This acclaimed ice cream parlor with more than 15 locations (most Santiago malls have one) dishes out every imaginable flavor. Regulars crave dulce de leche, lifted from the namesake caramel dessert. Or try the Chilean classic called café helado, a tall glass of strong, chilled coffee with a scoop of ice cream at the bottom and whipped cream on top. ¡Ay, yi, yi! A rare spot for decaf coffee, as well as sugar-free and gluten-free treats, La Rosa serves breakfast, lunch, and high tea.
Avenida General Rondizzoni
The mercury during summer afternoons can hit 34C (or around 95F). How to stay cool during the hottest time of the day (4-6pm)? Besides seeking shade or air-conditioning, Santiaguinos seek solace in a traditional drink called “mote con huesillos.” Huesillos, sun-dried peaches, are cooked with water and a touch of sugar. The liquid and fruit are chilled and served with a scoop of toothy golden barley. Mote con huesillo is sold by vendors throughout downtown. More than a drink, it’s a satisfying, healthy snack.
Atop towering Cerro San Cristóbal, there are two municipal pools where many families go to cool off during the summer: Tupahue and Antilén. Conveniently, these all have fabulous views of the city below. However, they do come with a price tag of US$12 for the lower-elevation Tupahue, and US$15 for Antilén, which keeps crowds to manageable levels in January and February.
After New Year’s, tomatoes become the king of vegetables and flood the markets with no end in sight (until March). Many of the shirt-soakers hail from a dusty country town near the coast called Limache. These tomatoes hold a place in most Santiaguinos’ hearts and nearly every restaurant, joint, and household will be making copious amounts of “Ensalada Chilena” (Chilean tomato salad) at this time of year. The ingredients are simple: perfectly ripe tomatoes cut into slices or wedges (no skin), tempered onions, chopped cilantro or basil, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Heaven.
Costanera Sur Poniente
The newly opened Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete was once a garbage dump and squatters’ before the nearly 50 acres were taken by the government and transformed into this handsome park. Dividid into two areas, “El Cauce” (The Channel) is 17-acre flood plain with three water mirrors. The second, known as “Brazo del río” (River’s Arm), covers 32 acres and boasts a lagoon formed by the Río Mapocho, now a place for water sports. Like in most Chilean parks there are soccer fields and a cycling path that belongs to part of a circuit covering over 20-miles and multiple neighborhoods. On the weekends, Santiago families congregate here under the sun for a pinic. Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Avenida Presidente Balmaceda 2800, near Costanera Sur, Quinta Normal