Mercado Del Tranvía is a popular gastronomic market in Medellín, which has a collection of 21 restaurants and bars in a warehouse located along the tranvía tramline of the metro system in the Buenos Aires neighborhood near El Centro.
This food market reportedly opened in October 2017. And it has become very popular. This gastronomic market has many small format restaurants with a nice variety of cuisines available.
At this gastronomic market, food is purchased at the small format restaurants. And food is eaten at several bar-height and some lower tables, which are cleaned quickly and efficiently by the staff. Also, there are some TVs for watching sports and free Wi-Fi is available but you’ll have to ask for the password.
Mercado Del Tranvía is open for lunch and dinner each day. And it has a good atmosphere and a nice variety of food and drinks as well as desserts. Also, it can be a good place to take out-of-town guests after visiting the tourist spots in El Centro, since it’s nearby.
History of Mercado Del Tranvía
Planning for this new gastronomic market in Medellín reportedly started about a year before it opened. The warehouse building was empty. And three partners decided on a project for the new gastronomic market, which opened about six months ago.
This new gastronomic market was reportedly built using 80 percent recycled materials. The building was for decades used as the traditional home of Estadero Jardín Clarita (Clarita Garden Shed) but it was empty.
The new market is sized at about 5,600 square feet (about 520 square meters) and it reportedly has capacity for 450 customers.
Food Options at Mercado Del Tranvía
There currently is a total of 21 food and drink places at Mercado Del Tranvía.
Food options include traditional Colombian, hamburgers, Italian, Mexican, Peruvian, pizza, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, sushi, wings and so much more.
There are also a couple of bars, a coffee shop and desserts at several kiosks. And on the second floor are three independent terraces that provide more space to sit. Note these terraces can be reserved for special occasions like birthday parties.
Some of the restaurants in Mercado Del Tranvía can be found in other parts of the city. Some familiar names that can be found in other parts of the city include Carbone e Pasta, Peru Mix and Sweet Bacon.
There is a range of prices for meals at the restaurants in Mercado Del Tranvía from about 15,000 pesos to over 40,000 pesos.
My Experiences at This Food Market
I have been to Mercado Del Tranvía several times since it opened and I had good food from several of the restaurants. I originally discovered this food market place several months ago with a friend who lives nearby.
The first time I went I was impressed by the variety. And my impression is it’s best described as a smaller version of Mercado Del Rio.
The first time I went I had a burrito at Chilaquiles, which is a Mexican restaurant. The cost was 20,000 pesos and it was a good burrito that was better than many other Mexican places I have tried in Medellín. In addition, they have a really spicy sauce, which I liked.
When I went recently, I had a pizza from Tarantella, which specializes in thin-crust pizza cooked in a brick oven. The cost was 22,000 pesos for a personal-size pepperoni and jalapeño pizza. The pizza was excellent with a crispy thin crust.
Gastronomic Market Competition in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
There are six gastronomic markets in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley with collections of restaurants in one location:
- Contenedores Food Place – reportedly opened in January 2014
- Mercado Del Rio – opened in October 2016
- Mercado Del Tranvía – reportedly opened in October 2017
- Mercado Del Rio La Strada – opened in July 2018
- Mercado Del Tranvía Envigado – opened in November 2018
- Mercado Del Norte in Bello – opened in January 2019
Mercado Del Norte in Bello is the newest gastronomic market in the Medellín metro area that opened in January 2019. And it’s similar to Mercado Del Rio.
But Mercado Mercado Del Norte is smaller with about 25 restaurants and bars compared to over 50 at Mercado Del Rio.
Some expats I talked to thought the first gastronomic market in Medellín was Mercado Del Rio. But actually, the first gastronomic market was Contenedores Food Place in Envigado, which opened in 2014.
But Contenedores is a somewhat different format with several sit-down restaurants located in containers and not a big open warehouse space. In addition, Contenedores is smaller, as it has less then 10 restaurants.
The second food market to open was the large Mercado Del Rio that opened in October 2016. And the third food market is Mercado Del Tranvía, which reportedly opened in October 2017. This was followed by Mercado Del Rio La Strada in July 2018, Mercado Del Tranvía Envigado in November 2018 and Mercado Del Norte in Bello in January 2019.
In addition, Medellín had another food market that is now closed. Manila Food Market opened in April 2017 in the Manila barrio of El Poblado in the Los Patios Hostel. But Manila Food Market was small with less than 10 restaurants. Also, it failed due to a lack of customers in this location and closed in less than a year
How to Get to Mercado Del Tranvía
The easiest way to get to Mercado Del Tranvía is using the Medellín Metro. To get there take the Line A metro to the San Antonio station in El Centro and then take the tranvía tramcar line (Line T-A).
This gastronomic market is located along Calle Ayacucho where the tram runs and is between two of the tram line stations: Buenos Aires and Bicentenario.
Buenos Aires station is located past this food market but it’s a short downhill walk to it. So, that is the station I recommend getting off at. If you get off at the Bicentenario station, it’s an uphill walk.
Furthermore, any taxi or Uber driver in the city will know where tranvía line is. The tramline is a major landmark in the city. So, you could give the driver the below address and say “cerca linea tranvía del metro”.
Address: Calle 49 # 34-29, Buenos Aires, Medellín
Phone: +57 302 338 0266
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: Noon to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday: Noon to Midnight.
The Bottom Line – Mercado Del Tranvía
Mercado Del Tranvía has only been open since October 2017. And in that time, it has become a popular location for both lunch and dinner. And it’s also popular on the weekends. Furthermore, it’s relatively easy to get to since it’s located on the metro tranvía line.
Also, it’s particularly popular for dinner. And in my experience, when it’s busy, it may take a while to order and get your food at the small format restaurants.
While Mercado Del Rio is larger and has a bigger choice of restaurants, Mercado Del Tranvía isn’t as loud and busy and also has a nice atmosphere.
If you are visiting tourist spots like Museo de Antioquia and Plaza Botero in El Centro, it would be easy to hop on the tram line to experience the tram and stop to eat at this gastronomic market with a nice selection of restaurant options. Also, the beautiful church Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Corazón is located only about a block from Mercado Del Tranvía.
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Editors note: updated on August 11, 2018 to add Mercado Del Rio La Strada as a new competitor.
Editors note: updated on March 8, 2019 to add Mercado Del Tranvía Envigado.
Editors note: updated on March 14, 2019 to add Mercado Del Norte in Bello, which is the newest gastronomic market in the Aburrá Valley.