I am the token friend that lives in South America. That means I get emails pretty regularly from family members and friends who are planning travel to Buenos Aires asking for advice about where to eat and drink in the city. The requests became more frequent over time, so for ease I started a Google Document that I could share with whoever wanted a little intel about the Paris of South America.
I started the document a few years ago and it’s grown into a comprehensive list. I love food and taking advantage of the rapidly expanding gastronomic scene in Buenos Aires, so updating the list semi-regularly doesn’t feel like a chore to me.
I hope you find the list helpful. I know it’s helped many others before you.
I would be remiss not to mention (perhaps) the most famous English language food blogger in Buenos Aires, Allie Lazaar, and her blog Pick Up the Fork. Her site and restaurant guide, which you can conveniently filter by type of food and neighborhood, have saved me in times of crippling indecision over dinner, not to mention introduced me to places I might not have otherwise stumbled upon.
I’ve linked to each establishment I’m recommending’s Tripadvisor page, or if there isn’t one, their Facebook, Instagram, or another helpful reference. If I have a particular tip about the place apart from the basic description that will help you enjoy your experience there, I’ve included that as well. The restaurants are not in any particular order, with the exception of the first seven which are the top because they are expensive tasting menus (depending on your budget, I’d pick one of the five to visit while you’re in Buenos Aires).
Without further ado…
Fancy Splurge Restaurants
- Tegui – Contemporary Argentine/International tasting menu
- Casa Cavia – Contemporary Argentine/fusion, in a beautiful historic, refurbished house
- Chila – Argentine/South American fusion tasting menu
- Arambaru – Contemporary Argentine/molecular gastronomy tasting menu
- iLatina – Colombian/Caribbean fusion tasting menu
Also Fancy But Not as Much of a Splurge
- El Baqueano – Argentine/exotic meats tasting menu
- Arambaru Bis – Gourmet South American fusion
- El Burladero – Spanish; have a well priced lunch special
- Roux – Gourmet Argentine French fusion
- Elena (the Four Season’s restaurant) – Gourmet; go for brunch buffet only
- Crizia – Seafood
- Sucre – Gourmet Argentine/South American fusion
- Sottovoce – Italian
Steakhouse (Called a Parilla in Argentina)
- La Choza – Steakhouse
- La Cabrera – Steakhouse; go during tourist happy hour from 7 to 8 pm and everything is 40% off, you must get there right at 7 pm however, and you’ll only have one hour to eat… but it makes normally expensive meal affordable [Scott: I just did this with my visiting cousins, and we paid about US$40 a head, after 40% discount, for a full meal with too much steak, appetizers, and wine; they let us stay at the table until about 8:15 PM.] I want to emphasize that I don’t think this place is worth it UNLESS you go during the tourist happy hour. If you want to spend money on a steakhouse, go to Don Julio instead.
- Parilla Peña – Steakhouse
- La Brigada – Steakhouse
- Brasero Atlantico – Steakhouse, modern/gourmet Argentine (next to Floreria Atlantico, mentioned in the bar list below)
- Don Julio – Steakhouse (quite expensive but worth it for a splurge)
- La Carnicería – Steakhouse with a modern twist
- Lo de Jimena – no frills, basic, cheap, classic Argentine steakhouse. What a local would call a “bodegón”. Come here for authenticity, but don’t expect anything fancy whatsoever.
- La Alacena – Lunch/brunch/cafe, in-house bakery, Italian influenced
- La Locanda – Italian
- Il Quotidiano – Italian (homemade pastas are the specialty)
- Siamo Nel Forno – Napolitana style pizza, my personal favorite in the city. Possibly ever.
- Cosi Mi Piace – Napolitana style pizza
- Mauro It – Italian
- Cucina Paradiso – Italian, specialty is home made pasta
- La Cantina Pierino – Italian
- Lúcuma – Peruvian
- La Conga – Peruvian; there will most likely be a long line, but typically moves fast…avoid Friday and Saturday nights
- Chan Chan – Peruvian
- La Mar – Peruvian; the terrace is lovely when weather is nice
Healthy / Vegetarian
- Hierbabuena – Vegetarian
- Buenos Aires Verde – Vegetarian/Vegan/Raw (there are two locations, one in the Belgrano neighborhood which is more of a dinner atmostphere and one in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood which is more of a lunch atmosphere)
- Obrador de Panes y Galletas – quiches, sandwiches, salads, soups, and a fantastic bakery. Most things are organic.
- Hong Kong Style – Cantonese; do not miss the hot and sour soup
- Mian – basic Chinese, I go there for the soup pictured below that is titled “sopa agripicante” (translates to hot and sour soup) but is not what I know as hot sour soup. What it is, is delicious.
