Colombia may be famous for its arepas, cheese and meat, but there is a good range of options for herbivores as well. I am a flexitarian and I eat vegan 80 percent of the time. So, I’m always on the lookout for good vegan and vegetarian options. In El Poblado in Medellín, many of the restaurants have vegan options readily available, and much to my surprise and delight, there are a fair number of really good vegan and vegetarian-only restaurants.
In fact, you could say I was amazed at the number of choices that are in El Poblado, so much so that I find myself having trouble deciding amongst all the options. Now, that’s a happy problem! Which is why I can’t wait to share them with you.
Here are our top 12 picks for vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in El Poblado in Medellín. Note the above photo is the stuffed zucchini at Shanti Cocina Vital, photo by @thisisaliceko.
1. Marietta (Vegan and Vegetarian Only)
Marietta is a regular part of my routine. They always have something new, fresh and delicious. Since they never seem to repeat dishes, their food never fails to surprise me and their Menu Del Dia (set menu-of-the-day) is an absolute delight, consisting of a bowl of soup, a main dish, juice AND dessert.
Marietta makes use of interesting ingredients and whip up unique dishes that I haven’t seen elsewhere Think sidra salad, plantain ceviche, plantain lasagna, strawberry-encrusted salads, sauerkraut, parsley wraps…the list goes on.
The Menu Del Dia always comes with a little dessert, the perfect two-bite treat so you’re not crashing on sugar rush afterwards. They’ve been known to serve rice pudding, a little slice of carrot cake, or a scoop of gelato.
The best part? Their Menu Del Dia is offered all day long and even on Sundays (they are closed on Saturday). Don’t forget to check Marietta’s Instagram Story on a daily basis: they share pictures of the Menu Del Dia almost every day.
They also have a regular menu and selections like the lentil burger and quesadilla are full of flavor. They also have the friendliest staff on Carrera 35.
Address: Carrera 35 # 8A-107, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Thursdays: 11:45 am to 8:30 pm; Fridays: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Saturdays: Closed; Sundays: 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm
2. Veg Station (Vegan and Vegetarian Only)
A block away from Marietta sits Veg Station, which offers a slightly larger menu, popular veggie burgers and a completely organic selection. The burgers are a little salty for me but they also gluten-free options, a true rarity in Medellín.
They have an excellent Menu Del Dia and their salads are usually mixed with kale – a rare delight in Medellín. Visit every Friday when they serve their vegan AND gluten-free version of Bandeja Paisa. You’ll enjoy a large bowl of bean soup, delicious salad, rice, plantains, fresh avocado, and the most delicious vegan sausage I’ve ever tasted.
Another menu item I’ve enjoyed is the generous sized portion of nachos. Their claim to fame? Vegan cheese – a restaurant option that very hard to find in Medellín!
The only downsides are that they are closed on Sundays and that they really get BUSY! Note there is no Menu Del Dia on weekends.
Address: Calle 10 # 35-14, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm; Sundays: CLOSED
3. Dharma (Vegan)
Located one block from Parque Poblado, Dharma is completely vegan and puts a premium on healthy ingredients. Dharma’s soups are light, not too creamy and sometimes even comes sprinkled with chia seeds. Their juices have no added sugar – now that’s healthy!
Dharma’s range of creative and interesting Menu Del Dia items will delight you. I’ve tried eggplant rolls stuffed with chickpeas in tomato sauce, eggplant burgers with peanut risotto, quinoa meatballs, lettuce wraps and beet salad.
Dharma also has a selection of vegan sweets in the back to cap off your meal. No Menu Del Dia on weekends.
Address: Carrera 43B # 8-31, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 12:00 – 4:00 pm
4. Mundo Verde (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
A chain restaurant with five locations all over Medellin, Mundo Verde offers tons of options and generous servings. Their bowls and make-your-own salads (portioned as much as you can make it) are probably the most popular.
In addition, Mundo Verde has a selection of sandwiches, wraps, huge drinks, smoothies, plus dressings that come without sugar or oil. Try the peanut or date dressing for a healthy kick.
