Chile has an extraordinarily long coastline. The country is very long and very narrow, and runs along over half of the eastern coastline of South America.
All that coastline, from the tropics to its wintry southern tip, means a staggering variety of seafood is part of Chile’s cuisine. And not just fish, but a huge variety of shellfish. Oysters, scallops, mussels, razor clams, and a bunch of other types that only have local names.
Many of them are for sale in Santiago’s Mercado Central, a mecca for fresh, local seafood. And if you’re not in a position to cook up your own meal, a series of bustling restaurants in the center of the market will cook up delicious market-fresh meals for very reasonable prices.
And it’s all housed in a charming old wrought-iron building within an easy walk of the Plaza de Armas. It’s well worth a visit.