Anthony Bourdain in Santiago: 5 Spots Where Tony Ate

If there’s one thing we can all appreciate about Anthony Bourdain, it’s his honest, unbridled opinions about the places he visited – including how he learned and changed from each new place he went.

About Chile, Tony is honest from the get-go: he knows basically nothing about the country but a few preconceptions and the military coup in the 70s. By exploring Chile, these preconceptions gave way to a more fully formed and complex picture of a country that was coming to terms with its past and looking forward to a possible future – including in its cuisine.

Anthony Bourdain in Santiago Hero

Anthony Bourdain visited Santiago to film season 5 (episode 11, “Chile”) of No Reservations; it’s his only visit to Chile but he makes the most of it by sampling the diversity of flavors that represent the diversity of the country.

If you’re planning a trip to Chile, the capital city of Santiago is a must-visit spot; in this post, you’ll find a guide to the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Santiago. Best of all, ELB founder Valerie has been to Santiago and has many of her own photos of these Chilean foods and restaurants, which were included in this guide. Enjoy!

Want to watch the episodes where Anthony Bourdain visits Santiago?
The No Reservations episode is available on Amazon, Hulu, and Apple TV

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Wallmapu (Mapuche) peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present peoples of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Fuente Alemana

Anthony Bourdain in Santiago - Lomito

Tony’s first culinary acquaintance with Chilean food is the lomito. He heads to Fuente Alemana, a downtown institution that’s “the” place for hungry Santiaguinos who desperately want a lomito. 

There are different variations of the lomito, but the one at Fuente Alemana starts with a freshly baked bun slathered with avocado, some fresh tomatoes, a generous amount of mayonnaise, and a pile of pork.

Café Caribe

Next up, Bourdain visits Café Caribe; this is more of a cultural stop than a culinary one. Tony enjoys a café con piernas (“coffee with legs”). This refers to a trend that started in the 50s when “people didn’t care for coffee but cared for good-looking señoritas.” In a few words, these are coffee shops where servers are women wearing short, tight dresses.

El Hoyo Restaurante

After a good cup of coffee, Bourdain is ready for more pork. He visits El Hoyo, a restaurant famous for its pernil, the leg of the pork. But first, drinks! Tony samples el terremoto (“the earthquake”), a cocktail made with white wine and pineapple ice cream. 

Now he’s ready for the edibles. Tony gets the pernil, an entire leg of pork simmered for hours in a light brine. Then, he also tries the arrollado, a tube made of a loaf of pure pork and bits wrapped in pork skin boiled and served in slices and with blood sausage. 

La Vega Central

Anthony Bourdain in Santiago - Mote con Huesillo

Back in Santiago, Tony visits La Vega Central, a local market institution founded more than a hundred years ago that sells produce from all around Chile. 

Wandering through the local market makes Tony pretty hungry, so he stops for a snack. He samples sopaipillas, a food from the Mapuche Indians made of mashed pumpkin, and wheat flour, pressed flat and fried. Next on the menu is mote con huesillo, another very indigenous dish made of cooked barley and peaches.

Carmen’s in La Vega Chica

Across the street from La Vega Central is La Vega Chica, a smaller area filled with casual lunch counters and sit-down eateries. He pops by Carmen’s.

Here, he has caldo (d)e pata, or hoof soup made of cow’s foot, vegetables, and cilantro cooked in a hearty broth. This is followed by chunchules: deep-fried large intestines served with mashed potatoes and rice. Finally, the infamous pastel de choclo, a super dense, sweet savory Chilean corn pie made of ground beef, chicken, egg, and cornmeal and herb baked in casserole.

Santiago Food Tours to Try

I love recommending food tours in addition to the places Anthony Bourdain ate – especially for cities where he didn’t visit many spots. Food tours, while decidedly un-Bourdainian, are a great way to sample lots of flavors and food in a short time, and work well for those of us who don’t have location scouts and fixers. Here are some good Santiago food tours you might want to consider too:

Have any questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Santiago? Let me know in the comments below!

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Agustina is a content writer and editor currently based in Argentina. She has a long-standing love affair with Italian food and meal. When she’s not indulging in a parmigiana, you can find her eating asado with a good glass of Malbec.

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