clock menu more-arrow no yes
Shutterstock

The 38 Essential Santiago Restaurants

Where to find blistered empanadas, loaded mechada sandwiches, and parrilla-style steaks in the Chilean capital 

View as Map

The stunning Chilean capital and colonial Spanish city nestled among the Andes mountains is a favorite South American travel destination for summer ski bums and wine lovers. While Santiago may bring to mind comfort-food favorites like overstuffed completos or heaping plates of pernil, the city is in a unique state of culinary flux. Santiago chefs are reversing the old trope that said traditional Chilean food was not suited for fine dining, inspired by the inward-looking approach of Noma and simultaneous culinary revolutions throughout South America. There’s increased access to and appreciation of indigenous ingredients used traditionally by the Mapuche people, and a new integration of modern techniques with Chilean classics. Whether experiencing Santiago’s bistronomy movement, the modernization and re-imagining of Chile’s beloved barbecue, or its sangucherías, traditional outposts of Chile’s vibrant sandwich culture, Santiago’s way of eating and cooking is evolving in ways we’ve never seen before. Pair that with the influx of openings from some of Latin America’s biggest culinary names, like Gastón Acurio and Héctor Solís, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting food city in the Southern Hemisphere. Without further ado, the 38 essential dishes and restaurants of Santiago, Chile.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = less than 6,500 pesos (less than $10 USD)
$$ = 6,500 - 16,500 pesos ($10 - $25 USD)
$$$ = 16,500 - 33,000 ($25 - $50 USD)
$$$$ = 33,000 and above ($50 USD and up)

Hillary Eaton is a food and travel writer based in Los Angeles. You can find her featured in the New York Times and Stuff, or read her work at Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Playboy, Travel + Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, and beyond.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Hoyo Restaurant

Copy Link
San Vicente 375
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2689 0339
Visit Website

From humble origins selling food and drinks to the workers of Santiago's nearby central station in the early 20th century, family-owned El Hoyo has grown over the generations into one of the city’s most beloved restaurants. Santiaguinos stop by El Hoyo when they want a taste of porky, rustic comfort, whether that means the famous arrollado, boiled garlic and spice marinated pork loin wrapped in pork skin, or pernil, an irresistibly tender pork hock. Grab a seat and sip on a terremoto while you wait; El Hoyo is one of several restaurants that’s credited with creating the iconic cocktail. [$]

A one-story building exterior with shingled roof, white textured wall, large arched windows covered with heavy bars and two ends of barrels adorning either side of an entrance
Outside El Hoyo Restaurant
El Hoyo/Facebook

2. Ana María Restaurante

Copy Link
Club Hípico 476, Santiago
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 2698 4064
Visit Website

When Santiaguinos want traditional Chilean fare done well they head to Ana María, a picada turning out the sort of dishes that are mostly only found in Chilean homes cooked by Chilean grandparents. From the bright yellow interior to photographs of Ana Maria herself with notable guests and other memorabilia tacked to the walls, the experience is steeped in kitsch. Thankfully, it’s the charming kind that makes your meal of pickled rabbit, plateada al horno (a Chilean preparation of brisket), stewed quail, or pillowy Chilean sea urchin all the more enjoyable. [$$]

3. Confitería Torres

Copy Link
Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 1570
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2688 0751
Visit Website

You’ll find a number of confiterías selling coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches around Santiago, but for a taste of the old world, locals head to Confiteria Torres, the city’s oldest restaurant, founded in 1867. With white tablecloths, mahogany walls, lace curtains, and dapper waiters, Confiteria Torres will transport you to the Santiago of old. Head there for a simple lunch of classic Chilean fare or one of the best afternoon teas in the city, and be sure to check out the pictures of the famous regulars hung along the walls. Look closely and you’ll notice many of them are former presidents. One such former president, Barros Luco, even got a steak and cheese sandwich named after him for his loyal patronage — ask for the Presidente Barros to give it a try. [$$]

An airy, double-height cafe interior, with monochrome tiled flooring, wicker chairs at two-top tables, and a wood bar stacked with glasses with a server working behind and a large chalkboard menu on the wall beside shelves
The bar at Confitería Torres
Confiteria Torres/Facebook

4. La Piojera

Copy Link
Aillavilú 1030
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2698 1682
Visit Website

From the old men playing Chilean drinking songs on the accordion to the walls covered in peeling murals, day-drinkers' signatures, and drunken messages, La Piojera is an experience all its own. The lively watering hole is the city’s O.G. dive bar, famous for one drink: the terremoto. Translating to “the earthquake,” this classic celebration cocktail, made with pineapple ice cream, sweet white wine, and fernet, is basically the Chilean version of a piña colada — and too many terremotos is just as hangover inducing. Sop up the sugary booze with a plate of the classic Chilean drunk food chorrillana (egg-, steak-, and cheese-covered fries) and you’ll at least stand a chance. [$]

