Best of – Santiago

Our favourite things to do on a trip to the capital of Chile

Santiago is growing fast and so is its fantastic offer on activities, restaurants and cafes that are a must visit.  We asked our local Instant Tours Santiago and Valparaiso host Camilo about his favourite things to do in his city. Here are his recommendations:


Wonderland Café: Located in the charming Barrio Lastarria, this tiny café is inspired by children book classic “Alice in wonderland”. The entire interior decoration is based on the world Lewis Carroll created back in the 19th century. Their furniture and even the menu are an invitation to wander through his fantasy world.


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Camilo recommends their delicious “brunch” dishes such as smoked salmon bagels, crispy toasts, tasty croissants and Eggs Benedict. They also offer a number of desserts (my all time favorite is the Alfajor) to accompany their tea selection, hot chocolates and caramel, strawberry and chocolate milkshakes.

Open every day and no reservation needed.


  • Rosal 361, Santiago (Universidad Católica Metro Station)



After a morning exploring on the Urban tour you will need to recharge your batteries. There are many great lunch options. The Chilean wasn’t able to recommend just one so here are two that you should check out.

Fuente Mardoqueo: The Chileans love sandwiches and hot dogs. Therefore new shops pop up all the time. Fuente Mardoqueo, located at the heritage area of Barrio Yungay, has huge portions (some might see even too large, but that’s what makes them perfect for sharing). Their menu reflects the longstanding sandwich tradition in the country.

You should definitely try their “Barros Luco” sandwich. This mouthwatering snack was named after the former Chilean president Ramón Barros Luco. It is filled with minced beef steak (churrasco style) and delicious melted cheese.

For a bit more “green” and just a tad less meat we recommend you try another classic, the “chacarero sandwich” (beef, tomato, green beans and mayonnaise).

Lomito Italiano

Photo by Paul Lowry on / CC BY

Last but not least, my favorite is the “Lomito italiano”. You will find it filled with tasty pork, ripe tomatoes and LOAS of avocado and mayonnaise. The sandwich is named “Lomitio italiano”, as the color of the ingredients are matching the Italian flag.


  • Libertad 551, Santiago. (Cumming Metro Station)

Mercado Central: This is a classic Santiago spot; it is over 140 years old (and we also show it in our Santiago Classic tour). The skeleton of the structure was forged in Scotland and sailed back to Chile in 1872.

Mercado Central

Photo by Leandro’s World Tour on / CC BY

Inside, you can find a large number of restaurants dedicated to what seafood products the longest coast line in the world (over 4.000 kms!) has to offer. We recommend you try the “Caldillo de congrio” (conger eel soup), fried fish with boiled potatoes on mayonnaise and a side of “Chilean” salad (tomato with onions) and of course the delicious “ceviche”, in either its Chilean or Peruvian version (both countries claim to have invented it).


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Ceviche is made of raw fish cured with lemon juice, onions, capsicum, cilantro and corn.


  • Av. San Pablo, Santiago (Plaza de Armas/Cal y Canto Metro Station)



Liguria: This restaurant is one of Santiago’s most awarded venues. They elevate the countries cuisine to a new level by which combining long standing traditions with fine international cuisine. Their dishes are inspired by typical Chilean produce such as fish, steak, seafood and vegetables from all parts of our long-narrow country.  Try “mechada”, a pulled beef steak, pichangas (assorted pickles, onions, olives, carrots and cheese cured in vinegar), lengua (beef tongue), costillares (ribs) and various creative salads and pastas who are also part of the inheritance of the European communities that colonised Chile’s Southland, where the restaurant owners are from.

This place will excite you with a harmonious combination of local folk and rock and roll.


  • Av. Providencia 1353. (Manuel Montt Metro Station)
  • Merced 298 (Bellas Artes Metro Station)
  • Luis Thayer Ojeda 019 (Tobalaba Metro Station)



Jardín Mallinkrodt: Music, cocktails, craft beer, food trucks, and even tattoos! Why not? You can find all of this at Jardín Mallinkrodt, an open space inspired by Brooklyn’s or Portland’s “Beer Gardens”.


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An old parking lot of 600 square meters turned into a place that welcomes 4 different food trucks with a menu that changes every 30 days, plus a great variety of craft beers and ciders.

A trendy barber shop and a tattoo studio are situated right next to the “garden”. This makes it one of new musts in the city.

Tip: Make a reservation because the place gets crowded!


