Where to drink and eat in Buenos Aires, Argentina – peculiarities of the national cuisine

Restaurants in Buenos Aires

On a per capita basis, Buenos Aires’ restaurants can only compare to the number of local cabs. This seems strange, considering that the country has been living with an economic crisis for a number of years, and Argentines do not have a lot of money. However, enjoying life here and now is almost the main value of locals. That’s why leisure venues thrive here under all conditions. Below we tell you where to eat in Buenos Aires, and we also share tried-and-true places in different parts of the city. So you can easily find a restaurant or cafe in Buenos Aires near your hotel or apartment.

After the fall of the ruble in 2014, food prices in Buenos Aires legitimately went up for us. True, before that time, restaurants in Argentina were incredibly cheap: the average check in the most expensive ones rarely exceeded 2,000 rubles. So even now they are cheaper than many in Moscow. And the Argentine peso also often falls against the dollar.

Now a steak with a bottle of excellent wine in a simple, inexpensive but good restaurant will cost about 15 USD per person, 25-40 USD per person dinner at a very good restaurant, and for 40-70 USD you can afford a meal at the best restaurants of Buenos Aires and Argentina in general.

Before going to restaurants in Buenos Aires, do not forget to read about the national dishes of Argentina and how to understand the Argentine menu. Often the menus in local restaurants are only in Spanish.

1. Restaurants in the Puerto Madero area

Puerto Madero is one of the most prestigious areas of the Argentine capital. The vast majority of restaurants in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires are concentrated around the docks. The choice is huge, and you don’t have to go far either: most restaurants are concentrated in the pedestrian area. Moreover, there are no outright bad places; on the contrary, many of them are considered to be the best restaurants in Buenos Aires. They almost always have good views of Puerto Madero itself. But the prices in this area are higher than the city average.

Cabaña las Lilas (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516) is large and one of the best steak restaurants in Buenos Aires. Great meat and great service.

El Mirasol Campo y Mar (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 138) – Another expensive and quality restaurant with a huge selection of meat and fish.

Tenedor libre or buffet is a cafe format for those who like to eat a hearty meal. You pay a fixed amount per person, get unlimited salads and side dishes, and then also get meat without a limit. The cooked meat is either served by waiters on large skewers or you have to order it separately. Usually in such places the price also includes a bottle of wine and dessert. An example of such cafes and restaurants in Puerto Madero:

    • Siga la Vaca (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 1714) is a very simple chain restaurant at about 25 USD per person;
    • Rodizio (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 838) and Brasas Argentinas (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 1108) – both around 40 USD per person.
    • La Bistecca (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 1890) is another buffet restaurant, but with a focus on Italian cuisine, although steaks are also available.

    Italian cuisine can hardly be called completely foreign, since many Argentines are descendants of Italians who emigrated here. So Italian traditions are strong in Argentina:

          • La Parolaccia (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 1052) is one of the best Italian restaurants in Buenos Aires. Pasta is especially good there.
          • Bice (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 192) is a little more expensive, but the food and service are top notch.

          Mexican Lupita (Olga Cossettini 1091) brings variety to Puerto Madero’s austere restaurants. It has a colorful interior, excellent authentic Mexican food, and chic cocktails.

          Osaka (Juana Manso 1164) is a very high quality Japanese restaurant.

          La Rosa Nautica (Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 264) – Peruvian restaurant specializing in fish and seafood. The format is closer to “gourmet”, i.e. small portions of beautifully presented and expensive food. Not for those who like to eat out – you just can’t.

          01. Cabaña Las Lilas in Puerto Madero

          01. Cabaña Las Lilas in Puerto Madero

          2. Balvanera District Restaurants

          Balvanera is not a very popular tourist destination, although it is an interesting one. It can hardly be called prestigious because in some places this area resembles a real poor Latin America. Accordingly, there are very few quality restaurants here, and people eat mostly in cheap places, where they serve huge plates of simple food. The cuisine is predominantly Peruvian, Bolivian or Paraguayan. The Argentine restaurants in the area are almost all quite simple in terms of cuisine and interiors, but, on the other hand, the places are authentic and without unnecessary showmanship. They are also very cheap for the most part.

