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Santiago, Chile

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Any restaurant ideas for Santiago? Thanks.

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  1. Hi Sharon, doesn't look like there were any responses to your request for recommendations for restaurants in Santiago. Have you gone and come back? We leave on 02/18 for four weeks in Chile - Puerto Montt, Santiago and the Atacama area after a week of hiking in Patagonia. Any suggestions or places to avoid?!!


    6 Replies
    1. re: Cynthia

      i am fairly certain that by now you have realized that a gourmet trip to chile is an oxymoron.....pack plenty of lomotil and pray

      1. re: epicurious

        Absolutely true. I have NEVER - on 9 trips recently - had a good meal in Santiago. The closest was the sunday brunch at the Ritz-Carlton - thank you Chowhounds for pointing me in that direction.

        And if anyone mentions Astrid & Gaston (sp) as a fantastic restaurant, I'll go crazy !!!!!!!

        1. re: epicurious

          The Bristol Restaurant in the Hotel Plaza San Francisco is well beyond the lomotil and Immodium AD category. I'd put it at about a 20 for food on the Zagat scale. If you don't mind the hawkers trying to pull you into every restaurant, there are some decent places at the Mercado Central.

          1. re: epicurious

            Having just spent 30 hours straight in bed after something violently disagreed with my digestive system, I would say "be careful"! On Sunday, I had lunch at Nuria downtown...one of the only diners open on Sunday. Perhaps I should have eaten "well done" lomo con pobre instead of medium-well. The french fries were like little oil sponges so I avoided most of them. I'm not sure it was Nuria's food that put me in agony but the rest of the day I only ate home-cooked (well-done) turkey and pork from Santa Isabel butcher counter.

            1. re: epicurious

              I find it so strange that the opinions here vary so much. I have been in Santiago several times and I can tell you that there are wonderful restaurants throughout the city to enjoy. There is a great variety of any type of ethinic food available. I don't know where you guys have gone or what you have eaten there but I believe that it has a lot to do with your attitude. I can go to NYC and go to the Bronx and not find anything I want there either because that wouldn't be the place to go to find good restaurants. So my suggestion is to take more time to explore and find the many places there to eat (which are really everywhere). The food is very good, very fresh, and the restaurants are typically clean.


          2. Barandarian, a Peruvian restaurant at El Patio, prepared the best food we had in Santiago. There's a kind of food mall called Borderio (spelling?) with more than a dozen restaurants. People reported that they had good meals at some of them. The Central Market is touristy but still fun -- and the seafood is fresh.

            1. I had a very different experience in Santiago! We found lots of great restaurants, especially in the Bella Vista neighborhood. There are several run by the same guy and they are all beautifully decorated. One I remember is called "Like Water for Chocolate", but in Spanish, Como Agua para Chocolate. There is one that is a sea food restaurant and it's decorated very playfully like the sea. If you ask around or look for restaurants in Bella Vista you can have a lot of fun. We would dine like queens there (one year ago, exactly), appetizers, entrees, dessert, wine, cocktails and never spend more than 15 to 20 US each!!! The cuts of fish are different, usually thinner than in the US, but it was very good. You must try Corvina, supposedly sea bass, but I thought what they call Congor tasted more like what we think of as Chilean sea bass. The food in the smaller villages was a little bizarre. And not much to write home about. I was in Santiago for 3 weeks studying Spanish and ate out every night. I should have kept better records of the restaurants where I ate. I look at my travel journal and see what I recorded.

              1. off the record in bellavista was wonderful---great seafood stew, great pisco sours and excellent service. i highly recommend it. my bf and i just got back from there and we loved chile---

                though lonely planet recommends this place, please avoid as much as you can, la boheme (supposedly french, very bad) in bellavista.

                1. i couldn't recommend the mercado central---too overly hyped and messy and busy and not fresh, though it's surrounded by a fresh produce and fish market. a must though if you're into the touristy thing.

