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The countries of South America have a vast and varied selection of traditional cuisines and a history of surprising us Westerners. When the conquistadors first landed here, they proudly returned to Europe holding not just bundles of gold and precious stones, but potatoes, tomatoes, vanilla and chocolate amongst other delicious goodies. Match them with a vibrant and colorful form of cooking; add world class wines, and you’ve got a food destination that’s hard to beat. Here’s our low-down on five of the best restaurants in the continent.
1. La Bourgogne, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The beautiful people of BA certainly know how to live the high life, and for years they’ve been flocking to La Bourgogne in the Hotel Alvear, headed up by French chef Jean Paul Bondoux. Chill out in the cocktail bar while you wait for your table and have a plate of delicious savoury pastries served with your champagne. For the ultimate dining experience, choose the degustation menu and pair it with some Argentinian wine – heavenly.2. Europeo, Santiago, Chile
Everyone who is anyone knows that Europeo is the best restaurant in Chile’s buzzing capital and, to make it quite clear, Louis Vuitton opened a boutique next door. But this place isn’t just for show. The food is exquisite and as the name implies, takes a European approach. However, Swedish chef Carlos Meyer throws in a few Asian touches to spice things up. Anyone for lobster strudel? Europeo is a small, stylish place that takes it wine very seriously.
3. Espirito, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For proper South American food with style, stop by one of Rio’s top foodie destinations. Situated in the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa (which is worth a visit anyway), Espirito focuses on using unusual, indigenous ingredients. The result is unique dishes that you simply won’t find elsewhere in Brazil, let alone the rest of the world. Try the fillet of namorado baked in a Brazil-nut crust and served over grilled palm hearts.
4. Eolo Hotel, El Calafate, Patagonia
The magical hotel is a true retreat from the pace of normal life. Located out in the Patagonian wilderness, if you stay here, then eating in the restaurant is one of the few choices you have. Luckily, and in keeping with the rest of the hotel, it’s amazing. The chefs serve up traditional Patagonian cuisine alongside an extensive wine list and with views out towards the Perito Moreno glacier from your table. What more could you want?
5. Zazu, Quito, Ecuador
Quito’s trendiest dining spot, Zazu is bursting with verve and energy from the moment you walk in the door. Those who aren’t eating queue up at the bar for awesome cocktails, and those at the tables often opt for the nightly tasting menu. Dishes are inventive and with a South American flair that can’t be beaten. How could anyone refuse something that sounds as pretty as a rose petal salad, made with organic rose petals, mixed greens, and a lychee vinaigrette?
Article put together by the travel experts over at Exsus Luxury Holidays.