Santiago Restaurants

Menus cover the bases of international cuisines, but don't miss the local bounty—seafood delivered directly from the Pacific Ocean. One local favorite is caldillo de congrio, the hearty fish stew celebrated by poet Pablo Neruda in his "Oda al Caldillo de Congrio." (The lines of the poem are, in fact, the recipe.) A pisco sour—a cocktail of grape brandy, egg white, and lemon juice—is a great aperitif for any meal, especially when accompanied by a plate of machas a la parmesana, small razor clams served au gratin, baked in lemon juice or with white wine, butter, and grated cheese.

Tempted to try heartier Chilean fare? Pull up a stool at one of the counters at Vega Central and enjoy a traditional pastel de choclo, pie filled with ground beef, chicken, olives, and a boiled egg, topped with mashed corn. Craving seafood? Head to the Mercado Central, where fresh fish is brought in each morning. Want a memorable meal? Trendy restaurants are opening every day in neighborhoods like Bellavista, where hip Santiaguinos come to check out the latest hot spots.

In the neighborhood of Vitacura, a 20- to 30-minute taxi ride from the city center, a complex of restaurants called Borde Río attracts an upscale crowd, but other reservations-only restaurants worth a look are on Alonso de Córdova and Nueva Costanera. El Golf, an area including Avenida El Bosque Norte and Avenida Isidora Goyenechea in Las Condes, has numerous restaurants and cafés. The emphasis is on creative cuisine, so familiar favorites are given a Chilean twist. This is one of the few neighborhoods where you can stroll between restaurants until you find exactly what you want.

Santiaguinos dine a little later than you might expect. Most fancy restaurants don't open for lunch until 1. (You may startle the cleaning staff if you rattle the doors at noon.) Dinner begins at 7:30 or 8, although most places don't get crowded until after 9. Many eateries close for a few hours before dinner and on Sunday night. People do dress smartly for dinner, but a coat and tie are rarely necessary. Avoid shorts, sneakers, and athletic gear, and you should be fine in most places.

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  • 1. Ambrosía Bistro

    $$$ | Providencia

    An intimate yet smart spot attracting foodies and office workers, this sister restaurant to acclaimed Ambrosía in Vitacura is setting palates on fire. Grab a...Read More

  • 2. Blue Jar

    $$$ | Santiago Centro

    Simple but creative dishes using the best and freshest Chilean ingredients appeal to local office workers and visitors alike at this popular downtown spot, where...Read More

  • 3. Bocanariz

    $$$ | Lastarria

    A haven with wine aficionados, trendy Bocanariz in Lastarria has Chilean fare, but it's best known as a superior place to sample vino chileno. Waitstaff...Read More

  • 4. Boragó

    $$$$ | Vitacura

    Concept meets Chilean ingredients (many of which are foraged from the Andes and the length of the coast) at this award-winning establishment, where diners enjoy...Read More

  • 5. Colmado Coffee & Bakery

    $ | Bellas Artes

    One of Santiago's original quality coffee purveyors, Colmado is where you order a Colombian Chemex teamed with gourmet bites such as Spanish sausage and cheeses,...Read More

  • 6. Como Agua Para Chocolate

    $$$ | Bellavista

    Originally inspired by Laura Esquivel's romantic 1989 novel Like Water for Chocolate, this Bellavista standout focuses on Chilean dishes made with "life, love, vigor, and...Read More

  • 7. Confitería Torres

    $$$ | Santiago Centro

    Opened in 1879, this is the oldest restaurant still operating in Chile and remains one of the city's most traditional dining rooms, with red-leather banquettes,...Read More

  • 8. La Mar

    $$$$ | Vitacura

    Opened by Peruvian culinary legend Gastón Acurio, this restaurant with a busy roadside location is bright and airy, with turquoise chairs and a white canvas...Read More

  • 9. Liguria

    $$$ | Providencia

    This extremely popular restaurant and bar is always packed with a young crowd, so you might have to wait to be seated in the chandelier-lighted...Read More

  • 10. Olam

    $$$$ | Las Condes

    A delectable seafood-forward menu and stylish location on the first floor of 45 By Director hotel have won Olam a cluster of awards since it...Read More

  • 11. Pulpería Santa Elvira

    $$ | Santiago Centro

    Behind an anonymous-looking front door lies this charming restaurant, a short drive south of Santiago Centro. Choose your table from the various salons, including the...Read More

  • 12. Salvador Cocina y Café

    $$ | Santiago Centro

    This tucked-away two-story downtown lunch spot offers unmissable weekday set menus with appetizer, main dish, iced tea, and choice of coffee or dessert for 9,900...Read More

  • 13. Barandiarián

    $$$ | Providencia

    Founded by a chef to the Peruvian embassy, Barandiarián serves traditional favorites, like ají de gallina, a mild creamy chicken stew, lomo saltado, and ceviche...Read More

  • 14. Bristol

    $$$ | Santiago Centro

    This restaurant inside the sophisticated Hotel Plaza San Francisco serves creative seafood dishes like marinated scallops over octopus carpaccio and cold tomato-and-pepper sauce. Frequented by...Read More

  • 15. Cafetería Voilà

    $ | Providencia

    Well-priced daily specials attract a mixed crowd eager to enjoy a wide selection of salads, such as pasta salad with pesto, bean salad, and chicken...Read More

  • 16. Castillo Forestal

    $$$ | Parque Forestal

    French fare is on the menu at this spacious national heritage converted castle with a turret room and gorgeous terrace. At lunch, sample the set...Read More

  • 17. Demencia Gastrobar

    $$ | Vitacura

    Small sharing plates with Asian flair plus a fantastic cocktail list make for a fun and tasty experience at Demencia. Chef Benja Nast plays with...Read More

  • 18. Divertimento Chileno

    $$$ | Providencia

    A favorite with Chilean politicians, journalists and, on Sunday, local families, this restaurant serves both homemade pasta—the spinach and ricotta ravioli served with butter and...Read More

  • 19. Dominó

    $ | Santiago Centro

    A Chilean institution, this 70-year-old fast-food chain is impeccably clean, and the service is fast and friendly. It's the place to try an Italiano (a...Read More

  • 20. El Cid

    $$$$ | Providencia

    The culinary centerpiece of the Sheraton has an excellent lunch buffet, which includes unlimited wine. The dining room, which overlooks the pool, has crisp linens...Read More

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