- Sunae Asian Cantina – Southeast Asian fusion
- Apu Nena – Asian fusion tapas (owned by the same female badass that runs Sunae Asian Cantina, Christina Sunae)
- Gran Dabbang – Asian fusion
- Tintoreria Yafuso – small sushi bar in what used to be a Japanese owned dry cleaners (read: very hip)
- Taj Mahal – Indian
- Gran Dabbang – Indian fusion
- Bistro Tokyo – Sushi
- Fukuro Noodle Bar – Ramen
- Bai Fui – Hole in the wall Cantonese; get the steam buns and roasted duck
- Una Cancion Koreana – traditional Korean (but not Korean BBQ)
- Biwon – traditional Korean (the kimchi soup is amazing)
- Kyopo – Modern Korean
- Niño Gordo – Asian/Argentine steakhouse fusion, hip decor if you want to impress your Instagram followers 😉
- BBQ Town – Korean BBQ
- A Nos Amours – French
- Las Pizarras – Gourmet Argentine European fusion
- La Esperanza de Los Ascurra – Spanish tapas
- A Manger – Sandwiches and salads, deli; go here to put together a picnic for the park
- La Cresta – Lunch wraps and sandwiches (good option for vegetarians)
- Vino Tinto Cocina Andante – Lunch with a different featured plate each day
Traditional Argentine But Not Steakhouse
- Perón Perón
- El Refuerzo
- Cumana – Traditional Northern Argentine (lots of casserole type dishes)
- Pekin – Empanadas and pizza; don’t get the pizza, but the empanadas are some my favorite in the city
- El Santa Evita – ex chef from Peron Peron, so a new spin on traditional Argentine
Comida de Autor (Modern Argentine Fusion)
- Anafe BA – known for creative dishes and a good wine list, this place is especially known for it’s fixed price brunch on Sundays
- Proper – Elevated Argentine fusion, in a restored garage.
- Lardo y Rosemary – this one is a bit outside the city but if you find yourself in the La Lucila neighborhood, give it a shot
- Charlone 101 – gorgeous corner of a leafy neighborhood, this place has a small menu of a few well-made dishes for good prices
- Julia – beautiful presentation of creative dishes.
- Full City
- Felix Felices
- La Noire
- Surry Hills – also have a very tasty breakfast and lunch menu
- Sheikob’s Bagels – New York style bagels and bagel sandwiches
- Salvaje – Bakery and lunch spot
- Oui Oui – Lunch/brunch cafe
- Malvon – Lunch/brunch cafe; better to go during the week, on the weekends it’s crowded and the service is horrible
- Lucío – Argentine food and bakery; only go for the medialunas (Argentina’s sweet version of a croissant)
- Medio Oriente – Armenian deli; on Fridays and Saturdays from about noon to 2 pm, they make amazing and spicy shawarma, I wouldn’t eat any of the other ready-made food though
- Sarkis – Armenian (great value)
- Al Arabe – Syrian (get the shawarma and hummus)
- Nola – New Orleans style food (they have a killer fried chicken sandwich
- El Banco Rojo – Burgers, tacos, and empanadas. Fun hangout in the San Telmo neighborhood, great prices for the portion sizes.
- Burgertify – Burgers and craft beer have been serious crazes in Buenos Aires the last few years. To be honest, many of the burger places are crap. This one is not.
- The Stand – creative twists on empanadas (think bacon jalapeño cheeseburger and eggplant parmesan)
- Rapa Nui – Ice cream, try the dark chocolate
- Lucciano’s – Ice cream, try the pops freshly bathed in chocolate
- The Creme Lab – dense ice cream made on the spot with liquid nitrogen
- Scannapieco – traditional, old-school, Argentine ice cream. Gets a lot of love for being family-owned.
- Pain Et Vin – Wine bar; the staff is kind and speaks English, I highly recommend doing a wine tasting here
- Bar Du Marche – Wine bar
- Victoria Brown – Speakeasy in the back of a cafe
- Strange Brewing – The best microbrewery in Buenos Aires. Here’s the thing with microbreweries and craft beer barsin Buenos Aires–there are WAY too many, and most of them make horrible beer. I’m not exaggerating. But these guys know what they’re doing.
- Thelonious – Jazz club/bar
- La Cava Jufre – Wine bar
- Milion – Gorgeous old mansion with a massive garden in the back; also a restaurant, but I’d stick to drinks
- Floreria Atlantica – Speakeasy in the back of a flower shop
- Presidente Bar – Upscale bar in the Retiro neighborhood
- Hache Almacén – Wine bar
- Ser y Tiempo – Wine bar
- Vico – My new favorite wine bar! They have a million wines on tap, and you can buy quarter pours, half pours, or full pours. Gorgeous interior and tasty food as well.
- Ferona – Old house turned lounge/bar
- Verne Club – Absinthe bar
- Rey De Copas – Cocktail bar with a nice terrace
- Franks – Speakeasy accessible via a telephone booth, find the password on their Facebook page
- Pony Line – Bar at the four seasons, also has a good burger
- Jobs – Huge games bar (pool, air hockey, archery, board games)
- Cafe San Bernardo – Ping pong + pool hall
- On Tap – Craft beer bar
- Living – Bar/Club, plays great 80s/90s music
- Snack Bar
- La Calle – Speakeasy in the back of a pizzeria
- La Fuerza – vermouth bar
- Falena – not really a bar, more a low key cafe that serves wine set in an inviting book store with a fireplace to enjoy in the winter and a plant-filled terrace when it’s warm
There are many good, great, and downright amazing places to eat and drink in Buenos Aires, but there are also a lot of tasteless tourist traps. Do your homework before heading out into the big city so you don’t waste your money.
Have you traveled to Buenos Aires before? Did I miss any of your favorite spots? Please let us know in the comments if so!