Trying out new foods is one of the pleasures of travel. But rediscovering classic dishes made with local ingredients and spices, while using traditional cooking methods, is just another way of getting to know the culture. On our one day in Santiago de Chile, we had the opportunity to rediscover some classic foods. Here is what we suggest you can try on your day in Santiago.
Dominó vienesa (hot dog) – breakfast
In the US, hot dogs are reminiscent of long summer afternoons, or perhaps what you snack while you are watching a game. In my part of the world, a hot dog is a perfectly acceptable lunch. And in Santiago, a vienesa from Dominó is an essential experience. Dominó is a fast-food chain specializing in hot dogs, with many branches through the city. At 10:30 am, we had an amazing hot dog for breakfast at the Agustinas branch. We were not the only ones with this idea, as the place was packed as soon as it opened! This location is small and only has counter seating, which makes it even more appealing. Find a place to sit and order a completo (with everything), also called an Italian – tomato, avocado (palta) and mayo. There is an extensive menu with tons of combinations, so try a couple more. Don’t forget to pair your hot dog with one of their refreshing juice mixes.
Café Haiti – mid-morning coffee
Wondering around the streets of downtown Santiago, and looking for a cup of coffee, we found Café Haiti on Paseo Ahumada. This is an old-school cafe with only counter space. You first pay for your coffee at the register, then order your drink at the counter. Although the place has a vintage feel, don’t be surprised when your coffee is served by young women dressed in modern outfits with mini skirts. The mix of old and new world makes for a very interesting experience. And the coffee is amazing!
Pre-dinner cocktails in Bella Vista
After we finished touring La Chascona, we still had some time before our dinner reservations, so we stopped for a drink at White Rabbit. The bar has a very nice selection of mixed cocktails! It was a quiet early evening in Bella Vista, and we appreciated to have some time to relax.
Peumayén – dinner
Peumayén is consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in Santiago. Their creative menu not only incorporates ingredients from different regions in Chile, but also preserves the traditional cooking methods of their ancestors. The result is a complex but delightful journey of discovery of new and old textures. The restaurant is simply but nicely decorated, so as to not distract from the food.
A tasting menu of appetizers, including breads, is recommended for the table.
You can then select an entree as your main dish.
For dessert, a tasting menu is also presented to the table for sharing.
TIP: Remember to make reservations as soon as you have your travel dates.
Tostada (open-faced sandwich) – Late night snack
We found a few places serving tostadas as a late snack option. Tostadas are essentially an open-faced sandwich – toasted bread with ingredients on top. The beauty of these simple dishes was the amazing local bread were it was served, topped with wonderful local ingredients. We tried a few with caramelized onions, pimentón (red peppers), goat cheese and even some steak. Pair with a local brew and you have the perfect late night snack. We stopped at Canamo Coffee, one of the many coffee shops and restaurants in the Bellas Artes area.
Have you tried these foods in Santiago?
Need suggestions on what to see and do in Santiago?