Mercado del Rio is the first food market in Colombia and one of the must-visit spots in Medellin. Whether you want to enjoy gourmet cuisine dishes at one of its 30 restaurants or get some deep work done at a cafe or coworking space, this is the right place.
Not only for grabbing a bite, but this place is also a perfect option to take your friends or partner to events such as concerts, speaking events, dance performances, live music shows, and more.
Are you curious about this place? Then, there’s no time to lose! Let’s get into this uniqueness and let your picky eater side run wild!
Brief History of Mercado del Rio
Located in the El Poblado neighborhood, this building was formerly an old soap warehouse from the 30s and is closely involved in the industrialization process of the Medellin. In fact, due to the nearby railway lines operating at that time, the building has a triangular shape.
The remodeling of this place aimed to keep the industrialized style while elegant of that time. On the other hand, the designers wanted to maintain a dynamic indoor design with a steampunk touch.
How to Get There
Luckily, this place is right next to Regional avenue, one of the city’s main highways, it’s just a few miles south of the city’s downtown area, so it’s easy to get there from anywhere in Medellin.
The quickest way to get to Mercado del Rio is taking the metro and getting off at the Industriales station. From there you only have to walk 5 minutes. If you choose to take a bus, just get off at the bus stop on Avenida de Los Industriales and then turn the corner. You’ll be there in the blink of an eye.
As I don’t recommend driving there (because there are only limited and paid parking spots), you can also take a taxi, rideshare app, or use the EnCicla bike system if you’re not a fan of public means of transport.
Inside the Gastro Market
Whether looking for casual dining or a bar to get a round of drinks from strangers, this classy market has an option for everyone.
More than 30 restaurants offer a variety of national and international dishes, so you better bring an empty stomach and an open mind to taste haute cuisine food.
We all know a picky eater! Perhaps this article is describing you! Alas, don’t worry at all. Mercado del Rio is home to the top-notch eateries from Medellin. Tour the halls and food stalls, and you can travel to Spain, Peru, India, Korea, Japan, and Argentina.
It would be criminal to have lunch or dinner and skip dessert. Fortunately, you can satisfy your sweet cravings with different kinds of candy, ice cream, waffles, and more. Just check out La Creperia and Alfamore, the most popular boutique sweet shops in the market.
If you’re looking for peace of mind to work in some business, you should look for a seat at Cafe Cowork Mercado, where you can enjoy the best quality Colombian coffee beans and a strong wifi connection.
Plus, they offer a variety of freshly baked desserts and pastries to unleash your sweet tooth.
After lunch or finishing work, relax with a glass of your favorite drink at any of the bars in Mercado del Rio. Wine, beer, champagne, or cocktails, in any case, you’ll find a new experience of mixology, liquor tasting, and live music to accompany your drink.
It is highly recommended to drop by the terrace where you’ll find Finestre, with the perfect late-night atmosphere and handcrafted drinks that will leave you speechless.
What to Expect
Beyond filling your stomach and fulfilling your cravings, Mercado del Rio is a meeting place for locals and tourists who want to spend time learning a little more about the Antioquian culture.
Expect to be dazzled by the variety of weekly activities this market prepares for guests.
Frankly, you can find workshops related to anything. Not only are there plenty of workshops related to food and alcohol, but there are also shops that are targeted to every part of the public so that you can include the little ones in some workshops.
At the time of my visit, I was able to participate in a kite-making workshop. If you didn’t know, August is the windiest month in Colombia, so children and adults are encouraged to make their kites.
Remember to check out their social networks from time to time to know the monthly schedule and book your place at the workshops. Usually, they’re pretty affordable and fun. Live a little, and don’t hesitate to participate in one!
Live Music Shows
You can find live music shows of all genres giving a soothing and chill atmosphere to your experience.
You’ll usually find dance performances at festivals held from time to time in the market, so check the social media pages.
There are typical Colombian dances with fun rhythms and beats anywhere you look. There’s even an Argentine tango with an international audience. There are countless chances to groove the night away!
Better keep up to date, because many festivals last 1 or 2 days. They’re usually about food and drinks, but others invite the whole family together, such as the pet festival “Silleteros con cola“.
Coffee & Wine Tasting Experience
By far, the most popular activity is wine tasting and dining, since you have the chance to spend the day sharpening your senses and delighting your taste buds with eccentric drinks such as wine and coffee.
Great Food Awaits in Mercado del Rio
Picking up food and gorging yourself with tasty gourmet dishes is easy now that you know about Mercado del Rio, the real food-lover’s paradise. Have fun!
So, are you ready to start your food tour at Mercado del Rio? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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