Central & South America

Food at  ¡Venga!, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Courtesy of Divulgacao


Fancy tapas bar with very good tapas (the octopus ones are highly recommended) in Leblon. Very crowded at peak times, so it is best to visit around noon or during the afternoon (between 3pm and 5pm).There is another outpost in Ipanema (Rua Garcia d’Ávila, 147B, 55 (21) 2512-9826).

Bar at 1884 Restaurante, Mendoza, Argentina

1884 Restaurante

Set romantically inside the historic Escorihuela winery on the outskirts of town, Francis Mallmann's 1884 Restaurante has dominated Mendoza's culinary landscape for nearly two decades. It is the superstar-chef's longest-running venture, and though his new project in the Uco Valley may be getting all the buzz these days, the original remains a must for Mendoza-bound epicures. Request a table in the blooming interior courtyard, framed by prodigious iron windows (the winery was built in 1884) and sample Mallmann's greatest hits from the parrilla and the clay oven. Our fail-proof order: burnt carrots, salted chicken and blackened stone fruit for dessert.

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A Bela Sintra

Considered one of the very best Portuguese restaurants in São Paulo, A Bela Sintra serves delicious traditional cuisine. Seafood in a specialty in the beautiful space, paneled with light-colored wood.

Bar at Figueira Rubaiyat, São Paulo, Brazil

A Figueira Rubaiyat

This intimate, charming restaurant is built around a breathtaking 100-year old fig tree and serves delicious, succulent steak.
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Exterior View - Adobe, Atacama Desert, Chile


Adobe offers traditional Chilean dishes (like Pil Pil and Chorrillana) as well as international cuisine in an upbeat and lively atmosphere. Guests can sit around an open-air bonfire and enjoy delicious food served by a friendly staff.


Brazil was a Portuguese colony, and the heritage is especially present in the food. This traditional Portuguese restaurant in Copacabana specializes in salted codfish (bacalhau). Don’t miss deep-fried bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish fritters). As a main course, try the “Bacalhau à patuscada”, with garlic, broccoli, potatoes and black olives (serves two to three people, ask for a half portion for one). Finish off with the sweet and delicious pastel de nata, a pastry stuffed with delicious soft custard.

Bar at Casa San Agustin, Cartagena, Colombia

Alma Restaurant and Bar

The relaxed yet refined restaurant at Casa San Agustin is a must visit. Begin your night in the picturesque courtyard or eclectic dining room with a libation from the creative gin and tonic menu. Afterwards, savor the excellent ceviche and other Colombian specialties. The top-notch food and drinks are matched by the impeccable service, and there is live music at dinner from Wednesday to Sunday.

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Alquimico Bar

Alquimico is a Cartagena hot spot for drinking and dancing that serves craft cocktails and Asian-inspired bites inside a glamorous colonial mansion.
Food at Amadeus, São Paulo, Brazil


Standout Brazilian seafood dishes like like bobó de camarão (shrimp in manioc sauce) or moqueca (seafood stew) aren't ubiquitous in São's Paulo due to its inland location. But Chef Bella Masano, who now captains the kitchen at her family's outstanding classic seafooder, is the city's notable exception. Her gourmet takes on traditional seafood – especially anything with shrimp – are a revelation that will quickly make you forget the old school décor.

Food at AmorAmar, Lima, Peru


One of the city’s hot spots, AmorAmar is a chic watering hole in the Barranco district that is known for its Peruvian fusion cuisine and its fashionable crowd. The arty scene is enhanced by the fact that there is an art gallery, 1900, on premises.

looking down at dinner dishes in restaurant


B.A’s culinary “it couple” Mica Najmanovich and Nico Arcucci opened Anafe as a showcase of their love for travel and combining global influences with Argentine heritage into showstopping dishes. A menu that’s designed for sharing features ever-changing, always-delicious items, like home-cured fish and sour cream or pâte served on a financier tea-cake with pear chutney. The food is high-brow, though the vibe is casual, with simple white furniture and an industrial-chic setting. The restaurant has been recognized on 50 World’s Best Latin America listings.

