El Hoyo


San Vicente, 363
Santiago, Chile




El Hoyo is one of two classic restaurants (the other one being La Piojera) where the cultura guachaca or urban cowboy culture are still alive and well. The main plates are meat, meat and more meat, mainly pork and beef, including arrollado huaso, a sort of roll of meat stuffed with more meat, and many cuts of beef you won't recognize from your home country, often with the fat still on. Anthony Bourdain said the best food he ate in Chile was at El Hoyo (which means "the hole") and the place fills up many nights of the week and all day Saturday.

It's a down-home place, with formica tables and napkin dispensers filled with the ubiquitous wax-paper napkins of Chile, barrels and Chilean flags and loud music, and a good place to go with groups of friends. It's located near Estación Central, in a neighborhood most tourists simply pass through on their way into and out of town, and while interesting, it's not the best place to wander around aimlessly at night.

Make sure to try El Hoyo's version of the terremoto, which is a glass of unmature wine with pineapple icecream scooped on top. The second one is called a réplica, or aftershock, though you may find one is enough. There are some surprisingly excellent wines on the menu, and reds are of course, the most popular (to accompany all the meat).

Accompanying vegetarians will enjoy the bread with pebre (chopped tomatoes, onions, lemon and cilantro) along with a giant composed salad with a ton of avocado.


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