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Santiago/Viña Del Mar/ Valparaíso

Mainly Eats

sunny 11 °C

So, I was only in Chile 5 days yet still managed to fit in quite a few must try’s in the food arena.

First up Santiago. Just for reference everyone should know that when arriving in a new town I like to walk around the first day and get a feel for the city. I just stop at any place that looks interesting and usually places I can get in and out of quickly. So, I’m walking down the street and see an unusual amount of people crowded in this small shop called Tip Top. I managed to get a photo with a few people standing in front as I could so you could see in a bit. Naturally I stop to look in to see what the commotion is all about. I see 5 ladies behind a small counter trying to get everyone served. It’s so busy you needed to take a number. It’s just simple cookies about 20 varieties of cookies. I step up, take a number and waited my turn. I sampled about 7 different types for under 2,000 pesos. As I walked away chomping down on some delicious butter cookies I immediately knew I should have ordered more; however I resisted the temptation to turn around since it was the first meal of the day.

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Next I found a similar shop called Paradiso and I thought I had remembered reading that they had the best ice cream. However, upon entry I decided to try their shredded beef and cheese sandwich since I was feeling peckish and all I had was cookies. The kind lady warmed the sandwich on a panini press for me while I picked out an irresistible dessert called the Berlin Frito Manjar. It was a lightly powered donut stuffed with ultra sweet Canela. It was a bit sweet for my liking, I finished it nonetheless and moved on to the warm sandwhich. It had shredded beef, melted cheese and some fresh sour kraut. It was definitely above average for I think 1700.

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After leaving Paradiso, I started looking for something healthy like cut up fruit. I came upon a fresh juice vendor which had Kiwi juice of all things for 1,000. A 12-16oz glass. It was amazing and my first experience with kiwi juice. Clearly it was fresh squeezed and little to no water added. What a deal.

That ended my snacking for the day. I walked around to some museums and the big parks and then returned to the Hostel to research dinner. I was surprised to find that Yelp works in Chile. Hasn’t worked in any of central or S America to date. Made the research easy as I find TripAdvisor the worst website ever to be used so widely. SMH. The choice Barrica 94. It was just a few blocks away from Puriwani Hostel (very nice place with very accommodating staff right in the middle of the food and bar scene in Santiago). It turned out to be an excellent choice as it had plenty of my favorite wine. Chilean! I sat outside despite it being quite chilly. They had warmers set by every table and we were in a courtyard surrounded by similar restaurants and their outdoor seating. It almost was like dining at a fancy meeting of food trucks. Very cool and comfortable atmosphere. I ended up ordering the Chilean Vinos tasting (comes with 4 half glasses of different Chilean wines) for 10 mil. Then I started with the empanadas and beef tartar. Both super tasty especially with the good wine. Service was exquisite and all staff spoke good English. Apparently most of the Chileans know enough English to get by if not fluent. I finished with the sweet/savory short ribs and the poor man’s fries served with 2 fried eggs and caramelized onions. The meat was fall off the bone and the sauce was just enough sweet balanced with the savory. I think some jalapeños would have been a good addition to the sauce, it was delicious nonetheless.

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The next day I went to Valparaíso on the coast. A very hip town with lots of hills and a graffiti problem. Well, when I say problem I mean the entire town is covered in graffiti some sanctioned some not. It’s a quite gorgeous town. I took a bus from Santiago terminal South to Viña Del Mar then took a taxi to Valparaíso. (Don’t take a taxi here, use Uber of find the bus. Or use the rail system. I found this out the hard way. And you can take the bus duress this to Valparaíso; although Viña Del Mar has a lot to offer as well)

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First stop the Empanada shop on Urriola st. It’s famous, it’s small and boasts 80 kinds of empanadas. Fresh made to order and fried needless to say they were delicious. I had cheese, olives and sweet peppers. Delish. I doubt there’s anything bad on the menu though.

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Next I toured around the beautiful city and checked out the churches and parks. Landed at Restaurant Fauna. They probably have the best balcony in the city. I sat and drank several of their wines from 3pm to sunset. Didn’t try any food hear, the outside balcony with view of the bay was really nice as was the service.

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I skipped dinner in lieu of snacks and sangria at the hostel. Boy, I felt that the next day ended up not doing much that would be worth writing here. However, the following day I went to lunch at El Internado. I arrived 5 minutes before they opened 12:55 on a Saturday. They showed me to a nice waiting room where I waited just under 5 minutes to be seated. They have a nice deck and an all glass dining room upstairs located right at the top of the Queen Victoria Elevator. Of course I ordered a glass of wine which came with a nice side of olives. I ordered their house burger which came dressed and they piled on the tiny onion rings and some fried thick cut potatoes on the side all for 7 mil. It was the best burger I’ve had in a while, may be the best in town as I had been asking about burgers to no real answer from the hostel workers. The burger plus the view left me overly pleased with my choice, so I ordered dessert. Apple crumb cake with a scoop of ice cream. The crumb cake should have been served warm yet was still pretty good. Overall the burger was much better than the dessert, really can’t complain about either though.

