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. Chila

    $$$$ | Puerto Madero

    With a prime harborside location and a carefully curated tasting menu that delves into Argentina's abundant pantry, Chila is worth the splurge. Book a table...Read More

  • 2. El Burladero

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    In a city filled with Spanish and Basque restaurants, there's not much of a tapas bar scene in Buenos Aires. El Burladero provides a mix...Read More

  • 3. Pura Tierra

    $$$$ | Belgrano

    In a charming and creative space that was once a private residence in Belgrano, chef Martín Molteni's dining room offers up a tribute to the...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Tomo I

    $$$$ | Centro

    One of the city's more sophisticated dining rooms, Tomo I is a bastion of modern French-Argentine cooking. Dishes lean towards less-is-more, and truly shine with...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Aramburu

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    Tucked away down a cobbled alley is one of the most beautiful and romantic restaurants in the city. Night after night chef Gonzalo Aramburu turns...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Casa SaltShaker

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    While puertas cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, have been a part of the Buenos Aires dining scene for decades, they were historically a place you discovered...Read More

  • 10. Club Sirio Libanés

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    Dedicated to the cuisines of the Middle East, this sumptuous dining room on the third floor of the Syrian Lebanese Cultural Club serves up one...Read More

  • 11. Duhau Restaurant & Vinoteca

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    An oasis of elegance and grace in the heart of Recoleta, French cooking techniques dominate this kitchen, though the seafood and meat are sourced from...Read More

  • 12. Elena Restaurante

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    With a new name and a new chef, the Four Seasons Hotel's spectacularly renovated dining room serves creative fare that blends the traditions of Argentina...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. La Bourgogne

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    This elegant dining room in the Alvear Palace Hotel turns out brilliant French classics from chef Jean-Paul Bondeaux, updated for modern sensibilities. Service is impeccable,...Read More

  • 15. Lotus Neo Thai

    $$$$ | Belgrano

    Like the proverbial tortoise, Buenos Aires's first Thai restaurant has kept a slow, steady pace and outlasted all its Southeast Asian competitors. Huge glowing flowers...Read More

  • 16. NOLA

    $$$$ | Palermo

    New Orleans is where chef Liza Puglia grew up, and she brings her passion for the flavors of her early years to the table at...Read More

  • 17. Tarquino

    $$$$ | Recoleta

    The city's rock star of molecular gastronomy, Dante Liporace, has reappeared in this sophisticated hotel garden setting, where he's adding touches of those cutting-edge techniques...Read More

  • 18. Astrid & Gaston

    $$$$ | Palermo

    Its opening in early 2009 was marked by much hype by BA foodies, who had longed for famed Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio's cuisine in their...Read More

  • 19. Bar 6

    $$$$ | Palermo Soho

    The seasonally changing menu is ambitious—sometimes too ambitious—cycling through a universe of ingredients and preparations, from Asian stir-fry to polenta to grilled seafood. Past highlights...Read More

  • 20. Desde El Alma

    $$$$ | Palermo Soho

    It would be hard to create a cuter restaurant than this cozy little gem, which is nestled just to the Palermo Soho side of the...Read More

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