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. Aramburu

    $$$$ | San Telmo | Eclectic

    Hidden away on a gritty, graffiti-covered street is one of the most beautiful, intimate, and romantic restaurants in the city. Night after night...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Casa SaltShaker

    $$$$ | Recoleta | Eclectic

    While puertas cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, have been a part of the Buenos Aires dining scene for decades, they were historically...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. Hernán Gipponi

    $$$ | Palermo Hollywood | Eclectic

    This long, narrow room leading to Fierro Hotel's garden patio may not seem like a hot spot for creative cooking, but don't let appearances fool...Read More

  • 7. NCF&F

    $$$ | Palermo Soho | Eclectic

    When you're searching for creative Argentine tapas, look no further than the eclectic selection of dishes off the rambling menu at this longtime...Read More

  • 8. Te Mataré, Ramírez

    $$$ | Palermo Soho | Eclectic

    When you step behind the red velvet curtains you'll feel like you've wandered into a carnival, because that's kind of where you are. Part restaurant...Read More

  • 9. Tegui

    $$$$ | Palermo Hollywood | Eclectic

    Germán Martitegui was among the city's first leaders of the cocina de vanguardia movement, or what people tend to think of as gastronomía...Read More

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