For sandwiches and desserts, try Café Bar 2001 (Camilo Henríquez 379, tel. 045/411470). At the Mercado Fritz crafts market, inexpensive La Cocina de María (Aviador Acevedo 600) offers typical Chilean dishes such as chicken with rice, fried chicken, and empanadas.
Over the past few years, The Travellers (Valentín Letelier 753, tel. 045/412830) has earned a comfortable niche with its diverse choice of Chilean, Asian, and Mexican fusion dishes at moderate prices. For moderately priced Chinese food, another option is Cheng Chong (Valentín Letelier 795, tel. 063/413729).
In a traditional lakeside setting, El Rey del Marisco (Valentín Letelier 1030, tel. 045/412093) serves fine but traditional fish and shellfish dishes in the US$6.50–8 range. El Tabor (Epulef 1187, tel. 045/411901) gets high marks for seafood, with a popular tenedor libre buffet (US$10–15) on weekends.
Hotel Montebianco’s La Vecchia Cucina (Pedro de Valdivia 1011, tel. 045/411798) offers fine pasta entrées for US$7–10, with slightly cheaper pizzas and fabulous homemade ice cream, all with professional service. Bahía Perú (Valentín Letelier 893, tel. 045/414095) falls short of the top echelon of Chile’s Peruvian restaurants, but the prices (US$6–8 for entrées) are fair, the pisco sours suitably tart, and the service exceptional.
The carnivore’s choice is La Cava de Roble (Valentín Letelier 658, tel. 045/ 416446), whose specialties include tasty game dishes such as venison (with a sweet and sour blueberry sauce, US$12) and wild boar. Unlike most Chilean restaurants outside Santiago, it offers a wide choice of quality wines by the glass; there’s also a spacious terrace for sunny afternoons or fine evenings.
Friatto (Camilo Henríquez 387, tel. 045/414534) is a decent ice creamery that’s also a wireless Internet hotspot.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition