By Patrick Hieger
We’re back with an all-new list of where to eat now in Santiago. The list features 26 restaurants across the city that aren’t to be missed. Why 26? Well, it just so happens that A to Z comprises 26 spots, which we believe makes for a great list of where to dine. From traditional Chilean dishes to the hottest in Nikkei and other international delights, here’s where you have to eat in Santiago right now, just in case you’re hungry.
While we eagerly await the opening of chef Jose Ozaki’s new flagship, we can still go eat at the brand new Republica Nikkei, located in Santiago’s Bellas Artes neighborhood. Offering lunch plates that include Peruvian sandwiches, Nikkei-style rolls and sushi, as well as hot offerings like ramen, gyozas, and more, Republica Nikkei is a great new addition to the neighborhood.
The newest addition to Santiago’s modern-leaning dining scene, 99 brings together a wealth of talent offering two different options for dining on a daily basis. For lunch, head over and try their three-course menú, which changes daily and offers the best of the market. At night, try out of their multi-course options where the plates get a little smaller, the room a little more intimate, and the flavors a lot more intricate.
For those looking for something as close to a traditional Mexican taquería as possible, look no further than Patronato’s Chilango. Buried in the neighborhood known more for cheap clothes and Korean barbecue, this hole-in-the-wall serves up plates like cochinita pibil, huaraches, and tacos al pastor, all on fresh corn tortillas. Wash it down with one of their housemade aguas frescas, and you might forget you’re in Santiago.
The La Moneda palace might be most well-known for housing the president and an award-winning art gallery, but in the lower levels of the building, one of Santiago’s most exciting restaurants dishes out creativity on a daily basis. Owned by the same team as Cuerovaca, Cívico dishes up modern Chilean fare in a dining room that’s as nice to look at as the art that sits below. Pair that with a wine list that includes the best from across the country, and you’ll find yourself eager to hit up the presidential palace more often.
While Lastarria is known for being one of the coolest neighborhoods in Santiago, the dining options can lead towards the touristy, unless you know where to look. The newest addition to the neighborhood, Panko is a 9-seat Nikkei-style sushi bar serving up dishes like charred octopus with Huancaina sauce, rolls with wagyu beef and other treats served up as you watch your own personal chef chop, char, burn and cook right before your eyes.
This Vitacura hot-spot may lean French, but don’t expect to find duck a l’orange any time soon. Chef Francisco Mandiola’s menu combines the best of the Chilean larder with modern plating techniques that make it one of the truly world-class restaurants in Santiago. They offer a set menu at lunch, and a seasonally-changing tasting menu for dinner, which remains as a great value for the quality in Santiago.
Celebrity chef Chris Carpentier is back with a new Vitacura space serving up Chilean classics in a space that is far more chic than shabby. With an array of rustic dishes that includes pastas, fish, meats, and a bevvy of appetizers, the face of Chilean cuisine has never looked so delicious. Since opening in March, the restaurant’s buzz hasn’t cooled off any, so be sure and make a reservation.
From the same team behind Uncle Fletch and BocaNaríz comes one of the most attractive new openings of 2014. Set in the newly remodeled Castillo Forestal directly across from the national Bellas Artes museum, the eponymous restaurant currently serves exquisite sandwiches like roasted duck with goat cheese on red wine bread from baker Eric Kaiser. With a full-service restaurant soon to open in the upper level of the space, the culinary offerings in Santiago’s most beautiful park just got a lot more diverse.
While Patronato is known for being the multic-cultural hot spot for a wide array of international dining, there are the occasional outsiders that pop up in unexpected places around the city. Falafel Asly is a British-owned, fully kosher falafel spot that serves up the single best chick pea fritters in the city. Pair that with hummus that even a New Yorker would swoon over, and you’ve given yourself a reason to travel to the far reaches of Las Condes.
Even though culinary scenes can often be dominated by male figures, Carolina Bazan is one of Santiago’s most respected chefs, and a female at that. At her family-owned Ambrosia, Bazan serves up dishes like roasted bass with tomato water, inspired by her time spent traveling the world. Utterly Chilean with an international mindset, Ambrosia is one of the Chilean restaurants we expect to see get a lot more praise in the next couple of years.
Named for the neighborhood in Montevideo that inspires many of the plates on the menu, Ciudad Vieja is a favorite among sandwich-loving Santiaguinos. With an impressive array of gut-busting sandwiches paired with a huge selection of microbrews, the Uruguayan-inspired diner is a highlight in Bellavista. Go hungry–the portions are huge.
When you can actually dine at a place that has the credit of inventing a sandwich with more than 100 years of history, you know you should. Made famous for creating Chile’s beloved Barros Luco–griddled steak with melted cheese on toasted bread–Confitería Torres is an unmissable Santiago institution. Go for the sandwiches, fall in love with the dining room, and become a party of history.
