A Chef’s Guide to Santiago, Chile - Find. Eat. Drink.

Chef’s Guide, Santiago, Chile, Where to eat, where to drink, where to shop, recommendations, City Guide, Travel Guide, Chef’s recommendations, hotels




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Breakfast   |   Breakfast / Lunch / Snack   |   Lunch   |   Dinner



New Zealand native and restaurateur Dell Taylor pioneered bringing American/English-style breakfasts and a rotating café-style lunch menu to Santiago almost ten years ago. The concept hit a home run. Now with two locations, and a third one in the works, the original “Melba,” as Santiaguinos call it, is off a quiet street in the financial area known as “Sanhattan.” Bustling from open to close, this little place is a delicious destination for a frothy morning cappuccino and proper eggs-with-the-works breakfast. Or if you have a hankering for French toast, drizzled with maple syrup, for brunch—breakfast is served all day. By lunch, you won’t be able to get in the door, as the stripped-down, simple, fresh cuisine highlighting local produce, attracts a faithful crowd. An ex-pat gathering spot, at any given time you will hear a lot of English. If you are Internet-needy, they have an Internet library to connect. No reservations taken. To avoid the weekend brunch rush, get there by 11am or be prepared to wait.

Food: International

Location: Las Condes

Address: Don Carlos 2898 (corner of El Bosque Sur)

T: +56/(0)2.232.4546

Nearest Metro: Tobalaba or El Golf (both red line)

Hours: Daily 8am - 3:30pm

Average Price: Main Course US$ 5 to 9

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V



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Photograph courtesy of Domino

For over fifty years, this has been THE place to go in Santiago for a great completo—a hot dog with the works. This classic soda fountain, with locations all over the downtown and in Providencia and El Golf, may be “fast food,” but once again, the tradition is not to hit the pavement with it. No,  that would a total faux pas in Chile. Serve it fast; eat on foot or at the counter. Chileans line up here for the classic Completo Italiano, a hot dog piled high with chopped tomato, creamy mashed avocado and copious amounts of homemade mayo (a local devotion). Completo devotees also rally for versions like the Española with roasted red peppers and mayo. Sandwiches like lomo (thinly sliced pork) and the traditional Barros Jarpa (ham and cheese) are also popular. With all that good stuff on top, you may need an extra napkin… or five! Reach for them from the conical towers for easy finger cleaning. Prefer a sugar boost? Try one of the local juices like cherimoya (custard apple), raspberry juice, or a vitamina (freshly squeezed OJ with carrot juice).

Food: Fast Food / Hot Dogs

Location: Multiple

Website: www.domino.cl

Average Price: Main Course US$2 - 6

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V

Location: Metropolitana

Address: Agustinas 1016 (corner Ahumada)

Nearest Metro: Universidad de Chile (red line) or Plaza de Armas (green line)

Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 9:30pm; Sat 10am - 4:30pm

Location: Centro

Address: Paseo Ahumada 146

Nearest Metro: Universidad de Chile (red line)

Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 10pm; Sat 11am - 9:30pm

Location: Centro

Address: Huérfanos 950, between Ahumada and Estado)

Nearest Metro: Plaza de Armas (green line)

Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 9:30pm; Sat 10am - 5pm

Location: Las Condes

Address: Av. Apoquindo 2832 (corner El Bosque)

Nearest Metro: Tobalaba (red line)

Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 11pm; Sat 10:30am - 4:30pm




Photo Credit: adri021 [flickr]

A Santiago institution, everybody -- and I mean everybody, loves to eat and drink at Liguria. It is somewhat of a culinary common denominator in this town. A bistro bar with black and white checkerboard floors, old tango posters and waiters clad in bow ties, Liguria is idiosyncratic, loud, and full of local color. Start with the spicy pollo al pil pil, tender pieces of chicken flash-fried in a garlicky sauce. Then plow into stick-to-your-ribs fare like mustard-coasted pork ribs, chickpea stew, roasted duck or blood sausage with spicy mashed potatoes. Also try their delicious carne mechada, rump roast slow-cooked in red wine with aromatic vegetables, best served sliced down in the form of a sandwich with melted cheese. There are also lighter dishes, like the homemade pasta and crunchy green salads. An excellent wine list showcases some boutique wineries like Las Niñas dry rosé, Tres Palacio’s earthy Carmenere Reserva, Tabalí’s silky Pinot Noir, Matetic’s peppery Syrah Coralillo and Los Mareados cassis-laden Cabernet. They also have a handful of artisan beers on the menu, like Kapital. Fair warning: it gets packed at lunch and after 8pm. No reservations.

