Appropriately, the capital of Chile sits right in the middle of the country, flanked by the Andes and the Chilean coastal range. As such, it often serves merely as a stopover for those who fly into the city on their way to other destinations, such as Easter Island, the Atacama Desert or the Patagonias. However, those who give this bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis a bit more of their time, will discover that Santiago is worthy of a longer stay.
Like many cities, Santiago’s eating out scene suffered during and post-pandemic. Many top restaurants closed permanently or reopened with different menus and chefs. But there are still gems to be found, as the selection below shows.
From the hip foodie neighbourhood of Vitacura and trendy Barrio Italia, to the larger, upscale, gastronomically focused areas of Providencia and Los Condes, wine lovers are rarely further than a 15-minute Uber ride from a good restaurant or wine bar in Santiago.
Chile is blessed with 6,435km of coastline, so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of seafood-focused restaurants to choose from in Santiago. Meanwhile, close proximity to Peru has loaned a distinct Peruvian flavour to many of its dishes. From ceviche to oysters and shellfish sourced from the chilly waters off the southern coast, pescatarians will find plenty of fresh sea-to-table offerings on local menus.
Top Santiago destinations for wine lovers
A buzzy, relaxed wine bar and restaurant set in a large space with expansive outdoor patio seating. Service is friendly and unobtrusive, while the vibe allows guests to enjoy themselves without constant interruption from overly attentive service. The wine list features 200-plus bottles and a by-the-glass roster of around 25 regularly rotating selections, sourced from boutique, esoteric and micro producers (Casa Marin, Ungrafted, Calyptra) – plus a few strategically curated French options to complement the restaurant’s blend of Basque-Occitan and Spanish cuisine. The menu features plenty of fish alongside ‘comfort food’ and an excellent choice of French cheeses. Don’t miss the salmon tartare, chipirones (baby squid) a la plancha, angulas (baby eel, a Basque delicacy), grilled merluza (hake) ‘a la Vasca’ or the cassoulet. The results are simple but perfectly executed, with a fantastic selection of small plates and sharing dishes on offer.
- Address: Av. Nueva de Lyon 113, Providencia
- Open: Mon-Sun 12.30pm-11pm
Located in the Los Trapenses neighbourhood outside the city, this modern wine bar can be found in a high-end outdoor shopping centre. Inside it’s spacious and airy, with a polished bistro vibe, lots of two- and four-top tables and an expansive patio area. The wine selection includes around 15 different by-the-glass options and over 250 bottles with a strong Chilean bias. Expect to find plenty of small, boutique local producers (Viña Garces Silva, Casa Marin, Viña Maturana) in addition to larger or more iconic brands (Undurraga, Odjfell, Montes, De Martino). The menu features a mix of small plates, sharing dishes, entrées and salads. Highlights are the slow-braised short ribs, handmade pasta topped with applewood smoked salmon, and the locos or Chilean ‘abalone’ (actually a species of sea snail) served with homemade mayonnaise and salmon roe.
- Address: Av. José Alcalde Delano 10533, local 1508, Lo Barnechea
- Open: Mon-Sun 1pm-11pm
Situated in the upscale, popular neighbourhood of Lastarria in Santiago’s Bellas Artes district, Bocanáriz is a bustling wine bar with indoor and outdoor seating, plus one of the most extensive by-the-glass selections of Chilean wines in the city. Offering a diverse, rotating list of more than 300 bins, the venue also pays homage to the country’s viticulture via a special dining room decorated with portraits of prominent Chilean winemakers. Wines by the glass include selections from up-and-coming producers and special projects from established names (Pedro Parra, Tabali, La Causa del Itata). Trending regions such as Itata and Limarí feature alongside well-known brands from the Maule Valley, Malleco, Maipo and Cachapoal. The menu offers a great mix of small plates, sharing dishes and salads. Be sure to try the ceviches and tartares as well as the bocaditos de papas bravas a la Bocanáriz (the kitchen’s take on patatas bravas).
- Address: José Victorino Lastarria 276
- Open: Mon-Wed 1pm-12am; Thu-Sat 1pm-12.30am
Located in the Nueva Costanera area of the up-and-coming gastronomic mecca of Vitacura, this Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant is known for its signature cocktails, phenomenal raw fish dishes, ‘a la brasa’ grills and beautiful presentation. Standouts include the ceviche and rare fish tartares, smoked chicken, and the aubergine a la brasa with miso-togarashi sauce. Dishes are designed for sharing, and diners can see their food being prepared in the open kitchen, bar and grill area. The wine list is robust, with a selection of more than 100 bins, many of which are available by the glass on request. Chilean labels make up the lion’s share, so look out for boutique names such as Atomo, Garcés Silva and Calyptra alongside larger brands including Emiliana, Concha y Toro, Odjfell, VIK and Montes. Wines from Argentina, Spain, Italy, France and New Zealand are also represented.
- Address: Av. Nueva Costanera 3969, Vitacura
- Open: Mon-Sat 1pm-10pm
Famed for serving the best aged Argentinian beef in Santiago, El Fogón de Momo is an unassuming restaurant in the city’s Los Condes district. Cooked over quebracho charcoal from Argentina – which creates a more consistent and long-burning fire – these premium cuts are mouthwateringly flavourful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Elsewhere, the menu features relatively simple fare, made with ultra-fresh ingredients: avocado, palm heart and tomato salad, grilled seafood, scalloped or fried potatoes and so on. The wine list is almost exclusively Chilean, with around two dozen bottles and a few options by the glass (primarily affordable, quaffable blends from larger, commercial labels). The more interesting offerings include a good choice of beefy reds including a handful of Carménères, Carignans, Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux blends from the Maipo Valley. It’s usually easy to grab a table for lunch, but dinner reservations are strongly recommended – El Fogón de Momo is an extremely popular spot for local gourmands in the know.
