Santiago is a world class city with a fast developing food scene, offering something for all tastes and budgets. In a recent edition of its Mujer supplement, La Tercera produced a list of some of the best eating spots in the Chilean capital.
After scouring the menus, here we share our top five.
This traditional Chilean seafood restaurant combines generous servings with fresh ingredients and reasonable prices in the trendy Providencia district. Run by Claudio Bustos and his son, Gabriel, El Ancla is a welcoming family eatery that’s dedicated to providing an enjoyable dining experience. It’s well worth trying the mussels, prepared with white wine and served with a simple, yet effective, onion and pepper sauce. The large portion serves three people and at just CLP3,900 (US$7.80), it’s a steal.
Getting there: Santa Beatriz 191, Providencia (near Metro Manuel Montt)
The brainchild of chef Claudio Palma Moro, this exciting food spot is all about fusion and experimentation. Its adventurous menu contains a unique assortment of local staples and exotic spices. Even the name, which means ‘Flavor Train’, is a mix of Spanish and Mapudungun, the language of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people. The menu is constantly changing but be prepared for interesting dishes like blood sausages with chocolate or cazuela de asado (pot roast) served with a steamy Thai massaman curry. Average prices range from CLP6,000 (US$11.95) to CLP8,000 (US$15.95).
Getting there: Victoria 774, Santiago Centro
Picá de Jaime
Spend some time in Chile and you’ll soon discover that it is a sandwich-loving nation. Chileans love their meat and they seem to love it even more when it’s tucked between two large chunks of bread with mayonnaise, diced tomato and avocado. And while sandwich joints are everywhere in Santiago, Picá de Jaime is one of the best. Situated inside the hugely popular Persa Bío Bío markets, its tantalizing aromas waft through the chaotic stalls selling books, shoes, perfumes and all manner of knick-knacks, luring customers in by the dozen. Best of all, you won’t have to fork out any more than CLP2,000 (US$4) to eat here.
Getting there: Franklin 602, Santiago Centro (Lot no. 385 in Persa Bío Bío, near Metro Franklin)
El Rincón de los Canallas
Now in a new home, this Santiago icon, which dates back to the 1980s, has spent more than two decades serving up hearty, traditional Chilean food. The menu here is all about pork and its derivatives, while the most popular drinks are old favorites such as pipeño (a sweet fermented wine) and borgoña (cold red wine with diced strawberries), served by the jugful. If you’re wondering what to order, don’t pass the house specialty, Refugio 33, an awe-inspiring assortment of ham, pork chops, pork sausages, blood sausages and a range of obligatory salads. A three-person serving costs just CLP9,000 (US$18)
Getting there: Tarapacá 810, Santiago Centro (in between Metro U. de Chile and Metro Santa Lucía)
If you’re after a quick and satisfying introduction to traditional, seasonal Chilean food, then Peyo is the place for you. From golden crusted empanadas and cazuelas to refreshing glasses of mote con huesillos, this restaurant has it all. Started in the early 1970s as a lunchtime kitchen for local workers, Peyo’s popularity has grown and grown and so has its size, with more than 30,000 diners passing through its doors each month. They must be on to something. Expect to pay around CLP10,000 (US$19.90) for a three-course meal with drinks.
Getting there: Lo Encalada 465, Ñuñoa (near Metro Irarrázaval)