A Little Bite of Buenos Aires

When we poked around Buenos Aires earlier this year, our food quests were focused not only on understanding Argentine cuisine but also seeking out various ethnic cuisines that we hadn’t encountered much while traveling the Andes and Paraguay. A couple of times a week, we’d head out with a restaurant recommendation, a gigantic map of the city, and scribbled notes as to our bus route.

We often got lost. We always ate. And we discovered something.

Shopping for Empanadas in Buenos Aires, Argentina
On an empanada run in Buenos Aires.

There’s some nice food in Buenos Aires. But mediocrity in the cuisine scene is well represented across various budget levels. It’s easy to drop a bunch of money on a lackluster meal.

We understand that Buenos Aires is not the only city that suffers from this phenomenon. But perhaps because of the imagery that often precedes it, expectations rise. Particularly if you expect to spend a short time in the city (and food is important to you), it may just be worth doing a little more restaurant research than usual.

The following intends to capture a random culinary walk through the city and is meant to answer the “Where did you eat? What did you have? Anything of note?” questions we get all the time.

Now, let’s eat!

Parrillas (Steak Restaurants)

Don Zoilo

Although the scene may appear a bit formal at first (e.g., waiters in aprons and bow ties), the atmosphere inside is that of a classy, but unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant where families and friends gather for a meal. Our waiter was exceptionally friendly. After noticing that we had a thing for photographing our food, he began to bring other peoples’ orders to our table so we could take a shot.

Very good bife de lomo. If you need something to balance your meat intake, try the radish greens salad. All that, a recommended bottle of Malbec and dessert ran about 100 pesos ($28) for two. Go early (as in 8:30 or 9 PM) as this place fills up quickly. Address: Honorio Pueyrredón 1406, Villa Crespo

Parrilla Peña

A simple neighborhood spot that seems to have gotten its name into a couple of guidebooks, judging by the tourist crowd. But, it’s still good. Nicely grilled provoleta (herbed cheese) and a solid bife del lomo serving large enough for three people. Prices are reasonable and staff are patient: we lost track of time, closed out the place and they didn’t fuss. Address: Rodríguez Peña 682, Recoleta

El Obrero

One part football (soccer) shrine, another part parrilla, El Obrero is a place for visual fun, what with all the Boca Juniors football paraphernalia. Large, juicy steaks won’t empty your wallet. Leave room for the pave de vainilla sided with a daunting dollop of dulce de leche. Get a pull of espresso to balance out all that sweetness.

El Obrero Soccer Shrine and Restaurant - Buenos Aires, Argentina
El Obrero Parrilla in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Stories of people getting mugged in La Boca are plentiful. During the daytime, it seemed fine — we walked the few blocks from where the bus dropped us off (the #64 bus from Barrio Norte is a terrific visual sample of BA, by the way). If you feel apprehensive, go while it’s light or take a taxi at night.
Address: Agustín R. Caffarena 64, La Boca

El Caldon

Looking a bit more upscale than most restaurants we chose, El Caldon was a neighborhood favorite of a friend in Palermo. Service is good, if a bit over-the-top in a tourist courtship sort of way. Steaks are high quality and grilled vegetables done perfectly. Crockpot garlic spread cover is a nice touch. Very reasonably priced wine list given the all the above. A good experience and not quite as expensive as it may look at first glance. Address: Corner of Salvador and Armenia Streets, Palermo Viejo

Empanadas and Tartas

Spend any time in Argentina and you’ll quickly realize that not all empanadas are created equal. Here are a few places we’d recommend for freshness and variety.

No Name Barrio Norte Deli

This is the sort of place we live and die for. A take-out deli with a gregarious chef (often in a paper chef’s hat) behind the counter. He loves to talk, but his porteño accent makes it a bit difficult for newcomers to keep up.

Everything here is good, but the tartas are exceptional. Our favorites were the ham/cheese/basil/tomato and pumpkin squash varieties. The empanadas arabes, filled with spiced meat and topped with lemon rind, are a revelation. The giant beef empanadas do the salty-sweet thing like only grandmothers know how.

