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Eat, Drink, Do: Santiago
Here, Suzie our Marketing Executive (and foodie) gets our taste buds tantalised as she writes about her top places to eat, drink and be seen in the cosmopolitan capital city of Santiago.
Puerto Fuy, Nueva Costanera 3969
If you’re a sea food lover like me, an evening at Puerto Fuy is an absolute must during a stay in Santiago. While at first glance the menu might appear a little daunting (there are a lot of unusual options for the adventurous eater, such as sea urchin foam!), there are plenty of more familiar dishes, each with a special Chilean spin to give them that extra je ne sais quoi. I started with the clams, which came in a tomato sauce, scattered with shavings of cheese. These were fantastic and left me wondering how my main could ever match up, but I needn’t have worried. I was promptly presented with an artistic arrangement of Patagonian hake, served with ratatouille and yellow tomato coulis, which instantly stood up to the challenge. There are also a variety of meat dishes on the menu here, but it is the fish that draws the crowds.
Confitería Torres, Alameda 1570
For a less elaborate gastronomic experience, a quick pit stop for lunch perhaps, Confitería Torres is definitely worth a visit. Famous for being the former president Barros Luco’s favourite sandwichery, this is Santiago’s oldest café. With its aging waiters, dated décor and soundtrack of golden oldies, Confitería Torres is endearingly unapologetic of its age – this is its charm. The ‘Barros Luco’ sandwich, now served all over Chile, originated here and has to be the order of the day (excuse the pun). Tender sirloin steak and oozing melted cheese, served on a bread of your choice – it is simple but effective and it is easy to see why the former president endorsed it so heavily!
While ordinarily I would have to recommend the Pisco Sour for what to drink in Chile, the Pisco Sour hogs all the attention and so I’ve racked my brain for other Chilean national drinks.
La Piojera, Aillavilú 1030
La Piojera has a rugged handsomeness that has made it popular with tourists and locals alike. Having stood on the streets of Santiago’s Centro Histórico for more than 100 years, this is a great place to drink if you want to feel you’re getting a real taste of chileno nightlife. Local musicians will keep you entertained while you drink, treating you to guitar music and Chilean folk songs and making sure you completely lose track of hours. The top pick at the bar is the Terremoto – translating to English as ‘earthquake’, this drink intends to shake you up and get you in the mood to party. The Terremoto consists of a generous scoop of pineapple sorbet floating in a glass of sweet white wine called pipeño – not deadly ingredients, but the catch is it slips down so easily you forget you’re drinking wine altogether. La Piojera closes earlier than most Santiago bars, so this is the place to start your night; they shut the doors at midnight, sending drinkers off en masse to grace Santiago’s many other establishments with their presence.
Bocanáriz, José Victorino Lastarria 276
If the Terremoto doesn’t take your fancy and you want something a little more traditional, Bocanáriz is the place to head.
This chic, modern wine bar specialises in local Chilean wine and has over 300 different bottles on offer. If you want to get the most out of the extensive menu, order a flight of wine – a dapper looking sommelier will pour you three different wines to taste and guide you through the experience, helping you distinguish the flavours and outlining the major trends in the Chilean wine industry.
And as it’s easy to get carried away and find yourself drinking more wine than you planned, each flight comes served with a variety of tapas to soak up the alcohol!
Cerro San Cristóbal, Parque Metropolitano
At the top of San Cristóbal Hill in the Parque Metropolitano, stands an enormous statue of the Virgin Mary – it’s an awesome sight and definitely worth a visit! The top of the hill can be reached by foot (860m above sea level but only 300m above Santiago), but if you don’t fancy the climb you can take the funicular from Bellavista and be dropped off right at the top, which is what I did. From the top you get panoramic views of the city – I recommend you choose a clear day for this if you can, as when I went up the views were somewhat restricted by mist. Either way, it’s a nice place to stop and have a drink at the top, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Pablo Neruda’s House, Fernando Márquez de la Plata 0192
I’m not a massive museum lover, but having studied the poems of Pablo Neruda at school, I felt I should take the time to visit his former house when the opportunity presented itself. I’m really glad I did – although the house has been converted into a museum, it is still cluttered with odds and ends that belonged to the poet and thus retains much of its original charm. Conveniently located in Bellavista, this is the ideal place to spend your morning before heading up on the funicular to Cerro San Cristóbel.
Pueblito Los Dominicos, Apoquindo 9085
Pueblito Los Dominicos is an enchanting craft market bursting at the seams with clothes, fabrics, ceramics, paintings, furniture, glassware and many other beautiful items. The market exhibits more than 150 Chilean artists’ work, and is the place to go if you want to buy something uniquely Chilean to take home with you, or even if you just want to wander and marvel at the delights on offer.
Tempted to take a trip to Chile’s sprawling Capital city? We’d recommend staying at the following properties to get the most out of your experience:
Lastarria Boutique Hotel – The perfect oasis for exploring the hotel’s trendy bohemian neighbourhood La Reve – Another boutique favourite, located in the exclusive Providencia District, close to many of the city's top highlights. Ritz Carlton – Santiago’s classic and most luxurious hotel, perfect for those wanting the upmost style.
Get in touch with our specialists to start planning a trip, on 020 7622 1116.