Buenos Aires Restaurants

Visitors may flock to Buenos Aires for the steak and malbec, but the food scene goes far beyond those two attractions. Over the last dozen or so years, the city has burst onto the international food scene with gusto.There’s a demand for more and more creative food. Here three things have come together to create a truly modern cu
Visitors may flock to Buenos Aires for the steak and malbec, but the food scene goes far beyond those two attractions. Over the last dozen or so years, the city has burst onto the international food scene with gusto.There’s a demand for more and more creative food. Here
Visitors may flock to Buenos Aires for the steak and malbec, but the food scene goes far beyond those two attractions. O

Visitors may flock to Buenos Aires for the steak and malbec, but the food scene goes far beyond those two attractions. Over the last dozen or so years, the city has burst onto the international food scene with gusto.

There’s a demand for more and more creative food. Here three things have come together to create a truly modern cuisine: diverse cultural influences, high culinary aspirations, and a relentless devotion to aesthetics, from plate garnishes to room décor. Tradition dictates late dining, and the majority of restaurants don’t open until 8 or 9 pm for dinner and don’t get busy until after 10. Dinner is a leisurely affair, and the sobremesa, or after-dinner chat over coffee or digestifs, is nearly obligatory. Rushing from the table is frowned on—anyway, where would you go? Bars and clubs often don’t open until after midnight.

The core of the population is of Italian and Spanish heritage, and pizza, pasta, paella, and puchero (beef boil) are as common as the parrilla (steakhouse). Argentines have taken the classics and made them their own with different techniques and ingredients, but they’re still recognizable to the international traveler. Pizzas and empanadas are the favored local snack food, the former piled high with cheese, the latter typically filled with steak or chicken. And while steak is indisputably king in this town, it’s got fierce competition in tender Patagonian lamb, game meats, fish, and shellfish. In contrast to that of much of Latin America, Argentine cuisine is not known for its spice, and picante dishes are not common.

Cafés, too, are an important part of the culture, and locals will stop in at their favorite for a cafecito at least once a day, not only to knock back a little caffeine, but also to see friends and catch up on the latest news and gossip.

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  • 1. Restó

    $$$ | Recoleta | Argentine

    This place became famous when it was run by founder Maria Barrutia, and on and off it was a popular destination for local foodies over the years...Read More

  • 2. Bengal

    $$$ | Retiro | Eclectic

    Stepping into the wood-paneled dining room, with tables draped in white linens and a ceiling tented with a colorful carpet, you may feel like...Read More

  • 3. Café Tortoni

    $$ | Centro | Café

    Filled with Tiffany lamps, towering columns, and marble-topped tables. this art nouveau hangout has charm to spare. While you may have to wait...Read More

  • 4. Confitería Ideal

    $ | Centro | Café

    This century-old café is one of the best spots for newcomers to learn some basic tango steps and enjoy a casual bite to eat. Downstairs, a cavernous...Read More

  • 5. Dadá

    $$$ | Retiro | Eclectic

    Pop-art posters add some flair to this foodie favorite. With a short but creative menu, this spot serves some of the most interesting food to...Read More

  • 6. Down Town Matías

    $ | Centro | Argentine

    On a prominent corner of the downtown business district, Down Town Matías is the flagship of a group of Irish-themed pubs. Drop in at lunchtime...Read More

  • 7. El Cuartito

    $$$ | Centro | Pizza

    Founded in 1934, this icon of porteño pizza tugs at the heartstrings of locals, who get misty-eyed when they think about the fresh tomato sauce...Read More

  • 8. El Federal

    $$$ | Retiro | Argentine

    An homage to the rugged terrain of the Argentine wilds, every surface in this downtown eatery seems to be rough wood or tanned leather. Chef...Read More

  • 9. El Globo

    $$$ | Centro | Spanish

    Much like the neighborhood in which it resides, El Globo is touristy but good. Hearty pucheros (mixed boiled meat dinners), roast suckling...Read More

  • 10. El Imparcial

    $$$ | Centro | Spanish

    This is the city's oldest restaurant, dating back to the 1860s. The name, which translates as "impartial," was meant to offer up neutral territory...Read More

  • 11. El Palacio de la Papa Frita

    $$ | Centro | Argentine

    No frills doesn't mean no charm at this longtime porteño favorite. Steaks, pastas, and salads are the draw, but don't miss the papas soufflés...Read More

  • 12. El Palacio de la Papa Frita

    $$$ | Centro | Argentine

    ...Read More

  • 13. Filo

    $$ | Retiro | Italian

    Crowded and lively, particularly at lunch, Filo is the place for pizza and pasta in the downtown area. True Neapolitan-style pies with smoky...Read More

  • 14. Gran Bar Danzón

    $$$ | Retiro | Wine Bar

    It's a two-story climb up some steep stairs to the city's best wine bar. Arrive too early in the evening and this might be your worst nightmare...Read More

  • 15. Iñaki

    $$ | Congreso | Spanish

    When Iñaki first opened its doors, it was one of the city's more expensive Basque eateries. Over time it's kept the price increases to a minimum...Read More

  • 16. Las Cuartetas

    $$ | Centro | Pizza

    Not known for its decor, this simple spot with tightly packed tables and fluorescent lights is filled with locals who love the coal-fired deep...Read More

  • 17. Piola

    $$ | Recoleta | Pizza

    This old-school pizzeria empire, which now has outposts in a dozen countries, made it big by turning out tasty pizzas, one after another. It...Read More

  • 18. Sabot

    $$$$ | Centro | Argentine

    You're likely to be the only newcomer amid scores of older business executives who've been making this landmark a classic for more than 40 years...Read More

  • 19. Tancat

    $$ | Retiro | Spanish

    The heart of Catalán beats at this popular tapas bar. Grab a seat at the counter—this one of the few food bars in the city—or snuggle in at...Read More

  • 20. Tomo I

    $$$$ | Centro | Argentine

    Despite being one of the more sophisticated dining rooms in the city, being a hotel restaurant means that Tomo I will have a mix of couples...Read More

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