          Prosciutto (Junín 283) is a tiny and very cozy Italian restaurant with an original design.

          El Español (Rincón 196) – Similar places in Argentina are called “bodegón”, which can be translated as “tavern”. In fact, it is a simple restaurant with a typical Argentine selection. A portion is easy enough for two.

          Pizzería La Posta (Hipólito Yrigoyen 2295). Buenos Aires has a plethora of pizzerias, and the rule often works: the poorer and simpler the place looks, the better the pizza. This place is no exception.

          La Gran Taberna (Combate de los Pozos 95) is another no-frills tavern. One of those places where you sit side by side with your neighbors in a very small square. For that kind of atmosphere it’s worth coming here. Moreover, the menu is huge: steaks, Italian and Spanish cuisine.

          3. Restaurants in the San Nicolas neighborhood.

          San Nicolas has a lot of classic Argentine restaurants. Admittedly, the prices are higher than the city average. And the experience of visiting a particular restaurant can vary dramatically depending on the chef, waiter, and other factors. Definitely do not go into places that hire barkers. Good restaurants in the area have enough customers without them. Here are some of the tried-and-true places:

          • La Chacra (Av Cordoba 941) – quite expensive;
          • El Gauho (Lavalle 870);
          • La Estancia (Lavalle 941) – good meat and extraordinarily arrogant waiters. Apparently, this is just one of the “chips” of the restaurant.

          Museo del Jamón (Cerrito 8) – A quality Spanish restaurant.

          Zirkel (Av. Corrientes 327, 22nd floor) is a German restaurant. It doesn’t stand out, the food is not very special. However, because of the view over the city from the 22nd floor it is hard to miss this restaurant. Especially considering that in Buenos Aires there are very few restaurants not only with good views but also observation decks.

          El Palacio de la Pizza (Avenida Corrientes 751) is a simple pizzeria with great pizza. By the way, pizza in Argentina differs from Italian pizza in that the dough is thicker and they add a lot of cheese to it.

          02. Argentine sized dessert

          02. Argentine sized dessert :)

          4. Restaurants in the Montserrat area

          Monserrat is the historic heart of Buenos Aires, the area is very touristy and has a large selection of Spanish and Basque restaurants. So if you want to taste jamón, paella, fish or octopus, this is the place to go. Restaurants in this area are mostly expensive, but still upscale. There is also a mega popular historical cafe Tortoni, where you often have to wait in line to get in. All that’s left of the cafe now is the interior; in terms of food and service, it’s long since become a “money-grubbing machine” for tourists. So it’s not worth going there for the atmosphere, especially in Buenos Aires you can find other historical cafes that are not inferior to Tortoni.

          Plaza Asturias (Avenida de Mayo 1199) is one of the restaurants in Buenos Aires where it might take an hour to explore the menu. Great Spanish food, expensive, but in most cases one meal is enough for two.

          Palacio Español (Bernardo de Irigoyen 180) – worth a visit for the old and beautiful Spanish club building where the restaurant is located. The Spanish food is also on a good level.

          Rioja (Av. Belgrano 958) – A good and inexpensive Spanish restaurant.

          Laurak Bat (Av. Belgrano 1444) is the oldest Basque restaurant in Buenos Aires. There is a Basque oak tree growing right inside. The cuisine is Spanish and Basque, that is, fish and seafood predominate.

          Iñaki (Moreno 1341) is another Basque restaurant, very simple and cheap. You should also go there for the seafood and fish.

          Maria Fedele (Adolfo Alsina 1465) is a restaurant that cannot be seen from the street. It is located inside the Italian cultural center. The place is expensive, but worth the money because they serve almost homemade Italian food. And the atmosphere is very reminiscent of Italy.

