There is no holiday that is harder for expats and digital nomads from the United States than Thanksgiving. Other than 4th of July, all other holidays are celebrated here. You can even find places to watch the Super Bowl if you are an NFL fan. However, Thanksgiving is a date when you may feel most isolated from family and friends. Seeing all of the Thanksgiving spreads on your social media feeds might add to the feeling of isolation and malaise you could be feeling, especially if it’s your first Thanksgiving in Medellin.
So a lot of us expats wonder, Do Colombians Celebrate Thanksgiving? The Answer is, No. They don’t. To Colombians, it’s another day. The only thing that they see it as is the day before Black Friday. Basically, they have taken the most commercialized aspect of Thanksgiving and left the good message behind.
Thanksgiving dinner in Medellin
While Colombia can’t provide you the familial feeling you may be missing, the food is available at several expat focused restaurants in the city. This is a very good substitute to being with family on the holiday. You will be surrounded with other expats that are likely feeling the same thing you are. You will also be able to watch the football games as well. The top places to go are:
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions — 12:30 p.m.
Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys — 4:30 p.m..
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks — 8:20 p.m..
Where Can You Have Thanksgiving in Medellin
We Compile the best places to have thanksgiving in Medellin. Below you will find the list of restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving Dinners.
Philly Steaks is a restaurant with an American atmosphere where you get large portions of food. Their specialties are fresh rolls made daily, prime-cut meats, and all kinds of cheesesteaks. Of course, they can’t let such an important holiday pass them by, so they prepared a turkey dinner for ex-pats who miss the taste of a good homemade meal.
Their special Thanksgiving menu for this year includes
- Smithfield Ham
- Sausage Stuffing
- Mashed Patatoes
You can make reservations for any time from 3 pm to 10 pm, and definitely get ready to feast! or go to Medellin Foodies Whatsapp Group
Price: $100.000 COP
Whatsapp: +57 302 6960005
Address: Cra. 43E #11a-15, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia
When: November 23rd, 2023
Hours: 3pm – 10pm
Patrick’s Irish Pub
One way to enjoy typical Thanksgiving foods is at the first and only Irish pub in town.
This Parque Lleras staple has become more than just a place to come for a pint or to watch sporting events. Since 2017 they have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner where you can get your fill of a homestyle cooked turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, the elusive homemade stuffing, and pumpkin pie with fresh made whipped cream.
This sports bar is very popular among expats, so be sure to reserve your dinner in advance. Dinner is available from 1 pm until 10 pm, so if you want to eat your dinner while watching one of the NFL games, make your reservations accordingly.
Address: Cra. 37a #8 A 43, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia
When: November 23rd, 2023
Hours: 1pm – 10pm
Bodega Cocina is a restaurant which is well known for its quality food made with care and fresh ingredients.
To speak with them about Thanksgiving meals there are 3 ways to contact them:
When: November 11th, 2023
Hours: 4:30pm to 8pm
Big Boy Food & Bar
Big boys food and Bar is well known for its large portions, down home food and a taste of the South in Medellin. This Thanksgiving they will be serving a traditional turkey dinner with their traditional sweet potatoes and delicious gravy. For the cost of $390.000 for for four to five people you will also recieve a bottle of wine. They are requiring a $100.000 deposit. Choose between the noon to 4 p.m. time slot or the 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. time slot.
Price: $390.000 COP 4-5 Person Dinner
Address: Cra. 45 #67sur – 05, Sabaneta, Antioquia
When: November 23rd, 2023
Hours: 12pm – 4pm
Sweet Georgia Cafe
Sweet Georgia cafe will be doing their famous fried turkey, as well as a baked turkey, baked ham, delicious BBQ ribs and pumpkin pie. The other positive thing is that this will be a buffet, so bring your appetite. All of this for $100.000 per person.
Price: $100.000 COP per Person
Abbiocco at Marquee Hotel
If you are looking for something a little more formal, Abbiocco is the place to go this Thanksgiving. It is a three course meal and is from noon until 11pm. The cost is 169.000 to 249.000 for adults, and 120.000. This is a more fine dining option, and the restaurant recommends that you make reservations.
