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. Don Julio

    $$$ | Palermo Soho | Steakhouse

    Behind an unassuming facade, one of Palermo's best steak houses features cowhide tablecloths, wagon-wheel lighting fixtures, and rows and rows...Read More

  • 2. Trattoria Olivetti

    $$ | Palermo Botánico | Italian

    In a city so packed with Italian restaurants that you could spend years visiting all of them, to claim that one or another is the best is...Read More

  • 3. Bar Plaza Dorrego

    $ | San Telmo | Café

    This atmospheric corner building with greenery tumbling over wrought-iron balconies has what is unquestionably the best view of Plaza Dorrego...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Buller Brewing Company

    $$$ | Recoleta | American

    Smack in the middle of the touristy Village Recoleta strip, Buller is the city's first microbrewery. Turning out an impressive seven different...Read More

  • 6. Cabaña Las Lilas

    $$$$ | Puerto Madero | Steakhouse

    Probably the best-known steak house in all of Argentina, Cabaña Las Lilas draws most of its clientele from the international travelers that...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. El Obrero

    $$$ | La Boca | Steakhouse

    You'll half expect sawdust on the floor and a saloon fight to break out when you walk into this old-time steak house just off the docks of La...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Kansas

    $$$ | Palermo | American

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

  • 14. NOLA

    $$$$ | Palermo | American

    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 this puertas cerradas...Read More

  • 15. Río Alba

    $$$$ | Palermo | Steakhouse

    When you want to go old school, you won't find anywhere in Palermo better than this venerable steakhouse. This longtime favorite has waiters...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Xalapa

    $$$ | Palermo Soho | American

    One look at the frozen margarita machines and bags of supermarket corn chips and you'll know what you're in for at this colorful dining room...Read More

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