As befits an island culture, seafood reigns in Chiloé. The signature Chilote dish is the curanto, a hearty stew of shellfish, chicken, sausages, and smoked pork ribs. It's served with plenty of potato-and-flour patties, known as milcao and chapaleles.Salmón ahumado (smoked salmon) is another favorite, though salmon is not native to this area. Avoid any uncooked shellfish unless you're certain you can trust the chef.

Breakfast here is often a humble menu of instant Nescafe coffee with warm bread, rolls, jam, and butter. Like the rest of Chile, most residents take their lunch between 1 pm and 3 during the week and often do so with gusto. In addition to seafood, Chilotes enjoy empanadas—baked or fried bread stuffed with meat, chicken, seafood, and other fillings. Roasted lamb is another favorite, with sheep raising still a common livelihood throughout the island.

The archipelago is also known for its tasty fruit liqueurs, usually from the central Chiloé town of Chonchi. Islanders take berries and apples and turn them into the licor de oro that often awaits you at your hotel.

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