The Central Coast Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Central Coast - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. El Chiringuito

    $$$$

    Pelicans, gulls, and cormorants linger among the fishing boats anchored near this remarkable seafood restaurant. Because it's next door to the fishermen's cooperative, the seafood is always the freshest in town. A classic starter is machas (razor clams) parmesana, although locals will go for locos (Chilean abalone) or erizos (sea urchin). Then try any of the half a dozen types of fish, served with different sauces. The dining room—with a floor of crushed shells and hand-carved chairs resembling sea creatures—is a delight.

    Zapallar, Valparaíso, Chile
    33-274–1024

    Known For

    • Nice variety of fresh seafood
    • Marine-inspired decor
    • Beach views

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner weekdays Mar.–Nov.
  • 2. Ilo Mapu

    $$$$

    If your travels don't include the Mapuche heartland of La Araucanía, head to this artfully designed restaurant in Viña for a vital introduction to the little-appreciated cuisine of Chile's largest indigenous group. Start with one of the myriad tasting boards before seguing into the mains, which feature everything from wild boar to antioxidant-rich maqui berries and piñón seeds from ancient araucaria trees.

    6 Norte 228, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-269–1564

    Known For

    • Fusion Mapuche cuisine
    • Artful plating
    • Endemic Chilean ingredients

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Mon. and Tue.
  • 3. La Caperucita y El Lobo

    $$$$

    This place is one of those delightful little restaurants that seems to have it all—great food and an excellent view of the bay in a warm and intimate setting. Seafood plays a key role here, but the carefully constructed menu also features dishes like rabbit, lamb, and steak, along with some vegetarian options. Combine this stop with a walking tour of the Museo Abierto.

    Ferrari 75, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-317–2798

    Known For

    • Excellent seafood and other meat options
    • Nice views
    • Lots of local charm

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 4. MaríaMaría

    $ | Cerro Concepción

    This cutesy cafe is Valpo's yummiest breakfast, brunch, or lunch spot with homemade sourdough breads, sweet treats, silky lattes, fresh kombuchas, and health-focused bites. Sit in the brick-red bakery to watch the action or at a table on the tree-shaded street out front.

    Beethoven 286, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile

    Known For

    • Creative baked goods
    • Healthy lunches
    • Trendy vibe

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 5. A Toda Costa

    $$$$

    Head north of town to this hot spot right on the beach for the best seafood in town. The extensive menu includes the classics like razor clams Parmesan and crab gratin as well as more creative fare. Meat lovers and vegans will also find something on the menu. You can enjoy your food on the deck in summer and by the blazing fireplace in winter.

    Av. Costanera s/n, Algarrobo, Valparaíso, Chile
    9-4424–5850

    Known For

    • Creative and tasty seafood
    • Great ocean view
    • Vegetarian options
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Aquí Jaime

    $$$$

    Owner Jaime Vegas is usually on hand here, seating customers and scrutinizing the preparation of such house specialties as ensalada de mariscos Aquíjaime (a seafood salad mix of abalone, crab meat, shrimp, scallops, fried calamari, and clams with melted Parmesan cheese), arroz a la valenciana (paella packed with seafood), and ceviche de centolla (king crab ceviche). Perhaps this is why the small restaurant perched on a rocky promontory next to Caleta Higuerillas has one of the best reputations in the region. Large windows let you watch the waves crashing just below, passing boats and pelicans, and the coast that stretches northward.

    Av. Borgoño 21303, Concón, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-281–2042

    Known For

    • Fantastic seafood
    • Ocean views
    • Hands-on owner and chef
  • 7. Bar Restaurant San Carlos

    $

    If you were to ask a local to take you to a traditional restaurant, chances are you would wind up here. Now operated by the third generation of the same family, this small establishment will take you back in time with its long wooden bar, older gentlemen playing dominoes, and very traditional Chilean fare. The star dish is the causeo de patas (cow feet cut into squares and cooked till the fat melts away, mixed with onions, chili, beans, and vinegar and served cold), an adventurous dish that is much tastier than it sounds.

