Where to Eat in Buenos Aires: Comprehensive Guide

Where to Eat in Buenos Aires: Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that 97% of Argentines trace their roots back to European immigrants? This incredible melting pot of cultures unfolded in the aftermath of the World Wars when Europeans sought refuge and opportunity in the vast expanse of Argentina.

This influx of immigrants came from all corners of Europe, but they were mostly of Italian, Spanish, and French descent. So, why is this historical tidbit relevant to your culinary adventure in Argentina? Well, it's the very cornerstone of the diverse and delicious gastronomic tapestry that defines Argentina's cuisine today.

Argentine Cuisine Influence

Argentina is renowned for its steaks and iconic steakhouses. However, the culinary landscape extends far beyond these offerings. You see, Argentina has absorbed the culinary treasures of the world, making Italian trattorias, charming French patisseries, and timeless English caffès an integral part of Argentine society.

Of course, Argentina boasts its own unique cuisine, a delightful departure from European classics, yet unmistakably Argentine. Some say it's nearly impossible not to fall in love with Argentine gastronomy. After all, our culinary inspiration springs from some of the most delectable dishes worldwide.

Typical Argentine Dishes

When it comes to dining in Buenos Aires, the options are vast and varied. To make your culinary exploration easier, let's divide Argentina's gastronomy into distinct categories:

Steakhouses, Panaderías, Ice Cream Shops, Italian Eateries, French Cuisine, Pizzerias and Bodegones.

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Steakhouses

Steakhouses are plenty all throughout Buenos Aires. Here are the top 5 that should be on your list:

1. Don Julio: Ranked as the number one best steakhouse in the world by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Don Julio is a carnivorous haven. Savor the finest Argentine beef, typical cuts, and mouthwatering charcuteries like chorizo and mollejas. Dessert options range from house-made ice creams to classic Argentine sweets like flan and dulce de leche pancakes. Complement your meal with a selection from one of the country's finest wine cellars. While it's a bit on the expensive side, thanks to Argentina's cheap exchange rate, you can expect to pay around 40-50 USD per person, not including wine. (Be sure to book a table at least 2 to 3 months in advance.)

Don Julio Steakhouse Buenos Aires

2. La Cabrera: Located in Palermo, La Cabrera offers the sought-after Argentine Wagyu cut along with an extensive menu featuring other typical Argentine dishes. Prices are similar to Don Julio, and you can usually secure a reservation a day or two in advance.

La Cabrera Steakhouse Buenos Aires

3. Nuestro Secreto: This luxury steakhouse, situated within the Four Seasons Hotel, specializes in regenerative meats that are 100% pasture-raised. Prices can be higher due to its upscale location.

Elena Four Seasons Buenos Aires

4. Gran Parrilla del Plata: A San Telmo classic, this steakhouse embodies the essence of a traditional Argentine parilla. While the setting may be less fancy compared to others, the food is outstanding, and prices are budget-friendly. Even Michelle Obama opted for a meal here during an official visit to Argentina.

Gran Parrilla del Plata Steakhouse Buenos Aires

5. El Ferroviario: Located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, near the city's border with the province of Buenos Aires, El Ferroviario offers an authentic Argentine steakhouse experience. Frequented by locals, it's an ideal spot to escape the tourist crowds. Prices here are quite reasonable, with an average cost of about $15 per person.

El Ferroviario Buenos Aires

While these steakhouses promise exceptional meals, Buenos Aires is teeming with many more culinary gems to explore.

Panaderías (Argentine Bakeries)

If there's anything Argentinians adore even more than steak, it's panaderías, local bakeries brimming with sweet and savory delights. Be sure to sample facturas, pastries adorned with various toppings and fillings, as well as medialunas, Argentina's take on croissants. On the savory side, relish sandwiches de miga, which are unique to Argentina and come in a variety of fillings such as ham and cheese, Iberian ham and egg, and vegetable and cheese. Feel free to mix and match several treats to savor a bit of everything. Here are some of the finest panaderías to explore:

1. Gontran Cherrier: This bakery beautifully showcases the French influence on Argentine cuisine, offering some of the city's finest croissants and Argentine treats.

Gontran Cherrier Pattisserie Buenos Aires



2. Café Tortoni: Among Buenos Aires' most iconic cafés, Café Tortoni was founded in 1858 by a French immigrant. It has long been a favorite haunt of tango singers and intellectuals, even hosting live tango shows in the evenings.

Cafe Tortoni Buenos Aires



3. Pandería y Confitería Armenia: A testament to Argentina's diverse heritage, this bakery specializes in Middle Eastern treats, offering the best of what the Arab world has to offer.

Arab Food Buenos Aires



4. Las Violetas: Established in 1884, Las Violetas stands as one of Buenos Aires' most iconic and traditional patisseries. Adorned with Italian marble and adorned with exquisite Art Nouveau décor, it transports you to another era. The café's furniture was imported from Paris, and it has been a cherished meeting place for celebrities and intellectuals. In 1998, it earned recognition as a protected historic site by the government.

Las Violetas Cafe Buenos Aires

If you can’t make it to any of these, feel free to grab a treat on the go from any of the hundred of bakeries you’ll find in the streets of Buenos Aires! 

Italian

Given that nearly 80% of Argentines have Italian ancestry, Italian gastronomy holds a significant place in Argentina's culinary landscape. Here are some of the best Italian restaurants in Buenos Aires:

1. Pierino: Situated in the neighborhood of Almagro, Pierino is an Italian culinary classic. Established in 1909 by Italian immigrants, the same family still operates it. It's renowned for serving the most authentic Italian pasta in Buenos Aires, made by descendants of Italian immigrants.

