Things I’ve been up to lately: La Ruta de las Picadas

Since I don’t have very much time left in Santiago, I’m trying to take advantage and do lots of fun or interesting things. Of course I’m also working more than full time, trying to keep up with blogging, start selling stuff from my apartment and various other tramites, which results in a less than ideal amount of sleep. However, as someone somewhere once said, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Today I want to talk about La Ruta de las Picadas. A few weeks ago Eileen invited me along and I hardly ever say no to Eileen, so I went. A picada is a restaurant that is cheap, has good food, and has some sort of history. Rarely do these types of places advertise; it is mostly by word of mouth. One place we went to, El Rincón de las Canallas, required a password to enter.

We went to four places, each featuring Chilean food and terremotos, which is a popular Chilean drink made from green white wine (pipeño), fernet (a liquor popular in Argentina) and pineapple ice cream. The best part, for me, is the pineapple ice cream! Terremoto means earthquake, and the legend goes that after one of these drinks, you feel like the earth is quaking.

Various types of meat with some alcohol thrown in there at the end.

Here are the places we visited, in order of best to worst.

La Pipa del Serrano

This is the only place I would actually consider coming back to, even though it was home to the not so yummy veggie sandwich. It had a nice ambiance, it was clean, and there was a guy playing guitar and singing traditional Chilean music. It’s on Serrano 299, near Metro Universidad de Chile, about three blocks south of the Alameda.

El Rincón de las Canallas

This place was interesting because of its history. I can’t remember the whole story, but it was a place for people against the dictatorship during the 1980s. During that time, there was a password to get in, and it changed every day. Patrons would listen to a certain radio DJ who would subtly insert the secret phrase during his radio show. Now, there is still a password but everyone knows it: “Chile Libre”.

El Rincón de las Canallas

The food we ate wasn’t anything special and I didn’t really like the maremoto (aka tsunami, aka a terremoto with fruit) but it was fun to see the decoration and all of the business cards and writing on the walls by the patrons. I made sure to leave my mark too. 🙂 It is located at Tarapaca 810, on the corner of San Francisco.


We didn’t eat here, we just poked our heads in. I don’t really feel compelled to go back though!

Las Tejas de San Diego

This was by far my least favorite place. It is an old theater with all of the seats taken out. Apparently Chico Trujillo and other famous Chilean bands sometimes play here. But  honestly, that wouldn’t make me want to go back. What really grossed me out was a giant dumpster in the middle of the tables where the waiters threw away the empty plastic terremoto cups and dirty napkins. Gross! However, the terremoto was ok, although I have to admit I mostly just ate out the pineapple ice cream.

With my terremoto.

If you would like to go on this tour, get in touch with Corporación Cultural Gestarte


6 thoughts on “Things I’ve been up to lately: La Ruta de las Picadas

  1. Cool! I saw the voting had started. I tweeted it for This is Chile. Yes, how to explain to someone who maybe has never been to Chile what a Picada is? I said good and cheap, too. I think that’s generally what people say, but some of them can be a little rancid…

  2. I love that you’re taking advantage of your last weeks in Santiago. 🙂 I’ll keep some of these places in mind when I head down there one day.

    • Yeah definitely check out a Picada. The ones everyone always goes to are La Piojera and El Hoyo, but these that I mention are in a better neighborhood and easier to get to. 🙂

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