Over the last decade, Santiago has blossomed into a bustling metropolis where new attractions, including countless innovative restaurants and culinary projects, pop up every day. But while the Santiago food scene is just hitting its stride, the centrally located markets have played an important role since day one, pumping high quality produce and ingredients through the arteries of the city and serving exquisite traditional dishes unique to Chile in a humble, unpretentious environment. A walk through these markets from high to low – stopping to sample the goods from our favorite vendors, food carts and restaurants along the way – will open your eyes (and taste buds) to the real Chile.
Start the day at Plaza de Armas for an introduction to Chile’s storied past, dating back to its Spanish colonial roots whose influence is still visible today. Walk the short distance to La Vega Central, which has been Santiago’s largest and most vibrant produce market for over 200 years.
Brush shoulders with grocery-shopping locals and buyers from Santiago’s top restaurants alike on your way to a tried-and-true food cart for a mouthwatering sopaipilla, a savory pumpkin-flour fried dough snack. Visit a bustling eatery for a sampling of homemade Chilean classics that have been all but forgotten by the rest of the city.
Cross back over the Mapocho River and step inside the Mercado Central, Santiago’s famous seafood market, to take stock of the bounty of the Chilean seas. Nibble on a fresh seafood empanada paired with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the nearby San Antonio Valley.
Infamous for their insatiable sweet tooth, Chileans are experts when it comes to dessert. Try a scoop of artisanal ice cream, a wedge of mil hojas cake made up of layer upon layer of wafer held together with sweet manjar (dulce de leche) or a slice of German-style kuchen pie.
Please note: Price based on 2 people and valid through September 30, 2018.