- Address: Condell 806, Providencia
- Open: Mon-Fri 12.30pm-12am; Sat 12.30pm-12.30am; Sun 12.30pm-6pm
It may be no larger than a master bedroom closet but the shelves of this tiny wine shop in Barrio Italia hold a phenomenal selection of bottles from boutique and under-the-radar producers (Jardinero, Inocente) that you are unlikely to see in larger establishments representing big-name growers and brands. While the shop carries bottles from the likes of Casas del Bosque, De Martino’s Itata project and Bodegas RE, the bias is towards those that farm organically/biodynamically or make natural wines. Manager and sommelier Javier Chandia knows a great deal about Chile’s wineries and winemakers, and is happy to share his knowledge and guidance to help customers select the right bottles to take home.
- Address: Av. Italia 1449, local 2, Providencia
- Open: Tue-Sun 12pm-8pm
If you need a break from wine tasting and fancy a proper Pisco Sour, head down to the hip, foodie district of Vitacura, where the star of the show is La Mar (part of a group owned by celebrated Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio). The bartenders here can produce their own signature versions of the emblematic Peruvian/Chilean cocktail as well as classic traditional mixes. La Mar itself is chic, on-trend and open-plan with floor-to-ceiling windows all round, distinctive turquoise chairs and colourful blackboards advertising food and wine specials; alternatively bag a seat outside if you’re partial to a spot of al fresco people-watching. As the name suggests, the restaurant is renowned for its seafood, with creative riffs on ceviche as the outright winners. Alternatively, you might be tempted by the deep-fried fish with yucca and plantain chips, an anticuchos skewer of grilled octopus on chimichurri potatoes or one of the Japanese fusion ideas (sushi rolls, sashimi etc.). To match the food, there’s a small but respectable list of Chilean and international wines from small and large producers.
- Address: Av. Nueva Costanera 4076, Vitacura
- Open: Mon-Wed 1pm-3.30pm, 8pm-11pm; Thu-Sat 1pm-3.30 pm, 8pm-12am; Sun 1pm-4pm
Located in Providencia, just a few minutes’ walk from Baco (see above), Les Dix Vins is a wine bar/shop where it’s not uncommon to be seated next to local Chilean winemakers (many of whom live in Santiago). The menu is a global mixed bag featuring classics such as confit duck alongside a few Asian fusion dishes, salads and French cheese plates. The bar’s diverse wine selection (400+ bins) is split equally between Chile and the ‘rest of the world’ (with France claiming pole position). Larger established brands such as Odjfell, De Martino and VIK are well-represented, while smaller labels include Kofkeche (Malleco). The by-the-glass line-up is more concise, offering around 10 ‘still’ recommendations in addition to one sparkling, a dessert wine and a couple of fortified wines – primarily from larger, established brands such as Miguel Torres and Viña Aquitania. Owner and sommelier Juan Ignacio Pavón is passionate, knowledgeable, and generous with his time – offering customers as little or as much guidance and information as they require.
- Address: Av. Vitacura 2935, local 105, Las Condes
- Open: Mon-Sat 10am-12am (kitchen 1pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm)
The latest venture from Spanish chef Sergio Barroso (following the permanent closure of 040 Restaurant), Olam was listed in ‘Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants’ in 2022. Barroso, whose experience includes a stint at El Bulli in Spain, runs the restaurant jointly with his Chilean wife Maricarmen, and between them they offer a distinctive dining experience. The simple, serene and casual environment, paired with friendly but quiet and unobtrusive service, allows guests to focus on the food (and each other) without sensory overload. The menu is a love letter to both Chilean seafood and Barroso’s Spanish roots, with the emphasis on top-drawer ingredients. Whether it’s carpaccio of fresh fish topped with creamy aïoli, delicate grilled baby squid with bacalhao (salt cod) pil pil, or rare black oysters from Chiloé garnished with caviar from Patagonia, the execution and flavours are flawless. The drinks list leans heavily towards innovative and natural wines, such as vintage skin-contact whites, orange wines and high-altitude bottles from remote cool-climate areas. Look out for eclectic producers and regions that are just starting to gain attention such as Itata, Chiloé Island and Limarí.
- Address: Carmencita 45, El Golf, Las Condes
- Open: Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm, 8pm-12am
Another fantastic little wine shop, located in the Lastarria neighbourhood of the Bellas Artes district, just a few blocks from Santiago’s iconic Républica Independiente del Pisco (Independent Republic of Pisco) and Bocanáriz wine bar (see above). The wine selection is predominantly Chilean and offers a good mix of small, boutique and/or lesser-known producers (Creole, Garage Wine Company, Tinto de Rulo) alongside larger, high-profile brands such as VIK, Montes and Morande. More importantly, the staff are knowledgeable, passionate and helpful.
- Address: Rosal 386, Barrio Lastarria
- Open: Mon-Sat 11am- 8pm; Sun 12pm-3.30pm