                  1. Here goes. I'll respond and add my few pesos to this thread.

                    First, I'm surprised of any comments regarding getting sick eating in Chile. I probably feel more "safe" eating food in Chile then I do in the US. I will be making my 11th trip there in the past 5 years next week, so maybe my comments bear some weight. I've yet to have a "food" illness, and I've eaten in everything from nice restaurants to corner stands.

                    Overall, food is simple and prepared simply. But what do you need for a good piece of fish? A little seasoning and some lemon.

                    A few specifics in Santiago:
                    (1) Mercado Central - if you stay away from the "Donde Agusto" -related restaurants, and find something in the back corners (there's a good place to the rear left), you'll have a good solid fish meal at a good price. The best congrio frito I've had to date was back there.
                    (2) Bellavista - a great neighborhood. My best meal there was at Il Siciliano (It was either Il or La, but methinks it was "il") - I've eaten there 3x. One meal was fantastic, the other 2 were solid and good. It is right next to Azul Profundo (a more famous place). I've also had several "not bad" meals by just dropping in places.
                    (3) Lomit's (Providencia) - a mandatory Gran Lomito Tomate Palta - my first meal on most trips. (Sliced pork, with tomato and avocado, on a bun). Order it "completo" and you will get a copious gob of mayo, too. IM(nsh)O, one of the better sandwich shops around. Another chileno fav is "a lo pobre" which has your meat, fries, fried eggs, etc., on the plate.

                    Puerto Montt:
                    I've been there maybe 5 times. The bar/restaurant at the Hotel O'Grimm has decent food, including a good ceviche. The pisco sours are also really good there. It also is a friendly, local scene. Also, a great place to go, midday, is up to Angelmo (a short taxi ride) for seafood - lots of places will try and get you in the door - just look for what looks good, and ask for what you want, or a combination. You won't know the price until you are done (unless you ask in advance) but it is reasonable, very fresh local seafood and fish.

                    A few other meals that I recall around Chile - Termas de Puyehue. The buffet is marginal. The dining room is decent. I had one great meal in the dining room, and one "not bad" meal.

                    The nicest place by the Plaza de Armas in Vicuña makes a GREAT pastel de choclo.

                    I don't have specific recommendations for the rest of Chile, although I've been to many places. Many nondescript meals, many I don't recall specifically, but no what you'd call "bad food." Just simple, fresh, and tasty enough. And in a week, I get to start all over again.

                    1. Greetings, do a search and find the Santiago de Chile Restaurant and Wine Reviews by ALEDM posted in 2007. And enjoy world class food at a fraction of the price you would pay in the USA.

                      1. My family will be in Santiago and La Serena over the next year. Please direct us to great street food, great restaurants, and great food shops! Have you had any experience with:
                        - Mare-nostrum (La Conception)
                        - Aqui esta Coco
                        - Akarana (akaranarestaurant.cl) ?
                        We love all kinds of food, but low-cholesterol (e.g. fish and lean meats) would be best. We also love spicy food and anything unusual like sweetbreads.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Food Tourist

                          Mom just reported that Raul Ferrer y Famile is a pretty good restaurant. She enjoyed the fall-off-the-bone oxtail and duchess potatoes and puff pastry empanadas. Dad didn't like the osso bucco but it was because it "wasn't like at home". They claim most other places have "bland" food, e.g. only using salt and sometimes pepper, but definitely no garlic, herbs or other spices.

                          1. re: Food Tourist

                            Going on my first ever trip to Chile, mainly in Santiago. Are there any memorable "local" or regional cuisine suggestions for Santiago and within 2 hours drive? Street food, markets, take-out shops, and fine dining all apply here...which wineries should I visit? I only have one week mid-March and am trying to plan my itinerary. I've only ever tried empanadas up to now and have no idea what else makes Chilean food memorable or unique!

