Clubs and bars in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar
After midnight, the streets come alive in the sister ciites by the sea. Play like a Chilean and don’t plan to visit any of these clubs before the stroke of twelve.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Valparaíso by night offers a wealth of bars, clubs and dance halls. (Photo by Viajar24h.com/Flickr)
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar are brimming with bars. If you’re looking for a bar by name, check out Valparaíso’s cultural guide (in Spanish), a comprehensive compilation of addresses, phone numbers, and website addresses.
If you’re new to the city - or looking for something new after a few nights of the same show and dance - This is Chile has handpicked the most historic, the most stylish, and the most unmissable in both cities.
Valparaíso nights: alternative and underground
The best and the biggest of Valparaíso is El Huevo (“the egg”), a giant party building with multiple stages, dance floors, and DJs. If you’re in town for National Piscola Day (Feb. 8), this is the place to be; in 2011, they venerated Chile’s favorite quick-and-dirty drink with cumbia sensation Chico Trujillo.
Where: Blanco 1386, Almendral
A more traditional bar is La Playa (“the beach”), a restaurant that moonlights as a disco on Friday and Saturday nights. The 100-year-old bar continues to attract a young bohemian crowd with its nostalgic recreation of Valparaíso’s “golden age,” when sailors frequented the bar to share stories and bootleg.
Where: Serrano 567, Barrio Puerto
El Proa al Cañaveral
If you’re into the bohemian-sailor vibe, you can’t miss El Proa al Cañaveral (“prow to the reedbed”), another venue that is popular with the 20-something crowd. The dance floor specializes in funk and local artists.
Where: Errázuriz 302, Barrio Puerto
La Piedra Feliz and La Sala
Bringing Valparaíso to the 21st century is La Piedra Feliz (“the happy stone”), centrally located on Avenida Errazuriz. The bar is spacious, allowing you to sit up front and enjoy a conversation over a beer, or explore one of the many rooms in the back where you’ll find bolero, jazz, blues, tango, and salsa. It may be Valparaíso’s most elegant bar, and the prices are set accordingly.
Where: Errázuriz 1054, Bordemar Centro
In a very convenient arrangement, downstairs from La Piedra Feliz is the basement club La Sala (“the room”). The two establishments are owned by the same owners, a sort of two-sided coin for nightlife in the port. Downstairs you’ll find an all-night carrete (“party”) of kids dancing to electronica and dance hall music.
Where: Errázuriz 1054, Bordemar Centro
Along Avenida Errázuriz
Other notable establishments along the Avenida Errázuriz include Aché Havana, a Cuban salsa joint next door to La Piedra Feliz, and a slew of student favorites that serve up a consistent fare of reggaeton and pop. Don’t be afraid to poke your nose in, check out the scene, and play the gringo card as you shop for the cheapest cover.
Éxodo Bar is a stylish bar serving drinks like sake martinis and champagne-porter cocktails alongside the omnipresent pisco sour. It’s a hallmark of the Valparaíso gay scene, but popular with straight and gay alike for the reasonable prices and well-mixed drinks.
Where: Blanco 298, Barrio Puerto
Another gay-friendly institution is the club El Máscara (“the mask”), a dance club near the charming Plaza Anibal Pinto. The music is a mix of electronica and 80’s rock, with live local artists featured on Tuesdays. Saturdays are devoted to artists like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails.
Where: Plaza Anibal Pinto 1178, Barrio Comercial
There is a wealth of other alternative bars in the same neighborhood on or near Cumming. Check out El Canario (“the canary”) if you’re looking for a chill spot to chat and chelear (the ultra-Chilean verb for drinking chela, or beer). El Gato en la Ventana (“the cat in the window”) serves up dance music and folklore, while you can find live guitar music in the smoky, windowless Canción de la Trova (“the ballad”).
Viña del Mar after hours: glamorous and trendy
Perhap’s Viña del Mar’s swankiest venue is Ovo, in the Enjoy casino on the waterfront. The club website invites you to “dance... as if you were in the best clubs in Europe and the United States.” You can make that call for yourself, but be forewarned that the clientele dress accordingly: this may be a good occasion to take out your sequined mini-dress.
Where: San Martín 199
Me Robó el Corazón
In the area just northeast of Parque Sauzalito, Me Robó el Corazón (“s/he stole my heart”) is a stylish bar featuring classic drinks and a great menu for seafood lovers: lots of sushi, and a whole selection of seafood tablas. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday, and available for private parties.
Where:Calle Quillota 830
Nearby Club Scratch has become somewhat of a Viña institution after 20 years and generations of students passing through its dance floors. The multi-level dance floor fits a thousand people and fills all that space with drink promotions every day of the week. Don’t bother going before 1 a.m.
Where: Quillota 898
Outside of Viña
On the route between Viña del Mar and Reñaca, Living is a fun and swanky club housed in a castle on the sea. Although not technically part of Viña del Mar, the nearby beach resort of Reñaca hosts an inordinate number of clubs for such a little town, where you can mingle with Chile’s young and beautiful during the summer.