The Top 10 Restaurants in Chile The World Needs to Know

La Mision
La Mision | Courtesy of La Mision
Lucy Pierce

Amidst the Andes is the growing culinary city of Santiago, surrounding by vineyards and less than an hour from the sea. At 4,300 km long, ranging from hot to cold climates, Chile has one of the widest varieties of ingredients on our planet. While in the past the country’s cuisine has been segregated into Chilean street food and European fine dining, chefs are now integrating Chilean ingredients and international techniques.

1. Restaurante 040

Restaurant, European, Seafood, Contemporary

Courtesy of 040

Spanish chef Sergio Barroso infuses European technique with the freshest local ingredients, creating a tasting menu with either 10 or 12 courses. You can expect to taste a variety of endemic seafood, such as sea urchin, locos (large sea snails) and picoroco (giant barnacles). With co-chef Raúl Yañez, they featured on Diners Club 50 Best Discovery Series and will create a more casual, street-food version of their tapas, for a relaxed lunch venue.

2. Boragó

Restaurant, Chilean

Boragó Restaurante
Courtesy of Boragó Restaurante

Thanks to Saveur, Boragó put Santiago on the map as the ‘Next Great Food City’, back in 2015 as well as ranking number 4 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016. Rodolfo Guzmán loves to experiment with food, taking Patagonian ancestral recipes and indigenous plants and adapting them to create a rather unusual and unique menu. All the produce is sourced from the finest of Chilean resources, from local fishermen to small Chilean wineries.

3. 99 Restaurante

Restaurant, Chilean, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

Kurt Schmidt has brought his bountiful experience to Chile, after working at Noma in Denmark and Azurmendi in Spain, he puts together dishes beautifully that really will sustain your palate, with intense flavours that are derived from Chilean ingredients. The fungal textures are the highlight. Dinner is either a six- or nine-course tasting menu, while lunch is a little more casual.

4. Ambrosia

Restaurant, Chilean, French, European

Courtesy of Ambrosia

Chef Carolina Bazán combines the finest of Chilean produce with a French flair, after learning under the wing of Gregory Marchand at Frenchie restaurant in Paris. Reaching number 20 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, the wagyu pot roast with creamy Gorgonzola purée is highly recommended.

5. Peumayen Ancestral Food

Restaurant, Chilean

Silverside fish
Courtesy of Peumayen Ancestral Food

Discovering and curating the ancestral food from the Aymara and Mapuche indigenous population, Peumayen promotes many styles and techniques that have nearly been forgotten, alongside local ingredients and native plants. The menu sparks some interest, with alpaca, horse meat, crispy seaweed and araucaria araucana (nuts from the monkey puzzle tree).

6. Silabario Cocina Local

Restaurant, Chilean, Spanish, Vegan

Once you step foot through the door you will feel as though you are in an old Santiago home, where the mama is cooking a hearty meal for you with fresh ingredients from the Chilean countryside. Oozing flavour and character, why not try some typical Chilean cuisine, whether you opt to begin with an empanada, followed by charquicán (a meat and vegetable stew) or pastel de papa (similar to Shephard’s pie).

7. Naoki

Restaurant, Japanese, Chilean, Sushi

Chile has seen a huge rise in popularity for sushi, and Naoki stands out from the crowd as the chef, Marcos Baeza, combines Chilean ingredients with traditional Japanese cuisine, adding a twist of innovation. In addition, the sushi is fresh due to the quality of local produce used. Found on Avenida Vitacura, the interior is classy in a minimalist Japanese style.

8. La Mision

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Chilean, South American, Vegetarian

La Mision
Courtesy of La Mision

Brought to you by the team behind the famed wine bar Bocanáriz, La Mision has an extensive wine list of 421 bottles from countries wide and far. The mouth-watering cuisine is inspired from the tastes of the wine, harmonizing the wine and food, thanks to the talented chef, Francés Jonathan Michel. In addition to the menu, the chef experiments each week with two ‘unedited’ plates, dependent on seasonal produce and his inspirations.

9. Fuegos de Apalta

Restaurant, Argentina, Chilean

The owner, Francis Mallmann, is one of the best known chefs from South America, who specialises in Argentine and Patagonian cuisine. With popular restaurants in Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Uruguay and Miami, Mallmann has also appeared on Chef’s Table. This restaurant is located amongst the vines of Montes Winery, and the menu has a mixture of meats and fish that are sourced locally.

10. Europeo

Restaurant, European, Chilean

Found along the trendy shopping street of Alonso de Córdova, chef Francisco Mandiola uses innovative techniques alongside fresh, locally sourced and foraged produce. Why not taste something a little more adventurous, whether it’s octopus, locos (Chilean abalone), beef tongue or veal sweetbread. You can order from the à la carte menu, or try a tasting menu with wine pairing.

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