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I hear Chinchero and Pasta and Vino are also good food choices in this town.

That afternoon I hopped an Uber and checked in Garden Street Hostel in Viña Del Mar. A small rich town that has some wonderful landscaping and a nice beach. Looks like there are a lot of great food choices here Gaucha Parrillas is supposed to be the best steak house and Burger Home for burgers. Since I had a burger for lunch and Argentinian steak is coming up tomorrow I elected to try shawarma from Shawarma Kings on 4th Poniente very close to 5 Norte. For 3700 I got a very large mixed chicken and gyro meat burrito which was well seasoned and tasty. That’s about all I’ve got for Chile, stay tuned for Buenes Aires, I hear amazing things about this town and I’m looking forward to tasting it all.

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Posted by Veritas2377 17:33 Archived in Chile Tagged landscapes skylines food restaurant tourist eats tips foodie Comments (0)

Cuzco, Peru and Machu Picchu

The tourist trap that is Machu Picchu and the surrounding ruins and towns plus some eats.

Cusco

Eats:

Quinta Waly-

Marcelo Batata- $$$

Paddy’s Irish Pub: located at the edge of the Plaza de Armes upstairs across the street from Norton’s pub. It’s a nice fun atmosphere with good service and drinks. Can’t remember prices just don’t remember it being too bad. I stayed for quite a while.

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Norton’s Pub: located at the corner of the plaza de Armas. The pub has a small outside balcony that faces the sunset. Everything from local to craft beer. Nice place to sit and watch the square. We didn’t try any food. Service was fairly quick and I believe the big cusquena was 12 soles. The craft and draft beer were closer to 20 soles for a pint.

Native Burger- had the alpaca burger. The fri s were good; the meat was tough. The bread was fresh; just wrong bun for that burger. $20 soles in all with drink though.

Uchu- steakhouse by Eric Paz Gallegos

Pachapapa - great patio for sunny days $$

Morena Peruvian Kitchen - really upbeat staff and atmosphere. We sat at the bar facing the open kitchen. All staff recommendations were great. Started with the stuffed pepper. (Relleno Rocoto) they brought out 3 different spice mixes plus the sauce it came with and it was quite tasty. Had the Peruvian wine which was just fine and perfect compliment to the evening. My friend Andrés had the El Duo which was a mix of ceviche and seafood rice. It was zesty with good deep flavor. I had the Lomo Saltado which came on some quinoa and grilled onions. Had food flavor and spice, I thought a touch more salt would have made it exceptional; however I like a lot of salt, so for most it would be perfect. I wanted dessert; however I a full tasting day and the meal was quite filling. Ended up 189 soles for 2 glasses of wine, 1 maracuay sour, an appetizer, and 2 excellent entrees. Everyone left pleased and the service was impeccable.

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Limo- $$ great view of plaza

Fruit Madre: excellent fruit salads with yogurt, quinoa, and oats $8 soles.

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MAP cafe- in Pre-Columbia art museum 3 course menus

Greens organic- $$

Fallen Angel- (a bit pricey) eat around bathtubs with fish best steak in town; atmosphere and the decor are worth a trip just for a drink. Wine selection was very good. I had the croquettes for a starter; a salad with what may have been dried chicken sausage; the fish with a white cream sauce and I can’t remember which dessert. All of it was great and the service was more than excellent. Spoke great English, just enough attention and not overbearing. Overall a great experience.

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Le Soleil- French has 7 course tasting menu for $58US. They also have a menu del dia which includes a glass of wine for $12US. Just didn’t have time to sample this.

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Incanto- Pizza

Cantina vino Italian: just had a tiramisu and a glass of wine. Very friendly Italian owner; knew a lot about the world and very fine ingredients on the shelves. I would have like to have eaten a meal here.

Korma Sutre - Indian rest; excellent alpaca chili and garlic naan bread. Service was fast and efficient and English is spoken. Would consider returning. Spice just right too.

Tacomania- Mexican- thought this would be some cheap fast tacos. It’s more of a sit down restaurant and the cheapest thing on the menu was 30+ Soles. Didn’t order anything as I wasn’t ready for a full meal.

Green Point My Vegan Restaurant-

Bojosan- Tokyo style noodle shop; simple menu ranging from 19-25 soles. I ordered Bojo San- Udon. The chicken dish. 24 soles. A sizable portion, not much chicken and a little light on the noodles. Also had carrot shavings. The broth was really nice and rich. Would be an excellent meal for a hangover. Japanese beers 14 soles and Saki for 30. All light wood interior with the Balinese flag and menu written in Japanese. Only 3 tables with about 20 seats along two bars. A very pleasant experience all in all.

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La Bodega 138- simple menu and craft beer

Monkey Cafe- coffee shop

Cicciolina- Italian

Papacho’s- burgers

Juanita’s- sandwiches

Kion Peruvian Chinese-

UFO Asian Food-

La casa del kebab- mid-eastern. I ordered the gyros pita + Falafel. 17 soles. The portion was fairly large. It came stuffed in a really fresh pita bun. The meat was seasoned well and it came with a side of gretian sauce and a spicy red sauce which made everything complete and perfect. I think I can easily say it’s the best schwarma I’ve had since leaving the states. It’s a small place just off the plaza de armes. Service was quick and efficient. A great place for a late night snack or lunch.

