If you follow Calle Puente north from the Plaza de Armas you’ll reach the Mercado Central, close to the southern bank of the Río Mapocho. This huge metal structure, prefabricated in England and erected in Santiago in 1868, contains a very picturesque fruit, vegetable and fish market. The highlight is the fish stalls, packed with glistening eels, sharks and salmon, buckets of oysters, mussels and clams, and unidentifiable shells out of which live things with tentacles make occasional appearances. The best time to come here is at lunchtime, when you can feast at one of the many fish restaurants dotted around the market; the cheapest and most authentic are on the outer edge, while those in the centre are touristy and pricier. Keep an eye on your belongings, as pickpockets are not unknown here.
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