Customers gather at a bar inside an airy space with thin wood support beams strung with colorful streamers and tables full of people nearby
The crowd at La Piojera
Jack Zalium/Flickr

5. Salvador Cocina y Café

Copy Link
Bombero Adolfo Ossa 1099
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2673 0619
Visit Website

With its floral tablecloths and homey decor, this small cafe hidden in the heart of downtown Santiago will make you feel like you’re having lunch at a friend’s house — if that friend happens to be Rolando Ortega, one of Santiago’s most beloved chefs. At Salvador Cocina y Café, Ortega gets to play around with whatever suits him that day, creating a three-course menu del dia for lunch. With his butcher background and love of working with whole animals, expect the menu to be heavy on the meat, featuring elevated versions of some of Chile’s most traditional foods, like ossobuco or plateada al horno. (Lunch only.) [$ - $$]  

A restaurant exterior with large windows covered in writing, several chalkboards covered in more writing, a lit up sign reading Salvador, and a customer emerging from large mirrored doors to one side
Outside Salvador Cocina y Café
Salvador Cocina/Facebook

6. Empanadas at Emporio Zunino

Copy Link
Puente 801
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2698 8895
Visit Website

While you can find stands de comidas (street food stands) serving golden empanadas throughout the city, some of them can be hit or miss, with either too little filling or too much dough. If you’re going to go the street vendor route, opt for one that’s garnered a large line of locals and you’re less likely to leave disappointed. Either way, save room for Zunino Emporium, one of the city’s best. Open since 1930, Zunino claims fame as the city’s oldest empanadería, serving hundreds of its popular beef empanadas de pino and classic cheese empanadas de queso to hungry Santiaguinos daily. [$]

A tray of well-stuffed, square empanadas emerges from the oven singed heavily all over
Empanadas at Emporio Zunino
Emporio Zunino/Facebook

7. A Completo at Dominó

Copy Link
Agustinas 1016
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

Santiaguinos are serious when it comes to their hot dogs. But instead of a dog on a bun with some ketchup and mustard, locals go all out with the fully loaded completo: A vienesa (hot dog) piled high with everything from fried eggs, french fries, and fried onions to mashed avocado and tomato. The topping variations are endless, but none are so universally loved as Domino's. Locals line up at locations scattered throughout the city, grabbing the classic completo with mayo, tomatoes, and sauerkraut, or the italiano (named for the colors, not flavors) with mashed avocado, mayo, and tomato. Sight seeing? Stop by the location off the Plaza de Armas and kill two birds with one stone. [$]

A hot dog, covered with several diced toppings, sits in a bun on a dinner plate on a white counter with a bar blurred in the background
A hot dog at Dominó
Domino/Facebook

8. Ópera Catedral

Copy Link
Merced
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2664 3048
Visit Website

A classic Chilean restobar, Ópera Catedral attracts throngs of hip Santiaguinos for live music by some of the city’s coolest up-and-coming musicians. This spot operates as multiple concepts housed under the same roof: During the day, you will find a popular cafe serving Chilean small plates and baked goods as well as Marilyn, a stylish new sandwich shop. At night, the space transforms into a buzzy bar scene and fills up fast. Get there early and head to the terrace to enjoy the signature pisco rica-rica sour. (Performances dates vary, so make sure to check the website for upcoming shows.) [$ - $$]

A bartender shakes a cocktail high in the air in a one-person kiosk bar, paneled and built in an odd shape, on an outdoor terrace beside tables full of customers
The outdoor bar on the terrace
Opera Catedral/Facebook

9. Sarita Colonia Restaurant

Copy Link
Loreto 40
Recoleta, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2881 3937
Visit Website

This wonderfully kitschy restaurant and bar centered around a picture of the patron saint of misfits, Sarita Colonia, is all about taking Chilean flavors and having fun with them in unexpected ways. Dishes that showcase a hybrid of flavors and techniques from Peru, Asia, and America, like the mac and jaiba, a play on the Chilean crab pie pastel de jaiba, and a fresh scallop take on oysters Rockefeller, are what make dining at Sarita Colonia so fun and surprising. [$$]

From above, a bright yellow bowl, the center filled with steak, french fries, onions, and sauce
Lomo saltado at Sarita Colonia
Sarita Colonia Restaurante/Facebook

10. Chipe Libre - República Independiente del Pisco

Copy Link
José Victorino Lastarria 282
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2664 0584

In Santiago, the debate over who makes the best pisco sour can get very real. But most agree there’s no better place to sample the South American brandy than at Chipe Libre in Lastarria. Home to the country’s largest collection of pisco, the geographically organized north-to-south flight is a great way to educate yourself on the subtleties and regional differences of the country's favorite spirit. Grab a seat in the outdoor garden and nibble on some octopus and tuna ceviche in between sips for the full Chipe Libre experience. [$$]

