No matter where you eat them, they’re going to be good. Empanadas fall into that category of foods such as pizza and hamburgers, inherently oh-so-good yet bad-for-you treats, where if someone somehow screws them up, then it’s shameful and embarrassing and they should shut down immediately and reevaluate their life choices.
Empanadas in Colombia are typically deep fried, sizzling cornmeal pockets filled with shredded or ground meat. Other fillers include carbs such as potatoes and rice. These tasty treats can thankfully be found on every street corner in Colombia as well as sold immediately after churchgoers exit their services. Praise B Jesus.
Over the past 2 months living in Medellin, we have encountered some fantastic empanadas as well as empanadas that leave little to the imagination. As we tried new empanadas weekly, we questioned what exactly makes an empanada great. Is it the crust? Creativity in fillings? This gave birth to the concept of testing out and ranking empanadas in Medellin based on specific ranking criteria so that we can be sure we accounted for all the feels that led to the tasting experience.
The following ranking criteria for an empanada became the following based on a scale of 1-10:
Next came putting together our list of places that have received good public praise. We scoured Reddit, Facebook, and the “best of” blog posts. We also did something unheard of in today’s digital age.. we asked real people where their favorite empanadas were. Something just feels more genuine about advice from a person that does not involve a referral link, amirite?
But hey, if you try one of these empanadas, don’t forget to tell them The Girly Travels sent you. We’d hate not to get credit for your purchases.
Jokes aside, we ended up with a list of 5 places that we decided to hit up all within one afternoon. Our list of empanada joints included the following:
- El Machetico
- Rellenitas D
- El Reverbero
- Empanadas Envigadeñas
I’m going to go one-by-one with rankings before revealing our “best empanada” of Medellin.
Address: Cl. 35 #76-27, Medellín, Antioquia
Grand total: 45/50
Boomerang was the first stop on our empanada journey and did not disappoint. A cute diner feel as well as a bell to ring if you enjoyed your empanada all made out to an enjoyable atmosphere. The filling was a mixture of ground beef and green onions. The lowest rating here was the temperature, as it was not very hot and may have been sitting around a bit too long.
Cost for 1 empanada: 2,000 COP
2. El Machetico
Address: Cra. 66b #34A – 76, Medellín, Antioquia
Grand Total: 41/50
The best part of El Machetico’s empanadas are the crispy, thin crust as well as their choices of salsas. You can not only get the typical condiments such as salsa rosa and salsa verde, but they also have some pretty baller hot sauces that have great flavor. You can go crazy here and try a bite with a new salsa and still have more salsa options to sample. The filling is simply beef with smashed potatoes, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary.
Cost for 1 empanada: 1,600 COP
3. Rellenitas D
Address: diagonal 32d.transversal 32a sur-4 la Magnolia
Grand Total: 44/50
Rellenitas D was by far the most creative empanada joint on our list. There were lots of options to choose from, included bacon with cheese; tomato, basil, and cheese; and salami, pepperoni, and cheese. We asked to try the most popular and ended up getting the bacon and cheese as well as shredded beef. The crust was a bit thick and lacked the crispiness that we typically prefer in an empanada. That said, the flavorful fillings, salsa options, as well as overall creativity in offerings really make up for this seeming flaw in their empanada crust design.
Cost for 1 empanada: 1,800 COP
4. El Reverbero
Address: Cr 36 # 7-40, Antioquia, Medellín
Grand Total: 40/50
El Reverbero is a pretty solid empanada joint with a nice atmosphere with outdoor seating. Their salsa picante was off the hook, full of spice and flavor. The rest of the empanada experience was rather lackluster, however. The woman we ordered from microwaved the empanada right in front of us and the filling was a standard meat and potato mixture wrapped in a soggy crust.
Cost for 1 empanada: 2,000 COP
5. Empanadas Envigadenas
Address: ??? Cl. 10 # 41-45, Medellín, Antioquia ???
Alright, we never ended up finding this place. We have a feeling it went out of business because it was not in the location that was stated in reviews. If anyone finds this empanada joint, LET US KNOW. We kind of feel gypped.
And the winner is….
Based off numbers, you’ll see that our highest-rated empanada in our reviews was Boomerang. But numbers are kind of like popular vote and don’t really do much. And we, my friends, are the writers of this fine blog. The winner therefore is Rellenitas D based on their overall creativity and flavors. This is not any run-of-the-mill empanada but rather a place that works to serve the taste buds of its visitors.
And second place goes to…
Boomerang got second place because it had the highest rankings among the empanadas we tried as well as provided the most delicious of the more “original” types of empanadas. They keep to a solid standard of offering one kind of empanada and doing it really darn well.