While Chile is already known for its wine, The Atacama Desert, and Patagonia, we want to share some staples of Chilean cuisine that you should be familiar with. These dishes range from traditional Chilean dishes to more modern dishes you may find in your own neighborhood. While each dish is unique in flavor, they all have one thing in common: they display the pride and love Chileans have for their cuisine and their country.
Pastel de Choclo
Chile’s most iconic dish, pastel de choclo is a perfect blend of sweet and salty. This Chilean comfort food may remind you of your very own Shepherd’s Pie. Like most foods in Chile, pastel de choclo can be made with meat or vegetables. For most, the base is pino (minced meat), onions, spices, and other ingredients. The creamy layer is made of choclo (corn), milk, and sometimes a touch of basil.
Empanadas are a fan favorite all over Latin America, but especially in Chile. Every country has their own specialty and Chile’s is the empanada de pino. These meat-filled pies are traditionally baked, while others come fried. With your first bite into the flaky beef filled pastry you are reminded of the comforts of home with the taste of pino. This main layer of pino is made of minced beef and onions. Along with the pino, these empanadas are typically filled with black olives, raisins, and topped with a hardboiled egg. A perfect Chilean snack that you will find anywhere in Chile!
If you are a hot dog lover, the completo is a must try! This popular street food can be found on any corner. The most popular sandwich in Chile comes with a huge dollop of avocado, mayonnaise, and ketchup. Grab one along your private tour and sit in one of the many beautiful parks of Santiago with Kuoda Travel!
Every Chilean you meet will rave about their Ceviche Chileno. This Chilean entree is prepared with raw fish marinated in lemon juice with olive oil, onion, cumin, and bell peppers. If you are feeling extra adventurous you should try the ceviche with shrimp. While you will find many different types of ceviche on your trip to Chile, any type you try will be delicious!
Another typical Chilean dish you will find in many Chilean homes is Cazuela. Cazuela is very commonly eaten in the Northern Chilean region and during the winter season. Normally served in platos de greda (a clay dish), this soup has many different variations. The most common Cazuela is made of chicken or beef, while other Chilean Cazuela contains pork, turkey, lamb, or llama. While the meat used in a Cazuela changes often, vegetables are always added, depending on what’s in season. When you get the chance to try a Cazuela, you need to go for it, because you’ll most likely never have the same one twice.
One of the oldest Chilean dishes, Humitas are a tasty Chilean snack that can be had at any time of day. After boiling and smashing choclo (corn) it is mixed with olive oil, onions, basil, and merkén (smoked chili pepper). This savory puree of potatoes is then wrapped in fresh corn leaves and cooked to perfection. Whether you are on a walking tour or have a second to relax in Chile, these Andean tamales are an easy pick-me-up for on-the-go activities with our authentic Kuoda travel experiences.
Mote con huesillos
Among Chilean snacks the mote con huesillos is by far the most interesting! For most this is a beverage, but this beverage has enough to hold you over until dinner. To make this Chilean snack a dried peach is cooked in sugar, water, and cinnamon. Once the syrup-like liquid has cooled it is then mixed with mote, a local barley. The experience alone of having this rich mote con huesillos makes it worth the try! If you see street vendors with this Chilean snack, it is a must try! Don’t forget to ask your Kuoda guide to point you in the right direction during a walking tour!
This particular Chilean entree is a speciality from a not so little island of Chiloé. This Chilean cuisine is much more than just a meal, it is a whole experience. First, a hole in the ground is dug to create a pit, then curanto (hot stones) are lined along the pit. Then, a mix of potatoes, pork, sausages, chicken, clams, mussels, potato dumplings, and vegetables are layered in the pit. Covering each layer with a giant leaf of nalca, Chilean rhubarb, the steam is trapped inside the pit. Finally, more curanto and nalca are used to close the pit. As the hours pass, the party begins while the food is slowly cooked underground. Along your customized trip, our travel advisors can arrange for this traditional meal for a memorable travel experience.
This is the perfect dessert to follow an amazing Chilean meal. Chilean sopapillas are an incredible street food made of fried dough that is covered in sweet or savory toppings. The traditional sopapilla from Santiago is made from zapallo (pumpkin). Across the country the dough varies, but the toppings stay consistent.
A popular topping for savory sopapillas and many other Chilean dishes is pebre. An adobo salsa that can be found in many restaurants and on every corner in Chile. This is a fresh salsa made of cilantro, chopped onions, chili peppers, chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and a splash of vinegar. This salsa is essential to humitas, empanadas, soups, and many other popular Chilean foods.
This traditional Chilean bread is made of a pair of two attached soft rolls, which can be broken into four pieces. Normally a part of every meal, this bread accompanies some pretty popular sandwiches. There are many stars of the show in the sandwiches, but the fresh bread, Marraqueta, is the show stopper.
Where To Eat with Kuoda in Chile
To eat any traditional Chilean dish in Santiago El Hoyo and Resturante Peumayen are two restaurants you should visit! For a fine dining experience, try Boragó, Europeo, or Ambrosia Bistro among many more in Santiago. If your adventure takes you South to Puerto Varas, La Marca, Ibis, and Casavaldés share a special flare for Chilean seafood and meat dishes. Continuing South in Torres del Paine Restaurante Coiron – Las Torres Patagonia, Rio Pingo Restaurante & Minimarket, and Restaurante El Asador Patagonico are great restaurants. But, if your trip with Kuoda takes you to San Pedro de Atacama, Restaurante Aura Andina and Restaurante Charkikan have amazing food.
If your mouth is already watering, a trip to Chile is a must! These must-try foods can be found on any of our luxury travel experiences throughout Chile! Contact us today to incorporate any of these Chilean delicacies in your upcoming adventure to Chile with Kuoda Travel.