Fresh and Cheap Lunch Spot - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tartas from Our Favorite Deli in Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires

Very inexpensive and high quality – this is why you’ll see both construction workers and businessmen in suits waiting for their food. We were regulars here several times a week to pick up lunch.
Address: 2907 Juncal Street (Bustamante cross street), Barrio Norte
Note: This place is open only at lunchtime until around 3-4 PM.

No Name Empanada Place on Scalabrini Ortiz

We stumbled upon this place in a food daze when we underestimated walking distances in the city. Freshly cooked empanadas heated to perfection were just the ticket. We returned several times. Up there in the top echelon of our Argentine empanada experiences.
Address: 1800 block of Scalabrini Ortiz (cross street is Nicaragua), Palermo

Pizza and Pasta

We’ve already written about keeping expectations at bay when it comes to Argentine pizza. Here are a few places that, for various reasons, were notable.

Thin Crust: Albamonte

The first time we dined here, our American friends joining us joked that everyone in the place did a double take when they first walked in.

The point: not many tourists make it out here. Though the neighborhood may look a little rough around the edges to some, it’s fine. And Albamontes has a friendly put-your-arm-around-your-neighbor feel to it. More importantly, perhaps, the food is great – pleasing even the most discerning of our Italian-American friends. The pizza here is probably the closest you’ll come to pizza that resembles real Italian pizza – thin crust, ample sauce, and not kilos of cheese. The calamari is also very good. Not expensive. Address: Avenida Corrientes 6735, Chacarita

Grabbing for a Slice of Pizza - Buenos Aires, Argentina
In case you ever doubted Dan’s love of pizza…

Thick crust: El Cuartito

The well-known, overgrown red-headed stepchild of Buenos Aires pizza joints, El Cuartito is almost universally panned by anyone doing the food critic thing. So why did we go? Our discerning landlord suggested we do so despite the bad reviews.

However, she recommended a strategy: understand that it’s thick crust pizza and order the Napolitana. So we did. Although we’re not usually awed by thick crust pizza, this one was sufficiently crispy and the sauce was flavorful. More importantly, the sauce:cheese ratio was balanced, perhaps because of the sliced tomato topping. Tables are graced with cans of olive oil and fresh oregano and roasted red pepper flakes — this behavior earns bonus points in our book.

El Cuartito is packed in the evenings with both tourists and locals. Go early or prepare to wait a bit.
Address: Talcahuano 937, Recoleta

Fresh Pasta at Coto Supermarket (Barrio Norte, Santa Fe location):

What?!?! A supermarket? We realize we may lose points among our foodie friends for recommending fresh pasta from a chain supermarket, but hear us out. At first, we were attracted to boxes of flour-dusted fresh pasta because of the price. How can you beat $2.50 for two sheets of fresh ricotta-filled ravioli, or $4 for a tray of spinach and ricotta sorrentinos?

A tad skeptical, we brought them home and cooked them. The taste and texture: spot on. We also tried other fresh pasta factories in the city to compare. As difficult as this may be to believe, Coto boxed fresh pasta beat out many of the corner store ravioli and sorrentino factories charging two and three times the price. If you are looking for a satisfying, inexpensive meal to cook at home, Coto fresh pasta is where it’s at.

If you are renting an apartment in Buenos Aires, consider that a decent bottle of Tempranillo/Malbec/Cabernet/Syrah and a two-person serving of ravioli would run you about $5-$10.

Price is an indicator of nothing, except perhaps economy of scale.

Medialunas, Cafés, Gelato and Happy Hour

Buenos Aires’ streets are literally lined with cafés. One of the city’s defining features are its great cafes, in the sort that spill out onto sidewalks. Most coffee will come with a glass of mineral water and a little sweet treat. So beautiful, so civilized.

