South America Guide for Foodies and Winos
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Multi-Country South America

South America Guide for Foodies and Winos

7 min read

Apr 6, 2016


By Jon Hillstead

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Last updated on February 13th, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Food and wine enthusiasts from all over the world flock to South America seeking an authentic culinary experience.

Read travel expert, Jon Hillstead’s South America Guide for Foodies and Winos for restaurant recommendations and country dishes. History shows how the fusion of cultures can influence and improve the flavors of traditional dishes from Chinese influences in Peru to African influences in Brazil. Combine those flavors with the regions of Chile and Argentina which create the perfect environment to produce some of the best wines in the world, making South America the destination for foodies and winos.

South-America-Guide Peru – South America Guide for Foodies and Winos

Lima knew not only as of the capital of Peru but also famous for being the culinary capital of South America. This city on the sea is well known for having world-renowned chefs and restaurants that combine fusions of authentic Peruvian dishes and modern influences.

What to do

Go on a Peru Wine & Gastronomy Tour for a taste of world-class foods and drinks. On this 5-day tour, you will enjoy Peruvian foods, Pisco Sours, Peruvian Wine, and my favorite, ceviche and seafood.

Must Eats

South-America-Guide Ceviche of course! Ceviche is raw seafood cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers.  This is one of the most popular dishes in Peru. Lomo Saltado, a stir-fry of steak, onion, and tomato served over rice and fried potatoes, is a no brainer and you simply must try it. Guinea pig. For the bold and brave, try cuy (fried guinea pig), an authentic Peruvian staple, which can be found in Cuzco.  This may come as a surprise, but it is actually a delicacy in Peru.

Best Restaurants

Central in Lima has been rated among the top restaurants in Latin America year after year. This Avant-Garde Peruvian-style cuisine is not only pleasing to the taste buds, but to the eyes as well. The 17-course experience will have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for the next artistic presentation.

Where to Stay

Hotel B is in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco or Estelar Miraflores in the Miraflores district.

Chile- South America Guide for Foodies and Winos

Chile, most notably famous for its wine production could be the next stop on your food and wine tour. Santiago boasts an up and coming food scene, and the surrounding wine regions offer plenty of variety to some of the best wines in all of South America.

What to do

South-America-Guide Chile is a wine lover’s paradise. There are daily excursions from Santiago to many of the nearby wine regions. For those who prefer whites, head toward the coast to the Casablanca wine valley famous for producing some of the best white Sauvignons and Chardonnays. For reds, take a tour on the Santa Cruz wine route in the Colchagua Valley to find rich Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Syrah. Check out some of the top Chilean Wine Tours.

Must Eats

Pastel de Choclo (corn pie) is the go-to comfort food and traditional Chilean dish. Other must-eats include any seafood dish and, of course, wines which are in abundance and of great quality wherever you are in Chile.


A reservation at Peumayan should be on everyone’s Santiago itinerary. As one of the top restaurants in the city, Peumayan offers traditional Chilean cuisine with a modern twist. For a more casual option, hit up Bocanariz, a hot spot that offers flights of wine from all over the country along with a solid menu of tapas.

Where to stay

In Santiago, stay at Lastarria Boutique Hotel or the 5-star Singular Santiago. If you are looking to stay at a winery, Casona Matetic in the Casablanca Valley and LaPostolle in the Colchagua Valley are also stellar options that you need to check out.

Argentina – South America Guide for Foodies and Winos

Travelers choose to visit Argentina for many reasons. One such reason is the steak and wine. Argentines have perfected the art of the Asado and have paired it well with their famous Malbec wine.

What to do

As a foodSouth-America-Guide ie, wino and newcomer to Buenos Aires, you won’t want to miss the Argentine Experience. Coming in at number 5 of the top restaurants in Buenos Aires, the Argentine Experience will go down as one of the highlights of your trip to Buenos Aires. Meet fellow travelers from around the world, make your own empanadas and enjoy a quintessential Argentine steak cooked to perfection. Enjoy the company of new friends while we make sure the wine keeps flowing all night. After a visit to through the city, take a quick trip to Mendoza, the home of Malbec wine, and go to Essential Wine Tour. In Mendoza, you can enjoy wine tastings, food tours, and trips to nearby vineyards.

Must EatsSouth-America-Guide

Traditional Argentine Asados (grilled meats), Empanadas (meat-filled pies), Choripan (sausage sandwiches), and cookies filled with dulce de leche called Alfajores to satisfy your sweet tooth.  After a delicious meal, try the national drink, Yerba Mate.


If you’re looking for a place that offers a great steak in Buenos Aires, La Cabrera is a solid option. For a more modern culinary experience try Uco, a hip restaurant that prepares everything fresh in-house. Located at the Susana Balboa Winery in Mendoza, Osadia de Crear, offers a delicious and eye-catching five-course lunch paired with wines from Susana Balboa.

Where to Stay

In Buenos Aires, stay at the Algodon Mansion in the Recoleta neighborhood where you can enjoy wine tastings from Algodon’s own wine estate. In Mendoza, stay outside of the city on a vineyard at the Cavas Wine Lodge, where you can enjoy wine tastings and a wide variety of excursions that can be booked upon arrival.

Brazil- South America Guide for Foodies and Winos

When referring to Brazilian food, you have probably heard of Rodizio and Churrascaria used interchangeably. To be clear, Rodizio is the type of service provided within a Churrascaria. Brazil is famous for serving wide varieties of Brazilian meats Rodizio style and this is one experience not to miss while visiting!

What to do

In Salvador, travel by schooner to Ilha dos Frades & Itaparica and end the tour tasting the various traditional foods of Bahian culture. Cooking classes can be arranged in Salvador, Rio and Sao Paulo as well!

Must Eats/Drinks

Aracaje is a classic dish made from peeled beanSouth-America-Guide s formed into a ball, deep fried and stuffed with shrimp, cashews, palm oil and other ingredients. This is a typical Afro-Brazilian street food that is most commonly found in the state of Bahia. Other must-eats include wide varieties of meats served rodizio style and Feijoada which is a stew full of beef, beans and pork. Wash it all down with a refreshing Caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil.


A trip to the Churrascaria Palace is an absolute must on any trip to Rio de Janeiro. This restaurant is internationally known and is the most traditional Brazilian barbecue place in town. If you are looking for a fun and unique atmosphere, try Marius. Marius has quite an eclectic décor and mish-mash of random objects creating an interesting environment to enjoy great Brazilian foods. Whether you are a foodie, a wino, or just a traveler who enjoys traditional cuisine make your way to South America to experience unique and authentic flavors you can’t find elsewhere!

Where to Stay

In Copacabana, the Miramar Hotel by Windsor is one of the top-rated hotels in the area. In Salvador Pestana Convento do Carmo, or any of the many pousadas in the historic district of Pelourinho will give you the opportunity to experience Bahia culture at its heart. Whether you are a foodie, a wino, or just a traveler who enjoys traditional cuisine make your way to South America to experience unique and authentic flavors you can’t find elsewhere!

South America is a great destination to explore unique and authentic flavor. Contact us today and let us plan the perfect South America tour, or take a look at some of our recommended wine tours.

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Last updated on February 13th, 2021 at 12:27 pm

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