Price: Starting at $120.000 COP
When: November 23rd, 2023
Hours: 12pm – 11pm
Carryout / Home Delivery Thanksgiving
The Smokin’ Pit
If you’ve spent any time in Medellin and are a BBQ lover, you have at least heard of the Smokin Pit. They don’t have a physical restaurant, but don’t let that deter you from their food. When it comes to Thanksgiving, Smokin’ Pit has you covered. They have established themselves as one of the premier delivery restaurants in the Medellin metro area, offering meal prep as well as ready to eat options. This Thanksgiving, they are offering you a complete meal kit delivered to your door.
The Kit includes the following:
- Brined Herb Roasted Turkey Boneless White & Dark Meat
- Italian Sausage Stuffing
- Real Turkey Gravy
- Two Dinner Rolls
- Butter Creamed Mashed Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce
- Jar of Cheesecake (Pumpkin or Red Berries)
- Roasted Green Beans & Garlic
Price: $110.000 COP per Complete Meal
Whatsapp: +57 350 7535001
Verve Sano is has earned its reputation as a healthy food prep service, that not only serves the Medellin metro area, but also delivers directly to your doorstep in Rionegro, Llanogrande and Santa Elena.
They are offering a Thanksgiving special in these areas this year. They are more geared to a family meal, so if you are living alone or a couple, this may be too much for you alone, but hey, the leftovers are the best part, no?
They are asking that all orders are placed on their website, and no later than Monday, Nov 20th. They have a finite number of orders they will make. Their menu is as follows:
- 1KG carved, herb roasted turkey with 16oz of traditional gravy
- Homestyle stuffing
- Creamy, buttery sour cream mashed potatoes
- 300g mixed veggies, including sauerkraut, cranberries and almonds
- Butternut squash and sweet potatoes
- Roasted carrots
- 1L berry-cinnamon infused kombucha
You can place your order at: vervesano.com
Cooking your own Thanksgiving
If you love to cook, making your Thanksgiving dinner here is not only possible, but can be a rewarding experience. While there are many items you will have trouble finding in the local grocery stores, there are some places you can get your hands on some of the best ingredients Colombia has to offer for making a Thanksgiving feast.
Jumbo / Exito / Carulla
In the large chain stores here in Colombia, you will find the basic ingredients that you will need to have a nice turkey dinner. There are a few considerations which you will need to keep in mind when buying your ingredients at these stores.
This is not the United States – Seems simple, but there are many things you will not have available in these stores that you may be accustomed to in the US. The main thing is the turkey itself. Yes, you can buy turkey here, however it’s rare to find the whole turkey as you will find in the US. The second part and the biggest pain point is stuffing. Buying boxed stuffing is not a thing here, but you can make your own if you are cooking a turkey. The catch 22 is that if you are buying turkey cutlets or a side of turkey this is not an option. The other hard to find item is cranberry sauce, it’s not something that Colombians are accustomed to, so it’s hard to find here.
You will find most everything you need at these chain stores, just temper your expectations.
Let’s call it what it is; Costco. This is not “The Colombian version of Costco”, it is Costco, plain and simple. It’s the international branch of Costco. Thus, you will have a good mix of Colombian items and US items at these stores. If you are planning on cooking Thanksgiving dinner, this is where you will be able to get everything you need to put on an incredible meal.
As of November 2nd, Pricesmart has started stocking frozen turkeys. The turkeys available are Butterball brand, but will only last until sold out. This is not something that is like in the US where you can get a turkey up to the day before Thanksgiving, plan ahead.
In addition to this, it is time to rejoice fellow Estadounidenses, the Poblado and Belen Pricesmarts will have one palette each of Stove Top stuffing arriving on November 15/16. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I spoke with the managers of both locations and they will not be holding or reserving any, it’s first come first served. As a natural maverick who flys by the seat of his pants, this is difficult because I want stuffing, but I need to make sure I get there in time to make one of those boxes mine.
They also let me know that they have a SKU for canned Heinz Turkey Gravy, but they are not certain about this one. If you are planning on having a feast and are not a member, I would recommend getting your membership and going before the limited supply of these items are all gone.
Most importantly, remember the reason for the season, it’s not just your meal to fuel up to go black friday shopping for a 500,000 TV at Jumbo the next day, It’s to be with family and friends. Be thankful for the blessings you have in life including being able to spend time in this incredible country.
You can make your own Turkey gravy living in Colombia i learned the making turkey gravy is actually really easy. I use the recipe from the following youtube channel (How To Make Turkey Gravy).
If you have a favorite place you celebrate thanksgiving, and we didn’t list it in our article. Please feel free to reply to the article. We would love to hear from you.