Pierino Pasta Trattoria Buenos Aires

2. La Locanda: La Locanda is known for being one of the few places in Buenos Aires where you can savor authentic cacio e pepe, a simple yet delectable pasta dish with pepper and a cheese sauce prepared inside a genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel.

La Locanda Pasta Buenos Aires

3. Cucina Paradiso: Founded by a renowned Italian chef, Cucina Paradiso offers not only a variety of pasta dishes but also a wide range of Italian classics.

Cucina Paradiso Buenos Aires

4. Italpast: Located within the luxurious Faena Hotel in the upscale Puerto Madero neighborhood, Italpast offers exquisitely crafted dishes by its chef. It's an ideal place to enjoy a delicious plate of pasta made from the finest ingredients after exploring the beautiful surrounding area.

Italpast Buenos Aires Faena Hotel

Ice Cream Shops

Argentina's Italian heritage also extends to ice cream, and many claim that Argentinian ice cream surpasses that of Italy. The distinctiveness and superior quality of Argentinian ice cream set it apart from what you'd find in Europe or the United States. Here are some renowned ice cream shops you should visit:

1. Cadore: Located in downtown Buenos Aires, Cadore has earned a spot on National Geographic's list of the Top 10 Best ice cream shops in the world.

Cadore Ice Cream Buenos Aires



2. Aversa: Be sure to sample their delightful Pistachio flavor!

Aversa Buenos Aires Ice Cream



3. Rapa Nui: Originally from Patagonia, Rapa Nui now has stores thr
oughout the country. They offer some of the finest ice cream and chocolates.

Rapa Nui Ice Cream Buenos Aires

French

While Italian cuisine dominates Argentine gastronomy, French dishes are also readily available. When Argentines think of French gastronomy, they often associate it with sweets. Therefore, Buenos Aires is one of the best places, outside of France, to experience a traditional tea experience. 

1. Piano Nobile Park Hyatt: Nestled inside the Park Hyatt Hotel in Recoleta, the Piano Nobile offers a beautiful setting to savor French sweet treats along with high-end tea and champagne.

Piano Nobile Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

2. Hotel Club Francés: Located in Recoleta, Argentina's most French neighborhood, Hotel Club Francés is renowned for its distinguished French gastronomy. The restaurant serves the finest French haute cuisine.

Hotel Club Frances Restaurant Buenos Aires

Bodegones (Classic Argentine Cuisine) & Argentine Restaurants

"Bodegones" is a term commonly used in Argentina to refer to "simple" restaurants. They are typically located in non-exclusive neighborhoods and offer affordable dining experiences. These establishments prioritize flavors over appearances and provide an authentic taste of Argentine cuisine. Some high-end bodegones are also worth mentioning, as they have earned spots in the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America. (When visiting a bodegon, be sure to try the famous Argentine Milanesa!)

1. El Preferido: Owned by the same owner as Don Julio, El Preferido is relatively new but has already secured a place among the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America. It offers a menu filled with Argentine classics in a beautiful setting. Reservations are recommended, and prices are on the higher side (around $30 USD per person).

El Preferido Restaurant Buenos Aires

2. El Antojo (Specializing in Milanesa): You cannot visit Argentina without trying Milanesa. El Antojo specializes in this breaded slice of prime beef (or chicken) that can be enjoyed on its own or the Neapolitan way—with ham and cheese on top. They offer a variety of topping options for this Argentine favorite.

El Antojo Milanesa Buenos Aires

3. Bodegón Nuñez: Located in Nuñez, one of the northern neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Bodegón Nuñez is a classical bodegon that maintains all the traditions of a typical Argentine restaurant. Their extensive menu features a variety of dishes, and don't forget to try the "Flan con dulce de leche" for dessert.

Bodegon Nuñez Buenos Aires

4. Manolo: Decorated with football jerseys and large tables for big families, Manolo in San Telmo is another classic bodegon in Buenos Aires. Here, you can enjoy classical Argentine dishes amidst a typical Argentine decor. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local dining culture.

Manolo Buenos Aires

Pizzerias

While our love for Italian cuisine in Argentina is undeniable, we have our unique take on pizza. Argentine pizza is typically thick and generously loaded with cheese, offering a distinct flavor that you should definitely experience. Here are the top 3 pizzerias in Buenos Aires:

1. Guerrin: Guerrin is arguably the most traditional pizzeria in Buenos Aires, with a single location in downtown BA. The restaurant is quite large but always bustling with customers. Due to its immense popularity, getting a table here can be challenging. Guerrin doesn't accept reservations, so you'll need to wait in line for a table to become available.

Guerrin Pizza Buenos Aires



2. Banchero: Another beloved pizzeria in Buenos Aires, Banchero is a fantastic option if Guerrin is too crowded. They serve delicious Argentine-style pizzas with a variety of toppings to choose from.

Banchero Pizzeria Buenos Aires



3. Los Inmortales: Los Inmortales is known for offering Argentine-style pizza, but they don't make it as thick as some other places. If you prefer a pizza experience that's closer to the classic Italian style, this might be more to your taste while still having some Argentine flair.

Los Inmortales Buenos Aires Pizzeria

Buenos Aires is a city where culinary traditions from around the world have blended seamlessly, creating a gastronomic landscape that's as diverse as the people who call this city home. Whether you're savoring a mouthwatering steak at a renowned parrilla, indulging in delectable pastries from a local panadería, or enjoying a slice of Argentine-style pizza, your taste buds are in for an unforgettable journey. Buen provecho! 

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