A low angle shot looking up at an airy bar topped with a large skylight. The space also includes a caged pendant light in the center of the photo, tiled flooring, a few tables, tall backlit shelves and a bartender at work.
The bar at Chipe Libre
Chipe Libre/Facebook

11. Bocanáriz

Copy Link
Jose Victorino Lastarria 276
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2638 9893
Visit Website

The young and the cool swarm Santiago’s OG wine bar Bocanáriz, located in the lively central barrio of Lastarria. The stylish space is home to 400 different Chilean wines (more than 40 of which come by the glass) and a creative menu of small plates broken up into tasting notes such as iodized, citrus, and herbaceous to match the wines. (Swing by the group’s second outpost, La Mision, for their famously extensive collection of some of Latin America’s best examples of grape diversity and winemaking style from Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and beyond.) [$$ - $$$]

Customers sit at tables inside a cozy bar, with pendant lights, rows of bottles along the bar and high on a back wall, and dark tiled flooring
Inside Bocanáriz
Bocanariz/Facebook

12. José Ramón 277: Chopería & Sanguchería

Copy Link
277 - José Ramón Gutiérrez, Santiago
Región Metropolitana, Chile

Sanguchería history runs deep in Santiago, but with a new wave of young chefs embracing the cuisine, the classics are getting redefined in new and exciting ways. Among the best to tackle the cuisine and make it its own is José Ramon 277 in barrio Lastarria. Inside this casual sanguchería you’ll find the young and cool sipping on pints pulled from one of the 12 Chilean craft beer taps while they pick at pichanga (cubed pork snout with pickled cauliflower, carrot, and olives) and wait for their food. Their take on the lengua sandwich is a local favorite, but the plateada is worth just as much attention. The mechada may seem typical, but the surprising addition of a sweet corn pastel de choclo mixed with olives, caramelized onions, and fried egg will show you how (happily) wrong you were. [$ - $$]

From above, a meat board resting on a wooden table beneath a bowl of stew dotted with seafood and veggies and topped with a large pepper resting across the rim, beside a loaf of bread streaked with sauce and cut into slices
A stew and sandwich at José Ramón
José Ramón Official

13. Fuente Alemana

Copy Link
Av Libertador Bernardo O´Higgins 58
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 639 3231
Visit Website

Sandwich culture in Chile is vast, varied, and regional, but if there’s one that stands out, it’s the lomito sandwich at perpetually bustling Fuente Alemana. Grab a seat at the square bar surrounding the small flat-top and watch as the faster-than-light Fuente sandwich ladies put together heaping platters of thinly sliced braised beef and pork loin on fresh bread the size of a toddler’s head. Order yours completo for the house specialty of avocado, cheese, mayonnaise, and, thanks to the influence of Chile’s German population, sauerkraut. [$ - $$]

Half a tall sandwich loaded with slices of beef, tomato and slaw on thick crusty bread, sitting on a counter beside another similar sandwich and bottles of condiments
A lomito sandwich at Fuente Alemana
Fuente Alemana/Facebook

14. 040

Copy Link
+56 2 27329214
Visit Website

Local ingredients meet European technique at this upscale restaurant by Spanish chef Sergio Barroso. Dinner comes in the form of a 10- or 12-course tasting menu and favors local seafood like sea urchin and locos. With gorgeous small plates, like a perfect slice of eel with its own bare skeleton sitting atop it like a sculpture, it’s clear Barroso’s time working at the legendary El Bulli stuck with him. Finish up the night with an after-dinner drink at 09, a small speakeasy in the building where you can sip on creative cocktails made with native fruits and spirits served in everything from a birdcage to a light bulb. [$$$ - $$$$]

A crab dish at 040
040/Facebook

15. Restaurante Peumayén

Copy Link
Constitución 136
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

Serving the ancestral food of the Mapuche and Aymara indigenous peoples of Chile, Peumayen showcases the ingredients and cooking techniques that even most Chileans are no longer familiar with. Surrounded by traditional woven tapestries and native religious icons, diners dig into plates of horse meat cooked on hot stones, crispy tentacles of fried seaweed, araucaria araucana (the nuts of the monkey puzzle tree), and alpaca. An absolute must for adventurous eaters. [$$]

From above, a meat board with several cuts of cooked steak streaked with grill marks, mixed in with hunks of cooked vegetables and herbs for garnish
Grilled meat with traditional ingredients at Restaurante Peumayén
Peumayen/Facebook

16. Il Maestrale

Copy Link
Constitucion 409
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2249 8361
Visit Website

