As Chile’s premier beach destination, it stands to reason Viña del Mar would be packed full of scrumptious seafood eateries. Better yet, thanks to a burgeoning fishing industry and its proximity to the ocean, the seafood here is about as fresh as it gets. From modest family-friendly restaurants to elegant fine-dining establishments, we’ve found the 10 best places to eat seafood in Viña del Mar.
La Gatita Restaurant
Restaurant, Seafood, Chilean, $$$
Those who make the half hour drive up to the northern town of Concón will be rewarded with one of the region’s best seafood eateries. Perched on top of a hill overlooking the sea, La Gatita offers unbeatable views and mouthwatering cuisine in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Try the house special of fresh prawns served in extremely generous portions.
As the name implies, Castillo del Mar is set in an historic old castle with uninterrupted views of the sea. This upmarket option is particularly popular with well-heeled tour groups so consider making a reservation and be prepared to splash some cash. It’ll all be worth it though to savor high quality seafood in an elegant old world atmosphere. After a filling meal, don’t forget to climb the castle tower for amazing city and ocean views.
For a traditional Peruvian take on seafood, Ica Comida Peruana is the place to be. Thanks to its location on the main boulevard, tables at the front afford great people watching opportunities, especially during the busier seasons. Ceviche with Pisco Sour are the obvious choices, although they serve plenty of other fruits of the sea to tempt the palate, all expertly cooked in the traditional Peruvian style.
Another great Concón option, Aqui Jaime fills up with locals for its scrumptious seafood platters and breathtaking views of the sea. Try the spicy eel with mash potatoes or their amazing selection of soups.
An excellent mid range option in the center of town, Donde Willy offers fresh and tasty seafood for very reasonable prices. The highlight of this cozy, unpretentious joint is the swordfish garnished with their special in-house sauce, although there are plenty of other succulent options on the menu. Located at the end of a dead-end street, it’s a little hard to find though totally vale la pena (worth it) for the amazing food.
The perfect spot for a cheap lunch, at just US$2 a pop the empanadas at Los Roldan won’t break the bank. This small, casual takeaway on Reñaca beach is definitely no frills dining, but their delicious made to order seafood empanadas can be taken away and eaten on the beach. What’s more, their selection of sugary sweet empanadas make the perfect dessert to cap of a cheap yet satisfying meal.
Despite being notably upmarket, Divino Pecado is still good value for money for the excellent quality cuisine it serves. Plenty of typical Italian dishes adorn the menu, although its the divine seafood that gets the taste buds tingling. With an elegant and romantic atmosphere, this is the perfect place to bring that special date.
Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Seafood, French, Spanish, Chilean
Set between the presidential summer palace and the iconic Castle Wulff, Cap Ducal occupies some of the most desirable real estate in the city. This gem of a restaurant is modeled on a ship, with an elegant old world interior that dates back to 1936. Their highly sought after lower window seats (make a reservation) are situated right on the edge of the cliff so diners can watch waves crash into the glass and sea lions frolic outside as they enjoy their meal. Amazing ambiance aside, their French and Spanish inspired seafood is pretty damn good too.
A charming restaurant in a typical Catalonian style, expect plenty of tapas and other regional delicacies on the menu. Their seafood paella is particularly good, as is the trout stuffed with shrimp. Elegant, stylish and with an in-house art collection, Txipiron is among the city’s most sophisticated eateries.
Right on Playa Acupulco, Viña’s most happening beach, Tierra de Fuego really fills up on weekends and during high season, so expect to have to wait to take a seat. It’ll all be worth it in the end though, as huge portions of top quality seafood can be devoured while gazing over the ocean through their floor to ceiling windows. Try the seafood platter.