Some Chilean cuisine is fantastic, and some of it is overhyped (by Chileans). Restaurants, Chilean foods, and dessert places: here’s your deep dive.
Chorrillana is French fries topped with cut up hot dogs and different sauces. Highly recommend, but some places are definitely better than others and adding salt is typically a necessity. Churrascos barros luco is one of my favorite Chilean sandwiches and is made with seasoned beef and delicious Chilean cheese. Mantechoso is one of those cheeses, and happens to be a highlight of my time here. It goes with everything and can be found in almost any supermarket. Lemonade here is oftentimes made with mint and ginger, a combination that I love and encountered for the first time here. If you have the chance to try it, I highly suggest that you do so.
Near the IES Abroad Center, Maskepan is a go-to. The prices are fantastic and the food is yummy and quick. Domani is literally around the corner and home to some truly delicious and award-winning pizza. Buffalo Waffles is amazing as well, with prices that are pretty reasonable.
If you like Korean food, I highly recommend Misoya. The restaurant is located in Patronato, a very interesting and international neighborhood, which is relatively unique for Santiago and Chile in general. The food is wonderful, authentic, and best of all, cheap! I went with a friend and we bought two entrees, one appetizer, and two drinks, and our bill was less than $30.
Italian food and culture has a big presence in el cono sur of Latin America, especially Chile and Argentina. Santiago’s Barrio Italia features a few stand-out fresh pasta places, and one of my favorites is In Pasta. Prices are relatively similar to Domani, and the quality is excellent. A lot of Chilean Italian food features longaniza, which is the southern LatAm version of chorizo—a much less spicy and typically sausage-styled version. Nonetheless, it is very delicious!
A visit to Bío Bío right off of the identically-named metro stop brought us to a delicious Peruvian place called Alimentos Las Norteñas Gastronomía Peruana. We got many different dishes and everyone was incredible. I highly suggest the jalea mixta, which is fried seafood, and the fried chicken which almost had me crying. In the same area is Khao San 15 - Auténtica Comida Tailandesa from which I bought what I can confidently say is the best boba in Santiago. It came out with a layer of condensed milk on the bottom, something I’d never seen before (which surprised me a lot in and of itself because I am very much a boba aficionado). The employees were speaking Thai as well which was so wonderful to hear after being surrounded by Spanish for so long. This was impactful for me because I’m used to hearing different languages every day and really love language exchange/linguistics.
If you’re searching for Chilean food, I can happily recommend Alameda Restobar, which is located very close to the Universidad Católica metro stop in the center of the city near many of the famous Santiago tourist locations. You can find Chilean style sandwiches and the natural juices that are a beloved (by me) Chilean staple.
Fruits in Chile are especially incredible. Passion fruit and raspberries in particular taste so much better here than in the States. Fruit and vegetables are less processed and so yummy. Pink lady apples just came in season and are one of my new favorites. During the summer, mangoes were all the rage and we were constantly heading to the frutería near the IES Abroad Center to go get cotton candy grapes and other fresh delicacies. Avocados here are incredibly creamy and another must-eat.
Restaurant Puerto Calbuco is a restaurant in Santiago that makes chilote food—foods that are typical on the island of Chiloé. The island is home to incredible homemade jams, hand kneaded bread, and all kinds of fish-based eats. One of our group members bought ceviche from a different street food stand every day.
Arguably the most important Chilean food is bread, and specifically marraqueta, which is a fluffy and delicious Chilean bread. If you spend any amount of time in Chile, the marraqueta is a necessary eat. At one point in your trip you should have once which means 11 and is a small midafternoon meal, typically reminiscent of Chilean breakfast, and serves as an important aspect of Chilean culture.
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My name is Maggie and I'm from Chicago, Illinois (one of the best cities in the States in my completely unbiased opinion). I'm left-handed, could watch Encanto every day, and I am a huge fan of the singer-songwriter Mitski. I study Public Policy at the University of Illinois in Chicago and am excited to learn more about Santiago. I hope to find a community away from the one I have at home and make Santiago my own.