Eating Out in ValparaisoEdit This
A traditional, but informal atmosphere characterizes the dining experience in Valparaiso, Chile. Most restaurants in this colorful seaside city have been around for many years and are truly Chilean, in every sense of the word. Service is informal and never uptight or too proper; it can sometimes seem a little rough around the edges to foreigners or frequenters of fancy restaurants. Nevertheless, Valparaiso upholds its distinctive charm.
Older locals make up the majority of restaurant clientele in this city; you will notice them sitting and chatting with friends and owners of the restaurants any time of day. In the evening it is common to see street musicians playing in restaurants causing spontaneous dancing among the customers.
Being located next to the ocean, Valparaiso is known for its fresh, sumptuous, and inexpensive seafood. Most restaurants serve it up in all of their main dishes, prepared in a variety of ways. The shellfish is especially delicious. They also serve traditional Chilean dishes including Pastel de Choclo , a sort of casserole made out of corn, meat, and egg, and Cazuela , a broth with half a corn cob, a potato, squash, and meat. A full meal including drinks and dessert will only cost you about $5 or less per person.
At the end of your meal, don’t expect the waiter to bring you your bill immediately. In Chile, it is considered bad service to try to hurry the customers out the door; the longer a restaurant lets you sit and relax after the meal, the better. Therefore, if you want your bill, just ask politely and the waiter will get it.
The street food makes for a tasty light lunch, or a great afternoon snack between the day’s activities. Test out the baked or fried e mpanadas. There are many kinds of these Chilean turnovers, some filled with meat and egg, others with cheese, and even others with shrimp, clams, oysters, or scallops. They cost about a dollar. If you’re looking to assuage your sweet-tooth, buy some palmeritas; you can get three for around 80 cents. These rounded, plate-like pastries are basically fried dough dipped in sugar. Not so good for your health, but they taste delicious.
Churros are another tasty street dessert. They are long hollow pastries of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. A dozen costs about $2. There’s another variety of churros that is more expensive, but instead of being hollow they are filled with a sweet, dulce de leche-like cream called manjar. Depending on the seller, you can sometimes bargain on the price of street food, although it’s not really necessary as it is pretty cheap already.
Great restaurant within historic and renovated home, overlooking the bay in Valpo. On the expensive side but given the two floors, the extensive garden, and the wholesome food, it is worth the visit. Deep sea fish, Argentine steak and lamb, Chilean exotic fowl, all can be enjoyed in the heart of the UN patrimonio historic district. Check it out!