Chile’s capital is like no other; surrounded by the white peaks of the Andes, the bustling metropolis is a vast mosaic of winding streets and tall buildings. The landscape of Chilean cuisine is equally exciting. Mixing Spanish influences with excellent native recipes, the freshest of ingredients with exotic fruits and fish, it offers tantalizing combinations best enjoyed with a glass of acclaimed Chilean wine. Here are the ten of the best restaurants in Santiago.
Located in the hip neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria, this cozy bar is the perfect place to take a break from Santiago’s bustling streets. The hidden, subterranean character of the location adds to Bajo Llave’s dark, cave-like charm, making it the perfect place to combine a meal with the first few drinks of the evening. Locals drop by to enjoy a beverage chosen from the huge selection of national beers and wines. Alongside pizzas and tapas that fuse Mediterranean and Chilean cuisine, guests can also order more traditional meat dishes.
Bajo Llave, Calle Nueva de Rosal 344, Santiago, Chile, +56 2664 8053
El Diablito was established in 1984. Famous for its traditional beers, local specialties such as pisco sour casero and the carne a la diabla, El Diablito is the perfect place to meet young locals in an alternative and laid-back atmosphere. A special mention goes to the decoration of the restaurant, somewhere between a cabinet of curiosities and an antique dealer’s mysterious shop.
El Diablito, Merced 336, Local 2, Santiago, Chile,+56 2638 3512
Victorino offers a menu made of the best dishes that South American cuisine has to offer. The selection of ingredients is exquisite, their presentation simple but classy, and the setting of the restaurant is an absolute must-see. Don Victorino is located in a maze-like antique house surrounded by historical monuments, a romantic place to discover the delicate traditional food in the Lastarria neighborhood.
Chile is famous for its wine, so it comes as no surprise that a wine specialist has made it onto this list of Santiago’s best restaurants. Bocanáriz is one of the capital’s most famous places to enjoy the best wine that Chile has to offer. You’ll find a comfortable urban setting, where bare brick walls and heavy wooden tables are combined with an ultra cool crystal chandelier. A true gastronomic and oenological journey through the country, Bocanariz’s menu showcases the different types of wine that Chilean vineyards produce every year.
Juan y Medio
Juan y Medio is one of the best addresses to meet locals while enjoying the Chilean dining ambiente. This big and noisy restaurant is always packed with celebrating families and groups that come here to enjoy the tasty traditional food and friendly atmosphere. The family business has built its reputation from over 60 years of experience. While the decor is functional rather than chic, the clientele and Juan y Medio’s no-fuss attitude and no-nonsense traditional dishes make it a unique, and extremely authentic Santiago experience.
Juan y Medio, Huerfanos 2076, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2696 6337
The concept behind Mulato is simple yet admirable; to create a form of local synergy between the restaurant and the neighborhood by using only ingredients that are sourced from the surrounding markets. This results in for a dynamic and ever-changing menu, with guaranteed originality. Add some home brewed beer as well as homemade bread to the meal and Mulato becomes the perfect place to sample Santiago’s local food.
Mulato, Jose Victorino Lastarria 305-307, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2638 4931
The Opera Catedral is the perfect place to combine food, drinks, and music. The setting is informal yet intriguing, and the restaurant is a magnet for young adults. It is an integral part of Santiago’s nightlife thanks to its blend of quality food, dance atmosphere and great live music. Although the evening usually starts quietly with a mostly European menu, by the end of the night the bar becomes a gigantic dance floor. A pleasant surprise, the second floor offers an elegant French restaurant.
Opera Catedral, Merced 395, Santiago, Chile, +56 2664 3048
El Huerto proves that it is possible to find original, authentic vegetarian food in Santiago. The menu offers a good blend of international cuisine rearranged to fit the credo of the house; healthy and tasty. The calm and relaxed atmosphere is perfect for enjoying quiet moments and regenerating before tackling more of Santiago’s treasures.
El Huerto, Calle Orrego Luco 54, Providencia, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2233 2690
Located in the bohemian neighborhood of Bellavista, El Republicano is the perfect restaurant to visit before heading to one of the many theaters in this area. Located in an old Chilean house, the decor is inspired by the golden era of the Chilean republican bourgeoisie in the 1970s. Luxury and class meet simplicity and nostalgia in El Republicano. The three dining rooms, as well as the bar, convey this feeling of nostalgia and lost grandeur. The kitchen offers traditional Chilean food with a modern twist.
El Republicano, Dardignac 127, Bellavista, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2249 8435
It would have been difficult to round off this list without including a true meat specialist. To pick out one of the many parillas (South American barbecue style) of the city is not an easy task, but a dinner at Ox is a safe bet. This luxurious parilla serves some of the most succulent meat in town. Prepared with love and passion and accompanied by an impressive selection of wines, Ox is the perfect place for meat lovers with high expectations. Rumor has it that the chief parillero of this restaurant actually hails from Argentina.
Ox, Nueva Constanera 3960, Vitacura. Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2799 0260.