Arica’s empanadas


Okay everyone, I’m here to report that Arica has some of the HUUUUUGEST, AMAZINGEST empanadas ever. We’ve had empanadas throughout the Americas, from Mexico down to Peru. But these one are ridiculously good, and the fact that they’re served up at a quiet, hole-in-the-wall spot makes them all the more amazing.

We found this place by just wandering around, and the menu was all of four things listed on a spray-painted wooden sign out front. We went in and asked for one of each, and have photographed them in all their glory, just for you:

13-IMG_20170128_121755 The Salteña

A hot, rich beef stew with spices and olives wrapped in a toasted crust. Meat, cumin, and chili powder are the main flavors while the olives round it out with some sour-saltiness. Watch out though; the olives still have their pits.

15-IMG_20170128_122325The Empanada

Though less stew-like than the Saltena, the spiced ground meat in the Empanada is rich and juicy. Combine this with the starchy joy of potatoes and the a fried egg (also miraculously baked into the empanada) and you’ve got yourself a meal.

19-IMG_20170128_123222 The Napolitana

We’ve been told that Chile is culinarily one of the “more European-style” countries, and the Napolitana is more of a European-style pastry. With ham and cheese for filling in a flaky crust, this one is like eating a ham pizza without the marinara sauce.

21-IMG_20170128_123818The Queso

Simple is sometimes best, and the queso is a straight cheese filling in toasty empanada crust. The cheese is salty and light, making it the perfect light snack. Or, if you bring your own jam and make an amazing sweet-and-salty dessert.

In Arica and looking to get your mitts on some of these empanadas? Caupolicán is here!


Not in Arica and longing for your own empanada goodness? Make your own using one of the recipes here:

Bolivian Salteñas

Argenitnian Empanadas

Empanadas de Queso

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