Lastarria is Santiago’s most architecturally stunning neighbourhood, boasting plenty of historical buildings as well as the city’s cultural hub, with theatres, art galleries, museums and cinemas. An absolute must-visit is the GAM. But if you need to take a break from all the refinement, seek out one of these cafés.
Cafe, Chilean, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, $$$
This popular hangout just off José Victorino Lastarria – the main artery of the neighbourhood – draws in the bearded and moustached Santiago population. With its quirky industrial interior, dangling metal light fixtures and a splash of colour, the place is extremely aesthetically pleasing. As it’s so bright and airy, it’s the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by, with a strong brew in hand.
Jump down the rabbit hole and arrive in Alice’s Wonderland. This café is brimming with character, from the little potion pots the teas are served in, to the trunks and sofas from a bygone era. What’s more, the food and drink will not dishearten you, from full English breakfasts and tasty brunches, to vegan cakes, afternoon teas, scones, macaroons, and overflowing milkshakes.
Opposite the Bellas Artes Museum is this sweet little café, and the coffees are not to be missed. On a cold day, opt for a warming hot chocolate, or choose from one of their many herbal teas. After which, you’ll be ready to take a stroll around the park or peruse the galleries at Bellas Artes.
Along José Miguel de la Barra you’ll find a handful of cafés and restaurants, Cañamo in particular. Whether you’ve been to-ing and fro-ing between the main sights in the centre of the city, you just want your fix of caffeine or a catch up with friends. This café is open till late, so you can also by beers here, from craft beer to internationally renowned brands.
Walk in through this quaint arcade and into the courtyard where you will track down Colmado – and if it’s a nice day, take a seat outside. Vegans love Colmado, with cakes to die for, completely cruelty-free, which go hand in hand with a flat white decorated like a blossoming flower of love.
These guys have got both their distilling and latte art nailed, from cute little teddy bears to a waterfall of hearts, lush leaves, and a throbbing love heart. Either sit in and cosy up, or grab a coffee to go, either way its reputation is among the best in Lastarria. If you’re feeling peckish, why not indulge in the cakes and buns they have on offer.