Café del Opera

NileGuide Expert Says:

The best, freshest veggie (and meat) sandwiches in town, and probably the best ice cream as well.


Merced 391
Santiago, Chile


664 3048

NileGuide Expert tip:

Come at off hours to score one of the outside tables to eat some ice cream and watch the world go by.


Café Opera is a welcome respite from downtown Santiago neighborhood Bellas Artes' smoke-filled caffeine operators with their boring fare. This café, masterminded by the owners of nearby Catedral and Opera-Catedral, a see-and-be seen restaurant with French food, and an uppercrust but centrally-located disco, have turned what was once a down-at-the-heels minimarket and surrounding oldschool businesses into a thriving and deservedly well-reviewed corner of gustatory and cultural enjoyment.

Café Opera serves belgian-style sandwiches on baguettes, soups like the innovative crema de palta (pureed avocado soup), coffe any way you like it, including decaf, and cakes and pastries on exhibit in a lit bakery case on your way in. But the crowning achievement of this café is its icecreams, which are impossibly rich and melty, with Chilean favorite fruity flavors and mild but winning versions of a variety of chocolates.

The crowd is multi-generational and mostly uptown, despite its downtown location. It attracts families and couples at any time of day, has wifi (of course), and comfortable seating, though it can be a bit dark upstairs.


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