Buenos Aires and Lima might take all the international acclaim when it comes to outstanding dining in South America, but Chile’s capital, Santiago, has blossomed when it comes to food in recent years and, now has a surprising amount to offer.
Top restaurants here include world-renowned options offering tasting menus that take you around this vast, ecologically diverse country through its ingredients, plus local favorites showcasing typical Chilean fare.
If you’re planning on heading down to Patagonia, there’s a strong bet you’ll be spending at least one night in this city.
This guide to the best restaurants in Santiago de Chile should give you plenty of ideas for a memorable meal before you leave.
Best restaurants in Santiago for fine dining
Leading the pack when it comes to fine-dining restaurants in Chile is Boragó (Nueva Costanera 3467, Barrio Jardín del Este, closed Sunday and Monday), which astounds with its earthy, delicate flavors that celebrate Chile’s diverse natural heritage.
Chef Rodolfo Guzmán forages for sea algae on the rocks at Isla Negra, incorporating them into an experimental 6- or 16-course seasonal tasting menu featuring guanaco jerky and nine-hour barbecued lamb.
Book well in advance – this place is ranked among the world’s best restaurants, after all – and expect the spectacle to take at least three hours.
2. Ambrosia Bistro
While the critically-acclaimed Ambrosia in Las Condes is a great fine-dining choice in Santiago, the eight-table Ambrosia Bistro (Nueva de Lyon 99, Providencia, closed Sunday) offers a more affordable and casual alternative.
The small menu boasts exceptional food, offering its own take on the city’s reinvigoration of Chilean cuisine that has taken place over the last decade. Feast on lightly seasoned ceviche seeped in grapefruit and ginger, pan-fried hake, or delicate skirt steak fried in butter.
Dishes can be ordered in taster sizes, and you can sit at the bar to watch chef Carolina Bazán make her magic. Expect exceptional service and great food.
Best restaurants in Santiago for typical Chilean food
3. Fuente Alemana
If you ask any Santiaguinos where to go for a quick lomito (steak sandwich), they’ll send you to Fuente Alemana (Av. Alameda 58, Providencia, closed Sunday).
With its horseshoe-shaped bar, hordes of hungry diners, and pinafore-wearing staff, it’s a dive into a traditional Chilean lunch.
Sample slow-cooked shavings of pork or beef combined with avocado, tomato, and mayonnaise in a huge bun, washed down with a local beer. Expect to get your hands messy and your hunger satiated.
4. Salvador Cocina y Café
Hidden down a side street in downtown Santiago, the award-winning Salvador Cocina y Café (Ossa 1059, Santiago Centro, closed Saturday and Sunday) is an unexpected foodie haven. The daily menu includes several starters and mains, all showcasing Chilean ingredients with modern flair and a reflection of Santiago’s increasingly inventive culinary scene.
Dine on pumpkin and wheat kernel salad, homemade pâté of chicken hearts, or pigs’ feet on a bed of lentils. Get here early for lunch, as it quickly fills up with local businesspeople.
They also serve cakes, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches
Liguria (Merced 298, Barrio Lastarria, plus other locations, closed Sunday) is Santiago’s most quintessential bistro and an unmissable stop; it has hosted international celebrities like Kate Moss.
The menu runs the gamut of traditional Chilean dishes, from lamb shank with mashed potatoes and gravy to carne mechada (braised beef) with pasta. They don’t accept reservations, so get here early for a table and stick around to try some of their signature drinks, which include some of the best pisco cocktails in the city.
Three sister locations in Providencia (Av. Providencia 1353, Av. Pedro de Valdivia 47, and Av. Ojeda 19) provide a cozier experience.
6. José Ramon
Down a backstreet behind the GAM building, José Ramon 277 (José Ramon 277, Barrio Lastarria, open daily) is a hip spot with epic sanguches – crusty white rolls stuffed with traditional Chilean fillings such as pernil (boiled ham hock), prieta (blood sausage), or lengua (cow’s tongue), all slathered with avocado, green beans, and green chili.
Three house beers join a handful of Chilean craft beers on tap, plus a selection of cocktails, making it a great place for a drink.
