Restaurants in Valparaiso

There's no pretension (and only 20 seats); the ambitious Peruvian- Chilean cuisine includes seafood empanaditas, pastel de jaiba (crab potpie), and an unforgettably tangy ceviche served with giant roasted corn kernels. Each course is punctuated with a complimentary seafood broth.

Since 1984, porteños have come for the filling German specialties at this downtown institution. It starts dishing out pork and sauerkraut, potatoes with rollmops (herring-encased pickles), and goulash with noodles at 9 a.m.

Chilean chef Manuel Subercaseaux turns out a short but spectacular menu, showcasing local ingredients like palometa (a tuna-like whitefish) and physalis (a tart yellow berry), in a 19th-century residence converted into a culinary hideaway.

Make a reservation at the restaurant in the genteel new boutique Hotel Casa Higueras, once a palatial house at the end of a quiet street. The setting is chic, with a sun-drenched terrace, and the menu (fig-stuffed lamb with garbanzo purée) mixes Mediterranean flavors and Latin ingredients.

A smoldering waitstaff works the city's most coveted tables, while the Chilean-Italian duo behind the scenes serves gnocchi (30 types) and surprising ravioli concoctions, like a strawberry-infused version filled with tender clams in a champagne sauce.