Café Forastero


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DESTINATIONS chile santiago Cafes Café Forastero

Café Forastero

As difficult as it may be to find good coffee in Santiago, Cafe Forastero is one place that gets everything right, from the aromatic and flavorful coffee to the delicious cakes. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere cozy – the perfect place for a little afternoon break. There is a selection of small dishes you can choose from, with vegan alternatives available.


Even though many coffee bean varieties are grown in South America, there was no big coffee culture in Chile until only a few decades ago. The hot drink of choice is definitely tea, especially yerba mate – an infusion drink made from cut and dried leaves of the mate shrub. Mate was already popular before the colonization of South America. If coffee is served, you will often get it in small teacups, unlike larger serving sizes customary in Europe or America. In the 50s, a particular coffee house style has established itself in Chile, the Café con Piernas, "coffee with legs". In these coffee houses, waitresses work on platforms behind the bar in considerably short skirts. However, despite this questionable feature, these cafes are not uncomfortable or sleazy, but furnished elegantly and are located in the main pedestrian areas rather than in hidden side alleyways. No alcohol is served, instead, you will typically find great coffee from hefty espresso machines. Here is a selection of cafes you should not miss in Santiago: