2007 Roadtrip Puerto Varas, Chile Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM

We spent 6 weeks in Puerto Varas and had a great time. Here are our restaurant reviews for Puerto Varas and the surrounding area. (Exchange rate: CLP 500 = US$1)

1. Our Favorites

1.1 Alerce Restauant

Cuisine: Chilean, International
Hours: breakfast from 6:30 am, lunch from 12:30 pm and dinner from 6:30pm Address: Hotel Meliá Patagonia, Klenner 349, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/201-001
Prices: Mains $10 to $25
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

ALEDM Review

The food and the service are excellent; it is a cut above any other restaurant in Puerto Varas. The room is lovely as well, with a lake and volcano view. This is the non-smoking restaurant of the hotel. The menu requires that you choose the main course as well as the vegetables, paying separately. It is possible to choose from Tiznao Restaurant’s menu in this restaurant.

1.2. Chamaca Inn

Cuisine: Seafood

Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: Del Salvador s/n above the local market, across from the Santa Isabela supermarket, at the corner of San Bernardo, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/232 876
Prices: Mains $4 to $25
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

Recommended by people for fresh, raw oysters and sea urchins. They also have fresh, raw clams which were tender and tasty. From Lonely Planet: “Similar to La Olla (two sisters run the two places) with well-prepared, huge portions. It’s a bright and busy place, thought it does not match La Olla’s fame.” In our opinion it is vastly better than La Olla because of all the fresh raw shellfish they serve.


1.3. Ciclo ArtEspacio

Cuisine: International
Hours: Lunch, maybe dinner as well in the future.
Address: Calle San Ignacio 695, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/237-222, 237-223
Prices: Menu of the day is CLP$3.500/US $7, espresso coffee CLP$1.500/US$3
Credit cards: Not accepted

ALEDM Review

Nicely desgined with a book and gift store. The lunch menu was huge and tasty.


1.4. La Cusina d’Alessandro

Cuisine: Pizza, Pasta
Hours: Daily noon to midnight
Address: Av. Vicente Pérez Rosales—Costanera—1290, esquina E. Ramírez, Puerto Varas

Phone: 65/310-583
Prices: Mains $5 to $9
Credit cards: Not accepted

Frommer's Review
“The authentic, fresh pastas and thin-crust pizzas at this restaurant are excellent because they are made by an Italian family who emigrated to Puerto Varas only a few years ago, bringing with them real Italian gastronomic know-how. The pizzas really shine here, and their special two-for-one pizza offer from 4 to 8pm every day makes this restaurant a good value. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is housed in a typical shingled home across from the beach. There are a few wooden tables that are large enough for groups of six to eight diners. It's a 15-minute walk from downtown. Apart from pasta and pizza, La Cucina has good seafood dishes, and it is open all day. It's a tiny restaurant, so make reservations for dinner and come early for lunch.”

ALEDM Review
The pastas are authentic and very good. The seafood soup is huge and delicious.

1.5. Mediterráneo

Cuisine: International, Mediterranean
Hours: Apr – Nov daily noon to 3:30 pm, and 7:30 to 11 pm
Dec-Mar daily 10am-2am
Address: Corner of Portales, Santa Rosa 068, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/237268
Prices: Mains $4 to $25
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

Frommer's Review
“Boasting an excellent location right on the Costanera, this restaurant has a glass-enclosed terrace with water views. The cheerful orange tablecloths add to its brightness, as does the pleasant waitstaff. Mediterráneo is known for its imaginative dishes (think Chilean-Mediterranean fusion) that change weekly. The owners use mostly local produce, including spices bought from the Mapuche natives. Here, you'll find big, fresh salads mixing such ingredients as endives, Swiss cheese, anchovies, olives, and local mushrooms. For the main course, the venison here is excellent, served with a yummy zucchini gratin. Other standouts are the fresh sea bass with a caper white-wine sauce, and a delicious lamb cooked in a rosemary wine reduction and served with roasted potatoes. For dessert, try one of the fruit sorbets.”

ALEDM Review
The service is very good and the food has also been reliably good. On one occasion our bill was CLP$21.100 + tip CLP$2.110 = CLP$22.210 and we had 1 sopa almejas CLP$3.400, ! salmon CLP$8,800, 1 Cono Sur Viogner CLP$8.900.

1.6. Puro Toro

Cuisine: Carnes, asadas a la leña/Beef grilled
Hours: Not open Mondays
Address: Ruta 225, km 1.5 Camino a Ensenada, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/237 272
Web: www.purotoro.com
Prices: Mains $10 to $20
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

ALEDM Review

Large room but well decorated and warm. Good service. The food was good too!

