A curated guide to the Sunday morning Mercado de Campesinos in Parque de la Presidenta in Poblado
Anyone who knows me well here in Medellín knows that I LOVE el Mercado de Campesinos (the Farmer’s Market), mercando, buying fruits and veggies is one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. I know most of the vendors, and sometimes I see friends and acquaintances there. So here are the details for one of my favorite things about living in Medellín. A lot of other people love this market. You will see people of all ages, tourists, gringos, colombianos, lots of families and a lot of people bring their dogs here.
Given that this market is half on an elevated boardwalk and half not on a boardwalk with some uneven terrain, with some narrow passageways, this is not the most accessible place for wheelchair users. A word of warning if you are afraid of dogs, some people let their dogs off leash here. It’s important to remember that in Colombia people treat their dogs like they are babies, while many of the dogs here appear to be friendly and well-behaved, use common sense and do not touch a dog without asking their human(s) if it is ok to touch them.
Location: Parque de la Presidenta, Calle 8 #42-25, El Poblado, Medellín
There is an entrance for Parque de la Presidenta on Avenida Poblado (Carrera 43A) and another entrance on Carrera 39 with Calle 8. This park is bordered by Zorba, Rango Boutique Hostal, and the Hotel Dann Carlton, as well as the Harley Davidson's location on Poblado. It is maybe at most a five-minute walk from Parque Lleras.
Times: Sundays 7 AM-1 PM
The Farmer’s Market is almost every week, except Easter Sunday. Most of the vendors are there most weekends, but if it is a holiday here, an election or some other significant event is happening while you are here, it’s possible that not all of the vendors will be there. If you will be visiting Medellín over the Christmas holidays or in early January, do not be surprised if the market is smaller than usual or not all of the usual vendors are there. I have spoken with some of the vendors, and they told me that they will not all be there during Christmas and at the end of December. Moreover, some of the vendors do take off for vacations and/or other personal reasons, so if you cannot find some of the vendors at the Farmer’s Market for specialty items, I made sure to include contact information for many vendors as possible, in case you wanted something and were not able to get it.
How to make the most out of this
Timing: If you can try to get there earlier before 10 AM or 11 AM, that is best since there are fewer crowds, there is more and better produce available, and the temperatures are lower the earlier you go in the morning. I would arrive before 12:00 PM if at all possible, the vendors sometimes start closing up at around maybe 12:30 PM, so do not come late expecting to get all the goodies or expecting to be able to find everything you might want or need.
While I love buying fresh food direct from the farmer’s themselves, one of my favorite things about los Mercados del Campesinos are all the snack options available. Admittedly my mouth is watering just thinking about this. You can definitely eat breakfast here if you are willing to eat pasteles de pollo (chicken hand pies), chorizo, arepas de chocló con mantequilla y queso campesino (sweet corn arepas with butter and cheese), empanadas, patacones with guacamole, and more. There are fresh juices, hot chocolate, coffee, and more for sale if you want something to drink.
Arepas de Chóclo Josefinas: I recommend buying arepas de chócolo from Eunice, who sells her arepas with under the brand, Arepas de Chócolo Josefinas, This is a lovely older couple who live here in Medellín and Eunice's arepas, and baked goods are amazing. Eunice makes everything herself at her finca, and she grinds the chócolo (corn) herself. Also, the cheese she serves with these arepas comes from her finca. In addition to arepas de chócolo, Eunice also used to sell a sweet yuca cake, packets of arepas de chócolo (5 arepas per packet) and two different Colombian cheese breads, one that is similar to Pão de Queijo. Her stand is located on the inside of the market at a stall on the right interior side on the boardwalk adjacent to the outdoor fitness equipment. They sell individual arepas for $4.000 COP, toasted with butter and two slices of on top cheese, have no fear you can get these without cheese and they are gluten-free. One packet with arepas de chócolo costs $5.500 COP. I start mercando eating one of her arepas de chócolo and drinking a lulito. If you are ordering ten (10) or more packs or arepas or other goodies, I believe she can meet you at the Éxito on Calle 10 here in Poblado to deliver your arepas to you on non-Farmer’s Market days.
Phone: +57 (034) 492-3443
WhatsApp: +57 (311) 608-7930
Pasteles de pollo: I personally prefer the pasteles and empanadas at the stand that sells the patacones. The patacones are great with guacamole and the woman who sells the empanadas also sells some excellent jams. And the guy whose stand is adjacent to Basil also has great pasteles de pollo with ají picante (spicy ají) filled with chicken for $4.000 COP. He lives in Santa Elena and on occasion, I have seen him at Mercado Arví at the top of Parque Arví.