7. Peumayén Ancestral Food
Peumayén Ancestra Food (Constitución 134, Barrio Bellavista, closed Sunday and Monday), which means “dream place” in Mapudungun, the Mapuche language, focuses on indigenous Chilean dishes, offering Aymara, Rapa Nui, and Mapuche gastronomy.
Dishes feature unfamiliar ingredients: luche (seaweed), piñones (nuts from the monkey puzzle tree), and huacatay (an herb similar to cilantro).
Enthusiastic servers speak fluent English to explain this dining revelation; tasting menus allow you to appreciate a wide selection of the dishes
It’s not just the Argentineans who worship meat: See for yourself at Eladio (Nueva Providencia 2250, closed Saturday and Sunday), a popular and inexpensive place to experience the Chilean art of the asado. Servers with bow ties move between the grill and your table; you’ll want to order a couple of sides with your meat.
Try the gently grilled entrañas (skirt steak), succulent and lightly salted, or the bife chorizo (sirloin strip steak). Locals ask for their meat a punto (medium rare) or medio (medium)—you’ll get a strange look if you want it cooked more.
9. El Hoyo
Identifiable by two large barrels above the door, El Hoyo (San Vicente 375, San Alfonso, only open for lunch; closed Sunday) became popular with travelers after the late Anthony Bourdain feted their pork dishes, which include pernil con papas (boiled ham hock with potatoes) and arrollada (cured pork rolled and wrapped with pork skin). If you’re after traditional Chilean food, then this is the place to try it.
El Hoyo is also the originator of the terremoto, the hyper-sweet combination of pipeño (sweet fermented wine), pineapple ice cream, and grenadine. Try it with care – there’s a reason it’s called an “earthquake”.
10. Casa Luz
What restaurants in Santiago do best is serve up delicious, unpretentious food that captures the range of ingredients and terrain that makes up this country. Casa Luz (Av. Italia 805, Barrio Italia, open daily) does this and then some.
With a range of small, tapas-style dishes, plus larger options on the menu, you’ve got plenty of choice at this Chilean bistro. Opt for tart, fried goat cheese softened with carrot chutney, sweet pork ribs, or tiraditos of deliciously fresh fish, or order a perfectly cooked lomo vetado (rib eye) steak.
Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed outstanding flavors, high-quality local ingredients, and an excellent wine selection to boot.
11. Jardín Mallinkrodt
Jardín Mallinkrodt (Mallinkrodt 170, Barrio Bellavista, closed Monday) is one of Bellavista’s trendiest dining places: an outdoor patio lined by half a dozen food trucks that serve Chilean choripanes (hot dogs), stuffed spicy tortillas, Peruvian tiraditos, and excellent ceviche.
The service is helpful and enthusiastic, if somewhat hampered by too few servers, but the sun umbrellas and heaters compensate for whatever the weather throws at you. Choose from the same truck if you want your food to arrive at the same time.
There’s an excellent array of Chilean craft beer and wine from Chile’s most awarded vineyards. In the evening, it’s busy with a mix of diners and drinkers.
12. Origen Bistro
In a large, breezy space, Origen Bistro (Ricardo Cumming 94, Barrio Brasil, closed Sunday) has some of the freshest seafood in the city.
The house specialty is live scallops, kept in an aerated concrete pond at the back of the restaurant and eaten either lightly fried or doused in parmesan cheese and baked.
The menu changes daily depending on what other seafood they have on hand. Expect fresh abalone ceviche, seafood stews, and simple grilled fish dishes that will set your taste buds alive. Get here early, as it’s a popular lunch spot and, during peak hours, it’s nigh on impossible to get a table.
13. Silvestre Bistro
Down a side street, Silvestre Bistró (Caupolicán 511, Barrio Ñuñoa, closed Monday) is the place to be seen in Barrio Italia, as much for its take on modern Chilean cuisine as for its bohemian alternative ambiance.
An antiques-stuffed dining room leads to a quirky garden filled with chipped sinks overflowing with plants, as jazz music provides a relaxed backdrop.
Farm-to-table meets foraging in the streamlined menu, with dishes such as flank steak or wild octopus served with millet or seasonal vegetables and local produce, plus an exceptional brunch menu.
