If you’re heading to Santiago and you want to know where to find the tastiest plant-based treats, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll be revealing the best vegan restaurants in Santiago, along with the top 3 dishes to try whilst you are there!
Keep reading to find out which eatery tops the list and where you can find some of these cracking vegan dishes, amongst many others:
- A crispy panko-coated tofu ‘fish’ fillet burger topped with melty cheese and thousand island dressing on a freshly cooked bread roll.
- A dirty BBQ seitan burger topped with gigantic onion rings, lashings of BBQ sauce and a side of homemade chips.
- A lemon cream pie with a buttery pastry case, tangy lemon filling and topped with thick whipped dairy-free cream.
If you also want to know how best to spend your time in Santiago, make sure you check out my blog ‘Santiago, Chile – 5 Things You Must See and Do’ and take a gander at the vlog to soak up the atmosphere of Chile’s capital city.
During a recent two month travelling stint of South America (BEST-TIME-EVER) we stopped off in Santiago on our way to Easter Island (which you can read about here). We knew very little about the city and came away with mixed views.
The city itself seems HUGE; a sprawling expanse of sky scrapers surrounded by snow topped mountains. We experienced impromptu street parties, buzzing craft markets, impressive architecture and breathtaking views. Most of the time we felt safe in this energetic city but it had an edge to it that we couldn’t quite put our finger on.
At first glance, the vegan scene didn’t seem strong but with a little bit of research and a few Uber rides, we sought out and enjoyed a number of great meals. Here’s the low down on the vegan places we visited, followed by a summary of the top three from our trip.
Suculenta Sangucheria Vegana – Bella Vista:
What a gem of a restaurant! Suculenta Sangucheria Vegana is a completely vegan restaurant that is a must for lunch. Located in an area that appeared popular for shopping with locals, the restaurant itself is lovely looking; smart and clean with the aroma of freshly baked bread as you enter the door.
The gentleman who served us spoke good English and explained the menu, which was written in Spanish, to us in detail. There were around 10 main options; 5 traditional Chilean sandwiches and 5 burgers.
Rob (the HB) opted for a traditional sandwich with sliced seitan, shredded cabbage, cheese, salad and mayo, which he enjoyed.
I ordered the Fillet-No-Fish KPOP which came with tofu ‘fish’ topped with cheese and thousand island dressing on a freshly cooked bread roll. It was excellent. I can not imagine a better fish replica; the flavour was exceptional and I really enjoyed the firm texture and the perfectly crispy panko-crumb coating.
The restaurant was reasonably priced (£5 for burger and chips), the lunch fantastic and the service very friendly; it’s a ‘must visit’ if you’re in Santiago.
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Fillet-No-Fish – Marinated tofu wrapped in nori and fried in a crisp panko breadcrumb. Topped with melty cheese, a swoosh of my easy Aji Chilli Sauce, lettuce, tomato, and shoestring onions in a soft bread roll.
Planta Maestra – Merced, Calle-Merced
Planta Maestra is a health food shop which has multiple sites across Santiago. Our most local store had a small vegan shop attached which served a variety of cakes and snacks.
The shop keeper did not speak English and my Spanish is terrible so with a bit of pointing and smiling I ended up back at our apartment clutching a chocolate-covered coconut cake pop and a red berry jam tart adorned with piped chocolate cream. Unfortunately both cakes were fairly unimpressive with very little flavour.
As a child my mum used to make mini jam tarts which were packed with tangy berry flavour. I’d forgotten all about those little gems until I tried the jam tart from Planta Maestra and it has inspired me to create my own ‘grown up’ version. I’ve created a jam filling that is full of flavour and paired it with a beautifully light almond pastry and a silky smooth piped chocolate cream. I’m so pleased with how they turned out – the flavour combination is beautiful!
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Raspberry Jam Tartlets with Almond Pastry and Chocolate Cream – A grown-up jam tart that makes the perfect dinner party dessert. Crisp and buttery almond pastry encases an easy home-made tangy raspberry jam. These little beauties are topped with a smooth chocolate cream, a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds and grated white chocolate. Could there be a more heavenly flavour combination?
VG Burger – Calle Zenteno
A bizarre little restaurant that serves up banging plant based burgers.
The restaurant looks like someone has converted a couple of rooms of their house, put some random furniture in it, laid some turf on the floor and started running it as a vegan restaurant. I suspect this might actually be what’s happened and if so, good on them for giving it a go. From a restaurant-goers perspective though it could do with a bit of a tidy up.
Once you’ve gotten over the surprise of VG Burger not looking like your typical restaurant, you get into the menu which sounds EPIC. There are some cracking fully-loaded burgers to choose from; I opted for the seitan BBQ burger and Rob the falafel and houmous burger.
My burger had a really ‘meaty’ texture and was topped with gigantic onion rings, lashings of BBQ sauce and a side of homemade chips. It was very nice indeed! Rob’s was equally nice but unfortunately both came out a little cold.
