In recent years, sushi has become much more prevalent in Santiago, with small restaurants popping up all over the city (though mostly downtown, in Providencia. Las Condes and Ñuñoa). Even mom and pop minimarkets have sushi on offer, which they buy in bulk from a central company which drops it off daily. Of course, this is not the best sushi in Santiago, but if you’re really craving some sushi and are really short of cash, it might just fulfill a craving. If you can’t find a mom-and-pop shop that sells it, check out one of the larger Asian markets in Patronato on the street Antonia Lopez de Bello, accessed walking in from Bellas Artes. You’ll find a few places taht sell trays of sushi for 2,000 CLP (about four dollars), far cheaper than any restaurant.
Better sushi is available, and the following restaurants have some of the best sushi you’re likely to find in the area. Salmon is heavily used, as is avocado, and sometimes it seems it’s an effort to get away from salmon and avocado, or the more experimental rolls with a many ingredients, diped in tempura and fried. But with a little wasabi and pickled ginger, everything can be made right.
In no particular order, 5 good sushi restaurants in Santiago:
Japón– old, traditional, Japanese style (including tatami mat seating and cabinets in which to put your shoes). Also serves soups and other Japanese food.
Duri– Korean owned, downtown, buysy most nights, with large Korean parties seated upstairs. They also serve a Korean menu on Friday nights, but you have to request this in advance. Good sushi, but not cheap.
Baires Sushi Club– a vast restaurant and bar which does brisk business most times of the day, and even serves until late on Sunday nights. Good, creative sushi, with lots of other food on the menu, including some great sandwiches and salads, should your group have some non-sushi eaters in it.
Platipus– another favorite in Barrio Brasil, with more traditional and experimental sushi, including vegetarian sushi with ingredients such as asparagus, red pepper and hearts of palm. Comfortable, smallish, in an old house and candle-lit tables. On Saturday to Wednesday there’s a 3X2 deal on sushi rolls.
De Los Reyes– This is an interesting spot, part Peruvian food and part sushi, with some of the most inexpensive (but decent) sushi in Santiago, including a futomaki with oshinko (pickled daikon),which is hard to find in Chile. It’s conveniently located right off the Plaza de Armas, and has happy hour specials at night, when downtown tends to be a bit emptier.
Feature photo by cnishiyama on Flickr.