Man's Best Friend - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Man’s Best Friend at a Cafe in Buenos Aires

Café de Arenales

Does a great continental breakfast of café con leche and 3 medialunas for 10 pesos ($2.50). Coffee is stand-up and the medialunas even better. Address: Corner of Larrea and Arenales Streets, Barrio Norte

Medialunas del Abuelo

A bakery churning out big trays of medialunas and other facturas (pastries) day in and day out. Try both the grasa (salty) and manteca (sweet) varieties. There are several outlets scattered around town. Address: Juncal 2190, Barrio Norte

Medialunas, Breakfast of Champions in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentine pastries from Medialunas del Abuelo in Buenos Aires

Lucio Café

Determined to find us the best medialunas in town, our landlord sent us to Lucio’s. Their crescents are very, very rich — so buttery, they almost melt in your mouth. Decadent.Address: Scalabrini Ortiz and Güemes Streets, Palermo

Tienda de Café

This is a chain café, but the coffee is good and the little treats alongside are tasty, too. Free wifi is also a nice touch. Our favorite location was in Barrio Norte.Address: Juncal 2295, Barrio Norte

Un Altra Volta

One of the best gelato places in Buenos Aires. Try a combination of passion fruit mousse with dark chocolate. Address: There are many shops around Buenos Aires but the one at Santa Fe 1826 has a pleasant garden seating area in the back.

Milion Bar

A bar and restaurant in a converted mansion with an awesome outdoor garden area. Inside décor is also cool. Check out the stairways and you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time or stepped onto a movie set. Serves tapas as well as full meals. We usually went for the happy hour special from 7 PM onwards because the bar featured good deals on beer (something like $2/beer). A really nice place to meet friends in the evening. Make reservations on good weather days because the garden and other outdoor seating are likely to fill up. Address: Parana 1048, Recoleta

Hat tip to Jon Brandt for introducing us to this place.

Ethnic Restaurants (A break from steaks, pizza, pasta and empanadas)

Sarkis Armenian Restaurant

One of our favorite ethnic food spots in Buenos Aires. We recommend the jambra (roasted red pepper and walnut dip) and babaganoush to start. Follow it with an outstanding minced lamb kebab covered in plain yogurt and onions. Having been to Armenia, we can say that we wouldn’t have left if the food was this good.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip at Sarkis in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip at Sarkis in Buenos Aires

Delicious, reasonably priced and a good place for vegetarians. Arrive early because this place fills up quickly. Address: Thames 1101, Palermo Viejo

Panaderia Armenia

A great deli and sweets shop to pick up Armenian food for a picnic. Thick, Greek-style yogurt, babaganoush, hummos and an incredible selection of sweets. Buy your stuff and head to the nearby park in Palermo for an outdoor nosh. Address: Scalibrini Ortiz 1317, Palermo Viejo

Bird's Nest Pastries at the Armenian Cafe - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pastries from Panaderia Armenia in Buenos Aires

Lotus Neo Thai

Not cheap by any stretch, but the Penang curry was spicy, full of flavor and just what we needed for our Asian food fix. Nice rooftop terrace where you can start your evening with cocktails and appetizers (recommend the satay beef skewers). Address: Arribeños 2265 (same street as Chinatown), Belgrano

Tandoor Restuarant

Surprisingly good Indian food for this part of the world. A good selection of vegetarian food and nicely spiced meat dishes (including saag/lamb). Tandoor also has a reasonably priced lunch menu. Address: Laprida 1293, Barrio Norte

La Fabrica del Taco

When you need a Mexican or street-food style fix, this busy place does the trick. Our favorite was the Volcan Taco, but all the grilled meat tacos were good. A decent selection for vegetarians, too. Don’t forget to take advantage of the 2 for 1 drinks during happy hour each night. Address: Gorriti 5092, Palermo Soho

Buying Asian ingredients

If you happen to have your own kitchen and want to stock up on spices, fresh herbs, curry pastes, vegetables and anything else Asian you might desire, then head over to Chinatown on Arribeños street in the Belgrano neighborhood. Chinatown only stretches a couple of blocks, but it includes two big supermarkets specializing in foreign foods.

