Puerto and El Almendral
There are still many traditional and inexpensive seafood restaurants, such as the 2nd-floor marisquerías at the Mercado Puerto (Port Market), bounded by Cochrane, Valdivia, Blanco, and San Martín.
More expensive but also traditional and broadly similar seafood alternatives include the Bar Inglés (Cochrane 851 but with a separate entrance at Blanco 870, tel. 0322/214625); La Rotonda (Prat 701, tel. 0322/217746); and Bote Salvavidas (Muelle Prat s/n, tel. 0322/251477), a favorite with tour groups.
Reasonably priced, with lunches around US$6, Valparaíso Eterno (Señoret 150, 2nd floor, tel. 0322/255605) has more Porteño personality than any other flatlands dining spot. Alternatively, Bambú (Pudeto 450, tel. 0322/234216) serves vegetarian specials.
Weeknights can seem moribund at Cinzano (Plaza Aníbal Pinto 1182, tel. 0322/213043), but it serves good Chilean food at moderate prices, along with cheap mixed drinks and a good selection of beers. From Thursday to Sunday, it has live tango music; on nights when there’s no live music, the selection of recorded material is excellent.
Around the corner, loaded with maritime memorabilia, Hamburg (O’Higgins 1274, tel. 0322/597037) has excellent German food.
Opposite Plaza Italia, Cava del Mar (Independencia 2099, tel. 0322/210471, www.cavadelmar.cl) is a new locale that occupies the 2nd and 3rd floors of a mansion that once belonged to miner/philanthropist Santiago Severín. It is a wine bar that focuses on a limited but evolving menu of beef, fish, and Peruvian dishes, with a wide selection of wines. Architecturally, its circular atrium, topped by a domed skylight, and burnished wood floors and staircases lend it a turn-of-the-20th-century ambience.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition