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Santiago's Mercado Central was opened on September 15th, 1872, by President Federico Errázuriz Zañartu, to house the Palace of Arts. Its construction took ten years, as the metalwork was made in England and then shipped over to Chile. In 1984 it was declared a National Monument.
After an inaugural exhibition was held, it soon began to function as a market. Nowadays, it is primarily a fish market and there are around thirty seafood restaurants here. Fruit, vegetables and Chilean wine are also sold here.
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
It's worth checking out this lively market where you can admire the fresh fish and seafood. The market was found in 1868 and designed by English metal structural engineering. The market is popular for its marisquerias at lunch times and for its wide range of fish and seasonal dishes.
- Food and Dining
Take in the sights and smells!
We stopped by Mercado Central early on a Monday morning when the place was just getting started, so it was too early to tell whether the market is mostly popular with tourists or locals. It is located in a beautiful building that was opened to the public in 1872. The first section is mostly comprised of crafts and souvenirs stalls, while the second section is filled with "fresh" produce, meat and fish. There are plenty of cute little restaurants around but to be quite honest, I don't think I could have eaten there: the smell that came from some of the food stalls didn't do anything to work up an appetite - the chicken one was especially bad! The fish looked much more fresh with some items actually still moving, but there was just no getting away from the chicken smell. I didn't buy anything, but it sure was an interesting cultural experience!
Looks very touristy but seems to be a good place to taste local food as Chilean food isn´t very characteristic nor easy to find. I tried this Ceviche (fish with lemon sauce, onion and other stuff I don´t remeber). It doesn´t look too good but it is!
La Piojera, close to Mercado Central
Being that this is my first post, I would like it to be about a "folkloric" experience in my hometown. La Piojera is a "pub" (if you can call it that) that specializes in two things: Terremotos (earthquakes) and sandwiches de pernil. The first is an alchoholic beverage made of pipeno wine, which is followed by the aptly named Replica (aftershock). Really good, although I do not recomend more than two rounds of each. The latter is a sandwich made of cured ham from the loin of the pig. In other words, I will soak the alchohol you have just ingested. There is also live music (usually at night) which adds to the ambience. I reccomend you go with someone who can explain to you what the conversations are about (if you cannot understand Spanish). This bar is just a short walk to the south east of the Mercado Central.
Well this is a popular tip, but GO to the Mercardo Central. If you like seafood of any kind you MUST come here. Just to wander about the stalls admiring every sort of creature that you can get from the see is nearly enough (though watch for the slippy floor, nasty bruised bums could result), but then to discover, tucked behind, a range of fabulous fish restaurants just polishes off the experience. We had a boozy lunch here and it was super. OK it is more expensive than the usual meal out in Santiago, but for the freshly caught fish, the superb wine and the atmosphere, it is worth it for a treat.
- Food and Dining
Avoid "tourists" at la Vega
After the Mercado Central, try going west just across the river to la Vega, the central fresh fruit & vegetable market. Covers about 3 or 4 blocks, much larger and more colorful than the Mercado Central with a wonderful earthiness and vibrancy. THIS is the hypermarket of Santiago. Better food and much better vibes with almost no (readily identifiable) tourists. Bought some great soccer shirts there for about $7 (have groceries and dry goods too). Great place to just take in the scene, wandering the aisles and chatting with the vendors. I'm just learning Spanish and everyone here (and elsewhere in Santiago) was very gracious in helping me with this.
- Budget Travel
As a chef these was a paradise heaven….looking all the fresh fish and sea food it make me hungry, and anxious to buy some and cooking, I found new types of fish and sea food that we do not have in my country like: Congrio, Reineta, Pejerey, Machas, Locos, Centollas, wow a great experience
Para mi como chef fue una experiencia como estar en el paraíso, era el cielo....viendo la cantidad pescados y Mariscos, hasta me dio hambre, estaba impaciente por probarlos y cocinarlos, encontré nuevos tipos de pescados y Mariscos que no tenemos en mi país tales como: Congrio, Reineta, Pejerey, Machas, Locos, Centollas, wow fue un gran experiencia
Experience a Tradition
How can you not go to a place that is: A) a landmark, B) a place to check out the most unusual variety of fish you've ever seen in a market, C) sample that fish, and D) walk the aisles of a place so beloved that it was made into the setting for a telenovela (television program)?
In short, you cannot miss it. As you enter, the touts will pitch their restaurants (several are housed in the building), and you'll immediately see the fishmongers slicing and dicing glossy, fresh fish. Wander around: there's more than fish here. You'll find poultry, fruits and vegetables, herbs, & more.
- Food and Dining
El Mercado Central
Is Santiago´s distinctive market.
The current wrought - iron building dates from 1872. In additon to an appealing selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, the market contains a number of restaurants rangign from modest to fine dining.
A nice place to eat fresh sea food.
Great place to have lunch
The Santiago central food market (Mercado Central) is an expectacular art noveau building that was supposedly designed to be a train station in the first place. The ceiling is all made of steel and was imported from Belgium and assembled in Santiago. That's what they have told me.
But you dont need to know this to have fun at the central market. Dozens of merchants offer exotic fish, crabs, colorful fruits and seasonings. The place is also very nice for having lunch. I recommend the Donde Algusto restaurant.
Be careful of the hordes of people that approach tourists when they enter the market. They try to sell you goods and promote the nearby restaurants - and they can be really nasty.
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