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. 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

  • 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. Artemisia

    $$ | Palermo | Vegetarian

    In a city known for its steak and potatoes, vegetarians generally have to make do with salads, pastas, and pizzas to get by. That’s slowly changing...Read More

  • 4. Café Tortoni

    $$ | Centro | Café

    Filled with Tiffany lamps, towering columns, and marble-topped tables. this art nouveau hangout has charm to spare. While you may have to wait...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. El Palacio de la Papa Frita

    $$ | Centro | Argentine

    No frills doesn't mean no charm at this longtime porteño favorite. Steaks, pastas, and salads are the draw, but don't miss the papas soufflés...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Las Cuartetas

    $$ | Centro | Pizza

    Not known for its decor, this simple spot with tightly packed tables and fluorescent lights is filled with locals who love the coal-fired deep...Read More

  • 11. Mark's Deli & Coffee House

    $$ | Palermo Soho | American

    When you hear the term deli, you may think double-decker sandwiches laden with smoked and cured meats, but this place is more California than...Read More

  • 12. Morelia

    $$ | Las Cañitas | Pizza

    Long before grilled pizza became commonplace elsewhere, it was already part of the local tradition, where pizza dough was tossed on the grill...Read More

  • 13. Piola

    $$ | Recoleta | Pizza

    This old-school pizzeria empire, which now has outposts in a dozen countries, made it big by turning out tasty pizzas, one after another. It...Read More

  • 14. Siamo nel Forno

    $$ | Palermo Hollywood | Pizza

    Every country has its own style of pizza, and in Argentina it's piled high with cheese. After spending a year studying traditional techniques...Read More

  • 15. Tancat

    $$ | Retiro | Spanish

    The heart of Catalán beats at this popular tapas bar. Grab a seat at the counter—this one of the few food bars in the city—or snuggle in at...Read More

  • 16. Tandoor

    $$ | Barrio Norte | Indian

    A favorite of the local Indian community, Tandoor is a destination for embassy officials who want a food fix from home. It's no surprise that...Read More

  • 17. 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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