The Manila Neighborhood in Medellín – An Up-and-Coming Hang Out Spot

Welcome to Medellín.  If you’re new here, and a tourist, there is a very good chance you’ll be spending much of your time in the city’s fashionable El Poblado district. While that shining beacon may be unavoidable, you’d be foolish to miss out the Manila neighborhood, an up and coming spot just minutes on foot from Parque Poblado.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Hija Mia [which means My Daughter] is my favorite coffee shop because it has great coffee and owners Shaun and Laura are really nice,” says Joel Duncan, a Canadian national and photographer.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

“It’s small, which gives it more charm and character than the larger outfits like Pergamino and Velvet [both near Parque Lleras]. My favorite drink is the Flat White. I find it is one of the best places where I can both socialize and get work done.”

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Beyond Hija Mia, Manila has a host of other great restaurants and bars in which to relax, wine and dine, or both.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

One option includes Halong Vietnamita, a Vietnamese restaurant, which is great for a bite to eat while kicking back with some friends. The design makes use or large umbrellas that harvest rain water for the restaurant in an eco-friendly approach to the hospitality industry.

The question, of course, is how does the food stack up? Pho – a Vietnamese noodle dish – is incredibly reasonable at just COP 10,000 or 12,000, and is delicious and authentic. If you feel like something a little more decadent, the restaurant also boasts ribs which are braised for 18 hours in wine and coconut milk.

According to Duncan, Halong also has excellent cocktails.

While Halong and Hija Mia are independent entities which exist entirely in their own right, there are also a number of local chains in the area.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Pizzeria Olivia – a high-end pizza chain with a strong presence in Medellín – has a site in Manila. As well as the obvious options (pizza, duh) Olivia’s strong suit is its selection of juices. The mango and strawberry mixed juice is particularly delicious.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Tyler Gillespie, a digital nomad from the United States, says that the local branch of Ganso y Castor is a great spot to drop into for a quick bite to eat or a juice. The location in Manila is Ganso y Castor’s newest restaurant in the city (other sites can be found in Provenza, or near the Museum of Modern Art in Medellín – the MAMM).

Ganso y Castor is surprisingly upmarket with a range of breakfast egg options, and pasta dishes for lunch.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Of course, with all that food and drink, those staying a little longer might want to consider when and where they can use a gym. For Duncan, the local BodyTech is a great hangout spot for staying fit and meeting new people, making it more of a social experience than just a drop in for doing some exercise.

Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

Of course, this list is not exhaustive of things to do in Manila, there is still much to explore with new places opening all the time. The Buena Mesa street is an expanding hang out spot, complete with burger bars, barbers, and even a German restaurant (El Aléman Pues).

Manila is not to be missed, so be sure to drop in while you’re in town.

Also, if you’re looking to stay in the neighborhood and have all these great places at your doorstep, why not rent a beautifully designed studio apartment just a couple of blocks away.

What are your favorite places in Manila? Sound off in the comments below.

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Manila Neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

  • Andrew Douglas Campion

    Also a location for what I consider to be one the best small chain of coffee shops in Medellin, Al Alma.

  • Mark Edelston

    Great article guys! I am the owner of the Purple Monkey Hostel in Manila and since we opened 18 months ago we have seen an explosion of top quality restaurants in Manila. The area really has become THE place to eat in Medellin. It would be great if you could do an article about accommodation options in the area too as due to the quality of the restaurants the area is becoming one of the best areas to stay in the city. If you would like to chat further get in touch with us via our website or just drop by for a chat next time you are in the area!