#22. Santiago, Chile
For restaurants, first up is Boragó, a highly-acclaimed gastronomic temple that showcases Chile’s native ingredients with creative and artistic presentations. Second is Osaka, bringing Nikkei cuisine to Santiago with bold and punchy flavors where Peruvian and Japanese cuisines combine effortlessly. Lastly, Astrid y Gastón, an elegant and refined restaurant, offering a well-crafted menu of gourmet Peruvian cuisine.
For a vibrant and fun night out, Santiago offers a plethora of bars, including iconic spots like the Bar Nacional, where you can sip on traditional cocktails and immerse yourself in Chilean cocktail culture. Another must-visit bar is Chipe Libre, which serves the best pisco sours in town alongside other exceptional cocktails.
Shopping at local markets is an excellent way to experience the city’s culture, and one of the best markets in Santiago is La Vega Central. Here visitors can find an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood, alongside meats, spices, and traditional Chilean snacks. Another recommended shopping destination is Mercado Central, an iconic symbol of Santiago’s market culture that has stood the test of time since 1872.
Traditional Chilean foods rely heavily on seafood, and one of the must-try dishes is the Ceviche, a marinated fish dish that showcases the country’s abundant culinary offerings from the coast. Additionally, Empanadas de Pino, a savory pastry filled with ground beef, onion, raisins, and olives, is a Chilean specialty that every visitor should try. Lastly, the Caldillo de Congrio, a soup made with conger eel, potatoes, vegetables, and seasoned with Chilean spices, is an essential traditional dish not to be missed.
Photo Credit to Francisco Kemeny, Wow Creative Studio, Mauricio Navia Catalán
#21. San Diego, California
First restaurant to check out when in Bust Town is The Marine Room, offering a breathtaking oceanfront dining experience with a menu that highlights fresh seafood and local ingredients. Second, Cucina Urbana, a farm-to-table Italian restaurant that crafts seasonal and sustainable dishes. Lastly, Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine features a modern and eclectic menu inspired by the Pacific Ocean, which offers a unique blend of flavors and ingredients.
For craft beer lovers, a visit to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is a must. It’s one of the best breweries in San Diego, featuring a vast selection of beers and a beautiful outdoor garden setting. Another must-visit spot is False Idol, a tiki bar with an incredibly intimate and imaginative atmosphere, and a delicious and creative cocktail menu.
San Diego offers a variety of markets where visitors can sample local produce, fresh seafood, and artisan goods. The Little Italy Farmers Market is one of the most popular markets in San Diego, with over 175 vendors offering a wide range of products such as freshly baked bread, locally grown produce, and artisanal cheeses. The weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market is another must-visit spot, and visitors can expect a lively and diverse atmosphere with over 175 vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts.
San Diego is known for its fresh seafood and fish tacos, making it a must-try when visiting the city. First, the California Burrito, a San Diego specialty, is a must-try. The burrito is packed with carne asada, French fries, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Another iconic dish to try is the fish taco, a San Diego classic made with fish (often mahi-mahi or shrimp), shredded cabbage, crema sauce, and a slice of lime. Lastly, the San Diego-style pizza, a thin-crust pizza with toppings like grilled chicken, bacon, and ranch dressing, is a local favorite.
Photo Credit to Derek Story, Doug Golden, Jessica Tan