Food: Latin American

Location: Providencia

Website: www.liguria.cl

Hours: Mon - Sat 12pm - 3am

Average Price: Main Course US$ 8 - 15

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V.

Address: Luis Thayer Ojeda 019

T: +56/(0)2.231.1393

Nearest Metro: Tobalaba (red line/blue line)

Address: Av. Providencia 1373 (between Manuel Montt and General Del Canto)

T: +56/(0)2.236.7917

Nearest Metro: Manuel Montt (red line)


Photograph courtesy of El Hoyo

Hidden on a residential street, not far from Estación Central, the central train station, this classic picada joint was founded in 1912 selling a few provisions like charqui (dried beef), hard-boiled eggs, and grape cider to train station workers. Word spread, and little by little, the menu expanded. Today, it is still run by Don Benjamín’s children. El Hoyo is a hub for Chileans wanting to chow down on huge portions of their favorite hearty, rustic dishes. The interior is simple and studded with empty wine casks that double as tables when the place fills up at lunch. To start, try a pitcher of terremoto, a drink fittingly called an earthquake, made with a simple, fresh wine called pipeño and pineapple sorbet. Sip slowly or risk becoming inebriated before lunch arrives. Munch away on their homemade pebre (a tomatoey salsa) with crunchy bread. The highlights of the menu are: the arrollado, strips of pork loin marinated in paprika, cumin, garlic, and oregano, rolled up, poached and thinly sliced; and pernil, softly simmered pork shoulder that can be gnawed off the bone or sliced down into a sandwich. Chileans also love to order morcilla here (blood  sausage) and large plates of lomo a lo pobre (a giant steak on a mound of fries with onions and an over-easy egg). Eat a light breakfast and linger over a replica, a second round of the terremoto. The live folk music, cheery attention and authenticity of this place will make you want to stay.

Location: Downtown

Address: San Vicente 375, corner Gorbea

T: +56/(0)2.689.0339

Website: www.elhoyo.cl

Nearest Metro: Estación Central (red line)

Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 11pm; Sat 11am - 9pm

Average Price: Main Course US$5 - 12

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V


Photo Credit: Hector Garcia [flickr]

If you come to Santiago and miss Fuenta Alemana, gastronomically, you have not tasted the city. It’s a landmark! A Santiaguino institution. Chileans would even say a birthright. A block from the Plaza Italia, for over fifty years this sandwich joint has been pumping out the best lomitos in town, and arguably, the best in Chile. The secret? Impeccable service, plus a dynamo secret marinade for the lomito (pork tenderloin) that is roasted and sliced paper-thin. Grab a stool by the U-shaped counter, order a schop (draft beer), and let one of the charming veteran waitresses serve you the mega-sandwich of your dreams. From the meat base, go for the classic Italiano with tomato, homemade mayo and copious amounts of mashed avocado. Upgrade for “the works” with cheese and chucrut (homemade sauerkraut). There’s no way to overcome gravity with these 5-inch-high sandwiches. A knife and fork are indispensable. After downing a non-disclosable amount of calories, go for a stroll to see the Fuente Alemana—a fountain one block away in Parque Forestal, given to Chile by the German government.

Food: Latin American

Location: Santiago Centro

Address: Libertador Bernando O’Higgins (aka Alameda) 58 (between Vicuna Mackenna and Ramon Corvalan)

T: +56/(0)2.639.3231

Nearest Metro: Baquedano (red and green lines)

Hours: Mon - Sat 10am - 10:45pm

Average Price: Main Course US$ 7 - 10

Credit Cards: No credit cards




The name alludes to the God of Wine, Baco, in this modern and casual bistro that honors France’s most typical dishes. However, the draw is all about the wines. Secluded in a quiet plaza off the bustling main artery of Providencia, this airy, open restaurant has an ample terrace for alfresco dining. The wine list has Santiago’s most amazing selections by the glass. Wines are chosen on a weekly rotating basis by the clever sommelier and listed on the central chalkboard. Splurging on a bottle? It reads like an encyclopedia of Chilean wine. To pair, try their über-fresh salmon tartare or traditional melt-in-you-mouth steak tartare for carnivores. Pick at a cheese board with imported French cheese or nosh on the homemade paté among friends. For dinner, the satisfying duck confit is always a sure bet. Best of all, you can count on reasonable prices and prompt service. Reservations essential for evening or lunch time dining. Packed all the time.

