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A Hamburger with Drinks & Helado en Santiago

A Hamburger with Drinks & Helado en Santiago

Continued from Is That a Hamburger Walking Around Santiago?

For drinks later in the evening I can recommend Teclados; the bar chain frequented by students all over the city. They have some simple snacks for satisfying any hunger still left from dinner and, of course, all the usual drinks like Piña Colada, Pisco Sour, “Roncola” and nice German beer…

If you’re interested in seeing more student night life with a dash of class sprinkled throughout I can recommend Patio Bellavista, which is a five minute walk away from Baquedano Metro station at Plaza Baquedano. You turn north and cross Rio Mapocho, or “Rio de Caca” (yes “the poop river”) as people like to call it; referring to its brownish colour and sluggish movement. Immediately after crossing, you will see San Sebastian University and the Law Faculty of Universidad de Chile. Follow that street and you see restaurants lining up along the way until you turn right into the Patio, an open yard walled in by restaurants and bars.

I’ve only been to “La Casa en el Aire”, one of the restaurants in the space. If you decide to give it a try, I can recommend the Yucca potato strips with guacamole as a delicious alternative to your average french fries. For drinks I had both Piña Colada and Mango Sour, equally commendable.

When walking around you should watch your pockets though and consider carrying your backpacks frontal as this area is a pickpocket favourite. An acquaintance had his backpack slashed open here recently and lost all his valuables – so be careful.



If you’ve always wanted to be able to say that you went to Harvard, now you have the chance to do so. The Harvard pub is close by and filled with real students taking a closer look at their glasses. So go ahead and take a shot!

Somewhere in Santiago there is also a bar called “La Oficina”. Next time you don’t want to come home to your wife after work you can just tell her on the phone “Sí, estoy en la oficina, verdad!” (Yes, I am in the office, truly!)

At night, a vibrant party hotspot, you may also want to come here during the day and visit Parque Forestal, the lush green strip straddling Costanera Norte. It’s a city dwellers favourite because of its relaxed atmosphere with statues and art placed on the sides of the path, and more than enough space to sit on the grass and watch the many couples coming here to make out undisturbed. Alternatively, go to Zoologico Nacional de Chile, located at the foot of San Cristóbal Hill, where you can see Chilean native animals and birds. At 6 PM it closes though, so be sure to make this an after lunch and before dinner activity.


If you want to see more of the city but walk less, there are multiple bike services with stations placed throughout the city. Santiago is such a bike friendly city that it was named #1 in all of Latin America. Even Sir Paul McCartney took a bike tourwhen he visited last year for his Out There Tour. I made the mistake of walking everywhere, which – though enjoyable – took a toll on my feet (I chose to wear Moccasins, an admittedly sub-optimal choice).

After a long hot day everybody here longs for some good ice cream (helado), and so did I. The best Gelatería in town is undoubtedly Emporio de la Rosa, a world top 25 ice cream vendor: They sell handmade ice cream in a mix of conventional and more adventurous flavors. Both the Mango Mint and Raspberry I can highly recommend. Plan with 20 minutes of additional waiting time, as this place routinely attracts a long queue of customers anxious to “get their fix”.


And not too far from here, there is the Santiago a Mil festival at Centro Cultural Gam where, until January 1st, they featured an exhibition on Quino, the famous Argentine cartoonist, and his most well known creation Mafalda. The little girl is probably as well known in Latin America as South Park or The Simpsons are in the States, though the series has a much more serious character due to the political climate of censorship in which it was published. In the same building you may also find the Teatro A Mil showing various well-known as well as new plays, and other cultural events.

Now what could be better than a good glass of wine with a piece of chocolate after an evening of high culture? My secret spot for very good wine at affordable prices is La Vinoteca at Manuel Montt 1452, Providencia. They frequently feature mid range wines like the Villard at low range prices. And if you know anything about Chilean wine you will be able to appreciate this kind of offer. I definitely had my share of those.

At the end of my trip I took a last long walk through Vitacura, a real pleasure with all the green around. Spending time in a real city after months on end in a beach resort definitely afforded me a sense of civility and elation I had missed, and, though it can be more hectic at times, helped me to recharge my batteries. What is likely the greatest advantage a city has over rural areas is its diversity of cultural, commercial, and leisurely offerings.

And one thing is for sure: Santiago is a case in point.

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