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Bar at Aprazível, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Courtesy of Aprazivel


Perched on top of Santa Teresa, Rio’s Montmartre, Aprazível is known for its dramatic views. The food is OK – and it’s expensive, but even so the place is always packed. The best way to enjoy it is to come after lunch (the restaurant opens nonstop from lunch to dinner), order some appetizers and many caipirinhas, and enjoy the afternoon view in the bucolic setting.


Food at Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Gritty Constitución would seem an unlikely incubator for molecular gastronomy. Your taxista may need some reassuring, but don't let the dubious neighborhood deter you. Gonzalo Aramburu's kitchen turns out some of the city's most imaginative, sophisticated fare. His twelve-course tasting menu is visually spectacular, often interactive and (picky eaters, rejoice!) accommodating of allergies and dietary preferences.

Outdoor patio overlooking the ocean at Brazilian steakhouse

Assador Rio's

With views of Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain in the distance, Assador is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse.

Exterior View - Astor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


This great gastropub from the same owners of Bráz made a lot of noise when it opened in Ipanema across from the beach, after years of popularity in São Paulo. The ambiance is casual but hip, with a retro brasserie-style design. Ask for a chopp (draft beer) and order one of their Brazilian great main courses (like the picadinho, a classic beef stir fry with beans, rice and a fried egg). From the terrace, watch the idyllic sunset. Opens at 6pm on weekdays and at lunchtime on weekends.

Editors' Picks
Food at Astrid & Gastón, Listings for Lima, Peru

Astrid & Gastón

One of South America’s most celebrated chefs, Gastón Acurio has become a true ambassador for Peru through his culinary talent. The menu at this landmark restaurant calls Peru “a land of unlimited ingredients, . . . of infinite dishes, . . . country that the world is just starting to discover.” Acurio describes his cooking as just like the new Peru: criollo, a mix of Andean, Spanish, Italian and Asian.

When I came for lunch, businessmen and well-dressed families sat near travelers who, from the looks of their hiking boots and windbreakers, were taking a break from trekking. Although Acurio has expanded his empire to Bogotá, Quito, Buenos Aires, Madrid and other cities, the emphasis here is entirely regional. Among his most popular starters: huancainos (potatoes, yuccas and corn with Peruvian cold aji-cream sauces), Peruvian ceviche and tamales with deep-fried pork and stuffed potatoes. One of the main courses, named Lima’s Favorite, is hand-shredded chicken in an aji-amarillo sauce served with pecans, Andean cheese, native yellow potatoes, black olives, egg and plain rice. In addition to the many seviches, the seafood dishes include wild scallops from Paracas and sea-urchin shots (prepared three ways), while carnivores can savor delicious veal and pork leg in peanut sauce or alpaca osso bucco in a homemade curry sauce. The dishes are not light, but you must save room for a dessert like picarónes clásicos (a kind of doughnut), manjar blanco (a concoction of milk, sugar and egg yolks) or sacha tomate (a tomato filled with cream cheese, served on French toast with a tomato sauce). There may be no better place for a crash course in the richness of Peruvian cuisine. But tips cannot go on the credit card bill, so bring cash.

Astrid & Gastón's is currently fourth on South America's World's 50 Best list.

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Food at  Azafrán, Mendoza, Argentina


This classic dinner spot occupies a former spice depot downtown (its name is the Spanish word for saffron). Flea market curios adorn the walls, braided garlic strands hang from the ceiling and shelves are still lined with bulk spices, specialty condiments and vinegars. Rather than selecting your wine from a list, follow the sommelier to the handsome cellar and choose a bottle directly from the shelves (labels are catalogued by price and varietal). Azafrán is known, fittingly, for its charcuterie, and a variety of curated "picadas" feature smoked meats, local cheeses and artisanal preserves. On the whole, the menu is a touch more grown-up than the atmosphere might suggest, but children are cheerfully accommodated.

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Bacio di Latte

Offering the best ice cream in the city, Bacio di Latte churns out the creamy, light treat in an assortment of flavors.