This tiny gelateria near Cerro San Cristóbal is widely credited with starting Santiago’s artisanal ice cream movement, thanks to owner and Italian expat Donata Bergmann. Depending on what Bergmann feels like making — and what’s in season — you can find flavors from beet to toasted flour, but the gelatos made with classic Chilean flavors are some of the best. If available, the get the cherimoya (custard apple) or lúcuma (Andean tree fruit) for a taste of Santiago’s most iconic flavors. [$]

Hand of unseen women hold cups of gelato and take small scoops with little plastic spoons
Gelato at Il Maestrale
Il Maestrale/Facebook

17. Bar Liguria

Copy Link
Av. Providencia 1373
Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2235 7914
Visit Website

From the colorful facade to the red- and white-checkered tablecloths and paintings covering every inch of available wall space, Bar Liguria is where locals go for traditional Chilean comfort food with a side of bohemian vibes. Sopaipillas, a classic deep-fried bread made with pumpkin served along fresh pebre, a traditional Chilean salsa, are a great way to start the meal before moving on to traditional dishes like ossobuco stewed in black beer or pastel de choclo chilote, a classic sweet corn and beef pie. [$$]

A close-up on a plate of steak topped with peas, carrots and other roasted vegetables in a thick sauce that pools in the plate
Ossobuco at Liguria
Liguria/Facebook

18. Sierra Restaurante

Copy Link
117 - Antonio Varas, Providencia
Región Metropolitana, Chile

This newly opened outpost off Aveunida Nueva Providencia is a fine dining-inflected ode to native Chilean ingredients that’s already made a mark on the city’s dining scene in its infancy. With chef Cristián Sierra at the helm, alum of Santiago’s world-class Boragó, it’s no wonder why. On Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, diners can choose from a seasonally inspired tasting menu (three courses at lunch and five or nine at dinner) that could feature anything from pollo ganso, a typical Chilean rump cut with foraged vegetables and green couscous, to a flower-studded nettle merengue with almond milk. Reservations are recommended. [$$$]

From above, a dark plate full of vegetables resembling dirt, dotted with sprouting herbs and a bright flower
A dish from Sierra Restaurante
Sierra Restaurante/Facebook

19. 99 Restaurante

Copy Link
Andrés De Fuenzalida 99
Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2335 3327
Visit Website

When it comes to bistronomy, the food movement largely responsible for Santiago’s recent notoriety as an up-and-coming food city, 99 is the city’s beating heart. A technique-driven, minimalist operation that focuses on foraged and well-sourced local Chilean ingredients in a chill, bistro-like environment, 99 is where the city’s chefs go to geek out. Helmed by Kurt Schmidt (who trained at the likes of Noma and Boragó), dinner at 99 comes in the form of a six- or nine-course tasting menu that rotates daily, showcasing anything from the signature dish called Mushroom Textures to chicken with apple puree, depending on what’s in season. [$$ - $$$]

A chunk of cooked meat dusted with glittery sauce on a plate beside other avant-garde ingredients blurred in the background
One of the many courses in a meal at 99 Restaurante
99/Facebook

20. Restaurant La Salvación

Copy Link
Andrés Bello 2233, Providencia
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 2840 9983
Visit Website

The second outpost by chef Rolando Ortega of Santiago favorite Salvador Cocina y Café, La Salvación has quickly become a buzzing Santiago essential since its opening earlier this summer. In typical Ortega fashion, diners can expect a menu heavy with Ortega’s favorite: offal with a signature twist. Pull up a seat at the bar — a large central table studded with vibrant house-made vermouths and liqueurs — and dig into a hearty plate of guatits y almeas, a clam-laced riff on Chilean tripe stew, or go refined with a slice of fresh crusty bread dressed in beef tongue tartare and briny local sea urchin. Either way, you’re leaving happy. [$$ - $$$]

21. Baco

Copy Link
Nueva de Lyon 113
Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan
(+56) 222-314444

It’s not always easy to find a restaurant that’s open on a Sunday in Santiago. Due to a law that requires workers to have at least two Sundays off per month, many restaurants choose to just close on Sundays altogether — but not Baco. A favorite of local chefs for its wonderfully executed French fare made with market produce, Baco also has an extensive selection of Chilean wines by the glass, from the small producers to the heavy-hitters — something that’s not always easy to come by in Santiago. [$$ - $$$]

From above, slices of chicken in the center of a plate surrounded by slices of tomato, corn, peppers, lemon, and sauces
A dish at Baco
Baco/Facebook

22. Las Cabras

Copy Link
Luis Thayer Ojeda 0116
Providencia, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2232 9671

