At the center of La Vega Central’s vast jumble of merchant stalls lie some of the cheapest, fastest Chilean meals in town.
Located behind El Mercado Central, one has to meander through rows (almost miniature streets) of various market stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to pet food and detergent, in order to reach Chile's biggest and most authentic market. As you approach La Vega your senses open up to the colors, smells and the marketplace chaos that surrounds you.
The atmosphere is like nowhere else in Santiago – rural, busy and somehow attractively dirty and pervasive. It is a great escape from the city's European feel and a chance to have the real Chilean experience you may have been looking for, at the right price.
At the center of the overwhelming choice of restaurants is a large open section crammed with tables and surrounded by food vendors. Stick to the areas with the most Chilean diners and you are guaranteed simple, bona fide food at a fraction of the price you'd find anywhere else in Santiago.
For CP$700 – CP$1,200, you can choose between cazuela (Chilean soup with meat and veggies), pollo asado con agregado (fried chicken with a side), tallarines con salsa (spaghetti), among other satisfying meals. Each of these "platos fondos" comes with a soup, salad and a juice drink- an unbelievable value served with a warm smile.
The nearest metro is Puente Cal y Canto. Cross the river and delve into the delicious Chilean delectable delights that await you.