Sipping in Santiago: Best Bars

Good wine flows through Santiago, the Chilean capital, like water. Santiago’s bars also serve up stellar craft beer, fresh juices, and well-mixed cocktails. Find a seat, a bar stool, or a rooftop lounge to sip in style as the setting sun reflects off the Andes Mountains.

113 Calle Nva de Lyon
Want to know where Santiaguinos go to drink wine? Baco. This place got the wines-by-the-glass craze started and quite simply comes down to the following equation: amazingly well-curated wines with no restaurant mark-up. Add in wonderful, simple French food and great service. Winner. Sip on sublime, zesty Sauvignon Blanc from Casa Marin by the glass; maybe an earthy Carignan from the Maule Valley; how about a silky Bordeaux blend like Erasmo? Be sure to make reservations. Baco is open every single day of the year but always packed. Nueva de Lyon 113, Providencia Phone: 56 (2) 2231 4444 No website!
Av. Providencia 1353, Santiago, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Liguria is an institution in Santiago. It’s the default for meeting friends and colleagues over chilled draft beers called schops, or dangerously loaded cocktails. The bar scene is animated and starts in the late afternoon around happy hour and ends in the wee hours of the morning. The kitchen pumps out tasty Chilean bistro-style fare ranging from countryside rabbit in mustard sauce to their much renowned “carne mechada,” a braised beef in tomato and red wine chopped up on pasta or sliced down into sandwiches. Get there early to score a table or make friends with the bartender. Best Locations: Metro Tobalaba on Luis Thayer Ojeda & Metro Manuel Montt (address listed here). Photo: Qantas
Isidora Goyenechea 2872, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
If you have time, you could travel nearly two hours south of the capital into wine country to dine at the outstanding Miguel Torres restaurant near Curicó, part of this Spanish winery’s headquarters--or you could dine at their outpost in the upscale area known as El Golf. The focus is on blending seasonal Chilean ingredients to showcase their ample portfolio of wines with small plates and tasting glasses rather a full meal. For any meal, be sure to kick off with their pink sparkler, Santa Digna Estelado made from the traditional “país” grape. The winery supports many small, organic producers to make their wines and this is just one example. Salud! Isidora Goyenechea 2874, Las Condes Phone: 56 (2) 2245 7338 Photo: Miguel Torres Chile
El Alcalde - Av. El Golf 15, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Purpose-built as the first Ritz-Carlton in the Southern Cone, this Santiago hotel opened its doors in June 2003. When guests enter the impressive red-brick building, they are enveloped in a sense of occasion—paneled woodwork, ornately framed paintings, and staff dressed in suits and tuxes. All the trimmings delivered so well by the Ritz brand.

Tradition is the name of the game, both in service and style. The rooms are classic, with touches of Latin America in the artwork. The bathrooms are a high point—large, decked out in marble, and stocked with indulgent Asprey amenities. One of the most striking design features is the domed glass roof that tops the hotel. The view of the Andes is fantastic from the rooftop, and the best part is a swimming pool, so you can swim surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Service is a strong point (not always a given in Chile). You know you’re in good hands at the Ritz-Carlton.
Isidora Goyenechea 3000, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile
The W Santiago is where the cool kids stay. Which other hotel would dare to have a sign reading “WHATEVER” at the entrance? Since opening in 2009, the hotel has earned a strong following, both from locals and visitors. Dimly lit with a color scheme of purples, greens, and black, the rooms are modern, with full-length windows overlooking the city. Located in Santiago’s financial district, officially known as El Golf, the W is part of a large skyscraper (hotel reception is on the fourth floor) filled with restaurants and shops. The 196 rooms reach to the 21st floor, and the W has arguably the best roof terrace in town (Hotel Noi Vitacura being a close contender). The roof terrace has an infinity pool, knockout city views, and a heli-pad for those who want to whiz off to wine country or hit the ski slopes in speedy style.
In 1998, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in England at The London Clinic. A month later, satirical, left-leaning newspaper The Clinic was born. The newspaper’s namesake bar in the Lastarria area, housed in a gorgeous Baroque building, is constantly sporting zingers directed at many Chilean public figures. The Clinic is THE spot in Lastarria to toss back some cocktails or beers among hipsters. Every night it’s slammed. While they put on a weekend brunch and executive menu at lunch, it’s not about the food. It’s the cool scene. Monjitas 578, almost corner Miraflores Phone: 56(2) 2266 4440
Bellavista 052, local 94, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
As wine booms in Chile, Barrica 94 is the newest addition to the city’s wine bars. Located in the tourist-friendly Patio Bellavista in Bohemiam Bellavista, Barrica 94 is all about La Vid. Interior murals were designed by local painter and designer Tomás Ives and are contrasted by plush leather benches, and a wine list that will make grape lovers sing with delight. What to do here? Taste, taste, taste. The knowledgeable staff can help you and while wine is the star of the show, you can order some nibbles to complement them.
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