Saturday in Santiago: La Boquería

Tapas make for a great girl’s night out, which is how Ash and I found ourselves at La Boquería ready to delight in gourmet finger foods. From my first view of the restaurant, I was confident we were in for a good time.

La Boquería

The very first thing to arrive at our table confirmed my impression. Pan con tomate is just bread with some garlic and tomato rubbed on it along with a little olive oil. Simple but somehow divine.

La Boquería pan con tomate

Something about a Spanish restaurant makes me want to order sangria. I then usually regret this decision because let’s face it, most sangria is just cheap red wine that’s been ruined with too much sugar. This, however, was light and refreshing. And such a pretty fuchsia color!

La Boquería sangria

There was never any question we would be having tapas. La Boquería does offer main courses, but why get one full plate when you could get lots of small plates? This decision to taste test as many different flavors as possible was instantly proved to be a good one when this platter of montaditos arrived.

La Boquería tapas

Our choice of the selection of 4 cold and 4 hot montaditos meant we were served the day’s 4 hot selections, but we got to choose our own cold options. After much consideration, we settled on smoked salmon mousse with salmon caviar, hard goat cheese with oregano, tortilla española with onion marmelade and red pepper filled with anchovy. This last was an experiment as neither of us actually likes anchovy, but somehow the mix of flavors avoided being overpowering. Maybe I secretly do like anchovy?

La Boquería montaditos fríos

The hot montaditos came out next. The pork and paprika with quail egg was good albeit VERY salty. Too salty for me. The camembert and chorizo and meat croquette toppings were more my style. My favorite of these, however, was the pork loin with a berry sauce.

La Boquería montaditos calientes

By this point, we were realizing we’d underestimated just how filling our montaditos would be. We’d already ordered the bombas, potato balls filled with meat and topped with spicy salsa brava, but we still had room for what we were expecting to be small croquettes. How wrong we were. The bombas were giant but so good that we managed to finish them.

La Boquería bombas de patata

And then, because I really have no self-control or idea of when to stop, I ordered dessert. Torrijas are a Spanish bread pudding/French toast hybrid. Accompanied with ice cream. And a shot of cream sauce. With a bit of berry coulis for good measure. You can probably imagine the deliciousness for yourself.

La Boquería torrijas

Eventually, uncomfortably full, I drained my last glass of sangria and managed to roll home. I felt like a bomba but like a very happy, satiated bomba. What more could a girl want?

More in this series:
Saturday in Santiago

36 Responses to “Saturday in Santiago: La Boquería”

  1. Em, your food photography is amazing!!! What an awesome place, you have to take me there when I come and visit.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Of course! And really, does it surprise you that the first thing I would learn how to photograph decently is food?

  2. Matt says:

    So this is good news (and I just read your Cadaques review as well). The missus from Barcelona is coming over for 6 weeks in October and we’ll be spending half the week in Santiago… so it’s nice to know there are some options to make her feel at home..!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Oooh, I’ll be interested in her opinion as to how the Spanish restaurants here shape up. Hopefully they get her approval!

  3. Alli says:

    Man! everything looks extremely good. I can wait to visit January, any pointers I should know?

  4. Carine says:

    I will definitely go to this restaurant next time I am in Santiago. The food looks awesome and your description of it makes me want to try it right now :) Great pictures.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Do you have plans to come soon? It would be fun to meet up!

      • Carine says:

        We thought of coming for Sept. 18 however I just took a University class starting mid-September so we can’t go. Perhaps in February or March. I will let you know. Would love to meet up and maybe try one of those restaurants with you :)

  5. Thanks Emily – I just ate dinner and now I’m hungry again. Looking forward to trying out some of these places when we get to Santiago in Novembre.

  6. Andrea says:

    This all looks SO good. I could live on tapas…looks like so much variety in the selections as well. You don’t always find that.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      The menu had a bunch of different hot and cold tapas plus these pre-set selections – definitely plenty to keep you interested.

  7. Natalie T. says:

    Yum! They don’t skimp there and then you get a cool nickname for the way you feel like “bomba?!” NICE.

