Several venerable venues hold stage and floor shows, often but not always featuring clichéd versions of Chilean cultural staples such as the cueca, along with typical cuisine such as pastel de choclo and cazuela de ave. The most interesting is Confitería Las Torres (Alameda 1570, tel. 02/6986220), a magnificent 19th-century building that hosts live tango on weekends. If you can’t visit Buenos Aires’s Café Tortoni, this is Santiago’s best option.
South of the Alameda, the garish Los Adobes de Argomedo (Argomedo 411, tel. 02/2222104) is a popular stop for foreign tour groups’ farewell dinners, but it gets plenty of Chilean customers as well. The floor show is participatory—get ready to cueca.
In the same Barrio Brasil location since 1939, the comparably cavernous Los Buenos Muchachos (Av. Ricardo Cumming 1031, tel. 02/6980112) seats up to a thousand people for lunch or dinner and floor shows with its own orchestra. The food may be above average, but not that much above average; the prices, though, are a bit more above average. The service is excellent, and there’s one effectively isolated tobacco-free dining room.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition