On Harriet’s recent trip to El Chalten she was on a mission to sample as many restaurants as she could. Here she takes you through the various options.
This slightly tumble down restaurant with its brightly coloured walls prepares wonderful, wholesome, home-cooked food. If you are looking for a taste of home then head here for homemade pasta, fish, milanesas (a thin slice of meat covered in breadcrumbs and fried) or salads.
Look out for their excellent value menu del dia (menu of the day) with generous portions. There is also a great amount of choice for vegetarians .
If you’re looking to splurge a bit, then head to Hosteria Senderos. For a mouth watering steak try the Bife de Chorizo; the trout and local lamb are also good.
The chef really knows how to work local ingredients into delicious treats and the waiter will tempt you with a a wide selection of Argentine wines.
Cervecería Artesanal El Chaltén
This tiny little beer house is so snug and cosy that you may find it hard to get a seat and could end up sharing a table with others. Come early or persevere, either way you will be given a choice of delicious pizzas and pasta to accompany your home brew. The rustic wooden décor lends the bar a congenial atmosphere which is ideal for après-trek drinks.
A rustic wooden eatery with seating around a fire pit. The tapas are yummy and the rest of the Argentine fare is hearty. Try stews, steaks or nibbles, all washed down with Argentine wine.
A map shop that serves waffles is a dream come true for me. I sat planning my trekking routes with chocolate pouring down my chin. The gregarious waiters make this a great place for a savoury or sweet waffle whilst you wait for Fitzroy to appear from behind the clouds.
Expect to feel guilty and gluttonous afterwards!
Panaderia Que Rica
Before you head into the hills or onto the bus to Calafate, it is worth stocking your backpack with sandwiches, empanadas (savoury pasties), facturas (sweet pastries such as croissants) and alfajores (shortbread and caramel sandwich) from this heavenly bakery.
Get there early before stocks sell out.
Self Catering in El Chalten
If you plan to self cater, unfortunately El Chalten is not very well served. The small supermarkets of La Tostadora Moderna on Avenida San Martin, El Gringuito on Cerro Solo or El Super on Avenida Lago del Desierto have a few offerings but try to shop in Calafate before you jump on the bus. For elusive vegetables and fruit head to the Verduleria on Cabo Garcia.
Other places that looked good:
A good slightly more upmarket establishment with good food and excellent wines.
Covered with nostalgic photos of climbers and pictures of El Chalten in years gone by. Tuck into Argentine style pizzas, pastas and of course meat.
For more delicious options across the whole region, read Swoop’s Top Pick of Patagonian Restaurants to get your mouth watering!