Location: Providencia

Address: Nueva de Lyon 113, Local 6 (at Av. Andrés Bello)

T: +56/(0)2.231.4444

Nearest Metro: Los Leones (red line)

Hours: Mon - Sat 12pm - 1am; Sun 12:30pm - 12am

Average Price: Main Course US$ 6 - 12

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V


Photograph courtesy of Boragó

The most talked-about restaurant to open as of late in Santiago combines the culinary science and a brimming imagination. Enter Rodolfo Guzmán, a young chef who excels at using contrasting textures (creamy or crunchy, jellies, foams, dusts, deposits, crystals and viscous soups) and new ingredients (flowers, fruits, rare herbs and chlorophyll) to achieve surprising flavors. Think the Chilean version of Ferrán Adria from Spain. He speaks the language of flavors and presents evocative, memorable taste sensations. Designed for open-minded, adventurous eaters, the menu is short and sweet. Guzman’s style is best appreciated through the tasting menus. For example, citrus-laden oysters topped with persimmon and passion fruit gelatin, lemon zest, cotton candy and flowers. Or smoked hake in cinnamon slowly cooked for four hours at a low temperature served with truffled peas, sprouted beets, chlorophyll extract and threads of coal dust. Whether you love it or hate it, Guzmán’s creations will undoubtedly take you on an unconventional visit of Chile’s culinary terroir.

Location: Vitacura

Address: Nueva Costanera 3467 (at Vitacura)

T: +56/(0)2.953.8893 or 953 8894

Website: www.borago.cl

Nearest Bus: C03

Hours: Mon - Sat 12:30pm - 3:30pm; 8pm - 12am

Average Price: Main Course US$ 18 - 25

Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V


Photograph courtesy of Osaka

If you want to head off on a sensational flavor journey in Santiago, then look no further. Nikkei cuisine from Peru, a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, is taking the capital by storm. Renowned chef Ciro Watanabe takes you on an epicurean exploration that melds harmoniously unique elements from Peruvian, Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine into what can only be called “sublime inspirations.” The Zen space has a wall fountain that soothes with a constant flow of trickling water and is decorated in handsome, subdued colors of green and natural wood.

Forget the overpriced wine list and sip some sake or order one of their dangerously tasty cocktails like the Gingeroska, a play on a caipiroska with fresh ginger. Dive into typical Peruvian ingredients made with Oriental cooking techniques like the tiradito Osaka with buttery Patagonian salmon and a salty-sweet sauce. Or sink your teeth into the bite-sized causas, mini spicy potato terrines, covered with grilled octopus, abundant in the Chilean sea. Let your chopsticks pick up some scallops, teriyaki balsamic sirloin and Nippon confit duck. If sushi is your thing, the innovative rolls border on a religious experience from crunchy salmon skin to the gratin scallops. Well-trained waiters and a hip, cosmopolitan vibe makes this place a winner and perfect spot to be indoctrinated into this unusual, delicious food.

Location: Las Condes

Address: W Hotel, Floor 4, Isidora Goyenechea 3000

T: +56/(0)2.770.0000

Website: www.osaka.com.pe

Nearest Metro: El Golf (red line)

Hours: Mon - Sat 12:30pm - 3pm; 7:30pm - 11:30pm

Average Price: Main Course US$ 10 - 25

Credit Cards: AE, MC, Diners, Maesto, V


If you are an oyster junkie, you may have found your Mecca. Serving up primo wild oysters from the cold currents of the South, this tiny little boliche, hidden on Bilbao, focuses on bivalves, seafood, and the traditional curanto, a hearty surf and turf feast served mostly in the South. The owners, the Soto family, are purveyors of oysters (Ostras Calbuco), with their shop about two doors down. Here you can feast on two dozen oysters for about US$8, obviously the perfect way to kick off dinner. Also delicious are the crunchy seafood empanadas. For the main course, the real star of the show is the curanto, made in a deep pot. Shellfish is steamed with sausages, meat, and chapeleles (mashed potato fritters) and milcao (potato pancake with lardoons). The place is simple with no pretensions, and the wine is served in tall glasses instead of elegant teardrops. Best of all, is the warmth of the people. They bring with them the refreshing air of the South. It is one of those places that will quickly become a favorite.

Location: Providencia

Address: Francisco Bilbao 908 (at José Manuel Infante)

T: +56/(0)2.251.8078

Website: www.restaurantpuertocalbuco.cl

Nearest Metro: Salvador (red line); Bus: 501, 508

Hours: Sun - Mon 12:30pm - 5:00pm; Tues - Sat 12:30pm - 12am

Average Price: Main Course: US$ 14 - 16

Credit Cards: No credit cards