A classic fuente de soda with a hipster upgrade, Fuente Las Cabras has earned a huge fan base for its classic Chilean diner food made with prime ingredients. Slide into a vinyl booth and order one of the house specialties, like the pork jowl charchas de cerdo or scallop and garbanzo bean stew garbanzos y ostiones. While there's a great selection of creative house cocktails and local beers on tap, if you’re dining with a group, better to order a pitcher of borgoña, a Chilean sangria made from macerated strawberries and cold white wine. [$ - $$]

A window looking into a restaurant decorated with neon reading “comida rica” beneath a lit sign reading Las Cabras
Outside Las Cabras
Las Cabras/Facebook

23. Mestizo

Copy Link
Bicentenario 4050, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 9 6843 7146
Visit Website

If the view is just as important as the meal, then look no further than Mestizo. Located on the edge of the lush Parque de Bicentenario along the Mapocho river, Mestizo is undoubtedly one of. Santiago’s most picturesque spots to dine, lily pad-laden lakes and herons included. From plates of rock crab claws, oversized spiny scentolla stuffed with mashed local avocado, house ceviche, wood-grilled octopus, or lomo vetado doused in a bright chimichurri, it’s not just the view that makes Mestizo a favorite for when date night needs just a bit more romance. [$$$]

24. Boragó

Copy Link
Av. Nueva Costanera 3467
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2953 8893
Visit Website

When Boragó first opened in 2006, fine dining in Chile almost exclusively meant European cuisine. But after cutting his teeth at Spain’s two-Michelin-starred Mugaritz, chef Rodolfo Guzmán returned to Santiago to open the city’s haute venue dedicated to Chilean cuisine. Dinner at Boragó comes in the form of a tasting menu of beautifully minimalist dishes like fresh, sweet shrimp and foraged maqui berries or tender lamb cooked in the Patagonian al asador style so perfectly executed it’s no wonder Boragó is currently ranked No. 4 on the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list. [$$$$]

Food resembling a rock topped with a twig, a dusting of snow and leaves, and bright berries, all sitting on a coarse wooden plank
A dish at Boragó
Bogaro/Facebook

25. Karai by Mitsuharu

Copy Link
Isidora Goyenechea 3000, Las Condes
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 2770 0000
Visit Website

The inarguable king of nikkei cuisine, Mitsuharu Tsumura of Lima’s Maido (and Worlds 50 Best Restaurants No. 7 spot holder) has come to Santiago with the ultra-chic Karai. Located in the swanky W hotel, this modern lunch and dinner haunt serves a mixture of the classic dishes for which Tsumaru gained fame. Try the best of both with Maido’s siganture 50-hour braised short rib and ultra-bright ceviche alongside Karai originals like the sizzling cast iron of chupe de camaron dotted with unbelievably crispy prawn head chicharroncitos. [$$$ - $$$$]

A long bar and dining area, with high top seats at the bar, high ceilings, retro ‘70s colorful decorations and geometric patterning
Karai in Santiago
W Santiago Official

26. Osaka

Copy Link
Isidora Goyenechea 3000
Las Condes, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2770 0000
Visit Website

Following a recent closure and change of location, Osaka is finally back and better than ever. While the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine known as Nikkei may have originated in Chile’s northern neighbor, the Santiago location of South America’s collection of upscale Osaka restaurants is one of the best places to try authentic Nikkei cuisine outside of Peru. Thanks to the exceptional seafood coming from Chile’s diverse 2,600-mile coastline and the inimitable chef Ciro Wantanabe (who also happens to host Chile’s Top Chef) Osaka is back to being one of the cities hardest tables to score. [$$$ - $$$$]

A bowl of chunks of various seafood in a broth, in front of other similar dishes blurred, on a dark countertop
Mixed seafood with butter, togarashi, and lime at Osaka
Osaka/Facebook

27. Restaurant Ox

Copy Link
Nueva Costanera 3960
Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 9 6366 7812
Visit Website

Arguably, there is no better place in Santiago to indulge in your favorite cut of beef than at Ox in Vitacura. This steakhouse is revered by even the most serious meat eaters for its extensive list of beef cuts, ranging from a succulent lomo liso (striploin) to the filete ox con hueso (bone-in tenderloin) and a selection of premium wagyu, all cooked in the traditional parrilla style, over wood embers. If you can’t decide between cuts, ask your waiter for the trio and sample a few. Either way, start your meal with some crispy mollejas (sweetbreads) and indulge in a bottle of carménère for the full-on parrilla experience. [$$$ - $$$$]

A large thick steak on a white plate speared by a small plastic label reading 3⁄4 XO
Grilled steak at Restaurant Ox
Ox/Facebook

28. Ceviche at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

Copy Link
Av. Nueva Costanera 4076
Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan

Celebrated Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio's cebichería La Mar has taken South America by storm. While there are now a handful of locations, including Buenos Aires and São Paulo, the ceviche at this Santiago outpost is no less worth the hype. The trendy location boasts a beautiful outdoor patio perfect to take in a pisco or two alongside La Mar’s vibrant ceviche con leche de tigre. [$$ - $$$]

