Santiago may be gaining a reputation for a booming culinary scene of international restaurants and fine dining, but lurking in the back alleys and galleries of Chile’s capital are establishments that represent an entirely different culinary world – the famous picadas.
Serving up hearty bar meals, picadas hold a special place in the hearts of many Chileans for their (sometimes) rowdy atmosphere, traditional Chilean recipes and cheap prices.
Founded in 2004, the Gestarte cultural group runs monthly walking tours, called La Ruta de las Picadas (“The Picada Route”) to some of Santiago’s most historic and beloved picadas, aiming to reconnect locals with these traditional dining establishments and show a handful of intrepid tourists a side of Chilean culture that is not always easy for an outsider to tap into.
“The ‘Ruta de las Picadas’ aims to validate this type of space as a place of meeting and memory, and also to draw visitors, enhancing the tourist attraction of the area,” organizers say. “At the same time it seeks to strengthen the relationship between neighbors and neighborhood identity.”
The next tour will stop in for food, drinks and conversation at the Django, El Rincón de los Canallas, Las Tejas and La Pipa de Serrano in the heart of downtown Santiago, as well as check out the historic San Francisco Church and the París-Londres neighborhood.
The next “Ruta de las Picadas”:
When: Friday April 27, at 7:00 p.m.
Where: The group is meeting in front of the San Francisco Church, at Londres 4 near metro Universidad de Chile (Line 1).
Price: US$20 (CLP10,000)
Sign up: Places are limited; to sign up for the tour, write in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep informed about upcoming picada routes, check out Gestarte’s blog.