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. El Cuartito

    $ | Centro

    This iconic pizza parlor is frequented by porteños who worship the pies topped with fresh tomato sauce and a mile-high pile of oozing mozzarella. Every...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Marti

    $$ | Recoleta

    Having made a name with award-winning fine dining establishment Tegui, which closed in 2021, chef-patron Germán Martitegui has taken a fresh approach with Marti. The...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. 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

  • 8. Brasserie Petanque

    $$ | San Telmo

    One of the few classic French brasseries in Buenos Aires, Petanque is a place to enjoy hearty French fare accompanied by local wines. The ambience...Read More

  • 9. Buller Brewing Company

    $ | Recoleta

    The city's first microbrewery is in a prime position opposite Recoleta Cemetery, and it's a prince among frogs in a saturated craft beer market. There...Read More

  • 10. Cabaña Las Lilas

    $$$ | Puerto Madero

    The beef and pork are sourced from the owner's own ranch at this well-known—and expensive—steak house that attracts a crowd of mostly international travelers to...Read More

  • 11. Café San Juan La Cantina

    $$ | San Telmo

    Its façade leads into tiny vermouth bar but the back is a huge dining room, where tattooed celebrity chef Lele Cristobal prepares tasty dishes with...Read More

  • 12. Café Tortoni

    $ | Centro

    Take a seat amid the Tiffany lamps and marble-topped tables, and contemplate the fact that you may be sitting in a chair once occupied by...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Cumaná

    $ | Barrio Norte

    The hearty stews, steaks, and empanadas at chaotic Cumaná are a far cry from Recoleta's European pretensions. Skip dessert, though (nearby ice-cream parlors are better)....Read More

  • 15. Desnivel

    $ | San Telmo

    Don't expect any frills here, just great steaks, and side dishes such as the papas fritas provenzal, golden french fries tossed in fresh parsley and...Read More

  • 16. Down Town Matías

    $ | Centro

    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

  • 17. El Desnivel

    $$ | San Telmo

    At this classic parrilla (steak house) the trimmings don't go beyond a mixed salad and fries, and surly waiters are part of the experience....Read More

  • 18. El Obrero

    $$$ | La Boca

    Big, juicy steaks that are perfectly cooked, massive helpings of side dishes, and more ambience than you can shake a stick at make El Obrero...Read More

  • 19. 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

  • 20. Filo

    $$ | Retiro

    Crowded and lively, particularly at lunch, Filo is the place for pasta and wood-oven pizza in the downtown area. The Neapolitan-style pies with thin, charred...Read More

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