El Machetico: The Best Empanadas in Medellín

Customers stand outside El Machetico eating empanadas, located in 42106 Cl. 9, Poblado.

Customers stand outside El Machetico eating empanadas, located in 42106 Cl. 9, Poblado.

Sebastián Garcés, Discoverer Staff Writer

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Empanadas are a symbol of Colombian culture and there are many businesses that fight for the first place in the market. But there is one that has no comparison; El Machetico. Established in 1985, El Machetico has been known around the City of the Eternal Spring as one of the best empanadas sellers around. It has around 26 points of sale in Colombia and it is open for franchises. This place specializes on traditional Colombian meals such as Pasteles de Pollo, arepa de huevo, papa rellena, panzerotti, palitos de queso, tortas de pescado and obviously, empanadas.

El Machetico definitely has the best empanadas and Colombian snacks in the city since they are very economic, nutritive, huge and are delicious. Despite having some problems, it is the perfect place to go for a snack or a quick lunch.

To begin with, the empanadas demonstrate their worth in their flavor and quality. Starting with a golden crunchy crust and its delicious interior. Its menu includes carne y papa, arroz y papa, queso, arroz y carne and empanadas de iglesia. All to be accompanied with delicious chili and some fresh lemons with no additional charge. Personally, I believe that in El Machetico, the proportion of meat compared to potato is perfect, as it has significantly more beef than flour and makes it more nutritive. In addition, it is an exquisite greasy snack not recommended for fat-free diet people. If one is to visit Mi Buñuelo, there is barely an option in the menu to get a different type of empanada. Mi Buñuelo only offers carne y papa and papa y guiso and I personally believe that they include way more potato than beef which makes it less healthy, nutritive and delicious.

Unfortunately, organization and business development is not a very strong point for El Machetico. When one enters the web page, it gets everyone excited to see all of the variety of products it offers. But in some of its main and most visited premises, it lacks around 93 % of the products offered on the web page. Once we got there, there was a poor experience regarding the variety of products. The three times I went, they only offered carne y papa empanadas. Mi Buñuelo for example, offers a wide variety of products on its web page and all of them are available once you get there. This is a clear downside to the business but for me, it takes no merit off for their great empanadas and it is still worth going to El Machetico even if it is to eat the same carne y papa empanada.

For those that are terrified of high prices, there is nothing to worry about when you visit El Machetico. A gigantic empanada full of beef and potato costs 2,000 COP, which is a great prize if you ask me. I believe that this is a very cheap price for a snack that if eaten in a quantity of 2 or 3 empanadas, it can feed you as if it was lunch. Imagine being in a rush to a meeting but you are with your belly empty. You only stop at el Machetico, wait in the line for around 20 seconds and get a very filling lunch for about 4000-6000 COP. Unlike this paradise, El Buñuelo de San Lucas offers a decently sized empanada for around a whole dollar. This clearly gives the point to El Machetico due to its effectiveness and cheap prizes.

More than just a product, it is a business and a family. Once you visit El Machetico, it is guaranteed to be full 99% of the time. Every single time I went, there were around 10-15 people around eating delicious empanadas. All of the different business around are empty while there is a tumult of people around El Machetico. With this information, you may think that line and wait time must take forever but you are wrong. The waiting time was around 20-40 seconds as workers are very fast and effective for me. They know the products, the cost and are available to respond to any question a customer has. The ambiance is great despite having nowhere to sit down. It gets me a very fresh vibe of people eating their delicious empanadas while standing and chatting. I would say that El Machetico is not a place to take a partner to speak about business since there are no parking spots nearby and as mentioned before, there is no place to sit. In comparison, Punto Caliente has a very well implemented idea as its locals are most located at big malls with lots of people, parking lots and places to sit down.

After taking into consideration all of the places to eat typical Colombian empanadas, for prize, ambiance and food quality I would definitely recommend El Machetico. Everyone should go try El Machetico and get a lot of Empanadas from this place to celebrate Christmas the Colombian way.