          5. Restaurants in Retiro district

          The Retiro neighborhood is one of the most expensive in the city, even though Villa 31 is a terrible slum in the city. So there are more than enough good restaurants here. Many of them are located in 4-5 star hotels, so feel free to go there if you want to eat in a rich environment.

          Le Sud (Arroyo 841) is an expensive and luxurious restaurant of French cuisine in the Sofitel hotel. In general, practically all French restaurants in Buenos Aires are expensive because they are considered extremely prestigious among Argentines.

          El Federal (San Martin 1015) is a restaurant of the author’s Argentine cuisine. For those who want to try not the most common Argentine dishes. For example, Patagonian cuisine, which can usually be found only in Patagonia itself.

          Las Nazarenas (Reconquista 1132) – this steakhouse, though it belongs to the tourist ones, but it keeps its brand. Huge pieces of excellent Argentine meat are waiting for you there. But at a high price.

          Kaffir Thai (Tres Sargentos 427) is a surprisingly decent Thai restaurant you would not expect to find in the heart of Buenos Aires. If you have a problem with spicy food, be sure to warn the waiters.

          Filo (San Martin 975) is a simple Italian restaurant with very good food (pizza, pasta, fish, great desserts). Not everything in Retiro is hopelessly sophisticated and expensive.

          03. Even if the photo is not of Buenos Aires, but of Bariloche in Patagonia, but you can cross the Atlantic Ocean for a dinner with such views.

          03. This is not Buenos Aires, but Bariloche in Patagonia, but we can cross the Atlantic Ocean for a dinner with such views.

          6. Restaurants in Recoleta

          Recoleta is a very upscale and somewhat posh neighborhood, so by the standards of Buenos Aires, even simple-looking places can be expensive. And there’s no shortage of fine restaurants.

          Cumana (Rodriguez Pena 1149) is a very small restaurant with the cuisine of the northern parts of the country. In Buenos Aires, it is difficult to taste food from other regions of Argentina, so such restaurants are very popular. So in Cumana you often have to wait in line to get in.

          La Bourgogne (Ayacucho 2027) is very sophisticated and expensive. Simply put, one of the best French restaurants in Argentina. Located in the Alvear Palace Hotel.

          Milion (Parana 1048) is another fine international restaurant. Take your tables on the different floors of the building or on the terrace.

          Parrilla Peña (Rodríguez Pena 682) is a simple and good quality steakhouse. But not very cheap – it’s a Recoleta!

          Casa Salt Shaker is a popular “restaurant behind closed doors” in Buenos Aires. To get in, you have to register at www.casasaltshaker.com. Closer to the appointed date, you will be sent the exact location of the dinner: it can be either a restaurant or an apartment. Usually 5 courses and wine are served, all in a “gourmet” format. The cuisine can be any, depending on the day. The main idea of the institution is that at one table you meet other visitors. So in a pleasant atmosphere you can get acquainted with completely different people.

          7. Restaurants in the La Boca area

          The only place in the La Boca area where all tourists are taken is El Caminito. It is not safe to walk around the neighborhood outside of it. El Caminito is a colorful and interesting place so many people decide to go to a restaurant here. There are a lot of places to eat here and almost all of them do their best to lure tourists by using callers, tango dancers, gauchos and musical ensembles. In fact, the food is very mediocre or simply disgusting, but the prices are at the level of the most expensive areas of the capital.

          However, there is one restaurant in La Boca worth stepping off the tourist trail for. However, it is highly desirable to do it by cab in order to avoid unnecessary problems with the marginal population of the poor district. It is called El Obrero” (The Worker) and is located on Agustin R. Caffarena 64. It is one of the oldest taverns in the city and retains the atmosphere of the old working class city of Buenos Aires. In addition to the atmosphere, the meat here is great, so a short trip to the tavern is worth it.

          04: El Obrero Tavern in La Boca

          04. El Obrero tavern in La Boca

          8. San Telmo restaurants

          San Telmo is a touristy neighborhood, but it’s also popular with metropolitan residents. There are a lot of good restaurants and establishments for all tastes, and they are close to the center. Beware of the restaurants with street hustlers and establishments in the Plaza Dorrego area, which are typical tourist restaurants that do not care much about quality and only charge tourists money.

