Colombia is known for its coffee culture and Medellin is known as a digital nomad hub. So where are the best places to enjoy a cup of good quality coffee in an authentic environment that is equally conducive to doing work as it is for catching up with friends?
Here’s a list of the best cafes in Medellin, for remote workers, expats, and locals alike. They all feature free, workable WiFi, locally sourced and roasted coffee, and good all-around vibes.
Juan Valdez – Parque Lleras
This is a national chain that has several locations in Medellin alone. However, JV still provides an authentic atmosphere with good coffee. Think Starbucks except with better coffee and a real Colombian vibe. The best location is arguably in Poblado situated on the east end of Parque Lleras. Here, patrons can enjoy classically good coffee while overlooking the beautiful, tree-lined park in the heart of Medellin’s most notable neighborhood. It’s not as popular for digital nomads and remote workers, but that might be a good thing for those looking to simply enjoy a cup of real Colombian coffee with a quintessential view of the city. Definitely a place worth checking out.
Internet: Not great; not really an ideal place for working
Power outlets: Very few
Coffee: What it’s famous for; probably the best mass-produced coffee in the world, it’s all Colombian and there are many options that are sourced directly from Antioquia in the mountains just outside Medellin
Work vibe: Not a great place to work from; this Juan Valdez location is more of a cafe to enjoy your coffee while looking out at Parque Lleras
Size: Small; doesn’t fit a whole lot of people (less than 30 comfortably)
Food: Average; baked goods are nice, but not the best place to have a meal
A great spot for local coffee, ideally situated in the heart of Poblado. Urbania Cafe has a great vibe, with an atmosphere that welcomes those looking to get work done as well as those looking to unwind with a good book and an even better cup of Joe. The views aren’t quite as good as Juan Valdez; there’s no park to look out on. However, the interior evokes a nice feeling nonetheless. A solid place to work from on a rainy weekday in Medellin, which at times occur with regularity.
Internet: Above average; good enough to work with, but not quite as good as some of the other places on this list
Power outlets: Relatively few; less access to outlets at stand-alone tables
Coffee: Perhaps the best out of all the cafes on this list (at least comparable to Cafe Velvet, which is also highly rated); single-source, single-origin beans that are locally roasted maks for a very distinguishable cup; drip coffee is a must here
Work vibe: Amazing; cozy and wooden interior, filled with people working while enjoying well-made coffee
Size: Small-to-medium (fits about 20 people comfortably, including the limited outdoor seating)
Food: Pretty good; nice paninis and grilled wraps, croissants, and baked goods
Arguably the most popular coffee shops in Medellin, Pergamino has two locations in El Poblado – and both have their own small charms to differentiate them from each other. The Carrera 37 location boasts ample outdoor seating which is great in the City of Eternal Spring’s nearly eternally perfect climate. The Calle 10B location features two stories, with a long bar to work from and comfortable chairs to lounge in. Both locations serve great coffee, with flat whites and cappuccinos being two of their more popular offerings. Their food is also better than most cafes in the surrounding area, with sandwiches and sharable plates that go perfectly well with coffee. Each Pergamino location is equipped with an excess of power outlets, making both of them desirable spots for remote workers that like to hunker down for the day. There is a healthy debate amongst remote professionals in Medellin over which location is better – some even choose to literally walk by the location closer to them to set up for the day at the farther one. To each their own opinion!