Sushi:

Skip it. Really. It’s not worth it. Wait until you return home or book a flight to Lima, Peru. You’ll probably save money if you do. Otherwise, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg and indulge in mediocre salmon swimming in cream cheese.

Recommendations for navigating Buenos Aires’ restaurants

1) Check out Layne’s Buenos Aires restaurant recommendations at TaxiGourmet. She tipped us off to some of her favorite restaurants that she discovered through her taxi cab adventures. Several of our recommendations are thanks to her.

2) Find reviews, average meal prices, addresses, maps, phone numbers, opening hours and loads more information for almost any restaurant in Buenos Aires at Guia Oleo. Very useful.

3) Taxis in Buenos Aires are relatively easy and inexpensive, but it can be fun to take on the city’s bus system. Como Viajo is a great website to figure out your public transportation route to the restaurant. Just put in your start and end addresses. We found Como Viajo easier to navigate than the labyrinthine Buenos Aires bus guides. Just make sure you have coins to pay for your bus fare.

——

We understand that this list is far from exhaustive. Buenos Aires is a huge city of over 13 million people spread out over close to 50 neighborhoods.

What is your favorite Buenos Aires food, restaurant or dining experience? Please add your own recommendations in the comments so that other visitors to the city may benefit.

¡Buen Provecho!

Enjoy this?

Then sign up for more travel wisdom & inspiration from 7+ years of traveling the world.

Comments

  1. Amy Scott says

    Hi guys, I’m not surprised to see that some of my favorite places are on this list! Interesting that you found it was easy to drop a lot of money on a mediocre meal. Perhaps that’s more common now as prices have gone up; a few years ago I remember thinking that if I spent 100 pesos (then about $30) on a meal it was always good, whereas if I spent half that it was more of a gamble.

    As for specifics… I went with Layne to both Albamonte and El Obrero; they’re winners. And you’re right about the pasta at Coto! As you know, Audrey, I love Volta for ice cream, but my new favorite is Faricci, at the corner of Corrientes and Aráoz in Villa Crespo (there are others around the city). Their mousse de maracuyá (passion fruit) is seriously out of this world.

    Sarkis is probably my favorite place in the city, but please give props to my neighborhood: it’s in Villa Crespo, not Palermo. :) A similar option is the Medio Oriente bakery in Palermo Viejo, where they serve awesome shawarmas only on Fridays and Saturdays from around noon to 3 pm (though they often run out by 1:30 or so!). If you say you want it “super-picante,” it will actually be pretty damn spicy.

    I went back to El Trapiche recently for the first time in over a year. This parrilla is in many guidebooks, and is always packed (mostly with locals), with good reason. I don’t think I’ve ever had bife de lomo more tender than theirs. I order the same thing every time: lomo a la pimienta, which comes with super-yummy papas a la crema (au gratin potatoes), and a salad of arugula, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella. Those two dishes provide more than enough for two people. It’s at the corner of Humboldt and Paraguay in Palermo Hollywood.

    One of my favorite empanada places is a bit unusual – theirs are the “cazuelita” style – but they really take care with the ingredients, which are high quality and spiced just right. The chicken is especially good, as well as the verdura (spinach and white sauce), which has a little nutmeg or something in it. Premium Pizza, Serrano b/t Corrientes and Camargo, Villa Crespo (more of a delivery/take-out place than a place to eat in).

    Oh and if you’re dying for a salad bar among all the beef and pizza and pasta, try La Escondida, on Costa Rica between Scalabrini Ortiz and Malabia in Palermo Viejo; theirs is cheap and plentiful.

    I could go on and on…

  2. noel says

    excellent selection guys!
    I would recommend you travel to Uruguay, it is an amazing country. Have you been there?
    I love your trips, keep on posting.
    noel

  3. says

    GREAT list! I spent 6 weeks in B.A. a couple of December/January’s ago, and rarely had a bad meal at any price point. My hands-down favorite parrilla was Desnivel (cool photo of their asador on my blog), as recommended by my B.A. landlord. Here are a couple of my fave B.A. dining spots:

    Desnivel Parrilla Defensa 855 (San Telmo), phone 4300-9081.

