Santiago has never really had its moment in the spotlight. Overshadowed by flashier neighbours, such as Rio and Buenos Aires, it has traditionally been nothing more than an unavoidable stopover en route to somewhere more exciting: Patagonia, Easter Island, the Atacama desert. But, in recent years, this metropolis of seven million has established itself as a destination in its own right. No longer content to hide beneath the shadow of the Andes, it now has a number of vibrant cultural centres (such as the striking, copper-encased GAM, which specialises in promoting the performing arts and music), glittering skyscrapers, award-winning restaurants and fantastic bars. The latter of these focus on the things Chile does best: wine and pisco, the local brandy with a grassy colour and spicy-sweet taste. Add to the mix a forward-looking music scene, growing interest in high design and superb craft brews from Patagonia and you begin to see why Santiago is a city out to surprise.
If Chile is known for one thing around the world it’s wine. When a trip to one of the dozen wineries in the nearby Casablanca valley – or more than two-dozen wineries in the more famous Colchagua valley two hours south – doesn’t fit in the schedule, BocaNariz in the trendy Lastarria neighbourhood is the next best thing. Santiago’s newest and finest “vinobar” has the look and feel of a cosy wine library, with a massive wine menu and flights of wine (three samples) themed by region or style. Better still, it has well-trained, English-speaking staff and is one of the only places in town where premium-quality wine is available by the glass (from £4). Scroll the menu for the daily selection of carménère, Chile’s signature grape that was, until 20 years ago, thought to be a variety of merlot.
• José Victorino Lastarria 276, bocanariz.cl. Open Mon-Wed midday-midnight, Thurs-Sat midday-12.30am, Sun 7pm-11pm
A Santiago institution, this old-school favourite has three outposts across town that are equally heavy on character, with walls covered with vintage posters and Chilean memorabilia. For the best of the best, head to the original Manuel Montt location where the tables inside are as sought after as the ones on the patio outside (though, if you arrive early on “gringo time”, you won’t need to queue). Liguria is a cross between a restaurant and a pub, and locals and tourists alike come for a traditional dinner (think razor clams doused in parmesan or crab casserole) and stay long into the night to enjoy live music and to chat over a bottle of cabernet sauvignon (from £7.90). Call +562 2235 7914 to book.
• Avenida Providencia 1373, Providencia, liguria.cl. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2am
It’s best not to mention Peruvian pisco in affectionate terms while visiting Chile. Why? Because there is much sour feeling over who made South America’s beloved brandy first (and who, today, distils the finest batch). Get the lowdown at Chipe Libre, a welcome addition to the Lastarria neighbourhood with checkered floors, wooden tables and an expansive garden patio. This self-described “republic of pisco” not only boasts Chile’s largest pisco menu but also knowledgeable staff eager to share the variations – and there are many – between the Peruvian and Chilean brandy. Order a flight of pisco (from £3.45) or a round of pisco sours (from £3.25 each) and decide for yourself which country’s tipple tickles your fancy.
• José Victorino Lastarria 282, Facebook page. Open Mon-Wed 12.30pm-1am, Thurs-Sat 12.30pm-1.30am, closed Sundays
Bar The Clinic
Owned by Chile’s top satirical magazine, The Clinic, and covered in its political cartoons, this infamous bar is where the intelligentsia comes to bicker over beers. It’s also a great introduction to the political landscape, particularly for any left-leaning, socialist-minded, Chile-curious individuals. Bar The Clinic is one of the best places in town to sample some of the fantastic craft brews coming out of Chilean Patagonia, including Austral Calafate and Kunstmann Arándano (both £2.90). Or, if you prefer wine, the menu has four pages of Chilean varieties within its cheeky, tabloid layout, which mimics the tone of its parent magazine. Unlike most other bars in town, this place is open by 1pm and hopping soon after.
• Monjitas 578, bartheclinic.cl. Open Mon-Wed 1pm-3am, Thurs 1pm-3.30am, Fri 1pm-4.30am, Sun 5pm-4.30am
Ky is an Asian-themed speakeasy that’s behind a graffiti-tagged wall that you might otherwise mistake for the entrance to an abandoned building. Far from being neglected, however, what you’ll find inside is an opulent funhouse with an eclectic interior design that could easily pass for the set of a Wong Kar-wai film (think 2046). Plush sofas, theatrical curtains and funky lighting from competing chandeliers give the place an aesthetic that serves as the perfect setting for fusion martinis such as Rozameltini (pisco, kaffir lime and fresh blueberry juice, £8) or Mirotini (Grand Marnier, pisco, passion fruit and raspberry juice, £4.80). Call ahead for a table (+562 2777 7245); Ky is no longer the secret it once was.
