White Rabbit, Santiago Photo by J. Annie Wang via Flickr Creative Commons

Chile is great place for eating, drinking and general merriment. Like many South American nations, the Chilean’s love to stay up late and enjoy music, poetry and dancing, with parties often not starting until midnight and carrying on until dawn. It is illegal to drink alcohol on the street, so activities of that nature should take place only inside licensed venues.

Bars and Pubbing in Chile

Santiago has the most vibrant nightlife in Chile, especially the Providencia suburb which boasts many of the hippest clubs such as Bar Constiucion (Constiucion 61, Providencia) which hosts hot new DJs in cutting edge décor, and Club La Feria (Constitucion 275, Providencia), a microclub featuring a revolving door of top billed international DJs.

Before the clubbing hour, visitors can unwind in the bohemian Bellavista district, which is known for its jazz bars such as the Club de Jazz de Stgo (José Pedro Alessandri 85, Bellavista) where Louis Armstrong once played. The newer La Casa en el Aire (Sede Blvd Plaza Nunoa, Bellavista) offers smooth sounds under a candlelit ambience in a converted house. Those not in the mood for bars can watch a local football match at the Estadio Nacional (Avenida Grecia Santiago) or catch a ballet, opera or classical music performance at the lovely neoclassical Teatro Municipal (Agustinas 794 Centro, Santiago).

Outside of Santiago, Valparaiso has a vibrant nightlife with dance spots like La Piedra Feliz (Av. Errázuriz, Valparaiso), a multi-level club in a converted storehouse that offers everything from a pub floor to rooms for DJs, salsa and tango. Alternatively, the legendary Bar La Playa (Serrano 568) hosts an eclectic crowd enjoying food, drink, music or poetry until the early hours of the morning.

Pucon has some pleasant bars such as Mamas and Tapas (Av O’Higgins 597 Pucon) which offers tasty snacks, beverages and music. San Pedro de Atacama’s Caracoles street has most of the pubs, including Milagro (corner of Caracoles and Tocopilla streets) where holidaymakers can unwind by the fire or enjoy live music on weekends.

Dining and Cuisine in Chile

Chilean cuisine centers around locally produced salmon, beef, rice, potatoes, bread and vegetables. Cazuela, which is a soup made from beef, chicken or turkey and served with corn, potatoes, rice, and squash makes up a typical Chilean plate. It can be tasted at restaurants such as La Cazuela (Alonso Ovalle 1535, Santiago). Alternatively, Interludio (Merced 316, Santiago) offers a more modern take on Chile’s dining scene, serving fusion dishes in an arty rustic environment.

Santiago also has international restaurants such as the excellent Ichiban (Padre Hurtado Norte 1512) for Japanese food or the highly acclaimed Jewel of India (Av. Manuel Montt 1007, Providencia). Spanish tapas, such as at Tapaspassion Gastrobar (Pedro de Valdivia 0129) is another popular dining option.

Seafood is the local specialty in Valparaiso which can be found at restaurants like the Parisian style Milan y Lo de Pancho (Calle Blanco 586, Valparaíso). Chorrillana is another local favorite - French fries topped with steak, onion, and eggs that can be tasted at J Cruz (J Cruz Casino, Condell 1466, Valparaiso). Further afield, towns like Pucon and San Pedro De Atacama are good places to try the ubiquitous empanada de queso, a cheese pastry.

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