    Arturito, traditional neighbourhood restaurant, handmade pastas and meat with rich sauces. San Luis 2999 (Once), phone 4961-4280.

    La Carretería regional cuisine. Brasil 656 (San Telmo), phone 4300-5564.

    Malasartes Café Bar, casual sandwiches, great burgers. Honduras 4999, (Palermo), phone 4831-0743, http://www.malasartes.com.ar.

    Solo Empanadas, locations across Buenos Aires, http://www.soloempanadas.com.ar.

    Il Piave Ice Cream, Chile 342 (San Telmo, other locations), phone 4362-5713.

  4. says

    Thanks to your recommendations we also enjoyed Coto’s ravioli, Sarkis and Panaderia Armenia. We also found amazing, high-quality vegetarian food at Casa Saltshaker, Artemisia and Kenshos. Not cheap, but worth it. The state of Argentine pizza is very disappointing considering the Italian influence – we never found any we really liked.

  5. says

    I traveled to Buenos Aires twice on business with Fedex. The gentleman that I traveled with was adamant about staying on an eating schedule. We ate lunch at noon (exactly) and dinner was at 6. If you know Latin, European or South American eating at all, the waiters may not even arrive by 6pm.

    We would go to those giant restaurants on the main boulevard in Buenos Aires and have dinner early. We would always be the only people in a 300 or more seat restaurant, every night. We would be out of there by 7pm, which was still 2 or more hours before people would start arriving.

    Other memories of Buenos Aires:

    –the street vendors on Calle Florida yelling ‘helado!”
    –seeing hundreds of 1970′s Ford Falcons driving around. Apparently the old tool jigs were sent there after Ford was done with them in the States
    –going to a soccer match and seeing the chain link fence around the field with totally fanatical fans. Saw Boca Junior, which is Maradonas old team (he is the most famous Argentine player ever). My friends pointed him out to me in the stands.
    –and of course, the incredible, world class sideburns of the President at the time, Carlos Menem (you have to see the second picture in this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1376100.stm

    I’m waiting for you guys to write about the Hooters-type coffee shops in Chile next! (you can see them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHjih8qr0pY

    It really is bizarre for such a religious country. I stumbled onto one of them after an all night flight from the States. Definitely…unusual!

  6. says

    Great list guys. LIke you said, there are tons and tons of places, but here’s one recommendation for the only place I go to for lunch on the few rare days I don’t bring a sandwich to work. It’s called La Facturera and it’s found on Paraguay and Maipú, deep in the Microcentro. To get your head around that, it’s about a block and a half away from Calle Florida and another block from Plaza San Martín. They were long time holdouts of $3 ARG empanadas, but recently it’s gone up to $3.50. Still, they have some of the best empanadas you’ll find the the center, as well as GIANT milanesa sandwiches for $11. The empanada choices are plentiful, not just the standard chicken and beef, though the beef are the largest and two are enough to do me in.

    It might seem a bit hard to find, but if you see what look like a barred off store with people coming in and out during lunch hour, you’re at the right place. Thanks for the shout out about Milion! Someone introduced me to it one day, and I’m glad I could introduce you guys to it!

  7. says

    Ok, I haven’t had breakfast yet and this post is making me very hungry. Looks like you ate well while you were in Buenos Aires. I love the shot of you two with the pizza. Good fun!

  8. says

    uhoh, you just made me want to go to Buenos Aires. Luckily, it’s just right across the Andes. Seriously, every one of those meals sound better than anyplace I ever had the chance to eat when I was there! Thanks for the tips!

