Welcome to Santiago, strayed Amigo! Maybe you don’t have so much time here? It would be unfortunate if you spent most of your time in the WRONG Barrios. We give you a blog series of the lowdown of what to do in each Barrio (neighbourhood). Offering our local knowledge and giving our top recommendations so you know what to expect and where to go.
Introducing BARRIO BREAKDOWN #9 BARRIO MATTA
For many years Avenida Matta was one of the main commercial avenues for people coming to Santiago from the south and from the beach towns in the west. Its fame comes from the mid-18th century when the higher class of Santiago built their huge mansions and at the end of the 19th century when the rural land was divided and organized to receive the working class of those years. For example: the Población Huemul at Barrio Avenida Matta Sur, which was constructed in 1910 with the intention to be given to the working class, is complete with a school, church, and the beautiful Theater Huemul.
Parque O´Higgins: This is a huge park placed in Santiago where many events take place and easily reachable by Metro. Just take line 2 and hop off at Parque O’Higgins station. It hosts large concerts in one of Santiago’s biggest concert venues, the Movistar Arena and is also a place where Chile’s famous music festival Lollapalooza takes place every year in March. It hosts Santiago’s only theme park, Fantasilandia, where you can get your dose of adrenaline with some young kids.
Head here for BBQ’s and September Party’s. The park is very popular for Santiaguinos for being an excellent place to organize asados (BBQs) or play a traditional “pichanga” (a small and friendly soccer match). In September, this place transforms into one of the most popular venues to enjoy the Fiestas Patrias for its fondasand ramadas (small restaurant stands). For an entire week, Chileans will forget all about diets and consume immense amounts of meat, empanadas, pisco, wine, and chicha.
Las Delicias de Quirihue – the closest thing to eating with a traditional Chilean family from the south. This restaurant cooks amazing parrilladas (grilled meat and later brought to the table in a smaller grill lit with charcoal), pernil, arrollado, costillar, longaniza, lomo, and asado de tiro. All of this is accompanied by papas cocidas (cooked potatoes), pan amasado (bread), and pebre (a sauce made with tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, and onion).
El Pollo Caballo – Chileans are used to using animals to define the quality of things. That’s why the name of this restaurant (translation – horse chicken) doesn’t sound TOO weird to us. However, if you ask someone that is on the brink of turning 60 what “caballo” means as an adjective in his or her youth, they will tell you that it was something really “extraordinary”. So, the pollo caballo (or, horse chicken) isn’t a mythological being, but rather a super cool place to eat. One of its main dishes is the classic chicken al cognac, a slow-brewed drink that gives a to-die-for flavor to the meat.