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 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. Chori

    $ | Palermo Soho

    This bright yellow corner storefront has given the humble sausage sandwich called choripán a radical and much-needed makeover, turning it from basic street food to...Read More

  • 2. Don Julio

    $$ | Palermo Soho

    One of the finest steak houses in the planet that ranks in the World's 50 Best Restaurants, Don Julio features cowhide tablecloths, wagon-wheel lighting fixtures,...Read More

  • 3. Gran Dabbang

    $ | Palermo Viejo

    A small and deconstructed spot on busy Scalabrini Ortiz, the focus is firmly on raw ingredients in the kitchen, where chef Mariano Ramón brings together...Read More

  • 4. Julia

    $ | Villa Crespo

    An intimate space for just 22 diners led by talented young chef Julio Martín, enjoy a plant-led (but not exclusive) menu at this adorable bistro...Read More

  • 5. Las Pizarras Bistró

    $$$ | Palermo | Eclectic

    Quirky and kitschy, this 40-seat hole-in-the-wall looks like any of hundreds of other neighborhood hangouts throughout the city. But take a...Read More

  • 6. Mishiguene

    $$ | Palermo Botánico

    The first purveyor of contemporary Jewish cuisine in the city, Mishiguene brings classic Middle Eastern, Polish, and Russian dishes such as baba ghanoush, varenikes, pastrami,...Read More

  • 7. Tegui

    $$$$ | Palermo Hollywood

    For a sublime eight-course tasting experience, head to Tegui, helmed by chef Germán Martitegui, who regularly ranks in the top 10 of Latin America's 50...Read More

  • 8. Adentro Dinner Club

    $$$$ | Palermo Soho

    Realizing that not every visitor to Buenos Aires has friends or family to invite them to an asado, the traditional backyard barbecue, Colorado native Kelly...Read More

  • 9. Artemisia

    $$ | Palermo

    In a city known for its steak and potatoes, vegetarians generally have to make do with salads, pastas, and pizzas to get by. That’s slowly...Read More

  • 10. Asian Cantina

    $$ | Palermo Hollywood

    The city’s finest purveyor of southeast Asian food started out as a closed-door restaurant in the chef's home but these days it has a prime...Read More

  • 11. Bella Italia

    $$$ | Palermo Botánico

    One of the first Italian restaurants in Palermo Botánico, Bella Italia is the cornerstone of what has become the city's quasi-official Little Italy. The Lena...Read More

  • 12. Casa Coupage

    $$$$ | Palermo

    In the middle of the chaos of Palermo, Casa Coupage is an oasis of tranquility. Located in a converted home, the beige-on-beige dining area takes...Read More

  • 13. Club Eros

    $ | Palermo Soho

    Known for its no-frills decor, this Palermo Soho stalwart is where generations of locals have been coming to dine. It's located inside a soccer club...Read More

  • 14. Cuervo Café

    $ | Palermo Hollywood

    This specialty coffee shop, which roasts its own beans, located on a buzzy Hollywood corner is the ideal spot for a flat white or iced...Read More

  • 15. El Preferido de Palermo

    $$ | Palermo Viejo

    Though it was recently overhauled by the Parrilla Don Julio team, much care has been taken to retain El Preferido de Palermo's authentic and traditional...Read More

  • 16. El Trapiche

    $$$ | Palermo Hollywood

    This eatery's design aesthetic—a bare, unadorned space illuminated with industrial lighting—doesn't translate to the dishes, which, while not fancy, include hearty portions of grilled and...Read More

  • 17. Green Bamboo

    $$$ | Palermo Hollywood

    Covered with more knick-knacks than the space comfortably allows, the bar at the city's only Vietnamese restaurant looks like someone bought out a souvenir shop....Read More

  • 18. i Latina

    $$$$ | Villa Crespo

    These charming and handsome Colombian brothers ran a successful restaurant in Patagonia before moving to Buenos Aires, opening a new place, and receiving enthusiastic reviews....Read More

  • 19. Kansas

    $$$ | Palermo

    Located alongside the Hipódromo, the city's hottest horse-racing track, this eatery has great views. Boisterous definitely defines the ambience as diners tuck into barbecued ribs,...Read More

  • 20. La Baita

    $$$ | Palermo Soho

    Sophisticated, elegant, and cozy all at the same time, this cozy corner spot in Palermo Soho offers a combination of classic dishes and modern creations....Read More

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