  9. says

    @Amy:  We had to adjust our budget to Buenos Aires standards pretty quickly. If we’d followed what we spent on meals in Peru and Bolivia, our BA food experience would have consisted only of tartas, pasta (Coto pasta, really) and empanadas. If we had a really good meal in BA for 100 pesos for two, we considered that good value. However, we fell into a few situations where we allowed others to choose a restaurant and ended up paying almost twice that amount for mediocre food.  It hurt.

    From the people we spoke to (locals as well as more budget-conscious expats), BA has experienced both monetary inflation and, as a result, a bit of food quality deflation. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this since you’ve been in BA for quite a few years.

    Sarkis is really in Villa Crespo?! We always saw the address marked as Palermo, Guia Oleo included. I need to look at the map again and figure out these neighborhood lines.

    Thanks for a hefty list of gelato, schwarma, parrilla and empanada tips!

    @noel:  We did travel to Uruguay.  Loved the people there and had some interesting experiences. We should be writing about them in a few weeks.  And we love your comment.  Thank you.

    @Randall:  Thanks for the tips.  Desnivel sounds interesting.  Would like to have tried it.

    @Erin:  Good on you for finding high quality vegetarian food.  We can understanding splurging on vegetarian cuisine when the mood strikes.

    I’m with you on Argentine pizza.  The lackluster quality does not seem to jibe with the Italian influence.  Not that it was sensational, but the pizza-by-the-meter in Montevideo was generally better.

    @Mark:  Am laughing at the image of your traveling companion and his rigid eating schedule.  6PM for dinner in Argentina.  I didn’t think that was even possible – was anything even open?!

    Ford Falcons makes me think that Argentina could make a good deal from outdoor cinema restaurants that serve empanadas.

    Perhaps we can all share gelato with Carlos Menem on Calle Florida one of these days.

    As for the Hooters coffee shops, even if that did appeal to me, writing about it just might transform Uncornered Market into a one-person affair.

    @Jon:  Thanks for the tip.  Looks like we’ll just have to go back.  I remember making a few trips to Microcenter (to replace a dead hard drive).  Would have loved a local recommended empanada escape.  I like your description of the place, “barred off store.”  Sounds like our kinda’ joint.

    @jen:   Check back and be sure to save the comments while you are at it.  Happy eating!

    @Dave and Deb:  Thanks.  Eating is always a blast.  And the pizza photo was good fun.  We tip our hats to Andrew Warner (of Mixergy fame) for his photo-taking skills on that one.

    @eileen:  Why uhoh?  It will be good for Buenos Aires to see your spirit again.  A hop, skip and a jump over the Andes and you’ll have a few vegetarian options available to keep you well fed.

  10. alexis says

    We had an awful experience in the restaurant “Nonno Bachicha” in “Caminito”. Price was expensiive being 120 pesos for two persons. Prices were expensive than in the official list of prices, they add 10% in the tip not detailing what was it (you don’t know if is taxes, waitress service or what is it).
    We ask for a soup and was very salty (impossible to eat). We asked to change it and they say not because we eat it half. We have to pay 20 pesos for this soup telling as that for as 5 euros was nothing for us!The owner was really rude with us. Posteriorly, several local people told as that the quality of this place was very low.
    Finally, it was not heating and was really cold!

  11. Amy Scott says

    I just checked Guia Oleo – I can’t believe they have Sarkis listed in Palermo! I’m sure there are others besides me who would disagree with that. And if you look at the map of all the V. Crespo listings, there’s another place just two blocks from Sarkis, so they’re pushing the boundaries in some crazy way. But yeah, a lot of places in that part of Villa Crespo are now trying to claim they’re part of Palermo. If you’ve heard of “Palermo Queens,” that’s the area being referred to. As far as I understand it, Córdoba is the dividing line between Palermo and Villa Crespo, so technically Sarkis is only one block from Palermo, but is in Villa Crespo.

  12. says

    We loved Buenos Aires and were impressed with the sophistication of the cafes! We rented an apartment and loved just going downstairs to the corner to get some of the best coffee ever! Can’t wait to go back one day.

