Local Dishes

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When visiting Patagonia there is a veritable feast of local cuisine for you to try; don't leave without trying:

Asado

Also known as parrillada, this barbecue food is the national dish of Argentina. Originating from the countries gauchos, or cowboys, you can expect to find beef, pork, ribs, sausages and sweetbreads hot off the fire, and it is not uncommon to see a whole lamb or pig roasting over an open fire.

Cordero al Palo

Patagonia's most famous dish has to be this spit roast lamb, cooked over an open log fire for several hours until the outside is crisp and the meat falls off the bone. This method of cooking gives the meat a smoky and perfumed mouth-watering flavour, a must have for any meat-lover.

Chimichurri

Chimichurri is the go-to condiment of Patagonia. A tangy, garlicky salsa made from parsley, onion, oregano, olive oil, garlic and chilli pepper flakes, it is used as both a marinade and a topping to grilled meats at an asado. 

Empanadas de Cordero

Empanadas are a very typical Chilean and Argentinian dish, and locals to Patagonia have put their own twist on the recipe. The baked dough is filled with a thick lamb stew instead of the usual 'pino' meat or cheese.

Chupe de Centolla

If you're not a big meat fan, the Patagonian king crab pie is a delicious seafood stew cooked with breadcrumbs to make a thick, creamy dish similar to a chowder. It is usually topped with delicious gratinated cheese.

Yerba Mate

A herbal and caffeine-infused drink with its own special cup (see above picture), mate is a social drink that is passed around a group. The average Argentinian consumes five kilos of yerba mate a year!

Pisco Sours

A cocktail that the Chilean's claim as their national drink. Pisco liquor is mixed with lime juice, syrup, ice, egg white and Angostura bitters to make the exotic South American classic. Not to be missed!

Our Restaurant Recommendations

After many years of travelling in Patagonia, we have eaten our way through the very best that Patagonia has to offer. Below are just a few of our recommendations. 

Santiago: Providencia

  • Liguria (A Swoop favourite) Traditional Chilean cuisine, excellent quality and very buzzing – take your dictionary! Address: (3 locations, our favourite is) Av. Providencia 1373 – very near Manual Montt metro
  • Baco Fantastic wine selection, good for tapas type food and great steaks. Address: Nueva de Lyon 113
  • El Giratorio A 17th floor rotating restaurant – incredible views of the sunset over the city and the Andes. The food is traditional and tasty but also aspires to be fine-dining. Address: Av 11 de Septiembre 2250, Floor 16
liguria Restaurant

Santiago: Bellavista

Como Agua Para Chocolate 

Delicious fish and meat dishes, great wine selection, wonderful decor and atmosphere. Staff generally speak very good English. Address: Constitución 88 - street parallel to Pio Nono, main street of Bellavista

agua-con-choc food

Santiago: Lastarria

Bocanariz 

Unrivalled selection of Chilean wines, this is THE place to come and experience the very best in Chilean wine – the food is delicious as well if you fancy staying for dinner. A great addition to the quirky neighbourhood. Address: José Victorino Lastarria 276 – next to church

bocanariz food

Pucon

  • Rincon del Lago (A Swoop favourite) Not in the centre so off the tourist trail, this little family-run place serves really reasonable, traditional food; nothing fancy but good wholesome grub – great after a day out on the trails. Address: G. Urrutia 635
  • Trawen Long established place on the main street but still serving up delicious local dishes, top notch pisco sours and unmissable desserts. Address: Av. O’Higgins 311 

Puerto Varas

LasBuenasBrasas food
  • Las Buenas Brasas (A Swoop favourite) It’s popular with tourists and for a very good reason – the food is delicious, the service spot on, the pisco sours strong and the added extras of Sopaipilla y pebre (fritters with homemade salsa) on arrival make this place a real gem. Address: San Pedro 543
  • Cafe Danes Great for lunch, kuchen (cakes) and empanadas (savoury pasties) – try the Empanada de horno but beware, the portions are huge! Address: Del Salvador 441
  • Casa Valdes Housed in a lovely wooden cabin with great views across the Llanquihue Lake to the Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, this local restaurant is serving up the very best in local fish and seafood. The atmosphere is buzzing but not too noisy, we recommend asking your hotel reception to book a table. Address: Santa Rosa 040 – Underneath the Cabanas del Lago Hotel
  • La Jardineria A little way out of town, one block back from the lake front road, this is a small, intimate restaurant, housed in a restored traditional house, very popular with locals, run by a well travelled, local couple. Address: Blanco Encalada 1160, Puerto Chico
  • La Marca Best in town for a juicy steak. Address: Calle Santa Rosa #539
  • Mercado 605 Set in a beautifully restored wooden house this cafe by day/restaurant by night, offers a wide variety of pisco sours for example, sours including green chilli or honey or even avocado. The food is delicious too! Address: Imperial #605

Punta Arenas

  • La Yegua Loca: Traditional Patagonian cuisine, a mix of old recipes with a gourmet touch. Fagnano 310, Punta Arenas, Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena, 6200660
  • La Marmita: A relaxed, family run resturant serving regional cuisine of Magallanes and Chile. Plaza Sampaio 678, Punta Arenas

Puerto Natales

Cormoran de las Rocas 

(A Swoop favourite) With fresh fish and delicious meats even including guanaco on the menu, this restaurant is a great bonus for Puerto Natales. Set up on the first floor of the building, what really makes this place special are the incredible views over the Last Hope Sound. Address: Miguel Sanchez 72

Cormoran de las Rocas Food

Opening Hours

Typically in Argentina and Chile, restaurants will serve food between 7pm and midnight. 

During public holidays, they will have shorter opening hours and a lot of places will be closed - if travelling between Christmas and New Year, we would advise making a reservation and checking where is open. 

Generally you will not need to book a table when going out for a meal. If you have seen a restaurant that you would like to eat in, there is no harm in making a reservation (this can usually be done online).

Chloe says