Guarapo: I love the guarapo here. Guarapo is pressed sugar cane juice and lime, it is refreshing, and they press it out right there in front of you. When my Dad came to visit and went to the market with me, he loved it. He told me that he was full and I gave him the cup with it while I went to mercar, and I looked over, and my Dad had drunk a lot of it, later he had to give it to me since he had almost finished it, ooops. If I were to have a massive party or celebration here in Medellín, I would try to hire the team from Guarapos Don Obed, since they are available for events, fiestas, and ferias.
WhatsApp: +57 (301) 774-5772
El Melario (Honey): At this stand, they sell delicious honey, from bees in our department, Antioquia. One bottle which is 470 grams sells for approximately $14.000 COP is fantastic, and this is a great price for excellent quality. They also sell bee pollen, baked goods, and other products. If you buy a jar for $20.000 COP, once you finish the jar, you can bring it back, have it sanitized and refilled and pick it up the following week, with a refill of fresh honey. I believe you can save between $4.000-$5.000 COP each time by buying your honey in jars instead of plastic bottles. They also have a store in Laureles near Glorieta Don Quijote, Carrera 83A #34B-20, Interior 301, Medellín, and they will deliver to your home here in Medellín as well. You can find them online on their website or send them an email, email@example.com.
WhatsApp: +57 (300) 467-0926
Basil: The owner of Basil, Nathalia Elorza makes her own artisanal sauces, which are all natural and made without preservatives. Nathalia sells the following: Gomashio/Gomasio (Macrobiotic Japanese Sesame Salt), Babaganoush, Tahini, Hummus, and vegan Pesto made with nuts. All of her sauces are great, and I highly recommend trying them. Nathalia is really friendly and she gives out samples for all of these. You can find Basil on Instagram, Facebook, or send Nathalia a WhatsApp message to coordinate delivery since Nathalia will deliver to your home here in Medellín.
WhatsApp: +57 (311) 778-8680
Picoso: This couple, Sebastían and Daniela, who live outside of Medellín, are really sweet and friendly and they sell great ají in a powder form. They sell their own dried spicy seasonings, from mild (ají dulce to extremely spicy ají) similar to Tajín in texture. Sebastián and Daniela cultivate all of the ajís themselves on a finca outside of Medellín, everything they sell is all natural and organic, with no artificial preservatives or ingredients. I love these seasonings, and they are great for cooking, adding to sauces and soups. They sell three types of dried ajís ground up into powders at the market on Sundays, and they also sell Habanero if you order it in advance from them. They offer tastings of their different ajís at their table every Sunday.
The mildest ají they sell is Ají Cereza which is a mix of two ajís, Ají Cereza, and Ají Dulce, their medium spicy offering, Charapita, is amazing. Charapita is a small spicy pepper found in the Amazon, it’s smooth and fruity, with a similar flavor profile to habanero but without the bite. Their most spicy offering they sell at the market is ají pajarito, which is common here in Antioquia, they bill this as their most extreme flavor. This ají tastes great with barbecue sauce. They have found a way to produce their spices in a way that you do not taste or immediately experience the spiciness; it’s a more smooth and delayed spicy feeling. Ideally, you will use their spices, and they will enhance the flavors of your foods, instead of overpowering them with the flavors from the peppers. You can use their spices in soups, salads, meats, veggies, hot chocolate, beer for a Mexican Michelada, fruits, barbecue sauce, guacamole, and more.
I personally LOVE their ají charapita, it’s fruity and is great with soups and fruits. I actually will first squeeze lime juice onto sliced mango or pineapple and sprinkle the Charapita on top this, and it’s delicious. Before this, Alma, my old Mexican-American roommate back when I lived in D.C., who happens to be a chef, taught me about how amazing Tajín tastes with fruits and other dishes. However, after eating many of Sebastián and Daniela’s samples and buying a bottle of the charapita, I gave up Tajín. I now exclusively use their ají charapita when I would have used Tajín. And since it’s a powder, I can fly with this ají in my carry on bag and use it as needed.
Try the ají charapita, el mediano, the medium spicy ají with lime on fruits like mango or pineapple if you want to have something which is even better Tajín. A small bottle which contains 12 grams of ají costs $10.000 COP. While this may seem like a small amount of ají, one small bottle will last you months. I have my bottle of charapita for at least three months, and I am nowhere being finished with the bottle. If you buy something from them, after reading this post, please let them know how you found them. Picoso can deliver to your home in Medellín, and they also will ship throughout Colombia and possibly abroad. However, you will pay an additional fee for shipping. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook. You can also send them a WhatsApp to coordinate deliveries or email them at Simuypicoso@gmail.com.
