Santiago Food and Wine Tours
Stunning views and amazing wines
Chile’s capital city of Santiago was founded by a Spanish conquistador in the mid-16th century, and today retains plenty of monuments and traditions dating back to those times while edging towards its own cultural, modern-day renaissance. Diverse museums and art galleries occupy the growing number of tourists that come here, but the outdoors isn’t too bad either, and the city is becoming known for its stunning hillside parks. Some things never change though, such as the dramatic, snow-capped Andean peaks that dominate the horizon all around.
With over 4200 km of coastline, it’s no surprise that Chile is renowned for its seafood and, as you might expect, Santiago's menus are filled with dishes, soups and stews featuring clams, mussels, king crab, and plenty of fish. Light ceviche, daring plates of eel or crab pies served in the shell – take your pick. On its doorstep, you’ll also find some of South America’s best vineyards, while the lush grazing pastures of the Central Valley make the local beef, fruit and vegetables a cut above much of the produce you’ll find elsewhere on the continent.
One of the best places in the city to explore the fabulous fresh fruit and vegetables of the Chilean Central Valley is La Vega Central, one of Santiago’s iconic markets, and home to hundreds of food vendors.
Santiago is a city of two culinary halves. Fuentes de soda offer tantalising fast food for foodies on the go, and street food trucks serve up delicious beef sandwiches – churrascos – that will keep you coming back for more. The dining options in Santiago are as varied as the city’s arts scene. But whichever end of the spectrum you opt for, you’re likely to come across Pebre, a staple condiment served up with almost every meal. It’s made from diced tomatoes, onions, coriander and spicy red peppers, and manages to accompany most dishes in this part of the world with ease.
A traditional, pre-colonial dish worth trying is Pastel de Choclo. It’s a warming pie filled with beef, raisins, olives, paprika and onions, topped with a layer of cornmeal batter and baked. Santiago’s offering to the tapestry of empanadas found in South America has a similar filling, and is known as an empanada de pino.
Chilean wine is some of the best in the world and many of the country's best vineyards are found just outside of Santiago. The Maipo Valley to the south is often described as South America’s answer to Bordeaux, and is particularly well known for producing rich and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite South American wine often being referred to as new world wine, the Maipo Valley is the birthplace of Chilean wine industry and home to vines which are over one hundred and fifty years old.