Literally translated to “Vineyard of the Sea,” Viña del Mar is a coastal city located northwest of Santiago, Chile. Its close proximity to the South Pacific makes it a safe bet for incredible views and lots of fresh seafood. You won’t be disappointed with the amount of delicious Chilean dishes centered around the sea.
Seafood isn’t all the city has to offer, though. There’s a delectable array of savory, sweet, and fresh meals in Viña del Mar that will keep your mouth watering.
These are the top 7 dishes to sample while in Viña del Mar, Chile.
1. Completos (Chilean hot dogs)
Hot dog lovers: be sure to get (both of) your hands on one of Chile’s Completo dogs. Like an American hot dog, you’ll get a dog on a bun topped with tomatoes, onions, and your choice of condiment. The Chilean take, however, steps it up by packing on mayonnaise and mashed avocado between a sturdy bun.
2. Empanadas de Camarones
The empanada is a traditional Spanish meal. Its most popular ingredients vary from country to country, but in Viña del Mar, Chile, try it with camarones and queso (shrimp and cheese) – a regional specialty. The flaky golden crust of the empanada pairs incredibly well with this savory filling.
3. Razor Clams
In Chile, razor clams are commonly served in a medley of meats, seafood and curanto (potato dumplings). While in Viña del Mar, sample some of the freshest razor clams in a medley, or served alone with melted butter and parmesan cheese.
Warning: come hungry – a chorillana is a hearty kind of Chilean comfort food. This plate piles different types of sliced meat, caramelized onions, and fried eggs on top of a generous heap of French fries (you may want to split this with a friend).
5. Avocado… on anything and everything
The avocado is a staple food for Chilean breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks. Because dinner in Chile is typically much lighter than it is in America, a common Chilean dinner is toast with mashed avocado. If you’re an avocado fan already, you’ll fit right in. If not, now’s the time to become one!
6. Pastel de Choclo
Translated to “corn pie,” Pastel de Choclo is a type of beef and corn casserole that is popular in Chile. It is loaded with lots of delicious flavor, as its main ingredients include ground beef, chicken, black olives, onions, and mashed sweet corn.
7. Churros con Manjar
Churros con manjar is a popular option for dessert in Chile. These fluffy churros with creamy manjar (milk and sugar) are a delightful treat that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sink your teeth into some of these Chilean specialties while studying abroad in Viña del Mar with AIFS! Click here to find out more about starting this once in a lifetime adventure.