There’s more to your visit to Buenos Aires than football and Evita. The Argentinean capital is filled with European architectural wonders and fascinating history. Best of all, it’s slowly becoming a great place to eat and drink. Here are some suggestions on where to start your culinary adventure when visiting Buenos Aires.
Eating and Drinking in Buenos Aires, Argentina
When you think of eating and drinking in Buenos Aires, the first thing that comes to mind is steak and for good reason. It’s arguably one, if not the best in the world. I was raised in Texas and even I had to admit that Argentinean steak is slightly better. That’s because the majority of Argentinean beef are grass fed. As a result, the meat is juicier and has an earthier taste.
Where to go? Don Julio, a traditional parrilla located in the posh neighborhood of Palermo.
Address: Guatemala 4691, C1425BUK, Buenos Aires
Locro is not unique to Buenos Aires, but it’s certainly a popular and revered local dish that one should try while visiting the Argentinean capital because one of the key ingredients to this Andean hearty soup is a type of potato, “papa chola”, that’s almost impossible to find outside of the region. The Argentinean version is usually served with beef or a handmade chorizo and comes with a side of spicy red sauce made with chopped red peppers and paprika called quiquirimichi.
Where to go? La Querencia, a local favorite specializing in regional dishes
Address: two locations, Aguilar 2365, in Belgrano and Calle Junin 1314 in Recoleta
A visit to Buenos Aires isn’t complete without trying at least one type of empanada. This delicious Argentinean savory snack is eaten practically any time of day by locals and tourist alike and comes in several varieties. You can try ones that are fried and ones that are baked. The dough ranges from thick to thin and fillings to choose from go from simple spinach and egg to braised beef with peppers and onions.
Where to go? La Morada, a locally owned café that serves made-to-order empanadas
Address: Hipólito Yrigoyen 778, Centro Buenos Aires
The abundance of Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires led to a number of influences including the popularity of pizza, pasta, and ice cream. Just as it is anywhere in Italy, ice cream or helado, as it’s known locally, is one of the must-haves when eating and drinking in Buenos Aires. The consistency and methods are akin to its Italian roots but the Argentinean version blends in Latin American specialties such as dulce de leche, calafate, and Andean chocolate.
Where to go? Helados Jauja, a heladeria offering over 80 flavors
Address: Cerviño 3901, Palermo Botánico
Porteños, the collective name used for the residents of Buenos Aires, have a weakness for all things sweet, particularly for alfajores, a snack made with two round short bread cookies filled with dulce de leche. Eat it as snack, with coffee or tea, or have it for dessert when eating and drinking in Buenos Aires. The origins of alfajores came from the Andalusian region of Spain, which are made typically with honey, nougat, almonds, and spices.
Where to go? Havanna, Buenos Aires’ most popular chain selling several types
Address: there are several dozens located around Buenos Aires (see list here)
The influence of Italian culture is palpable particularly when it comes to eating and drinking in Buenos Aires and another example comes in the form of the Italian digestif Fernet, which is wildly popular in the Argentinean capital. There are different brands of Fernet but the most common types are Fernet-Branca and Fernet 1882. The latter is often mixed with Coke and drank as an apéro. Any bar or restaurant you’ll end up in Buenos Aires will likely have a cocktail with Fernet on the menu.
Mate is a very strong caffeinated drink made with crushed leaves of yerba mate and is a must drink while visiting Buenos Aires. Not only is it the national drink of Argentina, but also drinking mate with locals is a sign of friendship and acceptance.
Red Wine (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)
Argentina is slowly becoming one of the world’s leading wine countries so naturally, one must try the popular varieties when visiting Buenos Aires, especially if your trip limits you to just the capital region. Argentinean Malbec is perhaps the most popular, but the Mendoza wine region also produces great Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrah grapes. In order to sample the best of Argentina’s red wines, go to a wine tasting event, offered by small wine shops or by the wineries themselves that have stores in Buenos Aires.