José Ignacio: the coastal destination that keeps getting better

In José Ignacio, Uruguay, more and more restaurants and businesses are betting on this exclusive corner of Esteño.

It was at the end of the 70s when an adventurous Argentine chef named Francis Mallman opened his first restaurant called “Posada del Mar” in the then lonely fishing village that was José Ignacio Uruguay.

After an excellent response to his venture, Mallman opened “Los Negros”, which became one of the most sought after gastronomic destinations in South America. With his simplicity and appreciation of the natural environment that surrounded him, the Argentine chef began to attract the type of experienced traveler who sought refuge in the tranquility of this corner of the world.

After many years and other endeavors, Mallman reopened his restaurant "Chiringuito" in front of the beach. Inspired by the scenes of director Luchino Visconti, the acclaimed chef recreated a series of tents, low tables and folding chairs strategically placed on the sand. Chiringuito is a restaurant - grill with a wood-fired oven.

Francis is part of a group of dreamers who dared to re-float the area during the pandemic. As well as him, the “Cruz del Sur” Farm refloated in December 2020, accompanying the style of local enterprises such as “Parador La Huella” and “La Olada”, who offer signature cuisine with local raw materials giving José Ignacio, Uruguay an unmatched prestige.

The Posada “Ayana”, owned by Edda and Robert Kofler is an eight-room hotel near Mansa beach. In style reminiscent of 60s St. Tropez, exclusive guests enjoy personalized breakfasts served on a poolside terrace, private yoga, and exclusive access to an art piece by in-process artist James Turrell. building one of its iconic Skyspaces.

Near the hotel, the book lover Eduardo Ballester opened a bookstore-café-inn called Rizoma. Surrounded by a natural forest environment, Rizoma is a bubble from the outside world. In addition to being an inn, cafe and bookstore, it includes a gallery where Marcela Jacob, Ballester's wife, exhibits her work as a potter. Ballester claims to have seen a major change in José Ignacio, Uruguay. Who has been a visitor since the 60s and even remembers with nostalgia a time when the town did not yet have electricity.

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