Starting up north, you'll find traditional cooking influenced by the Atacameño and Aymara cultures of the Andean altiplano, as well as the Chango fishing culture of the coast, with excellent fish and shellfish on offer.
In the region's most fertile valleys, such as the Azapa Valley near Arica, tropical fruits like guava can be found, as well as olives and small-scale producers that produce olive oil. The vines cultivated in the inland valleys around Copiapó, La Serena and Ovalle produce wines and piscos of international quality, as well as fruits like the papaya and vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes and tomatoes. Table grapes from these valleys are exported both to South America and to the northern hemisphere.
The central regions of Chile are known for traditional, hearty, home-cooked dishes, which are also available in many restaurants. These include meat, cheese and seafood empanadas, as well as pastel de choclo (meat pie topped with delicious corn-based mash), humitas (soft corn dumplings), caldillo de congrio (conger eel soup), porotos granados (ground bean and cornmeal soup), longanizas (a smoked sausage) and various beef and pork dishes.
This region is also the home of some of Chile's most important wine valleys, such as Aconcagua, Casablanca, Cachapoal, Curicó and Maule.
The Chilean south has been strongly influenced by Mapuche and Chilote cooking, characterized by a wide variety of potatoes and seafood. Chillán is famed for its longanizas, and exquisite fish and shellfish are on offer in cities such as Concepción, Valdivia, and Puerto Montt.
In Valdivia, Osorno, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, you can also try pork dishes, sandwiches and preserved meats, made from German recipes brought to the region by German settlers and passed on through family traditions.