Dessert was a chocolate brownie with ice cream and an ice cream sundae with wafers and caramel sauce. The ice cream was brilliant, the brownie a little dry.
The staff were very friendly indeed and eager to please. They checked if everything was ok and really wanted to make sure you had a nice time. The prices were also very reasonable – around £25 for two mains, two desserts and two drinks. Well worth a visit.
Tip: Uber it to this restaurant – it’s quite a way out of the city and the area felt a little bit ‘dodgy’. The menu is in Spanish so make sure you’ve got the Google translate app on your phone if you don’t speak the language.
Sapiens – Italia Street
This little cafe was cute AF. The decor was beautiful; outside the wooden tables were decorated with colourful painted handprints and little succulents, inside had plants hanging from the walls.
English menus were available and the staff were friendly and also spoke English. The brunch menu at Sapiens was great with buddha bowls, burritos, cakes, smoothies and pancakes, along with a lovely selection of drinks including fresh juices, matcha and coffee with a selection of plant based milks.
I opted for the brunch special which included pancakes, a slice of cake, fresh juice and a coffee for around £8. The pancakes were served cold, which I wasn’t sure about, and the carrot cake was unfortunately a little dry.
Rob ordered a black bean and spicy chutney burrito which came out looking beautiful. It tasted great – packed with beans, rice, sweetcorn, spinach and chutney. His peanut butter and chocolate smoothie was also delicious.
Tip: Italia Street is beautiful with lots of street art and quirky shops. Be sure to take a walk after brunch and keep an eye out for the cat cafe next to Sapiens which features several very contented-looking cats snoozing in the window.
Katako Veg – Calle Jose Manuel Infante
The entrance to this restaurant was a little messy but once inside Katako Veg was neat and tidy with bunting and colourful pictures decorating the walls.
The menu was in Spanish so make sure you’re got the Google translate app. There were a number of options for each course including fully loaded fries, ‘make your own’ pizza, sandwiches and around six desserts.
Rob ordered the seitan and mushroom sandwich with melty cheese – it was really very delicious. The seitan and mushroom mix was almost like a mushroom stroganoff and was so full of flavour; he ate every scrap!
I ordered a pizza with sweetcorn, red onion, ‘salami’, vegan cheese and herby tomato sauce. The base with thin and crispy and the pizza was lovely except for the ‘salami’ which I wasn’t a fan of due to a slightly ‘chemically’ flavour.
We also shared a loaded Mexican fries which were MASSIVE! Stacked high with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, fried tofu, spicy Mexican sauce and a generous smothering of melty cheese. They were delicious although I would have liked more of the tasty Mexican sauce.
For dessert we shared a lemon cream pie which was glorious. The buttery pastry case had a tangy lemon filling and was topped with a thick whipped cream. It was really excellent and something I had to re-create with my own twist!
Tip: My goodness get a taxi to this one, it’s near impossible to find without! The taxis are cheap so worth taking advantage of when necessary.
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Tangy Lemon Cream Pies with Candied Coconut Flakes – A classic dessert transformed into an elegant dinner party treat. A deliciously flaky coconut pastry case is filled with a tangy, homemade lemon curd and topped with piped coconut cream and a sprinkling of candied coconut flakes. DREAMY!
Top 3 Vegan Eats in Santiago:
- Suculenta Sangucheria Vegana, Bella Vista – Top notch service and delicious, freshly made food – don’t miss the Fillet-No-Fish KPOP.
- VG Burger, Calle Zenteno – If you’re looking for a proper dirty vegan burger, look no further – the BBQ seitan burger topped with onion rings is a beaut.
- Sapiens, Italia Street – A great brunch spot in a beautiful area of Santiago. Friendly service and serving up banging burritos.
Recipe recreations from this trip:
- Fillet-No-Fish – Marinated tofu wrapped in nori and fried in a crisp panko breadcrumb. Topped with melty cheese, a swoosh of my easy Aji Chilli Sauce, lettuce, tomato, and shoestring onions in a soft bread roll. (Recipe releases 27th March at 4pm)
- Raspberry Jam Tartlets with Almond Pastry and Chocolate Cream – A grown-up jam tart that makes the perfect dinner party dessert. Crisp and buttery almond pastry encases an easy home-made tangy raspberry jam. These little beauties are topped with a smooth chocolate cream, a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds and grated white chocolate. Could there be a more heavenly flavour combination? (Recipe releases 20th March at 4pm)
- Tangy Lemon Cream Pies with Candied Coconut Flakes – A classic dessert transformed into an elegant dinner party treat. A deliciously flaky coconut pastry case is filled with a tangy, homemade lemon curd and topped with piped coconut cream and a sprinkling of candied coconut flakes. DREAMY! (Recipe releases soon!)