Photo by FotoosVanRobin on Flickr.
While Chile doesn’t raise the grassfed pampa beef of neighboring Argentina, the offerings at steakhouses in Santiago are still plentiful and tasty. Both Santiaguinos and the international guests that visit the city are looking for good beef, and these restaurants rise to the occasion. Typically at a steakhouse each item is ordered separately, with (gasp!) vegetables or salads not being included, and sometimes neither rice nor potatoes is part of the meal either, unless you ask, or unless it is specified on the menu.
Here are some of Santiago’s most standout steak houses, with a short description of each. For more information, click on the link.
Las Vacas Gordas a large restaurant located in Barrio Brasil, near the Santa Ana and Los Héroes Metros. It’s pescatarian-friendly, with salmon offerings, but its best-known dishes are 100% beef (potatoes and eggs optional).
Cuerovaca is known for its imported selection of meats, including lamb from the Falkland islands, and Japanese Wagyu beef. The restaurant is located in Santiago’s tony Vitacura neighborhood.
Fogón del Gaucho is located in La Reina, and serves traditional Chilean cuts of meat, such as bife de chorizo (a thick cut) and asado de tira (ribs). Argentine beef features heavily on their menu, and salads are included. Some famous Chileans can be spied here, as well as the occasional group of tourists.
El Hoyo is a down-home kind of restaurant, located near Estación Central, and with little fanfare. However, what it lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for in generous cuts of beef, served family style and exactly how you ordered it. Vegetarians beware that bread and salad is the flavor of the day here, and meat eaters should come with a vast appetite and in a big group, so you can try a little of everything. Anthony Bourdain rated it one of Santiago’s best.
Ana María is not strictly a steakhouse, but it’s a good place to try wild boar, venison and other hard-to find meats in Santiago, which is why we’ve included it here.
And in case you need a primer, here’s the vocabulary you’ll need to order each of your dishes, so they’re done exactly to your liking.
The cuts of meat are somewhat different in Chile than in the United States and Europe. though it’s the same animal, it’s butchered differently, but here are some terms that are approximately the same so that you can be sure to get what you want:
Which cut of meat?
Lomo liso= sirloin or strip staeak
Ojo de bife= ribeye head.
How do you want it cooked?
Just seared on each side, or “blue”= vuelta y vuelta or a la inglesa
Medium: a punto
Hope you have a great dining experience, and remember that red wine is full of antioxidants and pairs very well with beef (and lamb, and a host of other meats). Buen provecho!