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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rector

Celebrating with the BEST Restaurants in Chile

February is a big month for me. My anniversary with my boyfriend is February 2nd, my dog's death anniversary is February 7th, my mom's death anniversary is February 14th, the same as Valentine's Day, and my birthday is February 22nd. With so many big days, I decided to honor them with my favorite thing: good meals!

For my mom's anniversary, also my first day at school, Christy and I, went to a popular restaurant called Mastica, but forgot it was Valentine's Day so they were completely booked. We wandered around that street and found a hole-in-the-wall sushi fusion place called Karai Sushi. We sat down and were the only ones at the restaurant except for the staff. There were three tables total for guests. We nervously awaited our food, hoping it would not give us food poisoning. However, we were happily surprised. We had shrimp tempura and mozzarella sticks and they were delicious!

We also got unique sushi rolls – I had a chicken, cream, sundried tomato, avocado sushi roll with pesto on top and Christy got an avocado sushi roll with mango and almonds in it. The flavors were tastes I'd never experienced before but I felt satisfied with my meal.

For Valentine's Day, my boyfriend sent me to a tea shop called, Adagio Teas and I was in heaven. The shop was STUNNING and they had a large variety of fruit teas, teapots, and other tea-related tools. And it was quite affordable! If you like tea, you MUST go to Adagio Teas in Chile.

Valentine's day was a hard day emotionally but I knew my mom loved going out to dinner and so I thought exploring and finding good food would be one way to honor her.

On February 15th, I was still adamant about trying this "Mastica" restaurant that everyone was talking about, so Christy and I headed there at 6:00 pm. Again, we were the only people at the restaurant but this place was massive and Chileans eat dinner at 8:00 pm, not 6:00 pm. The host showed us to our table and was incredibly funny and helpful! The restaurant was filled with plants and beautiful lights — there was even a stunning fountain right next to our table. The environment is the best part of this restaurant!! It's a must see place.

We started with a pulpo (octopus) salad that was insane. The fruit and the dressing and the octopus all together were divine. Then we moved on to our main courses, I got a cheeseburger and Christy got a chili pizza that rocked her world. We had yummy drinks and mine was the Regina - named after Regina George from Mean Girls.

The next celebration was my birthday! We went to a Chilean store specifically for party decorations and grabbed everything gold to make it a disco-themed party. We covered the house with gold balloons, streamers, and birthday signs. We made a disco-themed playlist! And we gathered with all of our new and old friends to celebrate my birthday. It was really exciting to see my old friends meet my new friends in Chile because it's like watching worlds collide. But it made me so happy to see all of my favorite people together in my home.

We needed a dance party for my birthday obviously, but we also needed good food! So Christy, our friend Hyejee, and I went to a restaurant called El Meson De La Patagonia right by our house and holy moly — that lamb was the best I've ever had. We walked in to see lamb roasting over the fire. There were decorative lights hanging from the rafters and it smelled like meat and roasting veggies. We'd received recommendations for the restaurant but hadn't been until that day. We started with blueberry pisco sours that brought my taste buds to life! Then we moved to a crab dip, then roasted veggies, and finally the lamb. It was so much meat, but the pieces of the whole I was able to eat made my lips pucker up in satisfaction.

Two days later, my colleague in the History department invited me out to dinner at one of his favorite restaurants and to my happy surprise, he brought me to a mediterranean/ Moroccan restaurant, which is my favorite kind of food. I had these moist and flavorful Moroccan meatballs called Kefta in tomato sauce and it brought me SO much joy. I also had a brazilian drink with passion fruit in it that made me SWOON. This restaurant is called Zanzibar and has the coolest moroccan lanterns and rugs decorating the place. It transported me back to Morocco and made me think about how much I miss their food. In any case, you MUST go to this restaurant in Vitacura if you are visiting Santiago.

We finished all of the celebrations with full stomachs and smiles on our faces. Then when we reached Friday — our second Friday since classes started — Christy decided we needed to celebrate coming this far in our careers, so we went to Los Leones and had FANTASTIC and affordable Spanish tapas with the best sangria I've ever tasted. I didn't take pictures of our food because I was so hungry and happy and distracted. Each item we ate was yummy! We had a Spanish omelet with potatoes and onions. I had Iberico ham and croquetas made of mushrooms and ham. Every dish was rich with flavor and we felt grateful to get into the restaurant because it was packed! We only waited 15 minutes to enter at 7:30 but at 8:30 the line was 45 minutes long. The secret to dining in Chile is: eat early!

I'll continue adding restaurants that I love to my blog in the hopes that you'll come to Santiago one day and eat all the best food in one week!

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