  8. Mark Mercer says:

    Now I am hungry! I miss some of the great food and wide variety of it that I had when visiting Santiago. Just not as many choices over where we are in Uruguay. Great asado and pasta, but not as many influences, and not as pungent, as what you have.

    My Chilean food fixes have been limited to whatever I could get at the SCL international departures area when in transit on LAN connections to/from Montevideo. Got one coming up, need to chow down.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Haha, SCL doesn’t even have particularly exciting options! Although I will agree it’s better than just the one restaurant in MVD (at least last time I was there, maybe it’s grown).

  9. Molly says:

    OK, now I’m mad. I was soooo content to be back in the U.S… until I saw this post. Did I mention I’m a bit hungry, we are housesitting for the summer in ‘boondocks-ville’ USA (restaurant, what restaurant?) and I’ve not seen tapas as yummy as that looks even in the previous 2 years of travel in SA. Damn you. :)

    Hope the girls had fun, no I did not read the full thing, toooo many pictures (re-read the above for more lame excuse validity).

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Sorry, Molly. Sounds like a good reason to plan another trip though – only criterion being that the destination must have good tapas!

      • Molly says:

        Teasing (though was hungry and we are in boondocks-ville) – my biggest issue is trying to keep the weight off as have sooo many choices in what to eat and cook since are back in the U.S. have to keep a grip!

  10. You had me at bread pudding/French toast hybrid. I am coming back to Santiago immediately 😉

  11. Ayngelina says:

    That food looks gorgeous, I want all of it.

  12. Ayngelina says:

    Well it is certainly tempting me, it’s definitely a possibility this winter.

  13. Joris says:

    Hi Emily,

    Thanks for the nice restaurant ideas, I have already walked a couple of times in your footsteps (Cadaques, Baco).

    Would it be possible to give some rough price details at the end of each post, or within the article itself (a bit like Pancho Arraya does in his blog “Santiago en Picada”); that would be handy to know what kind of budget is required for the place :-)

    Also adding the restaurant’s address would be handy, to avoid one google search and to see immediately if it’s easy to get to :-)

    Keep up the good work!

    Joris

    • Emily in Chile says:

      So glad you’ve enjoyed some of the restaurants I’ve featured! And thanks for your suggestions, so far I’ve looked at these more as personal stories than actual reviews (a la Santiago en Picada or other review sites), but I may transition over to that format eventually.

      • Joris says:

        Personal stories that can be read as reviews are the best :-)

        One personal favourite I think you might not know yet: El Jardin de Epicuro (Orrego Luco 034, number 4 on TripAdvisor). Try it out, especially the tapas!

  14. Maddy D. says:

    UM I would like all of this shipped to CA pls. In exchange I shall send you buckets of Blue Bottle? Yes??

  15. Kyle says:

    Salsa brava! I promise I’ll come back to Chile eventually if we can go there one of these days :)

  16. Hilary says:

    Hi Emily, love that you are trying out new places in Santiago. I came accross your blog when looking for a thai place. Actually have to say sorry you liked this place! It does not represent Spanish food in anyway and I hope you have the opportunty to try better places so you dont think Sangria is just sweetened cheap red wine or that salsa brava is just salsa golf (which is how they make it at la boqueria). Unfortunately, Santiago doesn´t really have outstanding tapas to begin with. Cocina de Javier isn´t a bad choice and De la Ostia has decent Pinxtos. If you are willing to forgo the tapas, Txokos in Lastarria has the best calamari en su tinta you will find outside of an abuela´s home. Happy eating!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Hmm, I must have missed the part where I claimed these were authentic tapas :) I haven’t been to Spain since I was young, so I’m definitely no tapas expert (although I did like pinxtos at De La Ostia, the paella at Txokos and the tapas at Cadaqués). Doesn’t mean the food wasn’t good on my visit though, and I think it’s important to keep in mind that quality isn’t always the same as authenticity. Although I do agree it’s nice to get both quality AND authenticity!

      I’ve heard good things about La Cocina de Javier, so it sounds like I’ll have to get there soon – thanks for the recommendation.

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