1.7. Se Cocina

Cuisine: Casera Fusión/Home cooking with a flair
Hours: Only open by reservation (even for dinner)
Address: km 2 Camino Totoral a Frutillar, Countryside on the road branching off of Costanera toward Punto Larga.
Fundo Santa Clara
Phone: 9 757 7152, 8-813-9237
Prices :CLP$25.000 per person
Credit cards: None

ALEDM Review

Recommended by locals. Cute little house nicely decorated. Owner Francisco. Part of Slow Food group. It’s unique and an afternoon, spent having lunch there is enjoyable. The food is not excellent but the experience is.

1.8. Tiznao

Cuisine: Mediterranean, International
Hours: dinner from 6:30 pm
Address: Hotel Meliá Patagonia, Klenner 349, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/201-001
Prices: Mains $10 to $25
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

ALEDM Review
This is the smoking restaurant of the Meliá. The food and service are excellent and, if no one is smoking, has a more interesting menu than Alerce. The dishes are complete, with accompaniments, and so are well thought out. It is possible to choose from either menu in either of the hotel’s restaurants. The space is quite pleasant (again, if no one is smoking) and the view is possibly better than at Alerce.


2. Good Restaurants

2.1. Café Mamusia

Cuisine: Chilean Café Bakery
Hours: Summer daily 8:30am to 2 am, winter Mon-Fri 9am-10:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-11pm
Address: San José 316, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/233343
Prices: Mains $5 to $8
Credit cards: MC, V

Frommer's Review
“The Mamusia is locally renowned for its delicious chocolates and pastries. The atmosphere is somewhat like a tearoom or ice-cream parlor, but there are delicious sandwiches and full meals throughout the day as well. Café Mamusia is also a good place for breakfast and serves a continental version for $5 (£2.50). It serves typical Chilean favorites such as pastel de choclo and escalopas, as well as lasagna, pizza, and grilled meats and fish; sandwiches come on homemade bread.”

ALEDM Review

It was reasonalby priced but uninteresting. DM liked the pastry.

2.2. Casona Restaurant

Cuisine: Chilean
Hours: Lunch
Address: Bahia Totoral km 9 Llanquihue. From Ruta 5 take Fresia exit
Phone: 334-164, 9-227-5162, 8-906-1452
Prices: $4 - $8
Credit cards: n/a

Owner is Gladys Galvez Rojas. Future website: http://www.casonarestaurant.com/.

ALEDM Review
This is a new restaurant with a great location right on the lake—but not much view from the historic windows of this old house. We had the same dish the owner was eating: porotos. It was delicious but not on the menu. The owner said with advance warning they would make any Chilean dish requested. Another time we had a meat cazuella and empenadas and both were very good and extremely tasty. It is reasonably priced too.

2.3. Club de Yates

Hours: Daily noon to 4 pm, 8 pm to midnight
Address: Santa Rosa 161, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/2320003
E-mail: www.clubdeyates.cl/puertovaras.asp
Prices: Mains $7 to $13
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC,

Frommer's Review

“Like its counterpart in Puerto Montt, this restaurant sits over the water on stilts, affording excellent views of Volcano Osorno and giving the sensation of being on a ship. The food here is better than the at Puerto Montt branch, although there are better restaurants in town in terms of food quality. Club de Yates specializes in seafood, and the lengthy menu offers just about every kind of fish or shellfish cooked every way: grilled, sautéed, or fried, with sauces and your choice of a side dish. There are also good appetizers, such as Parmesan razor clams and, occasionally, locos, or abalone, and they serve enough meat dishes to satisfy those who aren't in the mood for seafood. The dining area is semiformal, with high ceilings and an airy atmosphere, but it is pleasurable and doesn't feel cold. Club de Yates often holds special events and large-scale lunches for cruise travelers who've docked in Puerto Montt, so they sometimes close to the public. This is a good restaurant if you are lodging downtown and do not feel like going very far.”

ALEDM Review
Often they don’t have fresh shellfish and the fish they have are the ones on all restaurants menus. The room is so large that it seems cold. The fish is good but not great.

2.4. Donde el Gordito

Hours: Lunch and Dinner
Address: San Bernardo 560, in the municipal market, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/233-425

Prices: Mains $7 to $13
Credit cards n/a

ALEDM Review
This is a tiny place but it was packed for Sunday lunch. We had only one soup and one salad but it is a very popular place for big meals. The soup and salad were very good. Our lunch was CLP$7.500/US$15 including tip.

