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The Scoop On Santiago’s Best Gelato Scoop

by Meg · 19 comments


Scenario: I am on death row.  The prison official asks me what I want for my last meal.

My answer:

“Oooooo anything chocolate please… and preferably in the form of ice cream.  Thanks officer!”

By now you probably can get an idea for how much I absolutely adore chocolate ice cream.  I can eat it anywhere, anytime, and no matter how full I am from a meal, I always have a little side tummy dedicated to dessert.  Some might say I should see a doctor, but I find my ability to house ice cream to be one of my greatest strengths.

My sister-in-law, Maggie, is one of the few people who can keep up with me in this department.  She is always down for eating ice cream, which is awesome because then I don’t feel like a complete fatty eating it by myself.

Being the good sister that she is, she was genuinely concerned about my ability to find ice cream in some of the places Tony and I had on our RTW list. Thus, she did her research on Santiago and found a gelato place, Emporio La Rosa, for Tony and I to try out once we arrived down here.

Santiago is one of those heavenly cities that has an ice cream joint on literally every block, but according to her research, Emporio La Rosa was the J.P. Licks of Santiago. It has fabulous reviews online and serves up both traditional and crazy concoctions of gelato – Think strawberry and black pepper gelato (Translation: Frutilla y Pimienta).

Now here’s the kicker.  Maggie wrote down the name of this ice cream shop before we left and we stashed away her paper at the bottom of our backpacks.  I completely forgot the name of the place once arriving in Santiago.  Nevertheless, Tony and I were traipsing through side streets near Bella Artes in downtown and stumbled across this delicious looking gelato place…

Found it!

Later we would discover that it was in fact Emporio La Rosa.  What are the odds in a city full of ice cream stores?!  Riddle me that.

Anywho, we get into the store and I of course wanted to try every gelato flavor in there.  I didn’t know the Spanish phrase for “may I have a sample” (I have since learned that it is “pruedo probar”) so I just asked the woman working behind the counter what the best chocolate flavor was.  She immediately started giving me mini sample spoons of every chocolate flavor imaginable…

I am in LOVE with this lady.

What was funny was that she is talking to me in Spanish the entire time about all the different chocolate flavors, her favorite ones, etc. and I understood EVERY SINGLE word she said.  I suck at Spanish but apparently I speak it fluently when in an ice cream shop.

Go ahead, you can judge me.

The decision of a lifetime

So there I am with seven sample spoons in my left hand still trying to make my decision (they were all soooo good).  It’s hot-as-balls out and of course the evidence is beginning to drip down my hand.  I’m a mess.  Thank god we were the only patrons in the shop because if other Chileans witnessed this, they would have no questions in their mind as to why America is the most obese nation in the world… Lay off me people, I work out.

The final decision was the dark chocolate and dulce de leche combo.

I would of gone hardcore chocolate on this order, but the dulce de leche was so rich that it tasted like a handmade caramel taffy from Cape Cod (my favorite candy as a kid) in the consistency of Gelato…Epic.

I have had A LOT of gelato in my lifetime, but I would go as far to say that Emporio La Rosa’s was the best yet.  As a sidenote, if you also are big on trying samples, go early in the day to get the full attention of the staff.  It gets PACKED in the afternoon.

With plans to travel to Italy in April (the gelato Mecca of the world), Emporio La Rosa may be beat… The challenge is ON.

About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

Barb January 28, 2012 at 2:16 am

LOL – love this article. AND I’m craving gelatto and I’m on a diet!!!

admin January 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Don’t settle on anything in Elmira! Keep strong :-)

Magz January 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Being compared to Meg’s epic ice cream consumption capabilities is one of the greatest compliments I have ever or will ever receive.

admin January 29, 2012 at 10:43 am


Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 January 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

When we are in Santiago later this year I am keeping this in mind :) Keep the suggestions coming!

