EAT and DRINK: Valparaiso
If you’ve read here for a while, you’ll know that trying local cuisine and drinks when I travel is one of my favorite things. I am not picky at all and I will try anything once - the latter was tested later on in Buenos Aires. So much of this entire trip was delicious food! I didn’t really know what to expect because in Chile I think about seafood (only because it has so much coastline, no other reason) and for Argentina the first thing that comes to mind is STEAK. I’m sure that I am not the only one. But, I digress, this post is strictly Valpo food. So, without further ado, my favorites of the trip.
Fauna - I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention where we ate all of our breakfasts and where I had two dinners! Our hotel, Hotel Fauna, has a restaurant on the rooftop with lovely views, great food, and a great cocktail and wine list. I had wine with every dinner, enjoyed the sunsets and views, and ate a variety of dishes with fish, quinoa, and fresh vegetables. Every meal was tasty but felt balanced, healthy, and the portions were just enough. The breakfasts were balanced and created with a traveler in mind, I think. Because there was a starter of yogurt parfait, fruit, and then eggs and toasts were brought out with butter and local jams. I also enjoyed several cups of coffee each morning because we really loved just sitting and taking in the view (usually I faced the sun and wore my sunglasses inside and Lindsey commented that I always looked like a celebrity or someone who’d had a fun night and was trying to hide it :P.) I can’t recommend this cute hotel and its restaurant enough. Even if you go to Valparaiso and don't stay there, stop by for dinner. The prices were not cheap in comparison to most of our meals in Chile, but they were also not expensive either. I think my most expensive meal was two glasses of wine, and app, an entree, and a dessert plus tip and that was about $40. It was my first night and my body was tired, confused, and hungry, I’m don’t normally consume all of that for one meal.
Taulat tapas bar - This place doesn’t have a website! It was right down the street from our hotel and it has two entrances, one in the front and one in the back. I don’t really know which one is the main entrance, but we were at the end of one of our wandering afternoons and wanted to duck into a place to get a cocktail and warm up. So we walked in, went straight to the roof, and ordered two Pisco sours while we watched the fog roll in (I’m pictured on the rooftop patio in the gallery below the post). They were delicious and reasonably priced. Our most expensive cocktails in Chile were only $8, I might add, and that was probably for these. When we were ready to go back to our hotel to freshen up and put on more clothes (me, because I’d been bare legging it in a dress) we walked out the other door onto Paseo Dimalow and TA-DAAA, there was our hotel. Lol, we felt kind of dumb.
Pasta e Vino Restaurante - THE SPLURGE OF CHILE. Yet still not much. We had a bottle of nice local Chilean wine, we went for the middle of the price list and also let the sommelier help us select one. She was great, really talkative, and friendly. We each ordered really delicious pasta dishes, and shared an appetizer. I think when all was said and done our bill with tip was around $100 USD. The service was fantastic here as well and I highly recommend making a reservation because it was busy and they advised us to make one, it is popular with locals and tourists and therefore, busy.
Casa Cervecera Altamira - This place is Valparaiso’s first (and only?) craft beer bar. I sought it out on google reviews or something and went there for a few drinks before my friend arrived, since she isn’t as much of a beer drinker as I am, so I was alone. It didn’t have a true bar set up, so I sat at a table, by myself. I really wish it had a bar because I would have loved to stay there, order food, and chat with a bartender/practice my Spanish! But, I had a flight of beers (pictured in gallery) and then went back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. I enjoyed the stout I had, but it seems that stouts, pale ales, Belgians and German style beers are all you’re going to get in Chile. No sours, no IPA’s, no saisons (that I saw), or Farmhouse ales. So, none of my favorites were on there. I think it was just the local tastes, and that is okay. I guess when there is so much wine in the region (and the tradition of Pisco) why does one need beer? I enjoyed this bar, but I wouldn't go back solo unless they had a bar or if I brought a book.
Photos from top to bottom: dogs sleeping outside of the Hotel Fauna one morning, piano Staircase on one of our “get lost” walks, photographing Valparaiso from the balcony of La Sebastiana, sunset on the rooftop of Hotel Fauna, making one of many friends, handwritten sign explaining the necessity of the cheap or free elevators for the elderly and less mobile population, posing together at the end of our graffiti tour, pretty tile floors in a restaurant, me with my pisco sour at Taulat, a local Patagonia lager we had at lunch one day (love the simple but classic label), making another friend!