10 Traditional Chilean Dishes You Need to Try

Latin American food. /
Latin American food. / | © Larisa Blinova / Shutterstock
Elizabeth Trovall

From hearty meat dishes to bright, tangy ceviche, this list of traditional Chilean foods is a tour guide for your taste buds. Wash down these distinctive dishes – many originating in the heart of Chile’s countryside – with a glass of local wine or a pisco sour.


These fried or baked dough pastries are usually filled with either cheese, seafood or a mixture called pino that consists of ground beef, olive, egg and onion. While Chileans enjoy empanadas year-round, homemade empanadas de pino are one of the key traditional foods served during Chile’s Fiestas Patrias – national holiday celebrations that take place in September. During the festivities, terremoto, a type of sugarydrink, is also quite popular. The beverage includes sweet fermented wine with pineapple ice cream and your choice of bitter fernet or grenadine.

Filomena’s empanada de pino



Great for a nippy day or for warding away the sniffles, this tasty broth is made with large pieces of tender beef or chicken along with potatoes, pumpkin, corn noodles and cilantro. Try this traditional dish, which has both Spanish and indigenous Mapuche origins, at one of the marketplace eateries in La Vega Central. To do as the Chileans do, go ahead and eat the broth first, finishing up with the meat, potato and veggies.

A filling bowl of cazuela


Typically prepared at Chilean barbecues (asados), choripanes are grilled sausages served with fresh bread, available at any corner store. Toppings like mayonnaise, mashed avocado, and pebre are traditionally offered with Chilean choripanes. Pebre is a spicy Chilean condiment made with pureed peppers, chopped onions, garlic, olive oil and cilantro.


This native South American dish originates from pre-Hispanic Andean cultures and can also be found in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. Though humitas are prepared similarly to a Mexican tamale, they are known for their sweetness, not spice. Humitas are made with boiled flour and corn dough, cooked with butter, onion and basil and wrapped in corn husks. You’ll find that humitas are often sold at corner stores, though sometimes street vendors will sell them from their coolers.

Mote con huesillos

This syrupy traditional drink is made with a mote (a kind of peach nectar), dried peaches and huesillos – husked wheat. Eating mote with sugar or milk became a popular custom in Chile during the 19th century, thanks to local wheat production. Eventually the peach and syrup were added and the drink became a staple of Chilean cuisine, especially in central regions of the country. Treat yourself to a cold mote con huesillos as you take in the view atop either the San Cristóbal Hill or Santa Lucía Hill, spots where this drink is regularly sold.

Mote con huesillos


As Chile’s take on the hot dog, completos are surprisingly one of the most beloved Chilean foods, sold in sandwich shops and stands throughout the country. A typical completo is served with sausage, chopped tomato, mayonnaise and sauerkraut. The completo Italiano is also quite popular, and comes with chopped tomatoes, mashed avocado and mayonnaise. The hot dog gets its name from the the combination of red, green and white ingredients used, which mimic the colors on the Italian flag.



A traditional food of Chiloé Island in southern Chile, curanto is cooked with meat, potatoes, shellfish, a potato bread called milcao, vegetables and dumplings. What’s unique about curanto is that it is prepared using hot stones in a deep hole in the ground. The tradition of preparing curanto began with the indigenous Chono nomads that lived on the Chiloé Island – a tribe that is now extinct.



This traditional fried pumpkin flatbread is served in two different ways. On the streets, vendors will serve hot sopaipillas with hot sauce or pebre. A less common practice is to eat them in a bowl covered with sweet chancaca, a molasses-like sauce. This delicious wintertime dish is called sopaipillas pasadas.

Pastel de choclo

This popular traditional dish is an excellent representation of mestizo (mixed) cooking in South America, blending the ingredients for Spanish empanadas and indigenous Andean dish humitas. Pastel de choclo is a sweet and savory corn pudding dish typically cooked and served in a clay bowl. Ingredients include sweetcorn, olives, ground beef, hard boiled eggs, onions and raisins.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article