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Nov 5, 2006 04:54 AM

Easter Island - any recommendations for food?

I'm headed to South America in December: Santiago > Easter Island > Cusco > Aguas Calientes > Lima. And I've collected some pretty good food recs for all of these, except Easter Island.

- I'd be interested in anything food-related you have to say about any of these places. Restaurant recs, comments on indigenous foods not to be missed, hints, neighbourhoods, drinks, whatever.

- And I'm specifically interested in Easter Island, which is shaping up to seem like a bit of a wasteland. I'm there for five days: would love to know where to go, where to avoid.

Many many thanks in advance.

(I've pasted in some of the recs I've gathered below, just FYI.)

Los Vacas Gordas
casa vieja
the mercado central
Casa de Cena
Crepes and Waffles
Mokkas cafes

Cusco El Elbita
Inka Grill
El Grano
El Mesón
MAP Café

Agua Calientes
Indio Feliz
Toto's House

Pedro Solari
La Mar
Punto Azul
Las Brujas de Cachiche
La Huaca Pullana
Costernera 700

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  1. Hi - we were in Easter Island this past March and had a spectacular meal at "the French Restaurant" - that's what everyone calls it as the owner is French - it's real name is Taverne du Pecheur and it's down by the dive shop.

    Here's the comment from our blog:

    "Absolutely fresh ingredients, lovingly cooked and aggressively priced - but far less expensive than comparable food in Paris or New York or Toronto. We had shrimps with hot peppers ("pil pil"), startlingly good tuna ceviche, grilled tuna in roquefort sauce and - in Liz's opinion - the best lobster she's eaten in memory - a slipper lobster cocktail with avocado. For $100 it was in retrospect an epic meal....and a reminder that the French still know how to really cook"

    We had a couple of other forgettable meals at restaurants near Pecheur and mostly regret not going back, even though it was expensive.

    One other recommendation I have for Easter Island is to contact the guide we used - she was spectacular. Her name is Josie Nahoe Mulloy - she is the granddaughter of William Mulloy, an archeologist/anthropologist from the original Thor Heyerdahl expedition who went on to devote his life's studies to Easter Island and re-erecting the Moai. He is given a lot of credit for reinvigorating the island's cultural heritage and the latter day success with tourism once the Moais were re-erected.

    Josie is half Rapa Nui - she grew up in the States and took a degree in anthropology and then an MBA. She worked as an investment banker in San Francisco during the halcyon dot com days, but 8 years ago decided to leave San Francisco and return to her Easter Island roots - she subsequently married a Rapa Nui man and is now well established as a guide.

    Her website is:

    Regarding your other destinations:


    We enjoyed Liguria - we went to the original one on Ave Providencia - (At the bottom of this reply is a link to the blog where you can see pictures of food from Easter Island and Santiago). We went to, but didn't eat at, the Mercado Central - it seemed very expensive. Other restaurants we loved in Santiago:

    Astrid and Gaston (Providencia area
    )Agua (Las Condes area)
    Lomits (on Ave Providencia) for steak and cheese sandwiches called Barros Lucos - a billion calories but delicious!


    I recommended the Inka Grill elsewhere on this site - it was terrific


    Also mentioned here - La Rosa Nautica in Miraflores - it reminded me of the Tavern on the Green (decor wise!) but the food was excellent and not the tourist trap you assume it to be. Also there's another branch of Astrid and Gaston in Lima if you miss the Santiago one!

    Have a great trip!

    1. Don't eat at the Mercado Central in Santiago. In fact, don't even bother spending too much time there. Take a peak if you're interested, then walk across the bridge into "La Vega" which is the huge market that many tourist books don't even mention (even though its 700 meters away from Mercado Central). Here you will find lots of fruit, veggies, etc. in bulk (though you can buy stuff in any amount if you see something good....if you're there in December look for good strawberries and raspberries)..then head to the building where all the butchers are, then eat at one of the seafood places in the back. Fried fish is awesome there. Amazing food and super cheap.

      I'm also curious about where you got the rec for "crepes and waffles" in Santiago...if it's the same one that's in Quito, it's a chain. Good if you have been in S. America too long and truly miss crepes and waffles, but otherwise not really a place I'd put on any list. Although they do have good ice cream. But that's not a problem in Chile. Put Bravissimo on your list. Awesome ice cream. All over Santiago and Vina and a few other places too

      Dave MP

      1. Spigot... I highly recommend Huaca Pucllana as your dinner choice in Lima... & La Rosa Nautica as a lunch choice (but save up... about $40 to $60 per person).

        1. Mmm, thank you all - GREAT recs, I appreciate it. All are noted, and I'll report back.

          Dave MP - I actually forget why Crepes & Waffles is on the list. You're right; it's a chain. I think someone on a board somewhere had recommended it as fine if you're stuck - or maybe for espresso? Anyway, you're right - it's unlikely to be a highlight ;-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: spigot

            On Easter Island, i can recommend the following:

            As another poster mentioned, the "best" restaurant on the island is La Taverne du Pecheur. I had an excellent meal here as well, but it is hard on the pocket book. The seafood restaurant around the corner were quite poor.

            On the main drag (Policarpo Toro i believe), there is a restaurant run by the tallest transvestite you'll have ever seen (with the prettiest dresses on the whole island!). The soup here was quite good, but the service was pretty slow. Next door (towards the internet cafe), is a place with an outdoor grill that grills meats. I had a decent chicken here.

            Most residenciales come with a kitchen. We cooked for 2 nights. The market is open in the mornings and stocked with fresh produce - the grocery store has a selection as well if you miss the market. The fishing boats also get back to town mid morning, and often carry their catch from vendor to vendor, selling freshly caught fish. I bought about 4 kilo's of fresh caught red tuna for 10 US, and cooked an amazing meal that night.

            For drinks, most travellers hang out at the Aloha bar (my favorite home away from home). It opens whenever they wake up, and closes whenever they feel like going to sleep. It is also on Policarpo Toro.

            There are many other places im sure that can be recommended. The food is actually decent, and the Aloha will fill you with whatever bevy's you require.It isnt the best eating place on the planet, but it isnt a wasteland either.

            Please note though, it has been 5 years since i've been. Everything with a grain of salt

            1. re: spigot

              Hmm, that's possible that Crepes and Waffles is good for coffee. I never went to the one in Santiago when I lived there, maybe it hadn't opened yet? There were plenty of times when I craved waffles, so I'm thinking it must have not been there yet, cause I would have known about it. There was a small coffee chain that had just opened when I was there in 2003 near the Los Leones metro station, I think it's a Central American chain. They had iced tea, which is really hard to find in Santiago.

              One of my favorite spots in Santiago was a place called Cafe de la Isla, which is in Plaza Nunoa. They have some cuban food, good appetizer plates with cheese, olives, etc, juices, lots of good alchoholic stuff. There were almost never tourists there, you can get a real taste of Santiago.

              Dave MP

            2. We returned from Chile less than a month ago. Oringa Ora near the airport is another good Easter Island eatery. I don't know whether I'm permitted to post a link to my own blog here, but I have several long entries from late Oct and early Nov on Santiago, Easter Island and Patagonia.