  • Mallinkrodt 170, Providencia (Baquedano Metro Station)

Editor’s note: This entry is not sponsored by any of the places above and reflects solely the authors opinion

Foodie Tip – Barcelona

The Best Cava and Tapas Bar

La Xampanyeria

You will find this small hole in the wall bar hidden in a quiet street, Carrer de la Reina Cristina, close to Port Vell (as well as the El Born district and the Gothic Quarter, Barri Gòtic)

The place is easy to miss as there isn’t even a visible sign promoting it. Sometimes there’s a line in front of it or even a doorman helping in keeping everything civil.

La Xampanyeria in Barcelona

La Xampanyeria (or Can Paixano) was founded back in 1969. In my opinion it is a must-visit during your stay. If you crave a tasty Cava (the Spanish but much cheaper version of Champagne) and hearty tapas at the counter or just about any spot where you can find space, then this is your place!

Check out the Can Paixano website for more information.

Tip: Get a bottle of Cava instead of some glasses. The bottle is quite cheap (approximately 15 Euros) and will come with two tapas of your choice already included in the price!

Can Paixano

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For those who don’t speak the Catalan language (probably most) we have prepared this small cheat sheet. Don’t think of asking for a menu, there isn’t one. The only way to figure out what you can order is the big board. Again, Catalan only.

This will help a lot when ordering. Enjoy!

  • Banderilla – Pickle
  • Botifarra – A sausage similar to Bratwurst
  • Bacó – A kind of bacon
  • Calents – Hot
  • Carxofa – Artichoke
  • D‘Ovella – Lamp
  • Entrepants – Sandwich
  • Foie Gras – Goose liver
  • Guindilla – Spicy pepper
  • Llongonissa – A pork sausage (peperoni/salami)
  • Lomo – Pork loin
  • Morcilla – Blood sausage
  • Panceta – A salt cured cold cut
  • Pechuga – Chicken breast
  • Pernil – A slow-roasted marinated pork leg or pork shoulder
  • Salsitxa – A sausage
  • Seito en vinagre – Sardins in vinegar
  • Sobrassada – Air dried sausage spread Streichwurst
  • Ternera – Veal
  • Xistorra – A fast-cure sausage similar to chorizo
  • York – Ham

Drinking Like A Real Austrian

Soft Drinks & Beverages (non-alcoholic)


This is the fourth part of our series on Viennese cuisine and it’s about beverages, the non-alcoholic kind.

You can find the other parts here:

Today we cover non-alcoholic beverages. I am sorry we fooled you with the title, but sometimes Austrians drink other things then beer or wine too.

My research on the topic revealed, that a lot of my childhood favorites aren’t actually of Austrian origin, but of German.

I was shocked to find out that stuff like Afri-Cola or Frucade aren’t made by my fellow county men and women. Frucade for example got famous when Austrian entertainer Hermes Phettberg offered it to his guests at his late night show Nette Leit Show. The other drink he offered was Eierlikör (eggnog).

Anyway, I was able to locate those authentic Austrian beverages. Let’s find out more:




Radlberger Ananas (pineapple)

The company that produces this sweet lemonade is located in St. Pölten, the capital of Lower Austria. Their slogan is: “Radlberger, ein Sommer wie damals.”, which translates to “Radlberger, a summer like back in the days.”. Usually this is not available at restaurants. You can buy it at the supermarket tough.

Obi & Obi g’spritzt


Obi Gspritzt

Obi apple juice

Obi is an apple juice brand. It’s that famous in Austria that it i/was used as a generic name for apple juice. So ordering half a liter off Obi g’spritzt will get you apple juice with soda. A very good idea for quenching your thirst. Available at the supermarket. When ordered in a restaurant you’ll get whatever apple juice they have. Did I mention that Austrians love apple juice? They do!




The classic bottle

This beloved herb lemonade can be compared to ginger ale, less the ginger. It’s one of the best known beverages from Austria. You can order it at almost every restaurant. Also popular: Mixing it with beer for a refreshing Radler

Learn more about Almdudler




Latella Maracuja

A sweet drink made from whey, Mango being my favorite flavor. Or an ugly cheese drink, as my Canadian friend Emilie called it 😀

Our tip: Try it! Even if you don’t like it, you have a story to tell.

Latella is available in the dairy section of every supermarket.

Red Bull


Red Bull

Red Bull cans
©Red Bull

Well, what can we say about the energy drink from Salzburg? It started as a drink and now is a worldwide movement, publish house, sports sponsor and much more. You either love or hate Red Bull. But no need to try it in Austria, because you’d probably had one somewhere around the world before.