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Aug 8, 2004 05:52 PM

Best Restaurants in Santiago and Buenos Aires

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Need some help from the great foodies of Chowhound. If you had to select your top three restaurants in Santiago and Buenos Aires, which would you choose?

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  1. I'm not sure about Santiago but there is a wonderful restaurant in the Recoleta-area of Buenos Aires called Camarico. It's near Recoleta Village and it's absolutely fabulous. It's a cozy restaurant that offers food from several regions of Argentina and the wine selection is to die for---mostly Argentine wine. The owner is very attentive, offering free samples of food and wine when it's not too busy during the week. I heard it gets pretty busy on the weekend. I went there on a Wednesday and it was just perfect. The food is very affordable there, as well. My boyfriend and I ate there, ordering dinner, appetizers and a bottle of wine for less than $70 for both of us total. I visited the infamous, Cabana de Las Lilas in Puerto Madero and still thought Camarico was better and less expensive.
    Camarico is a jewel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cindy

      Cindy, Thanks so much for your rec. Did you go anywhere else that you particularly liked? We've never been to Buenos Aires before so any hints as to restaurants or dishes we should try would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    2. In Santiago, if you're in the mood for beef - Happening is a great restaurant in the Las Condes area of Santiago (not far from the Intercontinental and Raddisson hotels). Make sure to order their warm chocolate desert specialty. I don't know what it's called, (in fact I don't care for sweets so I've never actually eaten it) but I've taken a good many chowhounds here and without exception they've raved about this dish. Happening is actually a Buenos Aires based restaurant and they have a location in the Puerto Madera area of B.A. but I ate there last week and didn't think it as good as the one in Santiago. I may just have been getting burned out on beef in all fairness.

      Also - in case you're having difficulty selecting a decent wine while in Santiago (lots of choices but few that are familiar), I can heartely recommend Montes Alpha Cabernet Savingnon, it's one of my all time favorites. Make sure it's the "Alpha" because their regular Cabernet is just mediocre. It will probably cost around USD20 in a restaurant or USD12 or so in a wine shop.

      Hope this reached you in time for your trip.

      1. You should check Siga La Vaca and Cabaña Las Lilas.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pcorral

          Where are Siga La Vaca and Cabana Las Lilas?

          1. re: aledm

            Don't go to Las Lilas.. it's a way over-priced tourist trap.. you can find equally good steaks in Buenos Aires for a fraction of the price.

            1. re: karmalaw

              YES KARMALAW! Finally, someone who knows better than to follow the nonsense.
              Do NOT go there. If not only much cheaper, perhaps better too.
              La Brigada and even La Cabrera.
              Also, Resto in BA for one of the top there if not the top.
              Do yourself a favor and skip Malbecs, as well. They are way overrated and you hear about it because it is indigenous but even a few good restaurants will tell you there is better.
              Actually,have had very nice Cab Sauvignon.

              1. re: gambit50

                I went to both La Cabrera and La Brigada. Both excellent! I highly recommend La Cabrera far the best steak I have ever had! I went to the one in Palermo Soho.

        2. Our favorite restaurants in Santiago were Europeo and Puerto Fuy. There are other terrific restaurants there too. Check out our Santiago de Chile Restaurant and Wine Reviews posted on Chow ( for all of them.

          You may also enjoy reading our blog ( which is being created while we are traveling in South America. Our photo website ( is our complete travel history. If you do a search on Food on our photo website you will find pictures of our favorite food and restaurants.


          1 Reply
          1. re: aledm

            I'm going to be in Santiago and surrounding area (Valparaiso and nearby beach?) mid-March for one week. I find this thread a bit confusing due to talk about two separate countries.
            If anyone has updated information/reviews for good eats in Santiago and area, please post! Thanks so much. I'll be visiting from Toronto, Canada and am looking for local flavours and regional cuisine, everything from street snacks and groceries to fine dining for a birthday celebration.

          2. I have just discovered an amazing new restaurant in San Telmo - it's called La Vineria de Gaulterio Bolivar, and it's on Blivar and Estados Unidos. Fantastically inventive food in small plates so you get to sample lots of flavours. The cook spent time at El Buli in Spain, and there are some flavorsome foamy touches to prove it.

            Another San Telmo favourite is cafe San Juan on Avenida San Juan - great tapas and amazing slow-roasted pork with sweet potatoes and mustard.

            A well-kept culinary secret in BA is the community club restaurants: try the Vasco Francés (Monserrat) for amazing Basque food, or the Catalan Club (Casa de Catalunya, San Telmo).

            3 Replies
            1. re: sarahgilbert

              Thank you for recommending La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar. We had the most amazing lunch there today (it is only open on Sundays for lunch, the place opens at 7:30 pm for drinks and 8:15 for dinner.)

              Lunch was a 9-course meal that included a variety of dishes and very very inventive tastes. As mentioned before, it is tapas style so the portions were small which was wonderful (though I was still stuffed.) As there were few people there, the chef was willing to do the 9-course option that allowed us to groan and moan over the variety of dishes.

              This restaurant has been open only for 3 months and therefore is not mentioned in any of the tourist books. All four of us would highly recommend it as one of the highlights of our trip. If you want more details on the dishes, I can send you our version of the menu. The so-called "2 temperature pea soup" was exquisite, unusual and to die for.

              1. re: sarahgilbert

                The exact address of La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar is
                Bolivar 865.
                Ph. 4361.4709

                1. re: 18percent

                  Thank you sarahgilbert and 18percent for recommending La Vineria de Gaulterio Bolivar in BA. (Bolivar 865 entre Independenica and Estadoes Unidos, San Telmo, fono: 4361-4707). This irestaurant provides the kind of dining experience that we dream about. The food is imaginative, creative, delicious and beautifully presented. The service is a delight and the chef, Alejandro Digilio, is attentive and charming. The space is comfortable enough (even in very hot weather), although not the drawing card. And it is fun. All four of us are devotées now. We were offered 3 different amuse bouches: flat breadsticks to drip with olive oil and then with one of 3 different preparations to sprinkle on top of them: salt, salami and herbs, also tempura vegatables with basil and dill, and an avocado dish with onions in a small shot glass. Even though all of the dishes are served in small portions (at AP$17 each), we ordered 2 of each for each couple to share, except for the pea soup and desserts. We ordered 4 soups and were happy we did. The other dishes we ate with gusto were: papa huevo trufa con espuma de papa, bondiola, reduction de citricos y vegetales, sardines with figs, mollejas, calabazas, y aire de najanja, and carrillera, consume ahumado, cochinillo ciruelas, and bife, chimichurri, tomatoes asados, besugo y jugo. How we also ate 4 desserts is answered with how good they were. Go and enjoy a talented chef. The restaurant, as you said has only been open for a few months. It is now listed in TimeOut (Summer/Autumn 2008) but is not listed in Restaurantes de Buenos Aires 2007-08 by Vidal Buzzi.I think that I will put it on myself.