Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)
“A small restaurant outside the usual ‘circuit’ in Parque Chacabuco. Contemporary cooking in an authentic porteño neighborhood.”—Javier Menajovsky, executive director, GlamOut.com local gourmet dining and tourism website. Good smoked meats, pastas, and guisos (stews) at reasonable prices. Beauchef 1204; tel. 54 11 4922 9671. www.urondobar.com.ar
Confiteria La Rambla
At this Recoleta café, order the specialty lomito sandwiches—perfectly cooked steak served with tomato on French bread. Posadas and Ayacucho; tel. 54 11 4804 6958.
“Decorated with original art, a classic porteño offering: a good grill, good prices, a warm environment, and the added plus of an excellent and unlimited salad bar.”—Diego Lerer, entertainment critic and editor, Clarín newspaper. Juana M herself is known to seat patrons at this immense and immensely popular restaurant located in the basement, below an orphanage. Carlos Pellegrini 1535; tel. 54 11 4326 0462.
Café San Juan
“One of the secret jewels in the gastronomic world of Buenos Aires.”—Gonzalo Álvarez Guerrero, co-editor, Guia Total Buenos Aires. Typical porteño cuisine, but one of the rare places known for its fresh vegetable offerings, as well. Cash only. San Juan Avenida 450; tel. 54 11 4300 1112.
Old-school café specializes in churros con chocolate. The churros (tube-shaped fried donuts) come plain or filled with decadent dulce de leche. Avenida Corrientes 1453; tel. 54 11 4371 3846
Sausage and Pork Sandwiches Stands Along Costenera Sur
“A quintessential porteño gastronomic experience…”—Marcelo Panozzo, co-editor, Guia Total Buenos Aires. At night and especially on weekends, Argentines flock to the buzzing Costenera promenade Sur to feast on choripan—grilled chorizo served in rolls—or bondiola (pork shoulder) sandwiches prepared at makeshift roadside stands. Costanera Sur, near Avenida Tristán Achával Rodríguez.
Un Altra Volta or Persicco
These two competing ice cream chains are the top in the city and use the creamiest creams, homemade chocolate and dulce de leche, and fresh fruits. Locations throughout the city. www.unaltravolta.com.ar or www.persicco.com
“The various, original side dishes that come with the grilled meat add a unique touch to well-known Argentine flavors.”—Diego Lerer. Two packed neighboring locations in Palermo serve amazing steaks and chorizo, served with tapas-like sides. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, so reserve ahead. Cabrera 5099; tel. 54 11 4831 7002. www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar
“An Italian family makes homemade pasta and attends the tables themselves.”—Alicia de Arteaga, arts editor, La Nacion newspaper. Cozy, basic Italian restaurant one block away from the Boca Juniors soccer stadium. Mouthwatering tortellini, raviolis, and other handmade pastas; Serves gnocchi only on the 29th of each month. Martin Rodríguez 517; tel. 54 11 4307 0529.
Intimate Peruvian-Japanese restaurant in Palermo near the zoo, marked only by a picture of a libelula (dragonfly) above the door. Attentive service, and good sushi and ceviche, as well as simple, flavorful chicken dishes. Lafinur 3266; tel. 54 11 4803 6047.
“Lovingly run by old-school porteño waiters, who remember your name and the way you like your steak.”—Brian Byrnes, co-author, Fodor’s Buenos Aires. A bustling traditional parrilla (grill) in Palermo, near the zoo. The bife de chorizo steak is plenty for two to share. Cerviño 4499; tel. 54 11 4773 5748.
“Thymus has a unique flavor, from its Patagonia trout to its (Peking) duck magret.”—Diego Lerer. Patagonian cuisine with a French accent—or vice versa—this small, but well-attended restaurant offers original takes on dishes that range from roasted quail to filet mignon. Reservations recommended. Lerma 525; tel. 54 11 4772 1936.
“Raises Peruvian gastronomy to sophisticated heights, recreating dishes and products from the Inca culture.”—Javier Menajovsky. “Palermo Hollywood” Peruvian restaurant adds modern flare to traditional recipes and ingredients, such as quinoa and yucca. El Salvador 5800; tel. 54 11 4775 7974. www.mosoq.com
“Owner Hugo Echevarrieta has invented some original cuts of meat that you won’t find in the butcher shops.”—Javier Menajovsky. A San Telmo tradition that also serves “non-traditional” meats, such as buffalo and lamb. Estados Unidos 465; tel. 54 11 4361 5557.
Indian food for those craving a little more spice than the average Argentine usually can tolerate (i.e., practically none). Curries, lamb dishes, and fresh naan bread. Laprida 1293; tel. 54 11 4821 3676. www.tandoor.com.ar
Cabaña Las Lilas
This Puerto Madero establishment raises its own cattle on its own estancia (ranch) and is known for serving some of the best—and most expensive—steaks in town. Commonly frequented by tourists and executives with expense accounts. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516; tel. 54 11 4313 1336. www.laslilas.com
Good seafood is hard to find in Buenos Aires, even though Argentina has a 2,900-mile (4,800-kilometer) coastline. But this Spanish-influence restaurant serves fresh, top-quality fish and shellfish dishes and a strong wine list. Beruti 2602; tel. 54 11 4821 3741. www.oviedoresto.com.ar
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