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The meeting place cafe - nice friendly staff with excellent service. Owned by an Englishman I believe. Nice atmosphere and good WiFi. Had a tea here and wrote this report, haha.

Jack’s cafe- breakfast/sandwiches/coffee

Crepe Rica Last Bo’M- hot chocolate

Things to do:

Machu Picchu - expensive and super touristy. Overall an experience worth doing if only because of the fame of the place. However; it took until the end of the tour for me to be glad I did it. Keep in mind that there are tours within the MP tour. Like Montana de Machu Picchu and the 2nd mountain Wayan Picchu need to be included in your ticket if you want to do them. The 2nd mountain is 4 hours round trip and they only let 400/day in. I skipped that part as nothing but the view was really impressive about the place. When I arrived in Agua Calientes by train I immediately wanted to leave. It’s a super super touristy town and quite expensive for the same menu repeated over and over. Mapacho had some good craft beer was 18 soles a pint though. The French bistro, the name escapes me, was pleasant and highly rated. I only had wine and a dessert. Atmosphere and the food was good with a seat overlooking the stream that runs through town. I had the carrot cake. Don’t think I ate anything else in town except a few bites of street food that was less than average.

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When booking Machu Picchu it seems overwhelming with the transfer from bus to train to bus plus the timing of entry to MP. If I had it to do over again, I’d either do the Salkantay 4 day Trek or I’d book my own tickets. The way to do that is you can purchase everything in Cuzco from train tickets to MP entry. This is a break down of what you’ll do and where you’ll go. You’ll need to catch a collectivo to Ollantaytambo (it is a small pretty town with lots of restaurants and places and the ruins there are quite interesting as well. It’s about 1.5 hours from Cuzco by collectivo. I rented a motorbike to travel around and see all the ruins I bought entry to on the Boleto de turistico for 140 soles and stayed the night here. Has nice places to stay as well because most catch the train from here to MP because out of Cuzco is expensive and limited times and availability. It’s a much better place to hang out than Agua Calientes where you’ll catch the train to; so you want the afternoon train to limit your time in Agua Calientes.) So, I’d consider staying a night or two there to see everything and catch the train. They dropped me off at 12:45 in AGua Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) with nothing to do but eat and drink til morning when the tour started. Tourist trap. Everyone hassling you to buy something or come eat. They have hot springs for 20 soles. Everything else is just too much. Stay one night in AC and try and get a 6am entry to MP. Get up early, and buy your bus ticket up the day before ($12US) unless you want to leave at 3am and hike the Inca trail up. It’s nothing impressive except a steep staircase that crosses the bus route 12 times; as I walked down it because the return bus wasn’t included in my tour. Another $12US. The line forms early and they line up by entry time to get on the busses. The line moves fast; it’s a 25 minute ride up on the bus. I caught the 2:30 train back to Ollantaytambo and was back in Cuzco by 6pm. I paid $280 for the two night tour. I think I could have done it for $225 or a bit less not including food.

Sacsayhuman: 70 soles separately or its included in the Boleto de Turistico. 812F651B-7F21-45BF-9F8B-E6B44775A271.jpeg I thought that this was the best of any of the ruins I saw in or around Cuzco. It’s big and interesting. You can technically walk there from Cuzco; I caught a taxi up and walked back. However there are 4 ruins located near there. You could taxi to the furthest and make a day of the 4 spots walking back. Like I said above I rented a motorbike $225 soles for 2.5 days and made the trek around to all of them plus the towns of Piscay, calca, ollantaytambo, Morays, and a few pretty drives up mountains I just decided to go down. I’d highly recommend this.

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Qurikancha - included in the big ticket, smaller ruins somewhat worth seeing.

Palacio Arzobispal: was closed

Tipon- missed this one; definitely could have made it on the bike. Didn’t see where it was until too late.

Maray: worth a stop if your driving yourself; however I took 3 pics from the top and spent a total of 5 mins here.

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Ollantaytambo - elaborate and intricate ruins; not sure how much it was individually was included in the tourist ticket. Spent 1.5 hours here. Big molded rocks at the top. In a lot of ways as interesting or more than MP.

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Tambomachay- one of the 4 smaller ones near Sacasayhumana

Q’enqo: one of the 4 smaller ones near Sacasayhumana

Puka Pukara: one of the 4 smaller ones near Sacasayhumana

Piscay Ruins: also quite elaborate and a lot to see. Included in the tourist ticket. Don’t know how much individually though.

There are many other small ruins around Cuzco that don’t require entry fees such as the temple of the moon. Not highly touristic and I found it riding around on the motorbike. There was a group of horseback riders touring it when I stopped in.

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Posted by Veritas2377 19:48 Archived in Peru Tagged trains food restaurant hiking tourist eats tickets tips Comments (0)

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