WhatsApp: +57 (301) 337-4718
Fruitazo: They sell all kinds of fruit juices, but I really like jugo/zumo de Maracuya and jugo de Lulo. One cup costs $3.000, and you can have one cup with various juices. I start my day mercando drinking a lulito, it’s not a sweet fruit or juice, but it’s excellent and one of my favorite juices in Colombia.
Delicias de Arví: The man behind this stand also sells his stuff near Parque Arví in Santa Elena and his Arequipe de Café, the closest thing to Dulce de Leche is amazing. He also sells manjar, which is similar to caramel and dulce de leche. He sells regular arequipe, arequipe with mora and sweet cream and arequipe con maracuya (arequipe with passion fruit). I highly recommend this if you have a sweet tooth like me, he sells it in small plastic containers with a wooden spoon/popsicle stick to eat it with.
WhatsApp: +57 (313) 631-6116
Fresh butter and cheese: There is a man who a table in the same area as Nathalia who sells arepas, fresh butter, cheese and more. You can buy a large hunk of fresh butter here for $9.000 COP, fresh from the farm, with no preservatives. I love this butter and have baked it with many times, so if you want great butter buy it here, I have bought cheese here before, but I am struggling to remember how much it cost, but it was also good as well. They also sell a variety of different arepas, but they are different than the ones than Eunice makes.
Chorizo: You can also buy fantastic chorizo, so good that rivals Uruguayan chorizo, here at the Farmer's Market. If you buy cooked chorizo, it will probably cost you $4.000 COP. They will cut into pieces for you and serve it to you in a bowl with arepitas, small white arepas, and slices of limón criollo, the Colombian limes whose interior flesh is orange. You can also buy the chorizo raw and take it home to cook later; you can buy a four-pack of chorizo for $16.000 COP I believe. When I recently made a cazuela de frijoles this is the chorizo I used. However, this chorizo is made with pork. They also sell morcilla, beef blood sausage, similar to black pudding in the UK and Ireland. The woman I buy my chorizo from, her table is right next to Eunice's table where you can purchase arepas de chócolo.
Alata: While this, not a food product, I love the essential oils, lotions, and more Alata sells. It is a couple Natalia and Cesar, and they sell essential oils, almost all of them are from Colombia, except for the lavender they get from the south of France and maybe one more oil. They sell organic plant-based shampoo and a lovely hand lotion with goat’s milk, chamomile and more. If you buy the shampoo or body soap they offer, you can also purchase refills in large bags from them to save money and be more environmentally friendly. I bought their Lavender body wash in October or November, and I loved it.
I purchased the shampoo for $12.000 COP. I believe the only ingredients in the shampoo are distilled water, rosemary, and argan oil. The shampoo is AMAZING, my hair has become so soft since I began using it, and it’s organic with no harmful ingredients. I have tried so many shampoos and hair washes, over the years and this one is my new favorite since it actually cleans my hair and scalp, my hair which is dry and can be oily, actually has been looking so great with this shampoo. And my scalp is not as oily using this shampoo, and it is only $12.000 COP. I am not sure how this shampoo would work if you have more curly, coily, or kinky hair, but it may also work for those hair types as well? The 120 mL bottle of hand lotion costs $34.000 COP and the 250 mL of hand lotion, which is moisturizing costs $62.000 COP. They will deliver to your home here in Medellín; you can send them a WhatsApp message to coordinate deliveries. Website and firstname.lastname@example.org.
WhatsApp: +57 (312) 899-8664
Coffee: You can also drink coffee at the Farmer’s Market grown right here in Medellín in the village of Santa Elena, near Parque Arví. The people behind Café Media Luna sell coffee by the cup, ground and whole coffee beans for purchase. A 250-gram bag of whole coffee beans will cost you $15.000 COP. You can also visit their finca in Santa Elena and do a coffee tour with them I have not visited their finca in Santa Elena. But this could be a fun thing for people who want to learn about and see how coffee, is grown and produced but who do not have the time to visit the coffee farms in the Coffee Region or Jardín, a small pueblo with a three to four hour bus ride from Medellín. Santa Elena is approximately an hour’s drive from Medellín, depending on where you are coming from and traffic. It’s possible they also offer delivery for ground coffee and coffee beans within Medellín, I am not sure so if you are interested in purchasing coffee from them or doing a coffee tour with them.
