Ice-cream Heaven in Santiago Chile: We Know Where It Is (Revolver)

Inside my relatively slender frame, there’s a fat girl screaming to get out. Sometimes I listen to her. Occasionally she sends me on missions. Scared by her, and the lurid gloop on offer at high street ice-cream parlours, I went in search of the perfect helado artesanal (home-made ice-cream), allowing myself to believe that it was all in the name of journalistic research. My friends came to help even out the calories.

Bar Helado, Santiago
Photo Sofia Carvajal

Emporio La Rosa

First stop was Emporio La Rosa. In an enviable spot next to Parque Forestal on the border of Lastarria and Bellas Artes, it’s a magnet for hung-over 20-some-things and Chilean families. With a shady terrace and cosy old-world feel inside, there are few better places to while away the hours with a newspaper at the weekend. One of the most popular heladerías in the city, queues can snake around the block on balmy Sunday afternoons.

“It’s all about combining flavours that go well together,” says administrator Maria Morales. “We like to use ingredients that are special to Chile. Some of our best-sellers are those that remind people of desserts that their grandmothers used to make, like Banana and Palm Honey, which is a really traditional treat here in Santiago.” As bananas are up there with war, pollution, slow walkers and Catherine Zeta-Jones on my personal list of all things evil and wrong, I declined a taster.

I wish I’d said no to the Rose flavour too. It tasted not unlike kissing someone on the neck after they’ve just smothered themselves in aftershave and I had to spit unceremoniously into my napkin. Raspberry and Mint was better, with a lovely fresh burst of summer fruit but a disappointing lack of mint. The Ulmo Honey (from a tree native to the south of Chile) was superb with just the right amount of gooiness. Top prize went to the Chocolate and Pepper which was delightfully dark and rich with a spicy kick.

Maestrale

Discreetly adjusting belt buckles to cope with expanding stomachs, we walked a few blocks on to Maestrale in the touristy confines of Patio Bellavista. More a counter with a few tables than a shop, this Italian-style gelatería serves coffee and cakes alongside its additive-free gelatos. With a seasonal selection of around 20 flavours at any one time (including Carrot and Bay Leaf the day we visited), what Maestrale lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in taste. The Coconut gelato (Italian gelatos are traditionally made with slightly less fat than ice-cream) had a wonderfully creamy texture with grains of real coconut. The Cherry had big pieces of fruit but lacked flavour, unlike the Lemon and Ginger which was tangy and fresh and our hands-down winner as the flavour of choice on a hot day.

Bar Helado

Feeling ever so slightly lactose intolerant, we head out the next day to Bar Helado in La Reina. It’s a neighbourhood joint a good ten minutes walk from the metro, but a convenient stop-off if you’re heading to Parque Por La Paz. The big outdoor terrace is perfect in the summer but the lack of tables inside means it’s not the best choice in bad weather. There’s a dizzying amount of flavours to choose from, but we were there to try their famous Pisco Sour — served in a cone, rather than a glass. Like their Caipiriña, it’s a subtle reminder of heady nights out without the sore head. The Bitter Chocolate and Capuccino were both superb, but not quite good enough to make a special trip out there.

Sebastian

A few hours later we found the mother ship. On a tip-off that the best ice-cream in the city was to be found in a back street in Los Leones, we found our way to Sebastian.

Santiago Chile Photo by Sofia Carvajal
If I die from clogged arteries as a result of writing this piece, let it be known that I want to be buried here. The place itself isn’t anything special and the staff could be friendlier but none of this matters when the ice-cream is this good. The Swiss Chocolate was crammed with caramelized almonds. It tasted like that magical moment when your mum let’s you lick the bowl after she’s been baking her prize-winning chocolate cake. The Natural Yoghurt was one of the finest I’ve ever tasted. The Lemon Pie flavour had the luscious texture of cheesecake and the Nutella had my friend cooing like a pigeon.

Ice-cream heaven found. Mission completed. Now I’m going on a diet.

Emporio La Rosa
Merced 291 (Metro Bellas Artes/Baquedano)
Open 8am-10pm every day
Price of a cone (2 flavours): CP$1,500

Flavours include:
Te Verde con Mango (Green Tea with Mango)
Chocolate Naranja (Chocolate & Orange)
Canela (Cinnamon)
Revolver recommends:
Chocolate Peperoncino (Chocolate & Pepper)
Miel de Ulmo (Honey)

Weirdest flavour: Rosa (Rose)

Maestrale
Constitucíon 50 (Metro: Baquedano)
And Av. San José María Escrivá de Balaguer 6400, Vitacura
Price of a cone (2 flavours): CP$1,500

Flavours include:
Castañas Confitadas (Crystallised Chestnut)
Manzana Verde (Green Apple)
Membrillo (Quince)

Revolver recommends:
Limon Jengibre (Lemon & Ginger)
Coco (Coconut)

Weirdest flavour: Laurel (Bay Leaf)

Bar Helado
Av Larraín 6540 (Metro: Plaza Egaña/Bus 403)
Open 11am-8pm every day
Price of a cone (2 flavours): CP$1,200

Flavours include:
Super Dulce de Leche (Caramel)
Piña al Agua (Pineapple Sorbet)
Frutas Silvestres (Wild fruits)

Revolver recommends:
Chocolate Bitter (Dark Chocolate)
Capuccino

Weirdest flavour: Pisco Sour

Sebastian
Andres de Fuenzalida 26 (Metro: Los Leones)
Price of a cone (2 flavours): CP$1,200

Flavours include:
Pie de Limon (Lemon Pie)
Pomelo (Grapefruit)
Menta Chips (Mint Choc Chip)

Revolver recommends:
Yogur natural (Natural Yoghurt)
Chocolate Suizo (Swiss Chocolate)

Weirdest flavour: Nutella

http://www.revolver-magazine.com/food-and-wine/559-ice-cream-heaven.html

And in Spanish:

http://www.revolver-magazine.com/en-espanol/60-en-espanol/655-el-cielo-de-los-helados.html

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Ice-cream Heaven in Santiago Chile: We Know Where It Is (Revolver)

  1. Pingback: Blog: My 10 favourite places in Santiago « Natasha Young

  2. Pingback: My 10 Favourite Places in Santiago de Chile

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