14. La Diana
“Whimsical” is the best way to describe the dinosaur murals at La Diana (Av. Arturo Prat 435, San Diego, closed Monday and Tuesday), whose nooks encourage lingering and make it a favorite among locals. It’s in a former monastery and adjoins an old-school amusement arcade, which adds to its kooky charm.
It specializes in seafood but also has burgers, salads, and an extensive liquor, cocktail, and wine menu, making it a great spot day or night. Be sure to book ahead for dinner.
Best restaurants in Santiago for foreign flavors
15. Boulevard Lavaud
Packed to the rafters with curios, including hood-style hair dryers that serve as lampshades, Peluquería Frances (Compañía 2789, Barrio Yungay, closed Sunday) shares its space with a barbershop that faces the street.
Extending deep into the adjoining building, this labyrinthine restaurant offers French fare and a lengthy Chilean wine menu. Pop in for boeuf bourguignon, quiche lorraine, or coffee and a tarte tatin.
Reservations are necessary on weekend evenings.
16. Castillo Forestal
In a French-inspired château in Parque Forestal, the sumptuous Castillo Forestal (Av. María Caro 390, Barrio Lastarria, open daily) offers decadent French cuisine, best eaten on the upstairs terrace.
Classics such as French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, and orange confit of duck pair with an outstanding wine menu featuring fine Chilean red and white wines.
Booking is necessary on weekends.
17. The Singular
Come for French-inspired dining at stylish The Singular (Merced 294, Barrio Lastarria, open daily), where steaks of guanaco reared in Tierra del Fuego can be ordered alongside eggplant canelones and hare seasoned with fennel and orange.
With an expansive menu and expert waitstaff, you’ll find a delicious wine to match. Earlier in the day, they offer lighter sandwiches and salads and afternoon tea, while their sunny rooftop terrace is the perfect place for a sundowner.
Booking is essential on weekends.
18. La Fabbrica
Few restaurants in Santiago can match the history of La Fabbrica (Av. Ossa 123, Barrio La Reina, open daily), housed in a building that dates from the 1920s in the southern neighborhood of La Reina.
Serving authentic Italian cuisine (the quattro stagioni pizza and tortino de cioccolato are to die for) alongside an excellent selection of Chilean wines, La Fabbrica is the home of the legendary Club de Jazz de Santiago, a live music institution.
Best restaurants in Santiago for drinks and dinner
Packed to the rafters with over 340 bottles, Bocanáriz (Lastarria 276, Barrio Lastarria, closed Sunday) at the heart of Lastarria, is one the best places to experience Chilean viticulture and is probably Santiago’s most famous wine bar.
The sommeliers offer a full explanation of the wine menu and can recommend flights to sample from the dozen options by geography, varietal, or style.
The food is excellent (if pricey): ceviches, seaweed salads, beef empanadas spiced with merkén, and a three-course menu with wine pairing ($39,000 CLP).
The exposed brick walls and tall designer chairs lend the place a modern vibe, while it’s still a lovely, romantic wine bar.
20. Chipe Libre República Independiente del Pisco
A pisco jug marks the entrance of Chipe Libre (Lastarria 282, Barrio Lastarria, closed Sunday), a restaurant that declares itself the “Independent Republic of Pisco.”
There is a long-standing dispute about whether Peru or Chile birthed this brandy-like alcohol, but Chipe Libre is considered neutral territory. Start with a frothy pisco sour or check out the pisco flights.
The food, heavy on fancy, well-presented Chilean dishes, is excellent.
Join Santiago’s well-heeled for a glass at Baco (Nueva de Lyon 113, Providencia, open daily) an elegant wine bar and bistro serving French dishes and a wide selection of Chile’s top wines by the glass. Don’t miss the punchy Pérez Cruz cabernet franc or the light coastal sauvignon gris from Casa Marin.
The menu features gourmet French favorites plus intriguing Chilean classics such as locos (sea snails with mayonnaise). Booking ahead is essential.
Looking for other dining inspiration for Chile? Check out our guide to all the Chilean dishes you must try, as well as our list of things to do in Santiago and day trip suggestions if you’ve got a couple of days in the capital.