17 Tips to Eat Out Happy

  1. Arrive at opening time for a quieter experience.
  2. Restaurants are generally open for lunch (closing around 4pm) and dinner (7pm until late)
  3. If you need to split the bill, ask before you order. Same goes if you have a voucher – speak first or forever hold the peace!
  4. Expect a long wait between dessert and waiter
  5. Do not expect your dirty plates to be cleared until the next course arrives
  6. Tip: ask for the bill when you order to speed things up
  7. The tip (propina) is often included so check before you pay if this is a problem
  8. Waiters usually get paid minimum wage and DO rely on tips.
  9. If you are learning Spanish expect to be BOGGLED by the menu!!
  10. Peruvian restaurants are usually accompanied by loud music
  11. You can find sushi everywhere (pronounched “suchi”
  12. Expect complimentary bread and pebre when you arrive
  13. Ask for the colacion or lunch menu. It’s incredibly economical and usually yum!
  14. Ask for “un vaso de agua” or “agua de la llave” for tapwater to save on the bill – drinks are usually expensive
  15. Try a delicious natural juice because nearly all places offer them.
  16. There are certain unspoken etiquette rules. Cutlery is always used, people rarely ask for doggy bags and sometimes people look at you funny if you ask to try something of theirs.
  17. For a Chilean experience order a pisco sour (or is it Peruvian? haha)

Dining Recommendations

  • For date night: Zully in Barrio Concha y Toro. In a word – amazing.
  • For a family lunch: Mestizo in Parque Bicentennerio or Restaurante El Secreto in the artesenal shopping place of the same name, in Lo Barnechea.
  • For tourists: Peumayen indiginous fusion food in Bellavista
  • For indulgence: Astrid y Gaston (metro Pedro de Valdivia)
  • For dinner with mates: delicious pizza at Tiramisu on Isidora Goyenchea (metro El Golf)
  • For buffet: Mar de Vina (Providencia)
  • For a budget meal: order a curry at New Horizons (metro Bellas Artes)
  • Cafe: Cafe Bolonia down Av. Italia (metro Irarrazaval)
  • Bakery: Pasteleria Lala Leelu (metro Santa Isabel). Try the Devil’s Cake – best in Santiago!
  • For icecream: Cafe Manzana in Barrio Lastarria
  • A BBQ or asado with Chilenos for great company!


Ultimate Food Destinations:

  • Pucon in the Los Lagos region. Every cafe and restaurant has food that is to die for, using ingredients such as trout and deer from the region itself.
  • Angelmo in Puerto Montt for seafood
  • Roadside stalls between Santiago and La Serena for delicious cheese, dried meat, nuts, olives and more
  • The Elqui Valley for local food with a view (plus pisco)
  • Arica’s Azapa Valley for olives and other local foods that flourish in the climate
  • Regions 5 and 6 for wineries
  • Any market to gape at the cheap produce. For easy Santiago options check out La Vega then enjoy lunch in the Tirsa Molina


  • Pastel de Jaiba – if you are in Chile you must enjoy the delicious seafood so why not try a crab pie?
  • Curanto – a huge steaming pile of seafood, vegetables and meat endemic to the island of Chiloe.
  • Sopaipillas from roadside stalls – after a long hunt I can confirm that the best can be found from a mother/daughter duo close to metro Irarrazaval.
  • Kuchen cake brought to Chile by German settlers, best eaten in the south of Chile or, closer to Santiago, the Cajon del Maipo.
  • Pebre – this spicy salsa is my favorite thing in Chile! Beware the supermarket bought sauce many people use to speed up the process.
  • Jugo de Frutilla – natural juice made from Chile’s abundance of strawberries
  • Mote con Huesillo – both thirst-quenching and thirst-inducing, this drink/food is best enjoyed from the top of Cerro San Cristobal
  • Pastel de Choclo is a pie made from corn, chicken and meat and is universally adored by all Chileans
  • Merken is a spice mix originally used by the Mapuche
  • Ceviche seafood (or meat) cooked in lemon juice. Delicious
  • Longaniza sausage
  • Empanadas – pastries either fried or cooked in the oven. Best are prawn and cheese.
  • Pan de pascua – just like Christmas pudding


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