• Avenida Perú 631, restobarky.cl. Open Tues-Sat 10pm-2am
Gin is not a liquor often found on menus in this pisco-loving country, but it’s the raison d’être for one of the newest bars in Santiago’s rapidly gentrifying Barrio Italia neighbourhood. Ruca Bar is a popular expat hangout and gin-lover’s paradise, with 10 cocktails honouring the spirit that range in price from £3.80-£5. It’s also notable for its menu of tapas such as Pulpo On The Rocks: octopus sautéed in merkén (an earthy Chilean spice), draped over charred black potatoes and served on a slate. Be sure to go early on Thursdays when Bombay Sapphire “Gin Tonics” (no need to use the “and” here) are just a luca (£1) from 6pm-10pm.
• Condell 868, Providencia, rucabar.com. Open Tues-Thurs 6pm-1am, Fri 6pm-2.30am, Sat 1pm-2.30am, Sun 1pm-7pm
Tramonto Bar and Terrace
Tramonto Bar and Terrace tends to attract the upper echelon of Chilean society, thanks to its prime location on Alonso de Córdova, Santiago’s mini Madison Avenue. This hotel bar (it belongs to the Noi Vitacura) is the best of a growing number of rooftop options in Santiago and pairs the see-and-be-seen atmosphere of the exclusive Vitacura neighbourhood with stunning Andean views. The best time to go is sunset when you can order a pisco sour (£4) and watch as the towering Andes light up in amber hues. When daylight fades, waiters bring out candles and the poolside terrace takes on a more romantic tone.
• Avenida Nueva Costanera 3736, Vitacura, noihotels.com. Open Mon-Wed 11am-am, Thurs-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-midnight
This audacious new addition to Santiago’s restobar scene boasts “cross-dress Peruvian gastronomy” (aka Asian-Latin fusion) and a design style that can only really be described as Catholic kitsch. Opened in late 2014 by Gino Falcone, one of Chile’s top interior designers, Sarita Colonia is home to a menagerie of religious artefacts such as stained-glass windows, wooden confessionals and a faux cemetery replete with a life-size statue of Sarita Colonia, the patron saint of all “misfits”. It’s not quite a gay bar – you’ll find many of those on Bombero Nuñez street in the adjacent Bellavista neighbourhood – but it’s gay-friendly and attracts a mixed crowd. Go early to snag a seat on the rooftop patio for dinner (book on +562 2881 3937) and then stick around for cocktails, such as Hell’s Sour or Corazón de Sarita (both £6)
• Loreto 40, Recoleta, saritacoloniarestoran.cl. Open Mon-Wed 8pm-2am, Thurs-Sat 8pm-4am
Santiago has one of the most exciting music scenes on the continent and, with a roster of live acts most nights, the Opera-Catedral bar in the artsy Bellas Artes neighbourhood is the perfect spot for a sonic adventure. A popular cafe by day, this resto-bar kicks into full gear after dark when the lights dim flatteringly low and Chile’s top talent in everything from indie folk to electropop takes to the stage. Piscolas (pisco and Coca-Cola, £3.45) are a band-night favourite, but more adventurous drinkers will enjoy intriguing cocktails, such as De Rosa los Petalos (£3.80), an infusion of pisco, lemon and rose petals, or Espumante Tropical (£3.50), local sparkling wine topped with a maceration of lemon and mint. Above the bar is an atmospheric rooftop terrace. Expect a cover of £7 to enter on Friday and Saturday nights.
• José Miguel de la Barra Esquina Merced, operacatedral.cl. Open Mon-Thurs 12.30pm-3am, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-5am
You can’t leave Santiago without trying Chile’s most patriotic drink, and what better place to tackle a terremoto than one of the city’s oldest and most belovedpicás (dive bars): La Piojera. Typically reserved for Independence Day celebrations, a terremoto is a sort of wine shake that is more dessert than drink with pineapple ice-cream, pipeño (a sweet white wine), and fernet (a bitter). Terremoto translates to earthquake in Spanish, and the love-it-or-hate-it mouth-freezer may very well leave you shaking. This ketchup-and-mustard-coloured adobe bar may have sticky tables and the odour of a frat house on a Sunday morning, but trying a terremoto here (for just £2) is something of a rite of passage.
Artículo extraído de la siguiente página http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jul/03/top-10-bars-santiago-chile