  13. says

    @Alexis: Sorry to hear about your bad restaurant experience in Buenos Aires. I hope you had better experiences after this one to make up for it!

    @Amy: When we lived in Prague, we used to live in a neighborhood called Vrsovice. But, our section of the neighborhood was just down the hill from the hip neighborhood of Vinohrady, so people would make up names like “Upper V” or sometimes restaurants would stretch the boundaries to say they were in Vinohrady. Reminds me of the Villa Crespo/Palermo distinction. Regardless of which neighborhood Sarkis is classified under, it’s a great restaurant.

    @Joan: Sorry to keep you waiting for this, but we hope it comes in handy for your upcoming trip to Buenos Aires!

    @Gillian: Yes, we loved the cafe culture in Buenos Aires. As we mentioned in this post, it was just so civilized to automatically get a glass of sparkling water and some sort of sweet treat with every coffee.

    @Margo: Buenos Aires is such a huge city that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out a restaurant strategy. Hope this list helps when you do visit Buenos Aires!

  14. says

    Great list. My wife and I spent 4.5 months there earlier this year and are headed back in a few days. I’m definitely in agreement with you on several of these. We wrote up some of our favorites as well awhile back as well: http://www.consultingrehab.com/2010/07/28/where-to-eat-in-buenos-aires-a-few-of-our-favorite-ba-restaurants/

    Without exception, our favorite is El Estrebe – phenomenal bife de lomo, chimichurri and awesome local vibe.

    Thanks again for the great list!
    Ryan

  15. says

    Found your site through the Blog Carnival. Very excited to find all of your dining recommendations as well as those of the commentors.
    We are visiting Buenos Aires in November.
    Thanks!
    –TravelinJones

  16. says

    Just bookmarked this on delicious and it will be my bible when I arrive. I think part of the reason I lean toward street/budget food is that the blow of mediocrity is lessened by the cost. I hate splurging for lackluster food.

  17. says

    @ayngelina: Cool. Glad you found this useful. We are with you: we head to the street food stalls (when they are available, that is). Mediocrity tastes marginally better when it comes at a low price.

    When you go to Buenos Aires, you’ll find that the street food scene is pretty well limited (I think I’m being generous with that description) to things like milanesa sandwiches and empanadas. Good luck…and good eating.

  18. Amy Scott says

    Dan’s right about the street food, with one important exception: The choripan stands along the Costanera (near the eco-reserve) and in the parks in Palermo. Definitely worth a try!

  19. says

    @Amy: Perfect, thanks for the addition! Now this post is turning into a real “On the fly eating guide to Buenos Aires.”

    Audrey and I are trying to think if we saw any of these stands (I’m certain we must have) or whether we blocked them from our vision…my memories of choripan are being plied with more than my share at family asados!

  20. says

    @Lola: There is indeed a steak with your name on it. Many steaks, in fact.

    Glad you like the Audrey-meets-empanada photo. Those empanadas are as rich and buttery as they look.

  21. Armando says

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. We’ll be Buenos Aires next week and look forward to trying many of them.

  22. says

    What a great recap of restaurants in Buenos Aires! I’ve been living in BA for quite some time and a regular of reading travel food blogs, and this is the first time I’ve read spot on answers to describe food in this city.

  23. says

    @Allie: Your comment made my day. I’m glad to hear that our observations about food/eating/dining in Buenos Aires resonate, particularly with someone who knows the food scene there.

  24. wendy says

    Thank you for all of this wonderful food information. We are in Buenos Aires and are planning to take a few mixed cases of red wine back to San Francisco. Can you please recommend a few of your favorites? Also, last night we spent Thanksgiving at an amazing “closed door restaurant”! Here is the link: http://www.cocinasunae.com

    No better way to spend Thanksgiving then eating amazing Asian food with no relatives in sight!

