Best restaurants in Norte Chico

  • Restaurants in Elqui Valley

    El Bosque Horcón

    An enchanted setting for a meal, El Bosque ('the forest') lives up to its name with outdoor tables surrounded by greenery beside a gurgling river — indeed you'll have to cross a footbridge over the Rio Claro to get there. The chalkboard menu features pizzas, lamb in red-wine sauce and quiche of the day, plus recommended sides like quinoa salad.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Vicuña

    Chivato Negro

    Two blocks east of the plaza, Chivato Negro has a bohemian, vintage vibe with a spacious patio hidden in back. There's a wide-ranging menu of sandwiches, pizzas and regional dishes (like grilled trout), plus a three-course menú del día for CH$5000. The cozy setting (with a roaring fire in the evening) invites lingering, whether over coffee or cocktails.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar

    Club Social Chañaral

    A surprising find in the small town of Chañaral, this exceptional restaurant serves excellent fish (try the pejegallo with capers and beurre blanc) as well as grilled sirloin steaks and budget-friendly lunch specials (around CH$5000). Giancarlo, the friendly English-speaking owner, can fill you in on the local gossip around town.

  • Restaurants in La Serena

    Lemongrass

    Tucked away in a residential neighborhood 1.5km south of the plaza, Lemongrass has a loyal local following for its delicious pan-Asian cooking – a rarity in these parts. Grab a table on the small front terrace and fire up your taste buds with massaman curry (a Thai coconut curry), Malaysian-style rice noodles with shrimp, or wok stir-fried vegetables.

  • Restaurants in Vicuña

    Delicias del Sol

    Don't miss lunch at this restaurant 5km southeast of Vicuña, where a group of women discovered a groundbreaking way to cook with sunrays instead of hard-to-find firewood. It's the best of Villaseca's solar-kitchen restaurants, but service is slow. However, the food is quite tasty and paired with lovely vineyard views. Locally raised cabrito (goat) is the specialty.

  • Restaurants in Vicuña

    Govinda's

    In an airy upstairs space across from the plaza, Govinda's serves up delicious and hearty vegetarian fare, with a menu that changes daily. Spaghetti with vegetables, flavor-packed paella and juicy veggie burgers are recent selections, with homemade desserts topping things off.

  • Restaurants in La Serena

    Donde el Guatón

    One of La Serena's best restaurants, Donde el Guatón has a covered courtyard with beautifully tiled floors and an aesthetic of rustic elegance – a fine setting for grilled meats and seafood, plus traditional hits like pastel de choclo (beef and corn casserole). The dapper, hat-wearing waitstaff deserve special mention for the friendly service.

  • Restaurants in Guanaqueros

    El Pequeño

    Across from the waterfront, this popular spot serves up some of the best grilled fish in town. There's a happy buzz to the place, with locals and out-of-towners feasting on plates of crabs, shrimp or seafood empanadas followed by the fresh catch of the day, served either fried or grilled.

  • Restaurants in Pisco Elqui

    La Escuela

    For a memorable night out, head to this polished restaurant on the main road leading south of town. Grab a fireside seat in the courtyard and linger over grilled salmon, oven-baked kid or tender lamb raised locally, which pair nicely with wine and well-mixed cocktails. There are quinoa salads, quiche and at least one vegetarian plate of the day.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Vallenar

    Nativo

    On a leafy block a 10-minute walk east of the plaza, this bohemian bar and eatery has earthy decor of wood and adobe, snacks, and pizzas with unusual toppings like goat's cheese and charqui (jerky). Excellent (and massive) sandwiches too. Has craft beer and good cocktails best enjoyed on the appealing patio (sunshine by day, fires by night).

  • Restaurants in Cochiguaz

    Restaurant Borde Rio

    Amid lush foliage beside the gurgling Rio Cochiguaz, this entirely outdoor spot has the most enchanting setting for kilometers around. Start with ceviche or ostiones a la parmesana (scallops with Parmesan) before moving on to grilled meats, fish or veg-friendly pastas. Bring your swimsuit so you can go for a dip after the meal.

  • Restaurants in Bahía Inglesa

    El Plateao

    The best-loved dining spot in town is this laid-back, art-filled dining room right on the main street. The wide-ranging menu features Thai-style seafood soup, Indian tandoori, shrimp lasagna and straight-up grilled fish. The tables on the front terrace are fine spots to kick back with a cocktail in the afternoon.

  • Restaurants in Limarí Valley

    Cabildo Abierto

    In the tiny village of Barraza, Cabildo Abierto serves up delicious home-cooked Chilean fare, which you can enjoy in the rustic back garden. Afterward, be sure to a pay a visit to the 17th-century church across the street.

  • Restaurants in La Serena

    La Terrazza

    This polished, high-ceilinged space is a great spot for pizzas, panini, gnocchi and other Italian fare; or you can stop in for an afternoon pick-me-up (cappuccinos, wines by the glass). The prime place to be is on the large wooden deck out front, with heat lamps flaring on cold nights.

  • Restaurants in La Serena

    La Mia Pizza

    Out on La Serena's oceanfront, La Mia Pizza has a solid reputation among locals for its excellent Italian fare (pizzas, pastas), plus top-notch seafood. It's a classy spot with big windows and a deck overlooking the shore – though a busy road separates it from the sands.

  • Restaurants in Pisco Elqui

    El Durmiente Elquino

    Sample the tasty tapas, pizzas and interesting mains, like quinoa risotto, in the all-natural interior of this restobar full of wood, bamboo, clay and pebbles. Sip an artisanal beer or a glass of organic wine on the small patio out back, with nice mountain views.

  • Restaurants in Bahía Inglesa

    Punto de Referencia

    Chic choice tucked inside a side street just off the waterfront, this place specializes in sushi and sashimi. It also has some beautifully executed cooked dishes, including grilled meats and fresh pastas. It's a cozy space, with a small terrace in front.

  • Restaurants in Copiapó

    Legado

    Copiapo's best restaurant for a splurge, Legado serves up beautifully grilled black steaks, creamy scallop and shrimp risotto, and mouthwatering fresh fish amid a series of elegantly set dining rooms. Service is attentive and there's a solid wine list.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Caldera

    Cafe Museo

    Head to this cute little cafe with old posters and newspaper clips, adjacent to Casa Tornini, for its delicious cakes, sandwiches and real espressos on wooden tables inside and a couple more on the sidewalk.

  • Restaurants in Copiapó

    Diventare

    A short stroll from the plaza, Diventare is a charming, sun-drenched cafe with outdoor tables perfect for enjoying quality espressos, yogurt with granola, and baguette sandwiches. The gelato counter is a big draw on hot days.