Meg January 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thanks Caroline and we will be sure to keep the foodie tips coming! We also heard that Il Maestrale in Patio Bellavista in Santiago has even better gelato than Emporio… I am investigating this claim this coming weekend and will keep you posted!

Kate February 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm

My daugher and I were in Santiago for a wedding in November 2011. I was laughing as I was reading your post. Our guide (our first AFS son) took us to this incredible place. I’m still kicking myself for not taking pictures of our cups. I know I tried the Rose and the Green Tea and I can’t remember what Erica and Alex had. I did take pictures of the sign and all of the choices.

Meg February 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

OoOoO I saw the Rose flavor and really wanted to try it! I am a chocolate girl all the way though – Except Dulce De Leche is my new favorite thing in South America! I am glad you liked Emporio though and the article made you laugh. We are actually in Buenos Aires right now and a few places here rival (and may beat) Emporio… I may just need to write another Gelato article! :-)

Jade July 16, 2012 at 12:58 am

OMG! I absolutely love this place! So many amazing flavours. Lucuma was by far my favourite. I want to go back to Santiago just for the ice-cream.

Meg July 16, 2012 at 3:57 am

Oh my what flavor is Lucuma?! Tony and I were huge fans of the Dulce dd Leche. Dulce De Leche was a little too sweet for us to eat in any other form but it was an oh-so-good ice cream flavor!

Jade Spadina July 16, 2012 at 6:28 am

Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pouteria_lucuma
I’ve never actually tasted the fruit and had never heard of it before going to South America, but the lucuma flavoured ice-cream at Emporio la Rosa was delicious (amongst others). Many thanks to my friend in Santiago for introducing us to Emporio la Rose. The only problem is, it’s rather far away from Sydney. :o)

anne mcilroy April 18, 2014 at 1:54 am

OMG I am heading to Santiago in December and I am excited but now I am super excited hearing about icecream and so many choices!!!!!

Meg April 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

So fun Anne! Are you traveling anywhere else in South America? You must check out Emporio La Rosa (and get lots of samples!)… If you head to Argentina, you will be blown away by how good the ice cream is there. It’s like gelato and ice cream made a baby… delicious!

anne mcilroy April 19, 2014 at 1:45 am

Hi Meg,
I am actually doing an Intrepid tour starting in Santiago on 24th December and finishing in Rio at the start of Carnival. I am sooooo excited to be going to Patagonia and Ushusia -end of the world. I have a passion for going to remote places. I hope to head into Manaus and then Caribbean at the end of the tour. I love the blog as you sound just like me in terms of travel philosophy.

Meg April 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hi Anne, your trip with Intrepid sounds incredible! It is our dream to someday make it to Rio! We had and amazing time in Patagonia – El Chalten was our favorite hiking spot and town. Keep me posted if you ever have questions / need tips… Happy to help! Happy travels :-)

anne mcilroy April 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Just finished off Easter Sunday lunch with homemade chilli chocolate icecream bar with all the sprinkles etc….my idea of a good finish to food. Anyway my question is ……is there another chat place-other than the ice cream blog. Also seriously considering the W walk in Patagonia. Is it going to kill me ? Not a huge fan of mountain goat hiking . I have an option of doing the walk BUT I really want to go horseriding and kayaking etc. I do not suppose there would have a horse waiting for me between day 3 and 4 perhaps on the trail to see the three pointy peaks? I will be halfway through my trip by then so I may want to separate from the tour herd to revitalise. I also want to visit nearby towns/villages to add to the backpack weight.

Meg April 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Hey Anne! That sounds like an amazing Easter! What ice cream blog are you referring to?

As far as Patagonia goes, we actually didn’t do the W trek but other treks around Torres Del Paine instead. We wrote a little on it in here with some tips:


Here’s a blog with more info on the W trek:


Hope this helps!

anne mcilroy December 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Hey Meg.
Do you know anyone that has done an Amazon trip and what company they used?

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