An ovoid ceramic bowl filled with creamy broth studded with pieces of raw salmon, slices of peppers, celery and herbs, and dusted with spices
Ceviche at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
La Mar/Facebook

29. Panchita

Copy Link
Nueva Costanera 3979, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile
(2) 2380 9906

While Gastón Acurio is basically a household name in South American culinary circles, it’s his executive chef, Martha Palacio, who has stolen the hearts and stomachs of Santiaguinos with the group’s newest outpost of Panchita. To experience the best of Palacio’s unique take on Peruvian criolla cooking, start off with a sampling of the piqueos, like tamales of green corn and artichoke, stuffed Andean potato, huancaina corn, or rich beef heart anticucho skewers. No table is complete without Palacio’s wheat carapulcra, a complex stew made of wheat and dried potatoes in a peanut and chile dressing, topped with thick-sliced pork rinds. Want to go full hog? The whole roasted pork shoulder pernil will fulfill all your crispy-skinned pork cravings. [$$ - $$$]

A meaty skewer sits atop a bed of corn
Anticucho skewers at Panchita
Panchita / Facebook

30. La Mesa

Copy Link
Alonso de Córdova 2767, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile

While La Mesa is newer to the Santiago dining scene, its unique culinary style and emphasis on sustainability has already put it on the map. Helmed by chef Álvaro Romero, formerly of Europeo, La Mesa focuses on the place where flavor and environmental consciousness meet. Housed in the recently renovated home of Av. Alonso de Córdova, La Mesa trades gas for an entirely electric kitchen, uses a reverse-osmosis water plant to keep waste down, and partners directly with agroecological farmers. The succinct menu offers four or five dishes and a handful of vegetable-focused accompaniments. While the menu rotates based on availability and seasonality, expect masterful creations like a crispy potato rosti covered in briny local langoustine or a bright vegetable tartare that’s quickly become a signature. [$$ - $$$]

A tartare on a round plate at La Mesa
A dish at La Mesa
La Mesa

31. De Patio Restaurante

Copy Link
Av Vitacura 3520, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 3245 0340
Visit Website

After a tour working in restaurants across Europe (including Barcellona’s Dos Palillos), chef Benjamin Nast has returned to Santiago with De Patio. In either an eight-course patio or 12-course festival menu, diners can expect artfully plated, seasonally inspired bites that might include raw cuttlefish with apple, snails with shiitakes, or a salt-cured covina. Not down for the tasting-menu long haul? Nast has made sure this space still works well a la carte with a rotating list of items geared toward sharing. For the ultimate a la carte experience, grab a friend or two and hit the bar to watch as Nast’s picturesque dishes float out to the dining room. [$$$]

A dish consisting of black and white sauces topped with green herbs
A dish at De Patio
De Patio Official

32. Europeo

Copy Link
Alonso de Córdova 2417, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 2208 3603
Visit Website

Helmed by Francisco Mandiola, Europeo makes good on its name by celebrating carefully sourced Chilean ingredients with a hue of European technique. Nestled in the barrio Vitacura, Europeo is the sort of classic occasion restaurant that will never let your group down, keeping the picky and the adventurous equally happy. Citing the myriad European immigrant cultures with which Santiago is rich, Chilean locos are just as at home on this tasting menu-centric spot as is a French-influenced consommé. Going all out? The additional wine pairing is the perfect tour of the best Chile has to offer and one of the best in town. [$$$]

33. Las Lanzas

Copy Link
Humberto Trucco 25
Ñuñoa, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2225 5589
Visit Website

Historically a place where Chilean artists and intellectuals would gather for a tertulia (salon) to talk about the issues of the day, Las Lanzas has slowly become a Plaza Ñuñoa institution. Las Lanzas offers simple fuente de soda (the Chilean version of diner) food. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cold Quimbra and Chilean mechada sandwich or sánguche of fried hake in one of the true local spots of the area — all on the cheap. [$]

A sandwich stuffed with sliced beef, sautéed onions, tomato, and sauce on thick bread
A stuffed sandwich at Las Lanzas
Las Lanzas/Facebook

34. Naoki

Copy Link
Av. Vitacura 3875
Vitacura, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2207 5291
Visit Website

A table at Naoki, considered the best Japanese restaurant in the city, can be hard to come by. In contrast to the Peruvian-inflected Nikkei you find across South America, Naoki focuses on the traditions and flavors of Japan. For the best experience, snag a seat at the bar and let chef Marcos Baeza work his magic in the form of an omakase. Perfectly vinegared bites of rice can come loaded with everything from pieces of deep-pink ikura (salmon roe) to lightly seared tuna katsuo tataki, depending on what's at the market that day. [$$$ - $$$$]

