As Chile’s premier beach destination, there are plenty of great places to dine in Viña del Mar. And although it may not have as many fancy establishments as Valparaiso or Santiago, the seafood is famously fresh and there is enough variety on offer for even the fussiest of eaters. Let’s take a look at the city’s best restaurants.
Restaurant, Seafood, Chilean, Vegetarian, $$$
Donde Willy gets rave reviews for consistently dishing up high quality seafood at reasonable prices. Hidden at the end of a side street in the city center, it may be a little hard to find but this family-friendly diner is definitely worth the effort. Willy, the jovial proprietor and chef, personally takes each order and ensures every dish is fresh and lovingly prepared. The oysters and ceviche are our pick.
Another excellent seafood option, this time in the northern village of Concón some 30 minutes drive from central Viña. Upon climbing a flight of stairs to the top of a hill, guests are welcomed with superb ocean views accompanied by generous portions of cheap and delicious seafood. Their fresh prawns are a must, but be aware the place really packs out on weekends when the masses arrive from Santiago.
Those just after a spot of afternoon tea are in luck because the Tea Pot specializes in exactly that. Don’t expect any filling counter meals at this busy little café, with succulent cakes, coffee and over 60 different varieties of tea lining the menu instead. As an added bonus, the cozy venue sells a selection of cute tea related paraphernalia, the perfect gift for that teetotaling friend back home.
Okay, so it’s a little on the pricey side and a tad touristy too. But forget all that because Castillo del Mar is fit for a king. Why, you ask? It’s literally a restaurant in a castle, that’s why. With a privileged location right outside the presidential palace, each room of this stunning historical edifice is as elegant as it is stately. The food is pretty good too, with almost every kind of sea creature imaginable to be found somewhere on their extensive menu.
This charming Italian restaurant has been feeding the folks of Viña del Mar for over 60 years, so you know it’s got to be good. Although seafood and steaks are available, it’s the pasta everyone keeps coming back for. Made in-house each day and drenched in a range of delectable sauces, they’re regarded by most to be the best in the city.
Right on the main boulevard, this family friendly Japanese restaurant is a hit with holidaymakers and gets particularly lively during the high season. Sushi is their signature dish, although plenty of other options adorn their extensive menu. Friendly service, delightful desserts and immaculate presentation just adds to the appeal.
A taste of Austria in the heart of Viña del Mar, this superb high-end option is a serious contender for best restaurant in the city. With a cozy, dark wood interior and attentive customer service, El Austriaco manages to appear elegant yet unpretentious at the same time. But it’s the incredible central European cuisine that really pulls a crowd, beautifully prepared and cooked to perfection.
Burger at A Mano Gin&Burgers | Courtesy of A Mano Gin&Burgers
With awesome gourmet burgers plus plenty of healthier vegetarian options, this is a restaurant everyone can enjoy. As the name implies, the food is lovingly made by hand and best washed down with an ice-cold glass of locally produced gin. Relaxed, casual and with a decidedly youthful vibe, it’s the perfect option for a laid back meal without breaking the bank.
For a filling Mexican feast, look no further than Taqueria La Mexicana, Viña’s best Mexican restaurant. Decked out in attractive traditional decorations and accompanied by endless mariachi music CDs, it’s the closest thing you’ll find to an authentic Mexican restaurant this side of the equator. As would be expected, their tacos, enchiladas and burritos all hit the spot.
Sampling the local cuisine is a must on any trip, and La Flor de Chile is as good they come in Viña del Mar. Thanks to their huge portions of hearty Chilean fare, the restaurant packs out with hungry tourists from Santiago on weekends so get in early to grab a seat.