Eating and drinking in Santiago was on the whole very good, but getting a decent coffee proved tricky, so thank goodness for Monsi’s! Si often explained how we wanted our coffee made and sometimes the time spent doing this paid off, but a lot of the time they were still pretty bad! Argentina definitely won on the coffee front.
However, because we had a great kitchen in La Chimba and access to Jumbo – a brilliant supermarket that had everything, including gluten free food, we cooked throughout our stay.
Here are the places we enjoyed the most:
This Chilean restaurant was recommended to us and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Even the local’s have admitted to the Chilean cuisine not being great, so we were excited to try some proper local food. We tried the shrimps cooked in garlic, hot peppers and olive oil and the rolled pork sirloin meat, casserole beef steak and beef sirloin steak with their spicy mash, all of which was juicy and bursting with spices. This was washed down with either mojitos, sangria or wine, all of which was nice and alcoholic!
With queues out the door every day and fab service from the staff, especially from Raul, who was just great, Galindo was one of the best places we ate. Plus it was really cheap (for Chile), with two big meals and drinks averaging 18,000 pesos (£18 ish). We came here three times, it was so damn good.
We went here on our first night in Santiago and another subsequent night. Located in the Patio Bellavista – a hub of eateries, it was a little more expensive and slightly commercial, but still offered lovely, well-presented food.
We had hake with salad – so good to have fresh food after Argentina! We also tried the grilled chicken with crisp potatoes and lomo with sautéed veg – yum. For around 20 pesos (£20 ish) with soft drinks, it was worth is for the quality.
Backstage Life is a bar too, so they have a big stage for live music, which we saw on our first night and they also have a massive pull-down projector screen for the sport.
Having been recommended Tio Willy by a fellow traveller, we decided to check it out. Located in Santiago’s fish market: Mecardo Central, we were excited to try some quality seafood and we weren’t disappointed. Si had a ‘crab hotpot’, a creamy cheese delight and I had grilled swordfish, yum.
We also got a free Pisco Sour shot, and this was our first time trying it – we have drunk many since. Costing around 18 pesos (£18 ish), including bread and salsa (the standard free entrée), it was well worth it.
Hurray for Monsi’s Cafe, where perfect lattes were made every time. What’s more the cafe is run by two Chilean brothers (Simon and Henry), who had lived in Perth for 25 years, thus the know-how for making perfect coffee. Australians have always made the best coffee I’ve ever had!
Opened in Santiago for just over a year, the cafe is named after Simon’s son also called Simon, when his son asked if it could be called Monsi – switching the syllables in his name. Both brothers were happy to chat, which made coming here even more enjoyable. For only 1800 pesos (under £2) it was money well spent!
This organic fruit and veg shop was simply delightful! The owner had so much enthusiasm and always spoke to us passionately in Spanish. Although we didn’t understand everything, her energy was infectious, so we liked to buy our bananas, onions and other bits there, plus I even got some gluten free bread (only available on Mondays, haha!).
There was a little dog that was also always happy to greet us and was always wearing a selection of outfits – the Chileans seem to love dressing up their dogs!
Located near La Chimba hostel it was a convenient place to pop into for fresh stuff on a regular basis, and it’s cheaper than the supermarket.