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Valparaíso has taken the lead as the gastronomic nucleus of the central coastal region, leaving Viña in the dust. Frankly, it's a mystery as to why there are so few good restaurants here considering its importance as a tourism destination. Expect a lot of fast-food joints, beer halls, and theme restaurants with loud music and wine-barrel decor.

If you are spending a few days in town, I recommend you take a drive up the coast one afternoon to Concón (16km/10 miles from Viña) or one of the tiny hamlets before it -- this is where the locals go for fresh seafood in one of the many picadas (something like a dive -- cheap but hearty and delicious). One of the best picadas is La Gatita, Avenida Borgoño in Higuerillas (tel. 32/281-4235; Sun-Wed noon-4pm and Thurs-Sat noon-midnight), a wildly popular restaurant with an agonizingly long wait if you arrive any time between 1:30 and 3pm on weekends. There is no street number, so look for a small fish market on the left-hand side of the road just after passing the yacht harbor (when driving north). Try Chile's famous caldillo de congrio (conger eel soup) here. Another local favorite is Las Delicias, Av. Borgoña 25370, in Concón (no phone; daily 11am-5pm), which only sells greasy-good fried empanadas, specializing in seafood empanada fillings such as crab, shrimp, and a delicious macha pino, or razor clams sautéed in onions.

Most restaurants in Viña are centered on Avenida San Martín along the coast. For afternoon tea, try The Tea Pot, 5 Norte 475 (tel. 32/268-7671; Mon-Fri 10am-2pm and 4:30-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm), which offers more than 60 kinds of tea and delicious pastries. Also consider trying the seafood restaurant at Cap Ducal.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.