          Steakhouses and Argentine cuisine

          El Desnivel (Defensa 855) – Great meat and nothing extra. Very tasty, simple and cheap.

          La Brigada (Estados Unidos 465) – Many people swear after visiting this restaurant that they never had better meat in their lives. The steakhouse is truly one of the best in Buenos Aires, decorated in soccer style. One of the tricks of the restaurant is to cut the meat with a regular spoon, it is so tender. It’s more expensive than the average check in the city, but it’s worth it.

          Gran Parrilla del Plata (Chile 594) is another parrilla where everything is simple and very tasty, and the prices are medium.

          La Puerta Roja (Chacabuco 733) is a simple bar with good food, beer and Argentinians. A great place to get to know the locals.

          El Baqueano (Chile 499) – A restaurant with one of the most original cuisines in Buenos Aires. Exquisite dishes are prepared there from a variety of Argentine game, including ostrich. One can taste the meat of llama, wild boar and various seafood. You will have to pay good money for originality.

          Sagardi (Humberto Primo, 319) is a Basque restaurant where you can try classic pinchos. The price is determined by the number of sticks left over. The cider here is also excellent. On the downside, the restaurant is a bit pricey.

          Comedor Nikkai (Av Independencia 732) is a good Japanese restaurant hidden from prying eyes in the building of the Japanese association in Argentina.

          Of the European places we recommend an Italian restaurant Amorinda Tutto Pasta (Defensa 677) and a simple French restaurant with excellent food – Brasserie Petanque (Defensa 596). In the latter you can take a photo with the Eiffel Tower on a smaller scale 9.

          05. Parrillada

          9. Palermo District Restaurants

          Palermo is the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires and is famous for its party culture. Despite the fact that the area is not too rich in historical landmarks, some tourists practically never leave its limits, wandering through parks, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs. And the locals themselves are more than happy to come here for a good time. The choice of entertainment venues here is huge. The only downside is that you’ll have to travel to Palermo on purpose and often have to take a cab or public transportation to get around.

          Steakhouses and Argentine cuisine

          La Cabrera (José Antonio Cabrera 5099) is a very popular restaurant and very difficult to get here without a reservation. On the other hand, there are enough restaurants in Buenos Aires with excellent meat where you can get without any extra effort.

          Club El Don Steak House (1859 Angel Carranza) is a stylish restaurant with great meat.

          La Hormiga (Armenia 1680) – Cheap and tasty, but you’ll probably have to wait in line to get in.

          Los Octubres (Thames 1788) – a restaurant dedicated to Peronism. The interior is all around Evita and President Perón. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the menu in sweet and sour sauce either

          El Club de Milanesa (Arevalo 2870) is an establishment that specializes in a very popular folk dish of Milanesa. Admittedly, it’s a bit removed from the main hangout spots of Palermo.

          Food in Buenos Aires: What to try and where to eat?

          Aleksandr

          The question of where to eat in a new city and country is always relevant for the traveler. Such a versatile country as Argentina offers a large number of culinary solutions, which developed thanks to immigrants who enriched their new homeland with familiar gastronomic traditions. Argentine cuisine has been influenced by French, Italian, Arabic, Spanish and Jewish culinary trends. Let’s talk about the most typical Argentinean dishes that are definitely worth tasting in the capital of this country.

          The first thing to try is the famous parrilla meat. In Argentina, they pride themselves on the fact that the local breeds of cows produce the best and most delicious meat in the world. The places that specialize in meat dishes are called Parrillada. We do not have to deviate from the truth when we say that meat lovers will find their paradise in Argentina. The most famous national dish in question is the assortment, which features various pieces of meat, sausages and char-grilled blood sausages. The parrilla on the table is usually accompanied by a spicy chimichurri sauce, which consists of the following ingredients: chopped parsley, garlic, tomatoes, vinegar and olive oil.