From above, a close-up on raw sea urchin topped with small herbal garnish and flakes of salt
Local sea urchin at Naoki
Naoki/Facebook

35. La Picantería

Copy Link
Alonso de Córdova 4355, local 301, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile

As Santiago solidifies its status as one of South America’s most exciting new dining cities, heavy-hitting chefs from across the continent are opening their own Santiago flagships. None has been so highly anticipated as La Picanteria, the Peruvian export from acclaimed chef Héctor Solís. Specializing in fresh fish sourced from the coasts of Chile, Peru, and Japan, the Santiago location offers a menu colored by Solís’s right hand, Virginia Najarro, with an ample addition of Santiago-specific dishes alongside the Peruvian staples. Choose from the open display of fresh fish and crustaceans kept center stage over ice, then pick your preparation from the chalkboard. While filets and other smaller dishes are available, the best way to experience La Picanteria is to order the whole fish in multiple preparations, from the unparalleled ceviche made from the belly to the crispy fried head drenched in a rich garlicky sauce. Top it off with an extra-large pisco sour for one of the best seafood experiences in the city. [$$ - $$$]

A plate of ceviche from La Picantería
Ceviche at La Picantería
La Picantería

36. La Maestranza Sandwich & Burger Bar

Copy Link
Av Vitacura 5468, Vitacura
Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 3223 5281
Visit Website

Housed in a modern brick-and-glass warehouse, La Maestranza feels more like something you’d expect to see in Brooklyn than Santiago. Focusing on Chile’s two biggest casual dining trends, the gourmet hamburguesa and reimagined sanguicheria, this hip Vitacura haunt turns out some of the most inventive fast-casual bites in the city. From sandwiches stuffed full of charred octopus tentacles and crispy thin slices of potato to the negrita rica burger that trades beef for a homemade morcilla patty topped with tangy blue cheese, it’s no wonder that you’ll find this place buzzing well into the evening. [$ - $$]

A tall cheeseburger topped with fried onion rings, vegetables, pickles, cheese, and purple lettuce
A classic burger from La Maestranza
La Maestranza/Facebook

37. Muu Steak House

Copy Link
Parque arauco, Las Condes
Región Metropolitana, Chile
(2) 2617 0876

Perhaps the most exemplary of modern parrilla (grilling) culture is Muu, a buzzy new parrilla aimed at making steakhouses as delicious as they are affordable. It’s an amazing feat that chef Gabriel Gil accomplishes while still specializing in American Angus cuts of beef, from juicy entrecote to oversized tomahawks, alongside an extensive wine list. Can’t decide? Opt for the tasting board with a selection of cuts and perfectly cooked offal for the best of all worlds. [$$ - $$$]

A sliced hanger steak is seasoned with salt
Grilled hanger steak at Muu
Muu Steak House / Facebook

38. Ambrosia

Copy Link
Pamplona 78
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
+56 2 2217 3075
Visit Website

When chef Carolina Bazán returned to Santiago after working in Gregory Marchand’s acclaimed Parisian bistro Frenchie, she brought with her the inspiration that created one of Santiago’s best French-inflected menus. The modern yet homey space, filled with plants, books, and knick-knacks, is the perfect backdrop to Bazán’s market-driven riff on French cuisine, which includes a wagyu pot roast and fall-off-the-bone duck confit with sweet potato puree. Ask for a table in the lush green courtyard under the criss-cross of hanging bistro lights to get the full effect. [$$$]

An outdoor patio overrun with plants, including a large plant wall and vines draped from above, with a few patio chairs and a library-like interior visible through large windows
The patio at Ambrosia
Ambrosia/Facebook

1. El Hoyo Restaurant

San Vicente 375, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
A one-story building exterior with shingled roof, white textured wall, large arched windows covered with heavy bars and two ends of barrels adorning either side of an entrance
Outside El Hoyo Restaurant
El Hoyo/Facebook

From humble origins selling food and drinks to the workers of Santiago's nearby central station in the early 20th century, family-owned El Hoyo has grown over the generations into one of the city’s most beloved restaurants. Santiaguinos stop by El Hoyo when they want a taste of porky, rustic comfort, whether that means the famous arrollado, boiled garlic and spice marinated pork loin wrapped in pork skin, or pernil, an irresistibly tender pork hock. Grab a seat and sip on a terremoto while you wait; El Hoyo is one of several restaurants that’s credited with creating the iconic cocktail. [$]

