A feast of delicacies with flavors from the depths of the Pacific Ocean decks the tables at Puerto Montt and in all the Region de Los Lagos, offering travelers a richly varied and categorically stated sample of southern Chile's gastronomy.
Dishes that are simply unforgettable, such as the classic curanto en olla or curanto en hoyo, the paila marina (a selection of Pacific delicacies), the milcaos, or the caldillo de congrio (fish consomme), form an irresistible menu that is exquisitely rounded off with the now famous Chilean wines.
Details to waken one's appetite. The curanto (a Mapuche word meaning "hot stone") is a traditional dish where shellfish, dressed meats and vegetables, among other ingredients, are cooked in a hole in the ground with red-hot stones at the bottom. The dish is covered with pangue or nalca leaves, and served after an hour of cooking.
The milcaos are prepared with grated, cooked and mashed potatoes, kneaded into a dough, to which butter and salt are added before it is fried or baked. They are served accompanied by tasty chicharrones de chancho (fried pork tidbits).
In Puerto Montt, the temples of haute cuisine are on Caleta Angelmo. This is a place full of tempting aromas, where the visitor can try the delicious local gastronomy specialties at quite reasonable prices.
Another interesting area for those who want to give their taste buds a "treat" is Puerto Varas, where restaurants specializing in fish and shellfish abound, as well as coffee shops and tea houses.
And, as palates occasionally get homesick, Puerto Montt also offers a good number of restaurants with international cooking.