                            These are the restaurants recommended by Frommers in 2007:
                            Can I trust these ratings? They give 3 stars to Agua, Akarana, Astrid y Gaston, Bar Liguria, Cuerovaca, Europeo, Frederick's Bistro, Opera y Catedral, and Puerto Fuy.
                            What do you think is the absolute best restaurant (food-wise, not as worried about service/atmosphere) in Santiago itself, for a birthday celebration (2 people)?

                            1. re: Food Tourist

                              You will have a wonderful time eating in Santiago. Have a look at our Santiago restaurant reviews on our blog (http://travelingloveaffair.blogspot.c...)
                              Our absolute favorites were Puerto Fuy and Europeo. But there are many other excellent (and even world class) restaurants there. The shellfish and fish are marvelous.
                              For wineries, why don't you take a wine tour? And if you like thermal spas, Jahuel is a reasonable distance away. Have a look at our blog entry on that too. (http://travelingloveaffair.blogspot.c...)
                              Additionally, do a search on Santiago on the Chow South America Board, you'll get lots of input!
                              Enjoy, aledm

                              1. re: aledm

                                Thank you so much, aledm. What specifically are the other "world class" restaurants in Santiago? I want to concentrate on eating local ingredients and Chilean recipes, not international cuisine. Could you describe Puerto Fuy and Europeo a little more in detail please?

                                I tried doing a search but much information is from prior to 2004 and I know chefs and places change a lot over the years...

                                Which wineries do you suggest for a memorable wine tour? I love thermal spas. Thanks!

                                1. re: Food Tourist

                                  Hi. In addition to Puerto Fuy and Europeo, go to Astrid & Gaston. All use local ingredients and do imaginative and creative dishes. I also suggest that you read my description of Alkimia on the blog (http://travelingloveaffair.blogspot.c...) and if it sounds good to you, give it a try too.

                                  Chilean restaurants do great things with seafood. If you like shellfish, read the descriptions of the places we went for lunch at the Central Market in Santiago under the catagory "Mariscos y Pescados/ Seafood" and chose one. Try the seafood stew-like dish.

                                  There is also a catagory in our restaurant reviews called "Chilena/Chilean". Try one of them that sounds good to you.

                                  We didn't go on a wine tour, we just drank lots of wonderful Chilean carmeneres! Enjoy

                          2. We just returned from Chile, where we were in Santiago, Pucon and Valparaiso. We found the food in Chile to be very fresh, simple and delicious, particularly the seafood. We were looking for small places, local ingredients, and not fancy 'international' places. In Santiago we had many plates of very fresh camerones and pollo in pil pil sauce in the Bellavista area (Tabla was good). The best meals we had (we ate there twice) were at a small restaurant in Providencia called Del Cocinero. We had camerones, kingfish, pork loin, steak, all inventively and deliciously prepared, along with fantastic carmeneres. Desserts were great also. We found the mercado to be very unappealing so we didn't eat there, although I could see the tiny places along the edge were serving some good looking food.

                            In Pucon, the best food we had by far was at the Hotel Antumalal's restaurant, and at La Grilla. We usually avoid hotel restaurants but Antumalal's food is exceptional, and it comes with the best view of Lake Villarica imaginable. At La Grilla I had a wonderful conger eel stew, the most delicious fresh smoked salmon I've ever had, and delicious wines.

                            In Valparaiso we did eat at Pasta y Vino (for lunch, they were closed for dinner that day and the next) and it was all very delicious and fresh but everything had a lot of cream in it which is not the way I like to eat, especially with seafood! There's a fantastic little cafe/lunchplace w/ a funky gallery that has the best coffee around (not a strong point in Chile) as well as remarkable desserts a block away from Pasta y Vino (turn left out of the restaurant and go down one block on Templeman St and turn right , it's on the left...sorry, can't remember the name but will try to find our receipt and post it if I do).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: clyde10

                              The little cafe is called Confiteria Incanto in Valparaiso...delicious pastries, excellent coffees and exquisitely fresh juices, beautiful little place to sit, attached to a gallery.