Medellin is not usually known for its guacamole, but Mundo Verde might be. Add to that the restaurant’s relaxing atmosphere – nice, quiet and comfortable – and the range of sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free desserts – and you’ll be hooked.
In addition, Mundo Verde is great for larger groups.
- Via Primavera Carrera 37
- El Tesoro Mall, El Poblado
- City Plaza Mall, Envigado
- Unicentro Mall, Laureles
- Oviedo Mall, El Pobaldo
Hours: Mondays to Wednesdays: 12:00 – 9:00 pm, Thursdays to Saturdays: 12:00 – 10:00 pm, Sundays: 12:00-4:00pm
5. Lenteja Express (Vegan and Vegetarian)
Located right across the street from Marietta restaurant, Lenteja Express is a chain restaurant has three other branches in Medellin. Their story began with lentil burgers, which the owner Ramirez sold at the beach to make money while traveling to Ecuador. They were a hit and the rest is, as they say, is history.
The burgers at Lenteja Express are rightfully popular, with three different kinds of vegan protein: quinoa, lenteja, or chickpea. They also sell their patties so you can cook them at home! Don’t miss their unique vegan ceviche: sweet and sour, with mangoes and lemon – some may even prefer this over the real thing!
Be sure to check out their vegan tofu cheese, and you just can’t miss their vast selection of house made sauces and creole potatoes. Follow them on Instagram, where they are known for offering deals, like their 2-for-1 burger deals which tends to be announced for Monday evenings.
- Carrera 35 # 8A-76, Provenza, El Poblado, Medellín
- Circular 74b # 39B-122, Av. Jardin, Laureles, Medellín
- Calle 71 # 52-34 local 106 by Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín
- Universidad Nacional, in front of Bloque 14, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Thursdays: 11:30-9:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays: 11:30-11:00 pm, Sundays and Holidays: 12:00-7:30 pm
6. Shanti Cocina Vital (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
Sometimes, you just want to go fancy while being healthy. Shanti Cocina Vital gives you chic ambience and a super cool vibe that you’d expect hidden in the West Village of New York.
Great for dates or quiet, long nights out when you want to enjoy a glass of wine, or Kombucha — which is also served in a wine glass!
Shanti has an extensive menu, which can be a pro and a con. I mean, when you’re hungry, all the options take more time to choose from. Some of my recommendations are the famous avocado soup, the asparagus, zucchini and sweet potatoes and the zucchino relleno (stuffed zucchini), which is huge and good for sharing.
Try their delicious breakfast menu which is filled with vegan and vegetarian options. I knew Shanti was legit when I saw the turmeric latte (almond milk, curcumin, cardamom, pepper) on their menu. They are the only place in El Poblado to offer this drink.
Follow them on social media for even and class announcements such as feng shui workshops, and different brunch and meditation events.
Address: Carrera 36N # 10B-27, El Poblado, Medellin
Hours: Mondays to Wednesdays: 12:00 – 3:00 pm, 6:00 -10:00 pm, Thursdays and Fridays: 12:00 – 3:00 pm, 6:00-11:00 pm, Saturdays: 9:30 – 4:00 pm, 7:00 – 11:00 pm, Sundays: CLOSED
7. Café Zorba (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
When your meat-eating friends enjoy a vegetarian meal so much that they failed to notice it contained no meat at all, then it’s a good sign. Yup, it’s that good at Cafe Zorba. I know.
How could pizza at a restaurant in Medellín be as good (or even better as others claim) as the pizzas in New York or Italy? I was skeptical at first too. But I’ve never craved for pizza like I have for Zorba.
The crust is addicting and their toppings are simple yet rich and generous. My friends enjoy the mushrooms, asparagus and pesto pizza (white base) while I lust for the spinach and caramelized onion pizza (red base).
Their hummus is the best starter and is a generous serving. Insider tip: ask for veggies instead of pita bread.
Zorba gets quite packed and you have to wait in line so if you’re hungry, so plan accordingly. Most people agree that the long line is worth it (I do too and I hate waiting in lines!). Good thing their friendly staff move pretty quickly.