  25. says

    @wendy: You are quite welcome! Hope you are enjoying BA. Regarding wine recommendations, we are planning three more articles on Argentine wine in addition to the one we wrote on Patagonian wines:
    http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2010/09/patagonia-hitchhiking-wild-west-argentine-wine/

    In the meantime, as for other labels off the top of my head: a bit toward the higher end, try Amauta (from Cafayate)…the 2005 (not the 2006!) blend is fabulous. Saurus (the Patagonian select Pinot, in particular), and Achaval Ferrer (very high-end) — any of the Malbec and French varietal blends. Mid-end, try Alta Vista Terroir Select. And if you can get your hands on the experimental Alta Vista Escados line (with the illustrated labels), the Petit Verdot and Cabernet are both excellent. Towards the budget end, try Newen — the Pinot was decent, we also enjoyed the Syrah, available just about everywhere in BA. As for the cheapos, Don Pedro Tempranillo was an unbelievable steal at 11 pesos, if you can still find it.

    Generally, we also enjoyed sampling the single varietal bottles of blending grapes, like Petit Verdot and Bonarda.

    Argentina is known for its reds, but the Lorco Poetico 2008 oaked Viognier was fantastic.

    As for shipping, you may want to wait in case you are going to visit Mendoza. In town, Vines of Mendoza has a great selection. Not cheap, but good quality and they are in the wine shipping business.

    My apologies this is so scattered. Let me know if this is what you were looking for. And if not, I can dig a little deeper into our notes.

    Thanks for the link to the restaurant. Sounds like a great experience.

  26. wendy says

    This was a great help! Thank you so very much. We ended up taking your list of recommendations and buying what we could get our hands on. To bring the wine back we purchased a couple of ice chests from Coto and put cardboard in between the bottles. All bottles made it back to San Francisco no problem. The TSA and customs questioned us about the ice chests but happily, customs did not charge us for bringing back extra wine.

  27. says

    @wendy: I’m glad you found our Argentina wine notes useful. Like I said, we are really hoping to finish up our article series on all things Argentine wine that we discovered.

    In any event, I’m not sure how many bottles you purchased, but I’m surprised (and very happy for you!) that you didn’t get any grief from TSA and customs. You’d figure that mysteriously packed ice chests would draw attention.

    Happy tasting…and we’ll be interested to hear what you thought of your purchases. (Be careful to resist the temptation to compare to wine from Napa and Sonoma.)

  28. Jillian says

    Wow! Fantastic reviews and writing!! I want to travel with YOU!!!! Thanks for sharing your Buenos Aires experiences! :0)

  29. says

    @Jillian: Thank you for your comment and very kind words. One of these days, we’ll run tours and readers can join us. In the meantime, hopefully our blog and website can give a little bit of a taste of what it’s like.

  30. Fiona baigrie says

    We had such shabby treatment at La Cabrera last night that I wanted to warn your readers off going there. After reserving a table but then losing it because we were 15 mins late – we were put at the bottom of the waiting list. After waiting over an hour (we were promised 35 mins.) we soon realised that it was all a bit of a fraud – diners were given cheap champagne and very ordinary nibbles on the pavement to keep them there while a far too long waiting list was’ managed’ by a pretty, ineffectual young woman. When we finally were seated we were given a table beside plastic weatherproofing (clammy) illuminated by a sodium streetlight squashed next to a young couple ( who commiserated!) and ate a steak that was not worth the wait. Surly service, sides had a skin on from being microwaved! Don’t go! It did lead me to your site this morning! Thanks I will try some of your recommendations.

  31. says

    @Fiona: Am really sorry to hear about your treatment (and your food result — that is really too bad, especially after all that wait) at La Cabrera. For steak, maybe check out Don Zoilo, El Caldon, or Parrilla Pena — details above. If you have some other Buenos Aires dining experiences that are worth sharing (or you’ve gone to the others that we recommended), please let us know. Let’s hope the next few make up for this one.

  32. says

    @Sarah: I like the PPP construct to describe food in Buenos Aires (or more generally, Argentina), though I suspect some beg to differ.

    After all that time in Buenos Aires, I’m curious: what will be your final meal?

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *