Lastarria is one of a few small, mostly cobblestoned neighborhoods in Santiago, and it is definitely one known for its indie fashion, antiques and popular restaurants. Lastarria heads north from the Alameda (Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins), near the Universidad Católica metro station and over a few blocks to the street Merced, an area with esoteric boutiques and stores such as Plop and Tienda Nacional that sell locally published books.
There is always something going on in between the Alameda and Merced, with antiques at the Plaza Mulato Gil and exhibits at the MAVI (Museum of Visual Arts) on the Merced side. The area is home to several shops that have taken space in an old mansion and sell trendy clothing from new designers as well as woven copper and crin (horesehair) jewelry, which is unique to Chile. Lastarria also encompasses some smaller streets, such as quiet Rosal, often the site of local photo shoots because of its old, colonial-style architecture. This street is also home to a bar that calls itself the “hidden bar” (Bar Escondido), though in truth, most everyone knows where to find it.
The most direct way to get to Lastarria is from the Universidad Católica metro. Combine a visit here with a trip to the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center for photo and sculpture exhibits (exhibits closed on Mondays, though the building is still open), or a walk in Parque Forestal, just a block north of Lastarria.