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1. Fuente Alemana: Things were going great at this old school sandwich spot; we had managed to secure seats at the counter and order two frosty schop (draft) beers. And then somewhere along the line the “compartir” in our sandwich order was either not heard or ignored, and we found ourselves facing two loaded, enormous, not inexpensive pork sandwiches instead of one. These things measured around eight inches in diameter. MacKenzie loved hers—which meant she was able to put away maybe a quarter of the sandwich. Blake was sorta grossed out by the avocado-and-mayo glopiness.
2. 99 Restaurante: The sleeper hit of our time in Santiago. We heard about 99 from a chef friend-of-a-friend living in Valparaiso and popped in on our last night for the smaller of the two tasting menus. We ended up with nine plates of very well executed, delicious, inventive food and a shared wine pairing for around $90 USD total. Plus, the babe who was running the kitchen looked like Johnny Depp and he now follows us on Instagram. Score.
3. Emporio La Rosa: The guy at this ice cream spot told MacKenzie she had big eyes, which is not true unless he was trying to say that they’re bigger than her stomach. The park nearby is way lovely, as are so many of the multitude of green spaces in Santiago.
4. Bocanariz: Most everyone at this chic Lastarria wine bar/resto was a tourist, but we still really enjoyed it. We had a couple flights of Chilean wine—the bubbles were especially nice—and the food was terrif. Open on Sundays, which is key, because it’s rare.
5. Chipe Libre: Bocanariz : Chilean wine : : Chipe Libre : pisco. We discovered that we are not fans of straight pisco, but that we will drink pretty much anything mixed with lime juice and sugar. We also had one of our favorite dishes of the trip here—a Peruvian shrimp stew with hominy and an egg that felt a lot like a gumbo. Side note: Chileans will tell you that their country doesn’t have much of a food culture; all the top restos in Santiago are Peruvian or Italian. This is sad, and we hope the Chilean René Redzepi is waiting in the wings somewhere.
7. Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos: A beautiful, moving museum that exposes the atrocities committed during the Pinochet years. Free, but you’ll pay a couple bucks for the essential audio tour. Don’t miss the Alfredo Jaar art installation outside the museum proper.
8. Restaurant y Trattoria Da Noi: Barrio Italia is an adorable neighborhood full of restaurants and shops that share little courtyards set back from the street. Many of the newer dining establishments serve unironic Waldorf salads and wan poached salmon in beautiful surrounds, but Da Noi is the old school real deal. We had dreamy handmade pasta served by a suave waiter who spoke perfect English. (This exchange happened to us not once but twice with servers in Chile: “Your English is so flawless!” “Yes, I am Canadian.” “😬” That diaspora is real.)
9. Xoco Por Ti: A hot chocolate kiosk in one of those beautiful shared courtyards in Barrio Italia. We got a chocolate milkshake because it was hovering around 100 degrees in the shade and it was great.
10. Centro de las Artes: The museum in which we saw the rad Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Hashtags might include: polka dots, mirrors, phalli, stickers, glow-in-the-dark, and infinity.