What to eat/drink in Chile and Argentina?
After having suffered from junk food in the Philippines (too fat), in New Zealand (too fat), we are saved in Argentina and Chile (very fat too). Basically, we are anything but vegetarian and we already love juicy Argentinean meat (but expensive) in Paris. We enjoyed ourselves here!
Beware, the lack of vegetables will be felt at one time or another, even for carnivores like us. In restaurants, salads are more expensive than meat and vegetarian restaurants are quite rare. Remember to eat a balanced diet. In any case, after a meal in a steakhouse, it’s hard to come back the same day because the portions are so huge. Usually we go to a restaurant at noon and eat a homemade salad in the evening
Let’s now discover the dishes we have been able to try in Chile and Argentina!
Meat in steakhouses: Parrilla (AR) / Asado (CH)
If you are hungry, head straight to a parrilla (for Argentina) or an asado (for Chile), steakhouses where grilled meat is king. Each piece of meat weighs at least 300g so don’t make your eyes bigger than your stomach. There are also mixed plates with sausages, giblets… for two, but enough for four. Meat from the lake region in Chile is as good as Argentinean meat (see how we enjoyed ourselves too much in Puerto Varas)
The prices are very correct too! Between 12€ and 15€/person
However, the accompaniment is to be ordered separately (2€ or 3€). Of all the pieces, the rib eye(lomo vetado) is my favorite
No sauce is given (unless otherwise specified) because the meat is already well marinated. There is usually not even salt (sal) or pepper(pimienta) on the table
Like any good steakhouse, you will ALWAYS be asked to cook the meat
- Azul: Blue
- Inglesa/Jugosa: Rare
- Ingles Medio : Medium Medium
- In Punto: Cooked
- Tres Cuartos: Well Cooked
If you prefer to cook yourself, be aware that meats are arranged by their cooking method in supermarkets. So don’t buy meat for the barbecue if you plan to pan-fry it. Youth hostels are usually equipped with a special frying pan for making steaks, so you will still get a little taste of grilled meat
So far, in restaurants, we have never come across bottled juices. The juices are generally homemade(casero -> the mention casero/casera is a guarantee of quality), with a little touch of mint / ginger / lime very delicious. The lemonades are to fall down! Chile is famous for its fruit so don’t deprive yourself of juice and fruit!
Each juice costs between 1000$CH and 2300$CH (quite expensive when we see that a dish costs only 6000$CH)
Do not leave Patagonia without having tasted the grilled trout. It is really super good, not dry, as good as salmon
Raw fish marinated in lime. I have seen more in Chile than in Argentina. There is a lot of onion but when it is well done, you don’t have the unpleasant taste of onion anymore. It’s a starter but the proportions are usually so huge that it’s a main course for me. It costs between 4000$CH – 6000$CH. Take the ceviche with the fish of the day to be sure of its freshness
Mote con huesillo
A very sweet but fresh dessert, with a marinated peach, wheat at the bottom and a sweet juice (image found on the Internet). I tried it once, I won’t buy it again because it tastes too sweet, but I recommend you try it anyway
Don’t leave Patagonia without having tasted Patagonian lamb. I ate a kind of goulash (sorry I forgot to note the name of the dish in Spanish). All I know is that lamb is called cordero in Spanish
The spider crab
To be tasted preferably in Ushuaia (230$AR)
The famous very bitter tea very much appreciated by Argentines. Ask for aservicio mate to get a real service and the characteristic metallic straw of the mate, otherwise you risk having a simple infusion
This is a very interesting cocktail composed of brandy, lime, sugar and egg white
Dulce con Leche
Nutella costs way too much here so you will get dulce con leche (a mixture of caramel and condensed milk) which is very addictive for your breakfast. If you are satisfied with one spoonful of Nutella for 1 slice of bread, the dulce con leche can be spread, re-spread. I usually eat more dulce con leche than bread (oops)
Probably the most economical dish here. Empanadas are similar to apple turnovers, except that they are salty (sweet ones are also found but are rarer). It’s very good but eat it sparingly, you’ll soon get tired of it. Prefer fries empanadas to order, not reheated in the microwave. But you can’t know in advance, so if in doubt (especially at the bakery for example), ask the seller
It costs between 20$AR and 35$AR each, or 1200$CH each
Of course, Chilean wine is known to be excellent, as well as the Argentinean wine from the region around Mendoza
That’s it, that’s all we’ve tested so far. I will update this article as soon as we discover new things