I used to work two blocks from the Barrio Italia neighborhood, and I never really took advantage of its proximity.
One weekend, Andrés and I had a free Sunday afternoon and decided to go take a stroll.
Barrio Italia is a street primarily dedicated to independent, hippie-esque designers from around Santiago. You can find stores dedicated to kids and adult clothing, furniture, books, bikes, shoes, home decor and artisan food, all with a very “cool” feel.
Santa Bohemia is a restaurant located smack in the center of the design district, and I’ve had the opportunity to eat there twice for lunch. Most recently I went there with my parents and I ordered their ginger chicken. We arrived at about 3pm and their four-item lunch menu had run out and the only option we had was to order from the menu.
They have a lot of variety and their portions were pretty big, but I’d say our service was about a 6.5 out of 10. Since it was the end of the lunch hour, the place was pretty empty, but even still I had to get the waitresses’ attention twice, first to order and then for the bill. She was still nice, though.
When Andrés and I walked through the neighborhood, it was a Sunday at about 4pm. I’d say half of the stores were open, but they close on Sundays at 7pm at the absolute latest. I believe Mondays all stores are closed. The best time to go would be Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you can guarantee that everything will be open.
If you’re on a budget, Barrio Italia might be a place to just “look, but not touch”. The architecture of the houses-turned-shops is beautiful, so Andrés and I had a nice time just looking around. If you have money and independent designers are your thing, Barrio Italia is for you.