San Vicente 375
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

2. Ana María Restaurante

Club Hípico 476, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile

When Santiaguinos want traditional Chilean fare done well they head to Ana María, a picada turning out the sort of dishes that are mostly only found in Chilean homes cooked by Chilean grandparents. From the bright yellow interior to photographs of Ana Maria herself with notable guests and other memorabilia tacked to the walls, the experience is steeped in kitsch. Thankfully, it’s the charming kind that makes your meal of pickled rabbit, plateada al horno (a Chilean preparation of brisket), stewed quail, or pillowy Chilean sea urchin all the more enjoyable. [$$]

Club Hípico 476, Santiago
Región Metropolitana, Chile

3. Confitería Torres

Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 1570, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
An airy, double-height cafe interior, with monochrome tiled flooring, wicker chairs at two-top tables, and a wood bar stacked with glasses with a server working behind and a large chalkboard menu on the wall beside shelves
The bar at Confitería Torres
Confiteria Torres/Facebook

You’ll find a number of confiterías selling coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches around Santiago, but for a taste of the old world, locals head to Confiteria Torres, the city’s oldest restaurant, founded in 1867. With white tablecloths, mahogany walls, lace curtains, and dapper waiters, Confiteria Torres will transport you to the Santiago of old. Head there for a simple lunch of classic Chilean fare or one of the best afternoon teas in the city, and be sure to check out the pictures of the famous regulars hung along the walls. Look closely and you’ll notice many of them are former presidents. One such former president, Barros Luco, even got a steak and cheese sandwich named after him for his loyal patronage — ask for the Presidente Barros to give it a try. [$$]

Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 1570
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

4. La Piojera

Aillavilú 1030, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
Customers gather at a bar inside an airy space with thin wood support beams strung with colorful streamers and tables full of people nearby
The crowd at La Piojera
Jack Zalium/Flickr

From the old men playing Chilean drinking songs on the accordion to the walls covered in peeling murals, day-drinkers' signatures, and drunken messages, La Piojera is an experience all its own. The lively watering hole is the city’s O.G. dive bar, famous for one drink: the terremoto. Translating to “the earthquake,” this classic celebration cocktail, made with pineapple ice cream, sweet white wine, and fernet, is basically the Chilean version of a piña colada — and too many terremotos is just as hangover inducing. Sop up the sugary booze with a plate of the classic Chilean drunk food chorrillana (egg-, steak-, and cheese-covered fries) and you’ll at least stand a chance. [$]

Aillavilú 1030
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

5. Salvador Cocina y Café

Bombero Adolfo Ossa 1099, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
A restaurant exterior with large windows covered in writing, several chalkboards covered in more writing, a lit up sign reading Salvador, and a customer emerging from large mirrored doors to one side
Outside Salvador Cocina y Café
Salvador Cocina/Facebook

With its floral tablecloths and homey decor, this small cafe hidden in the heart of downtown Santiago will make you feel like you’re having lunch at a friend’s house — if that friend happens to be Rolando Ortega, one of Santiago’s most beloved chefs. At Salvador Cocina y Café, Ortega gets to play around with whatever suits him that day, creating a three-course menu del dia for lunch. With his butcher background and love of working with whole animals, expect the menu to be heavy on the meat, featuring elevated versions of some of Chile’s most traditional foods, like ossobuco or plateada al horno. (Lunch only.) [$ - $$]  

Bombero Adolfo Ossa 1099
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

6. Empanadas at Emporio Zunino

Puente 801, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
A tray of well-stuffed, square empanadas emerges from the oven singed heavily all over
Empanadas at Emporio Zunino
Emporio Zunino/Facebook

While you can find stands de comidas (street food stands) serving golden empanadas throughout the city, some of them can be hit or miss, with either too little filling or too much dough. If you’re going to go the street vendor route, opt for one that’s garnered a large line of locals and you’re less likely to leave disappointed. Either way, save room for Zunino Emporium, one of the city’s best. Open since 1930, Zunino claims fame as the city’s oldest empanadería, serving hundreds of its popular beef empanadas de pino and classic cheese empanadas de queso to hungry Santiaguinos daily. [$]

Puente 801
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

7. A Completo at Dominó

Agustinas 1016, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan
A hot dog, covered with several diced toppings, sits in a bun on a dinner plate on a white counter with a bar blurred in the background
A hot dog at Dominó
Domino/Facebook

Santiaguinos are serious when it comes to their hot dogs. But instead of a dog on a bun with some ketchup and mustard, locals go all out with the fully loaded completo: A vienesa (hot dog) piled high with everything from fried eggs, french fries, and fried onions to mashed avocado and tomato. The topping variations are endless, but none are so universally loved as Domino's. Locals line up at locations scattered throughout the city, grabbing the classic completo with mayo, tomatoes, and sauerkraut, or the italiano (named for the colors, not flavors) with mashed avocado, mayo, and tomato. Sight seeing? Stop by the location off the Plaza de Armas and kill two birds with one stone. [$]

Agustinas 1016
Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan

8. Ópera Catedral

Merced, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan