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Patagonia Restaurants

Chez Manú
2135 Avenida Luis Fernando Martial
Tel: 54 2901 432253

The coastal waters off Tierra del Fuego provide Ushuaia's restaurants with a rich assortment of marine creatures ranging from oysters and mussels to lobster and king crab. With a mountainside location giving it a matchless view of the Beagle Channel, Chez Manú infuses local produce with French culinary technique. The local seafood is served simply, while rabbit, duck, and pheasant are paired with bacon, calafate berries, or aromatic herbs. Try the black hake, a local delicacy, or pick one of the feisty king crabs from the centerpiece tank.

Open daily noon to 3 pm and 8 pm to midnight.

El Almacén de Ramos Generales
749 Maipú
Tel: 54 2901 424317

This coffeehouse, bakery, and wine bar beside Ushuaia's port is housed in a recently renovated general store dating back to 1906. Crammed with antiques—tools, toys, and typewriters cover the floor-to-ceiling shelves—it's as much a museum of Fuegian pioneer culture as it is a great place to grab a bite. Nevertheless, the French-styled petits gâteaux, freshly baked on the premises each morning, take center stage in a paradise of fresh breads, pungent cheeses, and herb-encrusted cold cuts, all served with a range of well-prepared coffee, locally brewed Beagle beer, and a varied selection of Argentine wines.

Open daily 8 am to 1 am.

La Cervecería
564 San Martín
El Chaltén
Tel: 54 2962 493109

One of the founders of La Cervecería hailed from Prague, where his family's 400-year-old brewery survived Nazi occupation only to be expropriated by the postwar Czech government. The family fled to Persia, a move they regretted in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini's revolutionaries brought Iran's brewing industry to an abrupt halt. Longing for peace and quiet, they landed in Patagonia, setting up shop in a tiny wood-frame shack in El Chaltén, where they brew top-quality bock and Pilsner behind the bar, serving it still frothing to today's generation of ruddy-cheeked hikers and climbers. There's a simple menu of home-prepared food, featuring Argentine staples such as rich locro stew, piquant empanadas, lasagna, and pizza.

Open daily 12:15 pm to 12:15 am.

Nain Maggie
179 Perito Moreno
Tel: 54 2945 480232

Trevelin, "the village of the mill," is one of a handful of settlements in the Río Chubut valley founded by Welsh nationalists who fled English cultural domination to settle Patagonia's Atlantic coast in 1865. About 80 percent of people in Trevelin are descendents of the original Welsh settlers, and they still speak a pure form of their language. Several teahouses prolong traditions, but the locals' favorite is Nain Maggie, where the tables groan each afternoon with myriad cakes, tarts, scones, and torta galesa, a rich Patagonian fruitcake, all accompanied by steaming pots of strong tea.

Open Wednesdays through Mondays 3:30 to 8 pm.

Restaurant Puerto Viejo
O'Higgins 1205
Punta Arenas
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' association—sister restaurant Parrilla Los Ganaderos griddles impressive lamb cuts—Puerto Viejo has won much acclaim since opening in 2002.

Antonio Varas 452
Puerto Montt
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.

Tía Elvira
349 Maipú
Tel: 54 2901 424725

Tía Elvira's walls are adorned with photographs and artifacts from three decades of no-nonsense seafood served up on the Ushuaia waterfront. Current owner Oscar Sigel maintains a cheerful atmosphere, encouraging diners to roll up their sleeves as they tuck into mollusks, crustaceans, and fish freshly landed by Beagle Channel fishing smacks. A lengthy list of simply prepared seafood, including scallops, clams, squid, and two kinds of mussel (both the regular mejillón and the giant cholga variety), is crowned by the signature dish, king crab with garlic sauce.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 7 to 11 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.