Where can you find a good coffee in Santiago, Chile? That’s a great question, and one that many travelers spend hours in search for the answer at every new destination.
Moni & I have been in Santiago for nearly two months, and enjoying a good coffee is very important to us.
However, finding a cafe that makes what we class a good cup of coffee is harder than you may think. Being in South America, which is home to some of the best coffee producing countries in the world, unfortunately does not automatically mean they serve the best coffee in the world.
Our time in Colombia where we stayed for three months was proof of the fact, that even though Colombia may produce really great coffee, the locals still prefer their ‘tinto’, which I call black juice. Don’t get me wrong, it has great flavour, strong, rich and intense, all that you want from a good coffee.
But what it lacks are the oils that form the cream on top of each extracted drop. Yes, I’m talking about the golden brown cremé that you see with on top of the black juice.
A common cappuccino & latte in Santiago
There are some coffee places, call them cafés or bars, or whatever, that have espresso machines which should produce the desired outcome, but through lack of knowledge and training, the result is just an average brew.
We did however find a few very good places to get our daily caffeine fix in Medellin as we have also managed here in Santiago.
We are staying in the area called Mapocho, which is near the business district, a park and only a short walk to the main center of Santiago. I guess you could say it’s a great place to stay in Santiago, but without being able to compare it to other places, that would be hard to prove, at the end of the day we are very pleased with this area.
Back to finding a place where you can enjoy a good coffee in Santiago.
We walk all around the streets rather than take the buses, so we get to see lots more, which includes cafes etc. There are lots of establishments that serve coffee, most of them the normal tinto, however a good number also have barista and espresso coffee machines.
Enter, Cafe Primmo in Santiago
Lucky for us we found a café about 15 minutes walk away from our place, and after the first cup we have been back many times. This café is called ‘Primmo’ and it’s located near the corner of Moneda and Amunategui.
Cafe Primmo is slightly off the main drag and is maybe less busy than others. The cafe has recently changed ownership, the good thing is, the barista is still the same.
The café is rustic and welcoming. Tables and chairs like you had in the old school days are in the front part, with a long bench seat and more in a back area which also leads up the stairs to the restrooms. The walls are covered with writing about coffee, tea and other beverages, also some food items, strangely nothing to do with what they offer.
Lots of old collector items hang and stand as decoration on walls and shelves. Tunes sing out in the background without being offensive, and it’s smoke free which is great as many places are not. There are no seats outside which probably is another reason why it’s not so busy and doesn’t attract the smokers.
The coffee they use is the well-known Italian coffee brand ‘Illy’ which produces great espresso coffee.
Being Aussies we enjoy the flat white, however here we order cappuccino. We have found out that in South America a cappuccino is not the same as in Europe or Australia. It’s more like a flat white, it has no chocolate on top and no foam just dense textured milk, while some others also confuse it with a cafe Latte.
They also make a ‘latte’ which they serve in a bigger cup, to me it’s a bigger version of their cappuccino by just having more milk, they look real good, but I prefer less milk.
There are a variety of sweet items from cheesecake to muffins, and they also have salads, savoury pastry items, sandwiches, Quiche etc.
The girls that work there are very friendly and the owner speaks English which helps now and then.
If you enjoy a coffee made from a barista, using a well-known brand of coffee in a smoke free cafe then stop by Cafe Primmo and enjoy.
Location & Contact
Phone; 09 5405 2435
Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
Get there by
Walking… it’s near the corner of Moneda and Amunategui.
Where have you found good a coffee on your travels, we’d love to know in the comments below.