Dear Fellow Foodie,
So you've bought your ticket to Santiago; or you've just relocated; or maybe you're back on home turf after a stint abroad. Perhaps you read about Eat Wine in the plane on the way. In any case, you're anxious to tap into the city's (culinary) pulse RIGHT NOW. First, I should warn you. This is a somewhat of a long letter. I wanted to spill the beans on why Eat Wine Santiago will rock your world. I promise that reading to the end of the page will totally be worth your while! So let's get on with it.
Any trip is always accompanied by that buzzy sensation of what's new and unknown. Everything is new and waiting to be discovered. Traveling can also drum up a lot of extra work, researching and planning, all in the quest of finding the best spots. How does all that excitment make you feel?
• Frustrated: You don't know where to start. With so many resources and opinions, information overload can quickly ensue.
• Hesitant: You want to take advantage of your limited time and/or resources in the city. You think, "What I really need is an in-the-know buddy to guide me." But where? And who?.
• Adventure: You are high on South America, Chile, and its culture. You are p-y-s-c-h-e-d about it. You want to dive into it full-on as soon as you touch Chilean soil.
• Nervous: You feel a little anxious about what to expect. "I don't speak Spanish, how will I cope?" Perhaps you've never been to Latin America before. Is Santiago safe? How should I tip? The questions seem to come so fast they floor you.
• Excited: You decided to come to Chile for work, love, pleasure, family or because your curiosity about "how the other half lives" was killing you. You want to do it all, hell yeah to that! And in the interim, you must eat and drink well. That's the whole point of life, right?.
If you said yes! to any of the above, than I have good news for you. You're in the right place. I am here to help you.
You see, I have been through this myself. First when I came to Chile as an exchange student in 1997 in Chile and later, when I decided to relocate as an expat almost 9 years ago. My passion for the local fare and flavor led me to create my own gig, built around wine, food, and tourism. I have been "crushing it" since 2001 so I get it.
I was once exactly where you are.
After I moved back to Chile, the food scene seemed to be experiencing a metamorphisis: immigration from Peru and Korea was increasing, more restaurants were opening, young chefs were reinventing traditional dishes. Things were happening. However, I was having very hit-and-miss experiences dining when going out in Santiago. And I was seriously pining for some items from home (the United States) that were hard to find. The problem was that there wasn't one single guide that I could rely on.
The traditional guidebooks pointed out restaurants on the tourist circuit, and were, often times, written by a foreigner visiting Santiago on a one week stint. The reviews on the Internet relied heavily on the palate (or lack thereof) of the consumer. And local restaurant reviews were geared towards a Chilean public, in Spanish, which for me, produced more disappointments than triumphs. Something wasn't jiving.
Years of this got me thinking. Where would I take my best clients, editors, family, and friends if they visited Santiago? What if I could assemble a guide personally vetted my taste buds, my experience, and my background in food and wine to really help people eat better, drink better, and ultimately, have more fun in the capital? And if I could fuse that with new technology to get the information out faster, easier, and more mobile than ever.
With this vision, Eat Wine Santiago came into existence. I compiled my rolodex, reported my triumphs, discovered local, gems, joints, cafe, shops, and also noted when I bombed. I brought it all together, and put it in one place, with the sole mission of helping people eat and drink well, and discover the soul in Santiago in the process. This is the relief foodies arriving in Santiago have been looking for. Frustration be gone!.
Eat Wine is the first comprehensive foodie guide of its type in English for Santiago. You can't help love this book as you resonate with the information. But hey, let's be clear. This is NOT a tour guide directing you to any historical monuments, museums (unless you consider a market a "living museum"), shopping malls, or anything else you'd find in a traditional guide like Frommers or Fodors. It is a food and wine driven guide, that in addition to restaurant recommendations, has lots of personal insight into the etiquette, culture, and handy tools to help you out. More on that in a little bit.
Who is this guide a perfect fit for?
Seeing that this is a do-it-yourself guide, you are probably naturally curious, proactive, love food, and want to get the inside scoop from the get go on food and drink in town. It doesn't matter if you are here for two days or have lived in Santiago your whole life; there is something in this guide for everyone. That being said, this is a guide and that means there is an editorial selection based on what I feel are the best experiences you could have in all the different genres. This is not an exhaustive list of every single restaurant, bar, mom-and-pop shop, corner stall, stand, cafe con piernas (cafe with "legs"), and market in the city, but a cautiously and expertly hand picked compilation. The focus of this guide is primarily the central area of Santiago extending out into some areas of the eastern suburbs such as Las Condes, Vitacura, and a few places in Lo Barnechea. This guide will fit like a glove if you:
• Love good food and drink and see it as the bridge to understanding a culture.
• Want to maximize, culinarily speaking, your short time in Santiago while traveling.
• Are tired of the hit or miss recommendations and want a reliable source for shoot-from-the-hip information.
• Are an expat seeking exotic ingredients, ethnic restaurants, and specialty items from home.
• Are a local wanting to "retaste" your city and eat more healthily.
• Open to new experiences and exploring parts of the city outside your immediate neighborhood.
Who is this guide not a perfect fit for?
• Non-adventurous eaters who prefer dining in blase Franchise chains from the US.
• Those looking for a long-winded list of every completo (hot dog) stand in Santiago
(note: I picked the best)
• If you are lazy and pizza delivery is your habitual form of “dining out”
Eat Wine Santiago will take you from being clueless to syncing with the food culture in Chile and understanding what makes Santiago tick, food-wise. Actually, you get more than the EW guide; it's like having insider access to me as that local guide you've been seeking.
What about the updates?
Times change. Restaurants open and close. New bars are born. The organic movement is hot and growing across Santiago with more markets and shops. We update the guide every two years to reflect our newest favorite spots. All for your pleasure. Here's a low down of what was added in our most recent update :
- New neighborhoods : There's a renaissance happening in new barrios of the city and this guide is a low down to navigating these areas like Yungay and Italia
- Primers on where to eat : Only in town a few days? Look at my personal recs on setting up your restaurants, thematically. Dive into a lesson on Chilean colloquial eats, Ethnic haunts, or farm-to-table.
- Expanded wine list : need I say more? Every year I rack my brain and put my liver in danger to taste hundreds of wines. This is my short list of what you should be drinking in Chile.
- New hotels and travel suggestions : Boutique hotels are on everybody lips and tourism is on fire in these latitudes. We'll keep you plugged into the juice on that.
- Sync to your device : As an e-book in PDF format, keep it on your iPad, Kindle, iPhone, or smart device to have it with you wherever you go.
Here are some of the inclusions you'll get in the guide:
• The full guide in PDF format delivered to your email address for immediate download (5.28 MB).
• Brief discussion of the local fare.
• Tips for hitting Santiago's main markets.
• The scoop on dining etiquette and city smarts from managing the dizzying local currency to tipping.
• Liz's culinary glossary with keywords to help you navigate the local brew and fare.
• Liz's wine cheat sheet, with picks and descriptions from Sparklers to Cabernet Francs, in all price ranges; an essential tool when eating out.
© 2009-2014 Liz Caskey Culinary and Wine Experiences. All Rights Reserved.