4. La Vega Central: Santiago, Chile
Off the beaten path of the city’s center, La Vega is a hidden gem in the usually crowded Santiago streets. The market is filled with colorful produce and freshly butchered meats, and is a true reflection of the culture of the country, with vendors offering street food like sopaipillas, deep-fried pumpkin dough, to office workers and laborers on their lunch break. Stands around the market sell local treats like freshly blended juices using seasonal fruits (like strawberries, peaches, and raspberries), and tiny restaurant stalls located on the east side of the market are usually packed with locals lining up for Chilean home-style comfort food. Some of these popular traditional dishes served are cazuela (a light soup made with chicken, pumpkin, corn, potato, carrots, and onion) and humitas, mixtures of corn, onion, and lard wrapped in corn husks and boiled or steamed.