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. Astor, Manduque Porteño

    $$$ | Belgrano | Argentine

    The name—which means, more or less, "the way locals eat"—may be a bit of a misnomer, because this restaurant doesn't serve anything that you...Read More

  • 2. El Sanjuanino

    $$ | Recoleta | Argentine

    Tourists from the nearby hotels flock to this Northern Argentine regional spot, but you'll definitely also see lots of locals, particularly...Read More

  • 3. Brasserie Petanque

    $$$ | San Telmo | French

    One of the few—if not the only—classic French brasseries in Buenos Aires, Petanque is a place to drop in, enjoy hearty French fare, and wash...Read More

  • 4. DesNivel

    $$ | San Telmo | Steakhouse

    Though the name may translate as "uneven," there's nothing remotely so about this classic steak house. Don't expect any frills, just great steaks...Read More

  • 5. Due Resto Café

    $$ | Barrio Norte | Mediterranean

    This place may resemble a neighborhood coffee shop where folks are just sitting, sipping coffee, and reading the newspaper. But check out the...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Juana M

    $$$ | Retiro | Steakhouse

    It's the salad bar that brings in the crowds—nowhere else in town will you find one this extensive, or one that offers unlimited trips. But...Read More

  • 8. Lai-Lai

    $ | Belgrano | Chinese

    While the city's Chinatown is not all that big, it does have its fair share of notable eateries. Lai-Lai stands out for its varied menu, combining...Read More

  • 9. Sarkis

    $ | Palermo | Middle Eastern

    Sure, this family-style restaurant can be chaotic, but it's the place to go for great Middle Eastern food. You could easily fill up on several...Read More

  • 10. Social Paraíso

    $$$ | Palermo Soho | Mediterranean

    This Mediterranean-style bistro is wildly popular at night, and reservations are recommended if you're intent on sampling the creative fare...Read More

  • 11. The Bangalore Pub & Curry House

    $$ | Palermo Hollywood | Indian

    On the southern edge of Palermo, this place serves pints of ale—not too cold, as is British custom—and what are easily the tastiest Indian-style...Read More

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