Eating Out in Chile

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Many tourist traveling on cruise ships to Chile make a port stop and visit Punta Arenas restaurants. Here are some you'll want to try.

Sotito’s Bar

Serving up fresh seafood and Spanish-infused cuisine, Sotito’s has been a part of Punta Arenas’ food scene for years. It is well know enough that anyone at the airport or on the street can point you in the right direction. The food here is traditional and simple—crab soup is the recommended starter, packed with flavor and crab meat. Try authentic Chilean cuisine, such as fish stew and lamb chops, and taste the goodness in the simplicity of the ingredients used. The specialty here, however, is the seafood, and it is as fresh as you could ask for. Chilean abalones and king crab in a homemade mayonnaise is one of the highlights of the menu, and should be sampled. The price tag does not come cheap, but rest assured that everything is fresh and delicious.

Damiana Elena

The Damiana Elena is a cozy little establishment serving Spanish seasonal food that tastes like something out of mum’s kitchen. It is located in an small unassuming building set at the back of a street, tucked away from the bustle of the main city. While the building is nothing to rave about, the food is spectacular. The menu changes from time to time, as the seasonal produce becomes available. Menus include items such as roast lamb with raspberry sauce, mushroom risotto and daily soups to complement the meal. While here, be sure to try out the wines here, as the wine selection features some of the wines coming out from Chilean vineyards. The food is good, servers are patient (particularly with non-Spanish speaking tourists), atmosphere is brilliant and the price is reasonable, but service can be exceedingly slow, with waits lasting up to 2 hours.

La Marmita

La Marmita comes highly recommended by the locals, and is often the recommendation given by hotels when asked about eateries. The restaurant is located on Plaza Sampaio, and serves Chilean cuisine. Try out their fresh seafood platter, featuring the Chilean king crab, as the starter, and work through the menu of stews, soups and breads that is sure to satisfy. Try the cocktails from the drinks menu, featuring some of South America’s distilled liquor and wines, such as the famous isco, liquor made out of grapes. Finish the meal with one of the charming desserts that come in massive portions—from meringue pie to crepes topped with a sour fruit sauce. Everything comes at a very reasonable price of about US$15-18 per head here.

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