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).
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.
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).
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