Temple Asian Lounge
Although the hotel Intercontinental might not be somewhere you’d expect to find exceptional Asian food in Santiago, you’ll be delightfully surprised. Serving up some of the best sushi in the city alongside a new menu of Asian-style street foods including edamame, chicken karaage, yakitori and more, this kitschy dining experience complete with a purple bed in a fountain is unique to Santiago.
Casa de Cena
Plaza Italian may be more widely known for soccer hooligans celebrating after a Chilean football win, but two block away is one of Santiago’s oldest and best kept secrets. Casa de Cena, situated in old castle, serves up traditional Chilean cuisine at its finest. Open literally all hours of the day, whether it’s one in the afternoon or four in the morning, get dishes like braised brisket, the most exquisite roasted chicken ever, or pork chops with mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for Chile on a plate, look no further.
Peruvian Ciro Watanabe brings his Nikkei touch to the W Hotel’s flagship restaurant. With a combination of Peruvian flare and Japanese technique, you’ll be hard-pressed to believe that you’re in a hotel restaurant. Oh, and did we mention that Osaka is currently ranked #48 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants?
Long live the German influence on Chile and the massive sandwiches and beer that we have to reap because of it. Nestled into the heart of Santiago’s Barrio Brasil / Yungay, Fuente Mardoqueo is an antique-collecting, sandwich-eating fanatic’s dream. Get the lomo with palta and a cold brew and you won’t need to eat for two days. Salud!
As Bellavista tries to shake off its party all the time vibe and become a neighborhood for quality wining and dining, Peumayen brings a modern approach to ancestral Chilean food, and a dining room that is hard to be topped in the city. The bread offering along–included in the meal–takes diners on a ride from the north to the far south of Chile, exploring all the ancient food customs the country has to offer.
The White Rabbit
Lovingly dubbed as the best place to get gringo food in Santiago, The White Rabbit fuses traditions of the U.S. with the best in meats and produce that Chile has to offer. The Brooklyn vibe, the L.A. soundtrack, the Animal Fries that pay oh so much homage to In ‘N’ Out and the Wagyu burger that will have you saying ‘Amen!‘ all come together in what could be the new leader in fancy meets casual dining in Santiago.
Korean fried chicken. Jugo de pimentón. Arugula salad with mango and red onion. That’s all they serve and that’s all you need to worry about. Long known for its ethnic cuisine, Barrio Recoleta just got a whole lot cooler with the opening of this happy little hole in the wall that has won the hearts and minds of fried chicken fanatics across the city.
Classic Santiago meets the din of a night out in New York City. Easily the most well-known restaurant in Santiago, Liguria has been serving up classic fare on classy plates since the early 90’s. With their fourth location planned for later this year, it’s safe to say that Liguria is a standard when it comes to Santiago dining.
Salvador Cocina y Café
Buried in downtown where a quick coffee and a plate of rice and meat are more readily found than a restaurant whose market-driven menu changes daily, Salvador is the answer to, “Where should we eat?” for downtown Santiago.
Expect the unexpected upon any visit to Boragó. This world-class restaurant currently holding the #8 spot on the list of Lat Am’s 50 Best could earn itself a spot on this year’s World’s 50, if the gods will have it. With a menu sourced more from the ground than the back of a truck, and a dining experience that relies on your hands more than your cutlery, Boragó is leading the modern culinary regime in Chile.
In a country where the hot dog is considered to be a national food, why not go somewhere that’s taking that game to the next level? Choose from handmade beef, lamb, pork or turkey dogs, as well as an impressive array of toppings. And the fresh lemonades are out of sight.
How can you make the already hip Lastarria neighborhood even better, tastier, and hipper? Open a well-designed, kitschy location with the best wine list in the menu, tapas-style dining (including raw oysters!) and a street-level view of all the beautiful people. It’s that simple.
Recently opened to a flood of fan fare, Naoki combines Japanese spirit with Chilean ingredients, for dishes that include cochayuyo (bull kelp) gyoza, hand rolls made with the best the Chilean coast can offer, and a dessert menu developed by local pastry chef Camila Fiol Stephens. Could Nikkei have a run for its money?
As much an institution in Santiago as Liguria, HBH is the go-to spot in Ñuñoa for cheap, house-made (and highly alcoholic) beers and pizza that, while not the best in town, is the best friend to the beers that go down all too easily. Add to it a view of the brewery, a rambunctious crowd on the weekends, and a vibe that can only come from 20+ years of beer-drinking fun, and you’ve got yourself one of the best nights out in Santiago.