For a casual town where everyone wears hiking boots, El Chaltén has surprisingly good dining options. Climbers gather during a stormy day at Patagonicus, Güemes at Andreas Madsen (tel. 02962/493025). Patagonicus serves mostly pizza and enormous salads in a woodsy dining area with fair prices; no credit cards accepted. It's a good spot for an afternoon coffee. Fuegia, San Martín 342 (tel. 02962/493243), has an eclectic, global menu including coconut chicken with cashews and excellent salads. There are also good vegetarian options. In a ramshackle old house loaded with character, Ruca Mahuida, at Lionel Terray 55 (tel. 02962/493018), has the feel of an old alpine hut. The food is pure Patagonian, with stews, trout, and hearty pastas to fill you up after a day on the trail. Diners gather around a handful of tables, making this a great spot to make new friends. Reservations are recommended. For a funky scene with cool music and creative food, head to Estepa, at the corner of Cerro Solo and Antonio Rojo (tel. 02962/493069). The lamb in soft mint sauce, pizzas, and pumpkin sorrentinos are superb. The restaurant at the Senderos Hostería is also excellent, and often offers wine-tasting evenings with a visiting sommelier.
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.