Few visitors to Santiago might consider dining at a French brasserie, yet Baco is a local favorite among the upmarket, creative class for its extensive and expertly chosen wine list (with emphasis on wines by the glass) and airy, cheerful atmosphere. Expect well prepared classics such as boeuf bourginon, onion soup, and steak frites with béarnaise, as well as fish and vegetarian options. There is also a good selection of cheese and charcuterie for those seeking a light meal.

Lounge at Bar dos Descasados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bar dos Descasados

This is a well-hidden gem in bohemian Santa Teresa. It’s the romantic bar & lounge of the Hotel Santa Teresa, with a huge terrace and an amazing view. One of the best spots in Rio to relax, have a cocktail, and enjoy the sunset.

Bar at Bazzar Bubble Bar, Janeiro, Brazil

Bazzar Bubble Bar

The twelve-seat counter is the place to be for tapas-cum-champagne in Rio. Actually, there’s an array of options by the glass, including a sample of Brazilian best sparkling wines, like Cave Geisse’s Terroir Nature and Miolo’s Millesime Brut. A selection of artisanal beers and interesting jerez are also available. The bar is part of the Bazzar group, an established brand in Rio, with a number of restaurants and a line of gourmet sauces and creamy deserts. The new Bubble Bar has it’s own menu of creative tapas (although it’s also possible to order from the main Bazzar menu) with options like Brazilian trio of cheeses and wagyu tartar on a single French fried potato slice. The ambiance is modern and trendy, and the location is dead-center in Ipanema. Open nonstop everyday, from lunch to dinner (early closure on Sunday).

Food at Bira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


This outstanding seafood spot is located in the fishing village of Guaratiba, just outside of Rio. Expect ultra-fresh fish and seafood prepared in a number of traditional ways—mostly baked or stewed with fresh herbs and seasonings—to be enjoyed in a rustic and authentic environment.

Blu Gelateria

Bohemian Barranco’s BLU Gelateria is a beloved neighborhood gelato shop, and for good reason.
Coffee at Blue Jar, Santiago, Chile

Blue Jar

A power lunch spot for Chile’s downtown business elite and government employees, Blue Jar is owned and operated by a British long-time expat. The restaurant serves only lunch, but is the downtown area’s best choice when exploring the presidential palace area. Chilean-international cuisine includes pastas, fresh salads, meats and fish, with a daily gourmet set menu and an excellent wine list. This is also a good place to relax with tea and pastries.

Facade at Bocanaríz,  Santiago, Chile


When Bocanaríz opened in 2012 in the charming Lastarria neighborhood, it was immediately apparent what the Santiago dining scene had been lacking all along: a wine bar celebrating the vast variety of Chilean wines, including boutique labels and little-known varieties from regions not normally promoted or known by foreigners. Bocanariz, which translates as "mouth-nose," is ideal for travelers who lack the time to visit Chile's wineries, or for those who want to sample a variety of wines in one go: order a bottle, glass or one of the restaurant's flights of four tastings grouped by region or wine variety. The food is fresh and creative, with a menu divided into nine categories (smoked, sweet, and light, for example) that are designed as main courses or small plates to be shared. English-speaking sommeliers are on hand to help you choose.

Bodega Garzón Restaurant

Guests at Bodega Garzón Restaurant in Jose Ignacio are offered menus of four to six courses showcasing regional dishes and seasonal products from Uruguay. The restaurant also incorporates the open-flame cooking techniques of its culinary director, the world-renowned chef Francis Mallmann.
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Bar at Bodega La Azul, Mendoza, Argentina

Bodega La Azul

Pull into La Azul's simple yard after visiting a few of its big-league neighbors and marvel at the sheer range of producers in the game on Mendoza's wine frontier. The tiny facility here, which could pass for a glorified garage, is the smallest winery in the area and the only one funded entirely with Argentine capital. For years the proprietors cultivated plums and peaches and sold their grape harvests to major corporations like Trapiche and Catena, but in 2003 they struck out on their own, calling their venture "La Azul" ("the blue one") after the color of the ribbon drawn in the family lottery to determine which plot of land each child would inherit. For what is probably the least pretentious wine-pairing lunch in the valley, head for a table under the pergola at the winery's folksy restaurant.

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