The only con are their smaller tables, which cannot possibly accommodate all that you want to order (unless you’re willing to balance plates on your lap!).
Address: Calle 8 # 42-33, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Sundays: 5:00 – 12:00 am
8. Justo Restaurante (Vegan Only)
Justo Restaurante is a new, gourmet restaurant in a quieter spot of El Poblado that looks like a cool garden. With trees sprouted from wooden interiors, it reminds me of a Tribeca or Upper East Side restaurant by David Burke.
You’ll come for the ambiance alone: high ceilings, plants everywhere, tucked away in a quiet corner amongst the busy streets of El Poblado.
It’s extremely relaxing or “muy tranquilo” as locals would say. Located in the same space as Ceres, the healthy popular grocery market, Justo boasts of an equally nutritious menu like their kale caesar, with nutritional yeast to boot. They have a grand selection of salads, entrees and vegan desserts with each dish looking like a piece of art.
Check out Justo’s Instagram page to see these gastronomic masterpieces. Other favorites are their avocado tart, tempura olives stuffed with caramelized garlic, and any of their mouthwatering (and healthy) desserts.
Address: Carrera 37 # 10A-58, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays: 12:00 – 2:00 pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays: 12:00 – 2:00 pm, 7:00 – 9:30 pm, Sundays: CLOSED
9. Kebab House (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
A kebob place might seem out of place in this list, but believe me, you’ll love Kebab House. Their hummus and falafel shawarma, kebob or salads will delight any vegan and vegetarian. Plus, you won’t find any cheese here.
Kebab House has some of the best hummus I’ve ever had and they don’t scrimp on their pita bread either. I’m always left feeling satisfied and I’ve even gone back for a few days in a row.
Address: Carrera 34 # 7-129, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Sunday: Varied
10. Pezetarian (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
Pezetarian is a newcomer to El Poblado but the bright, inviting space has made this newbie popular with locals and tourists. Well that, plus their myriad of fresh and colorful options available: vegan salads, veggie hot plates, veggie ceviche, veggie sushi, and healthy juices and smoothies.
And: this is the only place in town where I’ve seen beet and carrot noodles! I did find their salads a bit on the saltier side. So, remember to ask for the dressing on the side. They have an easy-to-read menu and website so schedule time to try a few things.
Address: Carrera 35 # 8A-19, El Poblado, Medellin
Hours: Mondays to Sundays 12:00 – 10:00 pm
11. Verdeo (Vegan and Vegetarian Options)
No vegan list in Medellín would be complete without Verdeo. After all, Verdeo started off in El Poblado before moving locations to Manila.
Verdeo boasts aesthetically-pleasing space and food. Almost everything served comes sprinkled with edible flowers and organic too. They their famous rosemary potatoes, arabian salad, 5-grain veggie burger and falafal sandwich. Don’t miss out on their Instagram where they post photos and videos of their Menu Del Dia every weekday.
Address: Calle 12 # 43D-77, barrio Manila, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 12:00 – 10:00 pm
12. Helecho Restaurante (Vegan and Vegetarian Only)
Helecho is a new restaurant. Although they are not completely vegan (they can easily remove the cheese upon request), they deserve a gold star for their veggie Sushi and veggie burgers, served with love, wholesome ingredients, and great service. They have Menu Del Dia Mondays to Saturdays.
Address: Calle 11A # 43D-14, barrio Manila, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays: 12:00 – 3:30 pm
Locations of the best Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants in El Poblado (click on markers on map for addresses)
The Bottom Line: The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in El Poblado
See what I mean? Medellín and El Poblado seem to have an endless number of fresh and delicious options for the veggie-lover.
Did we miss something? We want to try it! Leave a comment to let us know.
And after your vegan/vegetarian meal, if you are looking for some good coffee, check out the 6 best coffee shops in El Poblado. And if you like vegan ice cream, see my article about Sharbets in El Poblado with some delicious vegan ice cream loaded with fruits and veggies.