Fresh produce for sale at La Vega Central, Santiago's fresh fruit/vegetable market

Fresh produce for sale at La Vega Central, Santiago's fresh fruit/vegetable market (Margaret Sheridan, For the Chicago Tribune)

For a moment, the stillness of Patagonia found a niche in this oak-paneled relic in Santiago. My mission was over but not a desire to return for another helping.

If you go

Food/drinks

Club Euro Happy, Maturana 516, Barrio Brasil (facebook.com/EUROHAPPYCLUB).

Confiteria Torres, Alameda 1570 (confiteriatorres.cl).

Donde Augusto, Seafood restaurant/bar in Mercado Central (dondeaugusto.cl).

Emporio La Rosa, Cafe/ice cream shop with eight locations (emporiolarosa.com).

La Piojera, Aillavilu 1030, Centro Santiago.

Restaurant Galindo, Dardignac 098, Bellavista (galindo.cl).

Restaurant Zanzibar, San JM Escriva de Balaguer 6400, Vitacura (zanzibar.cl).

Details

$1 equals about 507 Chilean pesos.

Sernatur, the national tourist office, has multiple locations (sernatur.cl). It offers rail maps, brochures and information on free tours, events and hostels.

The subway system has five lines with various fares depending on time of day (metrosantiago.cl).

Santiago Adventures offers personalized tours for individuals and groups led by a multilingual staff (santiagoadventures.com).