    Las Heras 685, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-223–4043

    Known For

    • The adventurous cow's feet dish
    • Cuisine cooked in a traditional cazuela
    • Old-school atmosphere
  • 8. Café Aduana

    $ | Coffee

    This trendy café with exposed brick walls, colorful murals, and hardwood floors is one of the best reasons to leave the hills for the flatland of Barrio Puerto. In addition to a fine array of coffees and baked goods, you'll also find soups, salads, and sandwiches that offer superb value for money. The dark interior is also a great place to flip open a laptop and answer a few emails.

    Cochrane 25, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-225–0706

    Known For

    • Slick design
    • Historic building
    • Espresso coffees

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sat. and Sun.
  • 9. Café Turri

    $$$$ | Cerro Concepción

    Near the top of Ascensor Concepción, this 19th-century mansion is one of the city's best-known restaurants. The traditional menu has a French twist; onion soup with Gruyère and foie gras sit alongside excellent seafood. In the newspaper-cum-menu, you can read about local art shows and upcoming concerts. Outside there's a terrace, and inside are two floors of dining rooms.

    Templeman 147, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-225–2091

    Known For

    • An awesome view
    • Excellent seafood
    • Traditional fine dining
  • 10. Café Vinilo

    $$ | Cerro Alegre

    Serving traditional Chilean cuisine with a contemporary touch, Café Vinilo prides itself on making its own bread and desserts. They also work directly with their food suppliers, so you can rest assured the rock fish ceviche on your plate was likely caught that same morning by a diver in Quintero, an hour's drive north along the coast. Wind down and settle in to your meal with great jazz, then check out the upstairs art gallery or adjacent boutique with upcycled clothes.

    Almirante Montt 448, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-223–0665

    Known For

    • Youthful atmosphere
    • Fresh seafood
    • Jazz music ambience
  • 11. Casa Dumplings

    $$

    This cozy "dumpling house" near the Museo a Cielo Abierto is a soothing oasis of tranquil music, woodsy vibes and excellent Asian street food. It's a great alternative to all the seafood and sandwich restaurants nearby with a completely different menu and aesthetic.

    Héctor Calvo 308, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-360–5906

    Known For

    • Curries, noodles, and dumplings
    • Afternoon tea
    • Peaceful ambience
  • 12. Casino Social J. Cruz M

    $$$

    This eccentric restaurant is a Valparaíso institution thanks to its legendary status for inventing the chorillana (thinly sliced beef with fried onions and eggs served atop French fries), a dish that is meant to be eaten communally. There's no menu—choose either a plate of chorillana for two or three, or carne mechada (stewed beef) with a side of French fries, rice, or tomato salad. Glass cases filled with dusty trinkets surround tables covered with plastic cloths in a cramped, dark dining room. You may have to share a table. The restaurant is at the end of a bleak corridor off Calle Condell.

    Condell 1466, Casa 11, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-259–6166

    Known For

    • Home of the Chilean classic chorillana
    • Very casual dining
    • Shared tables and dishes
  • 13. Delicias Express

    $ | Cerro Alegre

    This long-running bakery on the road up to Cerro Alegre prepares more than 80 different varieties of empanadas, including surprising combos like cheese, salmon, and capers or cheese, mango, and pineapple. The dough is crispy, the service is friendly, and the line out front moves fast.

    Urriola 358, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-223–7438

    Known For

    • Unique empanadas
    • Good value
    • Mural-covered exterior

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 14. El Internado

    $$ | Cerro Alegre

    Boasting what is arguably one of the best terraces in town, this two-story hilltop behemoth is one of the trendiest spots to watch the sunset with a pisco sour and a ceviche. Yet it's much more than just a bar and restaurant; you can also listen to live music, view art exhibitions, or shop for gifts at the on-site design store.

