ribs with Diablo sauce (spicy)
- Traditional ribs with Colombian hot sauce
Every order of ribs comes with a choice of two sides. You can select from coleslaw, chili, corn on the cob, green salad, vegetables, French fries or four other potato options.
Also, there are two larger orders of ribs. There is one for four people for 79,900 pesos and one for five people for 88,900 pesos.
Federal Ribs used to only have one burger on the menu but there are now nine different burgers on the menu:
- Model T: with 150 grams of beef, cheddar cheese, onion rings and vegetables (lettuce and tomato) for 19,900 pesos
- Beef burger: with 180 grams of Angus beef, bacon, cheddar cheese and vegetables for 25,900 pesos
- Riburger: with 180 grams of beef, rib meat, bacon, cheddar cheese and vegetables for 27,900 pesos
- Double F: with double beef (300 grams), bacon, double cheddar cheese and vegetables for 29,900 pesos
- Cheese burger: with 150 grams of beef, cheese and bacon for 21,900 pesos.
- Chicken Crunch: with 150 grams for chicken, cheddar cheese and vegetables for 19,000 pesos
- Mexican: with 180 grams of beef, guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, vegetables and diablo sauce for 20,900 pesos
- Hawaiian: with 150 grams of beef, cheddar cheese, pineapple, bacon and vegetables for 21,900 pesos
- Philadelphia: with 150 grams of beef, cream cheese, caramelized onions and vegetables for 21,900 pesos
Each burger comes with one of the sides listed earlier or an extra charge for additional sides.
On the menu there are also wings that cost 19,500 pesos for 10 wings, 34,900 pesos for 20 wings or 49,900 pesos for 30 wings. In my experience, the wings are also good.
Also, on the menu are three different salads priced at either 19,900 or 21,900 pesos and four sandwiches for 19,900 to 23,900 pesos. In addition, there is BBQ chicken for 24,900 pesos, New York or Texas steak for 32,900 pesos and grilled salmon for 36,900 pesos.
In addition, there are eight different appetizers on the menu priced between 9,900 to 16,900 pesos. The appetizers include cheese fries, cheese sticks, chicken tenders, nachos, onion rings, quesadillas and tomato soup.
Also, there is a kid’s menu with three options for 17,900 pesos each.
Furthermore, there are three desserts on the menu: brownie with ice cream or apple pie with ice cream for 10,900 pesos or cheesecake for 11,900 pesos.
The Drink Menu
On the drink menu, this restaurant chain has 12 different beer options priced from 6,000 to 9,000 pesos. They also offer wines for 52,000 pesos per bottle and three types of sangria for 56,000 pesos per pitcher each. In addition, they have three cocktails priced at 17,000 pesos each.
Furthermore, they have several natural juices for 7,000 pesos and sodas and bottled water for 3,900 pesos.
How to Get to Federal Ribs
Federal Ribs has five restaurants in Medellín located in four of the most popular neighborhoods for foreigners: El Pobaldo, Estadio, Laureles and Sabaneta.
The five restaurant locations are as follows:
- El Poblado: Carrera 35 # 10B-17
- Envigado: Calle 30 Sur #44A-07, Calle de la Buena Mesa
- Envigado: Viva Envigado Mall, Carrera 48 # 32B Sur-139, 3rd floor
- Laureles: Circular 75 #39B-21
- Sabaneta: Mayorca Mega Plaza Mall, Carrera 44 # 50 Sur-279
Phone: +57 4 322 7427
Furthermore, if going on the Medellín Metro, the easiest two locations to get to would be the one in Sabaneta at Mayorca Mall (located right next to the Itagüí metro station on line A) or the one in Envigado at the new Viva Envigado Mall (located near the Envigado metro station on line A).
The Bottom Line: Federal Ribs in Medellín
I like BBQ ribs and before discovering Federal Ribs I used to eat at Mu in El Poblado several times each year. Mu has some really good BBQ ribs and even uses the slogan “Fukin’ Good Ribs”.
The biggest problem with Mu is that it’s only open on Friday and Saturday nights each week from 6 pm to 10 pm. Also, it’s located in El Poblado, which I try to avoid going to since I live in Sabaneta.
Federal Ribs in comparison is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. And it has locations in four neighborhoods popular with expats. So, it’s much more convenient.
In addition, this chain of restaurants offers domicilio (delivery) services. So, you can have ribs delivered to your home if you live near one of their five locations.
So, the bottom line is if you are looking for a place with good American-style BBQ ribs or good burgers or wings that is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Federal Ribs is recommended.
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Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 with a new Federal Ribs location in the new Viva Envigado mall.
Editors note: updated on January 22, 2019 with information from the new menu at Federal Ribs.