Internet: Very strong, arguably the best out of every cafe on this list (along with Velvet, which has very similar internet capabilities); both locations offer download speeds that are often over 20mbps, depending on how many people are using the network
Power outlets: The most! Both locations, individually, have more outlets than any other cafe on this list
Coffee: Very good; some people claim it is the best while others dispute that claim; espresso is pretty good; flat whites and cappuccinos are superb; all beans are locally sourced and roasted
Work vibe: Maybe the best, depending on location; Carrera 37 offers a large outdoor seating area great for meetings and working in the sun, while also offering a large indoor area that is set up much like a workstation with plenty of outlets and sturdy tables; Calle 10B offers two floors of workspace with some areas quieter than others to suit everybody’s needs; both locations are always full of people on laptops working away
Size: Large; each location can cater to well over 50 people
Food: Pretty good; though known more for its coffee, Pergamino serves some pretty good sandwiches and baked goods
Velvet is a hit-or-miss place. To some, it is their favorite cafe (such as myself). To others, it is somewhere they’d rather not work from, drink at, or be in. Even their coffee, verified by WiFi Tribe’s resident coffee expert Grant Storer as better than the others on this list, is not perceived as such by everyone. The drawbacks of this cafe are real – there are few outlets, it sometimes seems a little dark, and the food is objectively worse than neighboring Pergamino. However, the positives about Velvet outweigh the negatives by a landslide. The overall vibe is incredible, with trees and plants adorning the walls to create a cozy, nature feel. The staff is amazing, full of friendly people that will make you smile even if you don’t speak any Spanish. It has the best coffee (according to several remote workers, as well as myself) and serves the absolute best cortados, espressos, cold brews, and drip coffee – all of which is sourced from the surrounding mountains of Antioquia. And there always seems to be just the perfect amount of people in the building. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely mine – and it undoubtedly deserves the title of one of the best cafes in Medellin.
Internet: Very strong, arguably the best out of every cafe on this list (sometimes over 30mbps download speed)
Power outlets: Very few; one of the major drawbacks to working from here (though it doesn’t stop a sizeable group of remote workers who share the outlets or simply run on battery power)
Coffee: Arguably the best; all locally sourced and roasted; cortados are amazing; cold brew and drip coffee are great; espresso is probably the best on this list
Work vibe: To some, it’s amazing; to others, it’s a bit on the low-energy side; regardless, there are always people inside working and smiling; the trees and plants offer a nice naturey feel which some people find invigorating for work; staff is the best
Size: Medium-to-large; can fit a decent number of people (over 40) but usually on any given day will have around 15 – 20 people steadily throughout the day
Food: Below average, but there is an amazing smoothie bowl and salad bar next door and Velvet doesn’t care if you bring in outside food to eat (part of why the vibe is so good)
Hands down the best place in Poblado for brunch and smoothies, Al-Alma Provenza offers a nice mix of outdoor seating for sunny mornings and cozy indoor seating for rainy days. The detox verde smoothie is a must after a big night out and Al-Alma is one of the only places to offer jamon serrano – a sustainably sourced Spanish ham that is high in protein, high in polyunsaturated fat, and low in saturated fat. Top it all off with some pretty decent coffee and you’ve got yourself the perfect place to spend at least a few mornings every week.
Internet: Average; not really set up for work
Power outlets: Few
Coffee: Above average; good for cappuccinos and lattes, not as good for espresso
Work vibe: Not very strong; set up as more of a breakfast/brunch/coffee spot and less of a remote work spot; some people will be working on laptops but the majority of people are just there to enjoy good food, great smoothies, and a cup of Joe
Size: Medium; maybe a bit on the smaller side compared to the other cafes on this list; small but amazing outdoor seating area
Food: Probably the best food on this list; one of the only places in the area to serve jamon serrano, which is worth the extra charge; fresh bread, perfectly cooked eggs, and an abundance of avocados are all features of this lovely place
Arguably the best spot in Laureles for coffee and a good work session, Cafe Revolucion is a must-visit for anybody in the area. It’s popular with those in the know, yet not well-known enough to get overcrowded or overly busy. They claim on their website that they are “one of Medellín’s best-kept secrets,” but they’re not really a secret. Revolucion’s unique roasting style and good service has brought them deserved attention. It was founded in 2014 with the goal of bringing together people from all walks of life – and it’s doing a pretty good job of attaining that goal. Locals, tourists, expats, and students all enjoy morning espressos and afternoon cappuccinos together. Revolución is definitely one of the best places to meet great people and enjoy great coffee.
Internet: Strong; set up for working
Power outlets: Enough for everyone, unless absolutely everyone in the building needs one
Coffee: Known for their unique house roast; all locally sourced; great for cappuccinos
Work vibe: Great mix of students, professionals, and artists; one of the best all-around vibes for getting work done
Food: Above average; serves good breakfast food and regular cafe staples such as Colombian soups and sandwiches
Upgrade Your Medellin Cafe Experience
Does this list make the coffee lover in you want to book a flight and try them all out?
Come join WiFi Tribe and explore them all with us while we’re coliving in Medellin. We’d love to show you around.