2.5. Govinda

Cuisine: International

Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: Av. Santa Rosa 218, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/233-080
Prices: Mains $15 to $25
Credit cards: AE, MC, V

ALEDM Review

It’s about US$5 to $10 more expensive than other restaurants and, after a few times, that started to annoy us. Some dishes are very tasty, others are bland. The room is very nice, with the fireplace it’s cosy. The staff is very nice. On one occasion we had: Govinda 1 Carmenere Adobe CLP$8.100, 1 Berenjenas Asadas CLP$5.900, 1 Guiso de Ternera CLP$11.300, 1 Rollo de Manzanas CLP$3.200, 2 decaf CLP$2.000 = CLP$30.500 + tip CLP$3.000 = CLP $33.500

2.6. Güten Apetit

Cuisine: Chilean home cooking
Hours: Lunch and dinner until 10 pm
Address: Balmaceda 98, Frutillar
Phone: 65-421 145
Prices: $6 - $10
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

It was packed for lunch on Sunday. We had 1 menu CLP$5.000, 1 paila marina CLP$4.700, 1 Errazeriz Cortton CLP$7.00, 1 kuchen nuez CLP$1.300, 2 espresso coffees CLP$.700. The total was CLP$18.700 + tip = CLP$20.000/about US$40.

2.7. Ibis

Cuisine: International, Chilean
Hours: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to midnight
Address: Av. Vicente Pérez Rosales 1117, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/235533
Prices: Mains $7 to $13
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

Frommer's Review
“This popular restaurant specializes in seafood and is one Puerto Varas's best. Like a few of the aforementioned restaurants, it is about a 10-minute walk from the town center. On offer is creative cuisine and a vast menu with dishes such as flambéed Ecuadorian shrimp in cognac; pistachio salmon; beef filet in a sauce of tomato, garlic, and chipotle pepper; and lamb chops with mint sauce. To begin, try a shellfish appetizer that the chef brings in fresh from the coast, and end the meal with crêpes suzette. The eating area is small but warm and is decorated with crafts-oriented art; there's also a bar here. During the day, there is pleasant outdoor seating that overlooks the lake. The wine list also merits mention for its variety.”

ALEDM Review

While the menu has lots of selections, the restaurant invariably doesn’t actually have all of the items. The fish has too much sauce on it and is only good, not great. We didn’t like the waiter either.

2.8. La Olla

Cuisine: Seafood
Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: San Bernardo 240, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/234 605
Prices: Mains $4 to $8
Credit cards: n/a

Lonely Planet’s Review

“Serving best seafood in town. Packs in locals and tourists alike. The ceviche caribeño, with salmon and congrio, is a meal in itself, as is the caldillo. Don’t pass up the cilantro and garlic bread spread.”

ALEDM Review

Recommended by people forfresh oysters and sea urchins but they never had them.

2.9. Restaurant Colonos del Llanquihue

Cuisine: Gastronomy from the south of Chile with beer from their micro-brewery
Hours: Lunch only
Address:: km 4 Camino Llanquihue a Totoral
Phone 65/330 762 or 9 051 225
E-mail: hersephe@willnet
Prices n/a
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

A cute place in an exquisite location on the lake. Only open for lunch and usually only a fixed menu. However they have other things and we had 2 sopas de mariscos (excellent with potatoes, mussels, chicken and delicious sausage) CLP$5.500 for both.

2.10. Tomacito

Cuisine: Chilean home cooking
Hours: Lunch and dinner until 10 pm
Address: Del Salvador 527 (under supermercado Santa Isabel), Puerto Varas
Phone: 8 22 01 707
Prices: $4 - $6
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

This is an authentic home-cooking type restaurant. We had 1 Cazuela de vacuno, 1 guatita picante (a tripe stew), 1 longaniza casero (sausages) and the total was CLP$9.150 + tip/about US$20. All were delicious and full of flavor.

3. Our Least Favorite Restaurants

3.1 Club Alemán

Cuisine German, Chilean
Hours: 11 am to midnight
Address: San José 415, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/338291
Prices: Mains $8 to $13
Credit cards: DC, MC, V

Frommer's Review
“This Club Alemán seems to offer more German specialties than its fellow clubs, with goose, duck, and bratwurst served with onions, potatoes, and applesauce; pork chops with caramelized onions and sauerkraut; goulash with spaetzle; steak tartare; and other dishes, in addition to Chilean favorites. Sandwiches are much cheaper than main dishes ($3-$6/£1.50-£3) and are substantial. There are also appetizing desserts, such as crepes diplomático, with bananas, ice cream, and chocolate sauce.”

ALEDM Review
We had the German option on the menu and it wasn’t interesting. It wasn’t expensive either.

