What is the oldest cafe in Santiago?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Gabriel O’Rorke

Founded in 1879, Confitería Torres is not only the oldest cafe in Santiago, but in the whole of Chile. Old school style rules with harlequin tiles, red leather booths, parquet flooring, French doors and an oak bar.

Situated in Downtown Santiago, opposite the presidential residence, La Moneda, this national landmark is favored by politicians and celebrities alike.

One of the waiters has worked here for 54 years, serving Chilean presidents from Bacholet to Piñera, Lagos and Frei.

But it's not all politicians and many celebrities, artists and poets have visited, including Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Plácido Domingo and Audrey Tautou.

Indeed, so many famous figures have dined at Confitería Torres that they have filtered into the menu. Two sandwiches are named after presidents, including the Barros Luco (president from 1910-1915) made from beef and melted cheese; and the Piñera for the current president, filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket.

As for the rest of the menu, traditional Chilean recipes reign and plates range from steak with chips and a fried egg on top, to Mama Soto's loco stew (locos are a typical Chilean delicacy, a form of abalone).

For pudding there's "huevo chimbo" which the menu describes as "the most famous traditional Chilean pudding" and is made from egg whites, butter, cinnamon, cloves and almonds.

Tea is served every afternoon from 4-8pm consisting of tea, coffee, milk or hot chocolate along with juice, ham and cheese "triangle" sandwiches and the sweet of your choice.

At weekends, tango dancers and bolero singers take the place of entertainer instead of the pianist who fills the high ceilings with music during lunch and dinner.


Related Questions