12 Best Restaurants in Montevideo, Uruguay

Expreso Pocitos

$$ | Pocitos Fodor's choice

This classic and beloved diner-style establishment has been around for more than a century, and it is clear that some of the customers have been frequenting it for almost as long. Many congregate here for a coffee or beer, and the chivito, which is made with fresh, fluffy bread, is considered one of the best in town.

Jacinto

$$$ | Ciudad Vieja Fodor's choice

The smell of fresh-baked bread wafts through this pleasant, sunny spot off Plaza Zabala. Plates are fresh, inspired, and expertly prepared, from the soup of the day to desserts like panna cotta with red grapes and a sweet orange sauce. Jacinto is a favorite among the city's foodie crowd and stylish set.

Restaurant Francis

$$$ Fodor's choice

This bright, upscale restaurant is a local favorite and always filled, yet the efficient, friendly staff manages to keep up. The menu is gourmet and extensive, ranging from sushi to paella to cuts of meat on the grill. Everything is high quality and innovative, but the seafood dishes in particular stand out, like the chipirones (baby cuttlefish) in a garlic and parsley sauce with grilled onions.

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Tandory

$$$ | Pocitos Fodor's choice

With Tandory, French-Uruguayan chef and owner Gabriel Coquel has created an intimate yet convivial restaurant with top-level service. Fusion dishes harmoniously blend Asian, Latin American, and European flavors, and the eclectic decor includes heirlooms and souvenirs from his travels around the world. Diplomats, tourists, and well-traveled Uruguayans seeking cuisine more inspired than steak and potatoes fill the tables here. The menu changes daily based on what's fresh and in season.

Café Bacacay

$ | Ciudad Vieja

This small and smartly designed restaurant facing Teatro Solís inhabits a building that dates to 1844 and attracts a young, hip crowd. The owner takes special care in preparing the excellent salads, such as the Bacacay (spinach, raisins, carrots, nuts, grilled eggplant) or the Sarandí (celery, chicken, apples, carrots).

Bacacay 1306, Montevideo, 11000, Uruguay
2916–6074
Known For
  • Unique and historic space
  • Great wine list
  • Streetside tables
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Escaramuza Café and Bookshop

$$

The bookshop is classic, with floor to ceiling books, and a nifty rolling platform to browse the upper shelves. The café, though, is airy and serves innovative dishes such as beet and goat cheese pie, and grilled polenta and veggie gratin, along with fresh baked breads and sinfully delicious desserts. If the weather is unkind, dine inside, but the sunny, vine-covered outdoor patio is the place to be.

La Casa Violeta

$$$ | Carrasco

Meats are the specialty at this beautiful restaurant set in a restored 1920s house and facing the Carrasco Beach. You can opt for the meat-tasting option with sausage, sweetbreads and three cuts of beef, or try the grilled fish or seafood paella. If you'd prefer to sit outside, there are several umbrella-covered tables on the lawn with attractive views of the ocean.

Avda. Bolivia 1271, Montevideo, 11300, Uruguay
099-828–716
Known For
  • Steak-tasting menu
  • Salad bar
  • Marina views
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Los Leños

$$$ | Centro

While the polished wood and wicker interior is attractive, it's the food that draws diners here. The meat, seafood, pasta, and risotto dishes are all carefully prepared, so everyone at your table will be happy. The busy bar has an extensive cocktail list and the wine list features both local and Argentine labels. The desserts are yummy, too, if a bit on the sweet side.

San José 909, Montevideo, Uruguay
2900–2285
Known For
  • Excellent steaks
  • Perfect risottos
  • Extensive wine list
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No dinner Sun.

Rara Avis

$$$$ | Ciudad Vieja

Located in a wing of the Teatro Solis theater building, Rara Avís is one of Montevideo's best restaurants. Both the food—such as a black oyster risotto with smoked salmon or duck magret in baby greens with a pepper sauce—and the setting are sophisticated. It's a great option for the pre- and posttheater crowds.

Sometimes Sunday Café

$$ | Ciudad Vieja

The painted white brick helps make the café bigger than it is, but the food and vibe are so good that size hardly matters. Open for lunch on Thursday through Sunday, and breakfast on the weekend, Sometimes serves up super sandwiches, such as brisket, pulled pork or avocado, salads and other dishes with international influences, along with freshly baked breads and great coffee. Tasty veggie options can be made vegan.

Calle Perez Castellano 1518, Montevideo, Uruguay
2916–4058
Known For
  • Great sandwiches
  • Best coffee
  • Wholesome breakfast
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed., No reservations

Tannat

$$$ | Centro

There are several good seafood dishes here, and the pastas are done right, but Tannat is really the place for meat lovers; even nose-to-tail carnivores will leave satisfied. The service is courteous and quick, as the embers are always burning. The downside is there isn't much in the way of lighter dishes, so go there ready to eat.

San Jose 1065, Montevideo, Uruguay
2903–2120
Known For
  • Grilled meats
  • Efficient service
  • Fresh pasta
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Viejo Sancho

$$ | Centro

What draws the post-theater crowds to this friendly, but plain restaurant near Plaza Cagancha are gargantuan portions of smoked pork chops and fried potatoes.

Calle San José 1229, Montevideo, 11100, Uruguay
2900–4063
Known For
  • Cheap and cheerful
  • Bustling ambience
  • Friendly staff
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.