3.2. Latitude 42

Cuisine: International
Hours: Daily noon to 3 pm, and 7 to 10 pm
Address: In the Yan Kee Way Lodge, Road to Ensenada, east of Puerto Varas, Km 42, Ensenada
Phone: 65/212030
Prices: Mains $10 to $20
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

Frommer's Review
“This is one of the finest restaurants in southern Chile, located right on the lake overlooking the volcano. The elegant decor features marble and brass chandeliers, fireplaces made of volcanic rock, orangey leather chairs, picture windows overlooking the water, a basement "cave" for wine tasting, and a cigar bar that sells Havanas. Service is superb. The chef uses only the highest-quality produce, mostly local and organic, to create the most tantalizing dishes. The salmon is smoked in-house using apple cider, and the meat is aged on the premises. Fish is brought daily from Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, usually sea bass, salmon, and conger eel. Specials change daily and the entire menu changes occasionally throughout the year. The cellar houses outstanding wines, an impressive collection from over 40 vineyards. Pastries and desserts are also terrific; even the heavenly chestnut ice cream is homemade. The menu is surprisingly economical for the high quality of this restaurant. It is a good idea to make a reservation if you are not staying in the lodge.”

ALEDM Review

There were only 4 tables being served for lunch when we were there. It took 1 hour for our 1 soup and 1 salad to arrive. And the dishes weren’t that good. We wouldn’t recommend it.

3.3. Petrohué Hotel

Cuisine: Chilean
Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: Petrohué
Phone 65/258-042
Prices: Mains $10 to $20
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V

ALEDM Review

As Lonely Planet says: “The restaurant is open to the general public, but expensive, and marginal.” We spent CLP$6.000/US$12 for two uninspired and small soups.

3.4. El Fogón de Momo

Cuisine: Carnes a la brasas
Hours: Martes a Sábado desde las 19:30. Domingo desde 12:00
Address: Traumén 1710, Puerto Varas
Phone: 08 662 2881 or 08 295 7339
Prices: Mains $5 to $15
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

This is a new restaurant with a menu very similar to many other restaurants. The more unusual items on the menu, which we ordered, they didn’t have. It was disappointing.

3.5. Hotel Saltzburg

Cuisine: Chilean
Hours Lunch and dinner
Address: Philippi 663, Frutillar
Phone: 65/421-201
Prices: Mains $5 to $15
Credit cards: AE, MC, V

ALEDM Review

We had one salad for CLP$4.000/US$8 and it wasn’t worth it.

3.6. Sushi Varas

Cuisine: sushi
Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: Del Salvador (near supermercado Santa Isabel) , Puerto Varas
Phone
Prices see below
Credit cards

ALEDM Review

We had two miso udon soups that had vermicelli noodles instead of udon noodles. Not tasty either. The cost was CLP$2.800/about US$5.


4. Cafes

4.1.Caffe el Barista

Cuisine: International
Hours: All day
Address: Walker Martinez 211 A, Puerto Varas
Phone
Prices: see below
Credit cards: n/a

ALEDM Review

Two coffees were CLP$3.200 + .200 tip. It is a shame that it allows smoking. Otherwise nice.

5. Never Tried These Restaurants

5.1. Café Dane

Cuisine: Chilean
Hours: 7:45am to 1 am
Address: Del San Salvador 441, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/232371
Prices: Mains $3.50 to $8
Credit cards: Not accepted

Frommer's Review
“It's often hard to get a table during the lunch hour in this extremely popular restaurant. Dane's serves inexpensive, hearty food in good-size portions, plus mouthwatering desserts. The interior is simple and unassuming, and much of the food is standard Chilean fare, all of it good or very good. The fried empanadas, especially shellfish, deserve special mention. Dane's serves a daily set menu for $6 (£3) Monday through Saturday and $9 (£4.50) on Sunday, as well as a special dish, or plato del día, for $3.50 (£1.75). It's less busy before 1pm or after 3pm. You can also buy food to go from the front counter.”

5.2. Hotel Puelche Restaurant

Cuisine: International
Hours: 7 – 11 pm
Address Inperial 695, Corner of Italia, Puerto Varas
Phone: 65/233600
Prices: Mains $4 to $25 (to be confirmed)
Credit cards: AE, DC, MC, V (to be confirmed)

5.3. Esparota Pajaro Restaurant

Cuisine: Buffet with grilled meats
Hours: Lunch and dinner
Address: On the road between Frutillar and Pto. Octay

6. Shops That Sell Food

6.1. Deco & Gourmet, Estación 401 near the entrance of the hotel Los Colones del Sur, Puerto Varas. The sell Kimbo decaffeinated coffee in cans.

6.2. El Mondo del Vino, La Paz s/n, Puerto Varas. A very good wine shop.

6.3. Les Co Pains Français Calle Arturo Prat 273, Puerto Varas. Even though they speak French, their baguette bears no resemblance to the real thing.


7. Out of Business (although in guidebooks), Puerto Varas
7.1. Color Café
7.2. Merlín