Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cafes and Restaurants of Valparaiso, Chile

My absolute favorite spot was a little French cafe across from El Desayunador. The little lady who worked there always looked overly excited to see me return for the second, third, or maybe fourth time each day for another cup of her amazing loose leaf teas. Her coffee and cakes were equally as amazing. Next there was a small shop that made all of its own hard candy, La Dulceria. This place was a child's heaven, and filled with colors. 

El Desayunador, was one of the best reliably good breakfast spots in Valparaiso. The menu is simple, and a little pricy, but the atmosphere was fantastic. Plus the place has great wifi, so it is usually filled with local students and their laptops. I went here three times, and would go again, if I was still around. 

El Pimenton, was a great spot to grab dinner after dark. A great night life spot. Plus they had the best Chorilinnas in town. This dish is traditionally a giant stack of french fries, topped with caramelized onions, steak, and a fried egg. However, El Pimenton does this amazing thing where they add cranberry sauce underneath the fries. Oh My Goodness, this dish is addictive. Carino Malo, is hard to find, a hole in the wall marked only with a chalk board. The place has reliably good food, and great budget options. What I mean by that is you can order a great homemade pasta dish for around six US dollars. Eating out in Chile is ridiculously expensive compared to Argentina. Their personal pesto sauce is like a cream soup with some hot pasta that I just want to cuddle with. 


Then there was Antonia Wines, which is a small wine shop that sells wine by the glass accompanied by a cheese plate. The owner, Mario, was very sweet, after we conversed about our adventures in the wine industry, he gifted me a bottle of one of his own wines; it was fantastic. Like the little French cafe, I stopped here many times, and ended up trying all the wines he had to offer. Don't leave without trying Chilean's Carmenere, and the region around Santiago makes some great Chardonnay. I spent several hours there one night with a guy living in my hostel, Konut. He is a a 70 year old guy who spent his life working on ships sailing around the world, and has decided to settle down in Valparaiso. He was a treasure chest of stories. It was amazing hearing about Chilean's political history from someone who had actually been in Valparaiso fifty years ago. 



The last place I stopped was the Color Cafe with my little sister. They have refreshing fruit juices, which are really just simplified smoothies. Plus their soup of the day is always amazing. The walls are covered by drawings on napkins and weird nicknacks. This place was approved by the always hungry Tess, but upon learning of their lack of empanadas, I received an overly disappointed look. Like the city, the Color Cafe, is full of hidden gems.



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