The truly basic puestos (food stalls) in and around the chaotic Mercado Pinto, between the Terminal de Buses Rurales and the EFE train station on both sides of its namesake street, are Temuco ’s cheapest choices, but their hygiene is questionable.
Known best as a crafts market and a sight in itself, the downtown Mercado Municipal (Portales and Aldunate) is an even better choice for straightforward seafood—try La Caleta (Puesto 27, tel. 045/213002). Figure about US$6–8 for a good, filling meal; the market, though, is primarily a lunch venue, and most eateries close by 7 p.m.
El Quincho de la Empanada (Aldunate 698, tel. 045/216307) is a one-of-a-kind specializing in empanadas. El Corralero (Vicuña Mackenna 811, tel. 045/401355) is the choice for beef.
Other good downtown options are the Centro Español (Bulnes 483, tel. 045/210343) and the Centro Arabe (General Mackenna 462, tel. 045/215080) for Middle Eastern food.
More stylish, contemporary dining is available west of the Panamericana, at places such as Pepperoni’s (Hochstetter 425, tel. 045/405656), an Uruguayan-style parrilla with a good pizza-and-pasta menu as well. The service is exemplary, and there’s an adequate tobacco-free section.
Other options in the area are the Tex-Mex Jalisco (Hochstetter 435, tel. 045/243254), more of a pub; Jairo’s (Av. Alemania 0830, tel. 045/311770) for diverse fish and seafood, with exceptional service; Pizzería Madonna (Av. Alemania 0660, tel. 045/329393); and the more traditional Club Alemán (Senador Estébanez 772, tel. 045/240034).