There are many reasons I keep returning to Medellín, Colombia, but one of the biggest is the food. I love the rich flavors of Colombian dishes like bandeja paisa, arepas and tropical fruits. Back home in Mallorca, I often find myself craving Colombian food, so finding the best Colombian restaurants in Palma is a top priority. La Gran Fonda in Son Armadams definitley earns a place on that list thanks to a delicious menu and fun authentic atmosphere.
|La Gran Fonda|
|Location||Son Armadams, Palma|
|Dish Recommendation||Bandeja Paisa|
|Website||La Gran Fonda|
|Phone Number||+34 871 71 30 76|
Inside La Gran Fonda
What sets La Gran Fonda apart from several of the other Colombian restaurants in Palma is the true Antioquian fonda atmosphere. It looks and feels like a village bar outside of Medellín where the coffee men come in on horseback every night to have a drink, listen to live music and dance. (No surprise, you can do all those things at La Gran Fonda.)
Inside, the the dining and bar area are much larger than they appear from outside with a lot of seating and space for a live band. In typical Antioquian fashion, vibrant colors adorn the place from corner to corner. On the outdoor terrace, authentic Colombian decorations cover the walls.
The servers, Colombians themselves with the commensurate friendliness and charisma, drive home the experience. And there’s even a vendor who comes by the tables selling typical Colombian treats. Don’t turn him away. (I’ll get to that in a sec.)
La Gran Fonda’s Best Dishes
If you want the full fonda experience, order the bandeja paisa. This is a large plate of dense food that Antioquian farm workers would eat for the mid-morning almuerzo to fuel them for the rest of the day’s labor. As is typical, La Gran Fonda’s version comes with a large chorrizo sausage, fried bacon, egg, rice and beans, avocado, and arepa. Like most bandeja paisas I’ve had, it also includes banana, though it’s fried rather than fresh.
The bandeja paisa is just €15 and enough to feed two people, but my wife and I also got some appetizers: fried yuca and patacones, fried plantain chips. If you want something a bit lighter, I recommend trying the arepas. These are flat cornflour cakes that you can get topped with various types of meat and cheese.
For dessert, I recommend juice. La Gran Fonda has fruit juices that are common in Colombia but otherwise hard to find in Spain like passion fruit (maracuya) and dragon fruit (lulo). I recommend the passion fruit with milk or dragon fruit with water. If you want to get really authentic, buy a block of guava paste from the candy vendor and mix it with milk.
When to Visit La Gran Fonda
The local Colombian community loves La Gran Fonda, so it’s always packed despite being open from 8:30 am to 1 am every day. The weekends are especially busy, doubly true if there’s live music, which is often. My wife and I only had to wait a couple minutes for a table, but if you have a large party, definitely consider making a reservation.
How to Get to La Gran Fonda
La Gran Fonda is centrally located inthe Son Armadams neighborhood right on the main strip, Avinguda de Joan Miró. It’s near numerous other restaurants and clubs and just two blocks from the marina and hotels like Meliá Palma and establishments like Social Club.
There are free parking spots on nearby streets, but they may be full at the busiest times. In this case, the parking garage on Carrer Federico García Lorca is just a block away.