Puerto Natales is a small town that definitely caters to people visiting Torres del Paine. Unimarc is the main grocery store in town. The parking lot was a mess with cars parked along the perimeter of the small lot and a line of cars in the middle (some with people waiting in them, sometimes not…). On our first visit, we found a spot to back into and the second time we just parked up the street and walked. The store was busy, with lots of people gearing up for camping and hikes. We found some snacks and lunch materials for Wednesday – wine, cheese, chips, cookies, etc. and the prices were not as exorbitant as feared. Thankfully we had a mini fridge at the B&B and someone left ⅓ bottle of wine too!
Eric had read about a dried fruit shop, Frutos Secos, on a travel blog before we left, so we decided to stop in. The shop was easy to pass (a car was blocking the wooden sign near the street) but once inside the small shop we choose spicy peanuts (turned out to be super-crunchy) and craisins to purchase.
Our first dinner in town was at Mesita Grande, a small restaurant specializing in pizza and pasta dishes. We were seated at one side of a long table that dominates the room, and ordered the arugula/parmesan/parma ham pizza plus two scotch ales. The pizza had a nice thin, crispy crust and a giant salad on top! Everything was very tasty, including the three chocolate mousse sampler for dessert.
For our second dinner, we choose to go a bit fancier with Bahía Mansa. Many of the menu options were fish, but they did have a few other meat options so Eric was game to check it out. We started with a bottle of carmenere which Eric paired with the guanaco stew. I went with a raw theme and ordered the salmon ceviche as an appetizer and the seafood tartare (scallops, tuna) for my main course. We split the Nutella cake for dessert. The service was friendly and our experience overall was positive. As we left, the owner was outside feeding a street dog who came over to beg for her dinner.
There were quite a few other restaurants in town that looked good, but with only two nights we weren’t able to try some of the others.