This contiguous area is really two neighborhoods, but elements of modern and artsy Bellas Artes and the more traditional and cobblestoned Lastarria flow in and out of each other. Bellas Artes has gone from seedy to universally popular within a decade. It is full of budget-friendly empanada joints, pizza places, ice-cream parlors, and all-natural food shops.
Mostly cobblestoned Lastarria starts at Merced, and extends south to the imposing new Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center. It’s a better-heeled crowd in Lastarria, and the area has more upscale dining. Both areas have street-level commerce with clothing boutiques and art supplies, and both are popular among Chileans and foreigners.