Tel: 56 61 225 103
As the major refueling spot on busy 19th-century shipping routes from Europe to California and Australia, Punta Arenas thrived on maritime trade. Tourism is the town's major earner today, and its cuisine focuses squarely on the varied sea life hooked, netted, or trawled from the Magellan Straits. Housed in a shingle-clad building in the old port, Restaurant Puerto Viejo offers up a full marine mix, in which razor clams, abalone, and scallops vie for menu space with squid, mussels, and octopus. The chef takes a brave stab at Thai-spiced wok dishes, but local specialties are better bets: ceviche de pejerrey (marinated Patagonian silverside), hake braised in cider, or conger eel cheeks served with tomatoes and olives. Owned by a local farmers' associationsister restaurant Parrilla Los Ganaderos griddles impressive lamb cutsPuerto Viejo has won much acclaim since opening in 2002.
Antonio Varas 452
Tel: 56 65 288 888
Located in Puerto Montt, the unofficial entryway to Patagonia, Sherlock serves as café, restaurant, and pub as the day rolls on. The owners are slowly converting Nescafé-addicted Chileans to the heady joys of real coffee, and they know how to make a mean steak sandwich, garnishing it with bacon, onions, and corn. The scene turns seamlessly into beers and shots as darkness falls.