I find myself conveying this information a lot so in line with my blogging philosophy I’m making a post to make my life easier…
I’ve been living in Vina del Mar, Chile for a little over a year (at time of writing) and want to note some of the restaurants I consider worth visiting.
These are in no particular order and they can vary quite a bit by their type but I’m going to try to be thorough in my notes on each.
Links – Facebook (they are super on top of this so feel free to message them for a question…)
This is one of my favorite places in town. If it weren’t for that fact you’re speaking Spanish and the lack of flannel shirts you would not be able to distinguish this from one of the little bohemian coffee shops in Seattle or San Francisco. They also care about their coffee every bit as much as those places.
I’m pretty into to coffee and I think they have the best moccachino in town and good espresso in general. They get their beans from a local supplier that imports them raw and roasts them locally. In my opinion all of their coffee is good but some people consider their pour overs to be on the weak side.
They are into really good ingredients on the food side also. They apparently have good sandwiches but I’ve only ever had their brunch special. It’s a Chilean twist on the idea and is a large dinner plate filled with a mezza of different items; some scrambled eggs, a lentil or bean soup, small piece of carrot frittata, piece of cake, fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade bread, etc. It’s not expensive and includes a fresh juice and espresso with the price. It is actually a little deceiving because the plate has a tasting look and doesn’t seem like a lot of food but I always leave satiated and I really like to eat…
This is a small intimate Belgique restaurant that I actually haven’t been to yet but is highly recommended by people I trust. (I’ll update when I’ve visited it)
This is an Austrian restaurant right in the middle of the tourist area. The location is central and the decor is very nice. It’s intimate without feeling cramped and upscale without feeling pretentious. They have excellent soups and almost all of the entrees I’ve had have been very good. There desserts are a little hit and miss so proceed with caution there. It’s also a really cool place; they’ve been in Chile for like 30 years or something. Started by an Austrian guy that came to Chile, got married, and opened a restaurant – he still cooks there too. His wife is the hostess and they are quite approachable. Note, he is definitely Austrian so super curt but not trying to be overtly rude…
The Beef Cut
This place doesn’t get much attention so I hope they stick around. They are trying for a decor that’s actually not bad but I’m not sure will fly in Vina; polished concrete floors, modern decor, sparse artwork with pictures and quotes from people like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. Their prices are notably above average so that turns some people off. All that said, for me at least, they have the best steaks and burgers in town. As in truly exceptional cuts of beef cooked very well, especially for Chile. The staff is also pleasant as well as having good bread and sides.
Other burger joints worth mentioning are A Mano’s (TripAvisor) which has a great atmosphere and really cool topping combinations with good but not great burgers. Roof Burger (TripAdvisor) which has better burgers than A Mano’s but slightly less on the atmosphere.
Both of these other places are cheaper than The Beef Cut and maybe have better atmosphere’s but are second place to The Beef Cut 100% of the time on quality of product in my opinion…
La Flor de Chile
This is like a Chilean pub or something, it’s a very Chilean place and the menu matches. It’s quite lively and there is a standing bar section of people watching futbol (soccer) that looks very English/Irish which gives way to a back section that looks like someone converted a house into a restaurant (I’m pretty sure that’s actually what happened). They have really good Chilean fare and it’s always fun when we go…
Don Vito e Zanoni
This is the best Italian restaurant I’ve found thus far. It’s a little on the “fine dining” side but in Vina that really only means so much. It’s tucked away a bit and you kind of have to be looking for it. It’s a nice atmosphere and the service is good, they have especially good pasta and desserts!
La Dolce Vita
This is not the best Italian food in town, I’ll come right out and say that. However, it’s one of my favorite restaurants. The location is excellent, it’s got a back room that can catch a peek-a-view of the sunset, the decor has a nice warm feel. The staff is amazing and has worked there for a quite a while. They care about the food and the guests. All in all the food is good not “great” but I always have a great time when I go and if you like Italian food it’s worth checking out!
Ristorante San Marco
This place is right on San Martin and thus I avoided it because it looked like a posh tourist place not worth the stop. I eventually went with some friends and was pleasantly surprised to be wrong, the food was really good. It’s still have that feeling of a “nice tourist place” and thus not my favorite but it’s definitely worth a stop if you like Mediterranean food.
Le Bistrot Merci
This place is super unassuming and worth visiting. The owner Philip is a great guy and they have a really good wine selection. They have a new patio that overlooks the dirt parking lot where they hold the big Feria which has a real Chilean charm. The cheese souffle is really good and the macaron’s are probably the best in town.
Ica Comida Peruana
This is the best Peruvian place I’ve been to in Vina, everything I’ve had is good and they have some interesting fusion options.
El Imperio Peruano
This was the first Peruvian restaurant in town and always has a special place. I think Ica nudges it out a bit in terms of which is best but it’s a very good option.
This place is a chain and while there are better steaks in Vina (like The Beef Cut) it’s pretty good food all around. The mashed potatoes are particularly good and served in little copper crocks. I went to the one in the casino so it all has a fantastic view of the ocean…
This place is one of the coolest locations in Vina. It’s a sweet all glass exterior right on the ocean. I’ve not actually been there but while many people complain that’s it’s touristy and overpriced several friends that trust the opinion of have said that the food and service are both good.
Haven’t tried yet but this is a Valparaiso restaurant that is recommended.
Haven’t tried yet but this is a Valparaiso restaurant that is recommended as one of the best.