    Paseo Dimalow 167, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-335–4153

    Known For

    • Sunset views over the harbor
    • Creative Chilean sandwiches
    • Craft cocktails
  • 15. El Rincón del Poeta

    $$$$

    Inside the entrance to the Neruda museum at Isla Negra, this small restaurant has a wonderful ocean view, with seating both indoors and on a protected terrace. The name translates as the Poet's Corner, a theme continued in the small but original menu filled with classic Chilean dishes. One of the house specialties is oda al caldillo de congrio Nerudiano (literally, Neruda's ode to conger eel chowder). Neruda, who had a penchant for transforming the mundane into the beautifully poetic, often waxed poetic for the Chilean culinary dish. The menu is decidedly fish-heavy, but also offers some meat and poultry options and specializes in some of Neruda's favorite dishes, such as fried conger eel with creamed corn and steak cooked in dark beer. Lighter fare includes a range of sandwiches.

    Poeta Neruda s/n, Isla Negra, Valparaíso, Chile
    35-246–1774

    Known For

    • Another ode to the poetry of Pablo Neruda
    • Excellent seafood, including Neruda's favorite fried conger eel
    • Views of pounding waves

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 16. Hotel Brighton

    $$ | Cerro Concepción

    Seemingly dangling from the edge of Cerro Concepción, the bright yellow Hotel Brighton and its restaurant have an amazing view from the black-and-white-tiled terrace. The limited menu specializes in seafood, with such standards as ostiones a la parmesana (scallops on the half shell with Parmesan), as well as pizzas and burgers. It's also a great place to stop for a break to have a pisco sour or once (afternoon tea) on the terrace.

    Paseo Atkinson 151, Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-222–3513

    Known For

    • Relaxed and inviting atmosphere
    • Live music on weekends
    • Sweeping views
  • 17. La Canasta

    $$$

    Serpentine bamboo tunnels connect rooms through La Canasta, and slabs of wood suspended by chains serve as tables, creating a scene that could be straight from The Hobbit. A small menu changes regularly but includes dishes such as cordero a la ciruela (lamb with plum sauce) and corvinaqueso de cabra (sea bass with goat cheese).

    Av. del Mar 592, Maitencillo, Valparaíso, Chile
    9-9546-1713

    Known For

    • Frequently changing menu featuring unique twists on Chilean classics
    • Playful and surprising decor
    • Eclectic cocktail menu
  • 18. Mar Central

    $$$

    With its trendy decor and swanky seafront setting, Mar Central looks a lot more expensive than it actually is. Instead, it eschews the heavily marked-up seafood dishes of other spots nearby by offering fish tacos, crab sandwiches, octopus fried rice, and other casual fair, alongside killer cocktails like the Elqui Mule (a twist on the traditional Moscow Mule with pisco from the Elqui Valley).

    Av. del Mar 2730, Maitencillo, Valparaíso, Chile
    9-8249–2263

    Known For

    • Open-air setting over the Pacific
    • Crowd-pleasing seafood dishes
    • Great prices

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed.
  • 19. Panini Cafe

    $ | Coffee

    Whether you like your coffee prepared in a Chemex or espresso machine, brewed hot or cold, you can find it at this friendly café, which also serves up incredibly cheap panini sandwiches, salads, and traditional Chilean cakes.

    Arlegui 495, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-311–0853

    Known For

    • Lively terrace
    • Strong cold-brew coffee
    • Great value for money

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sat. and Sun.
  • 20. Pezcadores

    $$$

    Echoing the colors of the fishing boats below, this seafood restaurant is painted vivid shades of yellow, green, and red. The restaurant's proximity to the caleta (cove) means the fish on your plate was probably pulled from the water early that morning. Attentive servers will help you choose from the good wine selection.

    Avenida Costanera s/n, Quintay, Valparaíso, Chile
    32-236–2068

    Known For

    • Fresh and tasty fish
    • Nice wine list
    • Bustling fishing pier atmosphere

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tue.

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