Expensive restaurants

To the perennial complaints of bad service and mediocre food in Chilean restaurants has been added their expense.

That’s hardly surprising given the ever-increasing costs of the materials and labour that are required to provide this service. They all continue to go up quite steeply. Also these days, many Chileans are literally afraid to go out at nights, leading to reduced demand.

The curious aspect to this article is in the reader comments. Chileans don’t seem to realize that they are becoming poorer. Many instead prefer to blame the rapacity of restaurant owners, refusing to understand that those unpopular price hikes are their only alternative to going out of business.

A typical punitive reaction:

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 12-25-35 Precios por las nubes El alto costo de los restaurantes en Chile y las razones ante un alza que no da tregua

Good observation. My favorite places tell me the price increases are a combination of factors but some say mostly personnel costs. One told me about outrageous new insurance costs for any restaurant “that has windows.” A sly way to say every business. In other words, the estallido has made eating more expensive. Thank you, Comrade Boric.

The food has been traditionally lackluster but on the positive side, a few places have either hired Peruvian cooks or studied how to actually make food palatable.

Here is how one of the nicer and expensive restaurants in Punta Arenas wants to attract tourists.

Not a serious country…



I have noticed it as well but see some more nuance

It is high season now and so alot of places are closed all year except jan1 to end of feb. They keep the building locked up and unused rest if year

You might think they would put out good food for those 2 months but dont be fooled

Reality is alot of these places dont care about quality. The mentality is there are zillions of tourist zombies that are just itching to fork over money for any ole crap they slang on a plate.

Day old meat? Its on the menu all week! Mas profit

I am repulsed by this mentality and when you pull in to a place and they look super thirsty to get you in there but you check the reviews and its ALL 1 star with comments like “overpriced…waited almost 2 hours for day old lamb that was disgusting”
So we leave and the people come out with pitchforks running after the car saying “comida es mas rica amigo”.

So we have been almost entirely only going to the places open year round and realised that they manage that by having poor quality cooks and staff for most of the year then they bring in the Michelin starred chefs starting in Dec and they stay on until March. Man these places are amzing and NO price increase but they are few and far between

However another place that is open all year has a more savvy owner that beat the brakes off of us with prices. To be clear it is considered “the best” sushi place in town…but for example…it used to be 2 x salmon nigiri for 2000. Its just a piece of raw salmon on a bit of rice. Not the best price but not the worst. But with a family with kids and everyone wants 2 or 3 of them…it can add up. We used to order 10 for 10000 and of course ordered drinks and other dishes
But they have been ninja raising prices a 500 coin at a time like a slow frog boil.
Today…those 2 nigiri are 6000!. So if you want 10 for the family its 30000 just for that part of the meal!
Insane, so we just had to stop. We could eat 2 or 3x at the other places with better quality food

Also learned that almost all places with a view of anything…those people are resting on the laurels of their view and skimping on everything else like cook skill and food quality and it shows.