Photo by Ana Schlimovich
If you’re aiming to see what last night’s catch looked like before it became your supper, head to Santiago’s Mercado Central, where every edible sea creature is up for sale. As boisterous as a stock market, the seafood exchange assembles hard-working fishmongers, clad in high rubber boots, who hawk a full fishy portfolio including conger, swordfish, and shrimp (peeled for an extra fee). Live sea urchins peek out from rock-like shells and oysters slam shut as scores of restaurateurs arrive early in search of what will become the chef’s daily special. The market is loud, bustling, and crowded . . . and it can be jarring to discover just how ugly in life that delicious reineta you savored really was. Following local tradition, students come here the morning after their proms—fully regaled in tuxedos and gowns—for a bowl of restorative broth.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Seafood Delights at Santiago's Mercado Central
Santiago's colorful Mercado Central, five blocks north of the main square, is a pulsating hub for seafood starting every morning before dawn. The market is lined with brightly lit stalls of fishmongers who bring in a daily offering of just-out-of-sea mollusks, crustaceans, and fish waiting to to wind up on your plate. A historic landmark dating back over 120 years, the interior is reminiscent of a European train station and now home to many seafood eateries (try Richard El Rey del Mariscal over the massive Donde Augusto). San Pablo with Puente (Metro Cal y Canto)
By Liz Caskey, AFAR Local Expert
San Pablo, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
+56 2 2697 3779
Sun - Thur 6am - 5pm
Fri 6am - 8pm
Sat 6am - 6pm