I just got back from a week in Santiago, my first long haul trip since becoming vegan. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what my options would be, especially since my knowledge of Spanish is pretty lacking! I didn’t eat out much whilst away as I had a big kitchen in my hostel and easy access to shops and the local markets. However, when I did treat myself, I was pleasantly surprised. Whether you are hoping to enjoy a traditional Chilean meal or something more international, many restaurants offer a range of meat-free dishes, from empanadas to hot chocolates!
Here are some of the best vegan restaurants in Santiago…
Shakti en Chile
Hidden in a colourful bohemian courtyard in the Italian quarter, this 100% vegan restaurant has some sheltered outdoor seating (complete with heaters for the winter!) and five indoor tables. They offer a range of starters and mains, as well as a ‘menu del dia‘/ daily menu – a set two course meal which changes each day. Keep an eye on their Facebook for menu updates.
I asked the waiter to choose something tasty for me and was presented with a beautifully unusual plate of food! Savoury chickpea pancakes stuffed with whole mushrooms in a coconut cream sauce. Surrounded by a tomato and garlic sauce and an unidentifiable yellow crumb which was INSANELY good whatever it was. It’s topped with some sprouts and accompanied by an ice cold strawberry juice. This ended up being my favourite meal of my entire stay!
For something a little more sophisticated, Vegan Bueras is your place! This cute little vegan restaurant is just off Merced street, which was conveniently two minutes walk from my hostel! They offer a few standard menu options as well as daily specials. Prices and style range from burgers and pizzas to fancier dishes, such as the mushroom gnocchi which I enjoyed. They also offer a special mushroom dish which the owner tried to explain to me, but my understanding was somewhat limited thanks to my crappy Spanish! From what i gathered, they are posh wild dried mushrooms that are soaked in water overnight (so you need to preorder). I think they are served with a pomme puree and some veggies – the owner is very enthusiastic about this dish but sadly I never got around to tasting it!
This vegan fast food joint is just down the road from Shakti en Chile, if you fancy a food crawl! The restaurant sells a range of burgers, sandwiches, cakes, milkshakes and more. They also have a daily special which they advertise on their Facebook page each morning which varies from dishes like lasagna to Chilean classics.
This tiny shop offers takeaway cakes and sandwiches with a range of vegan fillings – using ‘meat’ slices, salad, vegan mayo etc. They also have a huge selection of vegan empanadas which they can heat up for you, with fillings including tofu. veggies and minced ‘beef’. I tried the tofu, tomato and herb empanada and it was great! They also sell a range of vegan staples such as almond and soya milk which are harder to find in supermarkets. The shop is tucked down an alley right next to the metro stop ‘La Moneda’. Check out their website for more info.
Alongside their standard menu, Malvarosa also offer a three course menu of the day for just 4500 pesos (around $7). Check out their Facebook page to see the kinds of meals they rustle up! They are a vegetarian restaurant – you’ll just need to check which dishes are vegan. They are only one minute away from Shakti en Chile, in the Italian quarter (clearly a great district for vegan options!).
This popular vegan restaurant is a little tucked away – it took me a while to find it! Google maps was showing I was right outside but I couldn’t see it anywhere. Turns out you have to go inside what looks like a mall entrance, and leads on to a bunch of shops and restaurants. As soon as you walk in, you’ll see signs for Soju – it’s towards the back on the left side. This place is hugely popular with vegans and carnivores alike – be prepared to queue at peak times! I arrived at 2pm and queued for around 10 minutes. Luckily most people are in and out fairly quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long. Soju offer a range of meal options each day (see their Facebook for examples), ranging in price. I went for the top option on the menu below which was a soya meat stew with rice, with a huge side salad, bread and salsa and iced tea – all for only 2600 / $4! I have to admit, it wasn’t the prettiest picture, but it tasted AMAZING and that’s what matters, right?! Plus, the staff were lovely – in particular the guy who took the time to translate the menu for me 🙂
XOCO Por Ti
I haven’t tried and tested this place, but according to Happy Cow, this French owned bar focuses solely on the preparation of cacao related beverages; hot chocolate, frappe chocolate and ice creams based on different types of cacao bean from all over the world. Set in a patio in Barrio Italia, they are said to offer almond milk. I haven’t got a very sweet tooth so sadly never got around to testing this place out!
Rated in the top 25 vegetarian restaurants in the world by The Daily Meal and the top 10 in Santiago, this Providencia based restaurant offers a range of beautifully presented dishes originating from Chile and further afield. They are a vegetarian restaurant, but clearly label their menu so you can see exactly which dishes are vegan – they even have a couple of vegan desserts!
Using only the freshest ingredients, Quinoa has a large menu packed with Mediterranean options for vegetarians and vegans alike. Just double check with your server which dishes are vegan (vegano!). They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner and you can even take away your meal if you’d prefer. There’s no alcohol on sale here, but if you fancy a tipple, you can bring your own with a corkage fee of 3500 pesos. It’s recommended to book as it’s very popular!