          The main meat dishes are bife de chorizo (which is a huge steak five centimeter thick), fillet loin bife de lomo, bone-in steak bife de costilla and delicious pork sausage simple chorizo. As an appetizer, we recommend provoleta, a grilled cheese. Another “deliciousness” – empanadas are such small patties with minced meat, eggs and olives, they are usually served as an appetizer with red wine.

          In general, the gastronomic establishments of Buenos Aires are worthy of writing a separate book, thanks to their diversity and high quality. Here you can feel the solid age of the culinary school, traditions, relevant culture, at the highest level and the quality of service and attitude to the client by the waiters. This does not mean that they grovel just to please you, on the contrary, they talk to you as equals, give practical advice on the choice of dishes, make jokes and comments. It is like a good theatrical show, after visiting an Argentine restaurant you will not only enjoy the gastronomic pleasure, but also the aesthetic one!

          Quite popular establishments in Buenos Aires (or Bayres, as the locals call it), in addition to Parrillada, are pizzerias everywhere.

          For desserts, we recommend panqueques con dulce de leche (pancakes with boiled condensed milk) as well as various types of Argentine croissants, medialunas. And, of course, tiramisu according to the best traditions of Italian cuisine.

          Besides all that, in Buenos Aires you should try a very good ice cream, made according to old homemade recipes imported by Italian immigrants. So why not try one of the many ice cream shops in the capital, Heladería Freddo, and choose an ice cream recipe you like! You will find them all over the city.

          Here are some coordinates: Puerto Madero: Juana Manso 1570, Palermo: Armenia 1618, Av. Santa Fe 2541, Av. Santa Fe 2906, Pueyrredón 1894, Recoleta: Quintana 591, Centro: Florida 428, Florida 628, Florida 963.

          The undoubted leader of drinks in Argentina is, of course, yerba mate. The process of its brewing and drinking resembles a certain ceremony: bitter but very useful yerba mate herb is brewed in a special vessel and drunk at any time of the day. Drinking yerba mate has long been a ritual and a way of socialising in this country.

          Restaurants in Buenos Aires

          El Palacio De La Papa Frita

          This establishment, whose name means “The Palace of Fried Potatoes,” offers an inexpensive and delicious meal. The menu at this oldest classic restaurant includes gnocchi, meats, pastas, milanesa and a local specialty – the unusual, just obscenely huge potatoes. The food here is fairly inexpensive. You can eat for an average of 110 Argentine pesos. El Palacio De La Papa Frita restaurant is located in the central area, Avenida Corrientes 1612.

          El Prossiutto

          One of the best traditional restaurants in Buenos Aires. Here visitors are offered a mix of meat parrilla and Italian cuisine. There are several El Prossiutto establishments in BA, but the most traditional is Prosciutto Balvanera. The cost of dishes is not the highest – the prices here are average.

          This restaurant is one of the best traditional parrillas in the entire capital of Argentina. The location is the Puerto Madero neighborhood. It is worth ordering the institution’s signature “chip” – the Gran baby beef. It takes an hour to cook it. Also worth checking out is the Sagpe de buey de Kobe. As for the prices of dishes, they are quite high.

          La Parolaccia

          La Parolaccia is the most popular chain of gastronomic establishments specializing in Italian cuisine in its local version. The dishes served here are distinguished by sophistication, the interior is homely, and the service is at the highest level, despite the fact that the price category of La Parolaccia is medium. Inexpensive but delicious set dinners are offered here.

          La Estancia

          This is an iconic place specializing in meat dishes, located very close to the Obelisk. It was founded in 1962 and is one of the best in Buenos Aires. It’s hard to pass by without paying attention – the showcase attracts visitors with whole roasted lamb and goat carcasses, emitting the strongest aroma. Here you can also try the classic parrilla and goat meat, which is more of a Uruguayan dish. The cost of dishes here is high. La Estancia restaurant has several different rooms, and in one of them during the evening hours the visitors are entertained by artists with folklore and tango shows.

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