WhatsApp: +57 (300) 615-0166/+57 (314) 785-2503
Nuts and Seeds: There is also a guy whose table is next to the Picoso table, the couple who sells ají, which is amazing. A friend of a friend, Bruno, who is best friends with one of my friends from Bogotá introduced me to him, I cannot remember his name, but his stuff is great too. He sells a variety of different nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Side note: Yes I am aware that this list does not include all of the vendors, these are some of my favorites and you can find some other great things at the market. You can also buy plants, more baked goods, flowers, orchids, coffee grown in Santa Elena, and obviously produce. If you plan on getting a good amount of food, I recommend bringing some reusable bags so you can take goodies home. Everything here is in cash. Be sure that you do not take any seeds or produce outside of Colombia, but you can definitely take arepas, jams, spices, sauces, etc. outside of Colombia with you and not have any issues with customs.
Ciclovía for Avenida Poblado (Carrera 43A)
Ciclovía for Avenida Poblado, Sundays and Festivos from 7 AM-1 PM: Finally, the ciclovía for Avenida Poblado, on Sundays and festivos (holidays) the mayor of Medellín closes off the southbound side of Avenida Poblado from cars from Calle 41, los Huesos until Calle 21Sur (la Frontera between Poblado and the suburb of Envigado), from 7 AM-1 PM. The ciclovías create space for people to walk, bike, run, jog, skate and more during these hours. It’s great if you enjoy being outside and I see lots of families with kids of all ages participating in this. Here is a link which provides more information in Spanish about the ciclovías, their locations, dates, times, etc. For a more detailed and in-depth treatment and look at ciclovías here in Medelliín, you can read my blog post "Ciclovías in Medellín".
Honorable Mentions, these are not regular vendors, but they have great products and deliver
Pana Taller de Pan
These two guys make AMAZING artisanal bread from “masa madre,” a special type of fermented yeast which is great for bread making. They have a great focaccia with cherry tomatoes and olive oil and other breads with seeds which I really enjoy. I LOVE bread and finding good bread in Medellín is not always easy, but do not despair they deliver to your home. You order through their Instagram page and/or their Facebook page. Their bread usually costs $15.000 COP per loaf, but I am not sure if delivery is extra. They are not regular vendors at the main farmer’s market, but I love their bread, and if you want great bread, you should get in touch with them.
WhatsApp: +57 316 277 3679/+57 320 523 6226
Conservas Artesanales Margaritas del Río
Margarita makes and sells amazing homemade jams, jellies, sauces, sundried tomatoes, special vinegars and condiments, especially ají and hot sauces. The rhubarb jam was so good that my Dad brought some with him back to the United States when he came to visit, these jams are amazing, if I had the money and space, I would probably buy one of everything. Also, the owner of this brand also shares my profound love for hot sauce and everything picante. She also carries ají with her to season things with, in other words, she has some of the best spicy stuff if you are someone like me. Margarita used to sell at the Farmer’s Market as a regular vendor up until October or November 2018. She delivers within Medellín and also sometimes has talleres (workshops). You can get Margaritas del Rio delivered to your home here in Medellín or the rest of Colombia. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook. If you are interested in any of their products the best thing to do is send a WhatsApp and explain what you are interested in, and someone will respond with information about the products they offer, pricing, and more.
WhatsApp for deliveries: +57 (321) 759-5824
Vinarte sells fair trade, handmade coconut oil from Chocó, that is 100% Colombian. This is a natural and artisanal coconut oil and the sales of it support women in Chocó. The company is based in Darien, in the Caribbean area of Colombia. Had I not bought coconut oil right before I had met Claudia, earlier in November, I would have purchased coconut oil from here. Here is their Facebook page and you can contact Claudia via Whatsapp with regards to purchasing, delivery, etc.
WhatsApp + 57 (301) 641-4861
These women make delicious jams and other spreads. I met them at a cooperative market outside the Farmer's Market one Sunday in November and loved their products, but since I have limited space in my kitchen, I did not purchase anything from them at the time. However, I got one of their business cards, and I will be ordering from them in the future. And their number is below for orders via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Orders: +57 300 264-7582
As always if you go to the Farmer's Market and enjoy it or order products from one of these vendors, please slide into my DMs, Facebook messages, send me an email, comment down below, etc. to let me know. If you take any photos at the farmer's market, please tag me on Instagram @mividaenmedellin and use the hashtag, #mividaenmedellín. Also if you happen to see me at the Farmer’s Market since that is my Sunday morning jam, don’t be afraid to say hi! And if there is something that you believe that I should cover, that I have not already covered on the blog, please let me know. If this post has helped you in any way or if you have learned something, please tell me in the comments, slide into my DMs or send me an email, since I LOVE hearing from my readers. Finally, if you are enjoying reading my blog and want more, do not forget to click the subscribe button below and you will receive emails from me on a weekly basis whenever I have posted new content on the blog.