Buenos Aires is foodie heaven. Here is where all of Argentina’s best food can be found, in a casual bodegon, in a buzzing parrilla or in an award-winning fine dining restaurant. Buenos Aires best restaurants come in all shapes and forms from unassuming cafes to take away joints and fine-dining restaurants are all equally worth it.
You cannot visit Buenos Aires without spending a significant amount of time exploring its food. So essential is the cuisine to learning about the city’s heritage that when I was writing the list of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, food and eating kept coming up.
So I decided to put all the great restaurants in Buenos Aires in their own article, because they are essential in a visit to the city.
Make sure to walk around the city at least 20,000 steps a day (like I did) to earn the calories to indulge at the best restaurants in Buenos Aires!
Best restaurants in Recoleta
Recoleta is the most refined part of the city so here is where you can also find some of the poshest and classiest restaurants in Buenos Aires.
Try all the big Argentinian ice cream brands
Argentina is home to many ice cream parlours and I would say this is one of the three main Argentinian foods to feature extensively on any local diet: pizza, ice cream and parrilla.
Of the many ice cream shops in Buenos Aires, there are three brands that stand out for having grown to become nationally known and available throughout. While they all three serve great ice cream, they each have their die-hard fans.
Which one will be your favorite?
The best and most fun way to find out is to go and try all three of them. But I must warn you, portions are generous and ice cream in Argentina is very rich, gelato style, so it might be hard to fit all three in a day.
If you want to accept the challenge, Recoleta is a great place to do so as there is a spot where you can easily walk from one ice cream shop to the other in just a few minutes. Try Persicco, Rapa Nui and Freddo.
Freddo is Argentina’s largest ice cream chain with over 100 outlets, and it even has international outposts in Uruguay and the US. You will find a Freddo store every few blocks in Buenos Aires and they are best known for having about a dozen or more different dulce de leche flavors.
I tried their dulce de leche with Catalan hazelnuts while I was in Colonia, Uruguay, and it was creamy and went fabulously well with the hazelnut which gave it a crunchy texture.
Rapa Nui is a chocolate and ice cream brand from Patagonia. Anything from Patagonia in Argentina is becoming quite fashionable these days and Rapa Nui makes excellent chocolates and creamy ice cream so you can enjoy either or both.
Persicco is the other ice cream giant of Argentina. They have a huge range of flavours, similar to Freddo, and also variations of dulce de leche and of chocolate.
If you don’t want to go out and eat ice cream or want to take your tasting to the next level and actually compare them next to each other, all ice cream shops in Buenos Aires deliver. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the biggest danger of visiting Buenos Aires: ice cream delivery anytime!
Breakfast at the oldest cafe in the city: La Biela
In a typical Spanish and Italian fashion, Buenos Aires is a very cafe centric city with lots and lots of cafes at every corner and a true fantastic cafe life.
There are many noteworthy cafes across the city which have received the recognition of Notable Cafe and you will see a few mentioned in this list of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires.
These are not only great places to eat or take a break at but also places to get a generous dose of history. Nothing speaks of the city as well as sitting down in one of the historic cafes to enjoy a coffee and watch the day go by.
But let’s start with an institution. Located in front of Recoleta Cemetery, La Biela is the oldest cafe in the city and, on top of that, it is also peculiarly themed. Biela is a connecting rod in Spanish and alludes to the cafe’s history.
This notable cafe is also considered a place of cultural interest by the government of Buenos Aires, opened in 1850 as La Viridita and was after renamed Aero Cafe.
Its current incarnation only came in the 1950s when, as the cafe’s website explains as an erudite storyteller, a group of automobile fans were in search of a new meeting place when the connecting rod of one of the cars broke down in front of the cafe.
The cafe has since been a meeting point in Buenos Aires of the rich and famous and has received honorable guests such as the Spanish royal family or many presidents and heads of state.
As you sit down to enjoy a picada, like those car fanatics used to do, look around for autographed photographs from some of the most famous names in automobilistic history such as racing driver Regazzoni, a drawing by Fabrizio Ferrari, grandson of the most famous car brand founder, or a painting by the last descendent of the Lamborghini family.
You can sit inside to admire history, or enjoy the shade of the few trees outside and people watch as this is a very popular corner. More information here.
Traditional Argentinian dishes at El Sanjuanino
Another classic of the restaurants in Buenos Aires, and a fun one at that.
El Sanjuanino was a recommendation from my local friend when I asked her to suggest somewhere in Recoleta that was authentically Argentinian, and she was spot on.
El Sanjuanino has a couple of other locations but this one is the best for its convenient location and because of its ever friendly and animated waiter, the one serving the tables at the entrance to the restaurant, who made me smile every time we interacted.
Decorated like my grandparents’ country house, this is a cozy place of sturdy wooden chairs with red leather covers and solid tables, wine bottles decorating the walls, white clay pinguino wine pitchers, a lively atmosphere and a constant flow of people coming in and out picking takeaway orders or sitting in.
There is another dining room downstairs but the small dining area on the ground floor is perfect, even if you eat alone like I did, and has a much better atmosphere.
I went in to try their legendary empanadas on my first day in the city and kept ordering more and more at the suggestion of the waiter, but El Sanjuanino is not just famous for that but for the myriad of other local dishes that are today hard to find in a modern city that is so focused on parrillas.
Don’t stop at the empanadas and also make sure to try the regional dishes such as locros, humitas and stews which are rarely found in the menus of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires. And maybe grab some empanadas for take away. They have them baked but also fried, you can try them both and compare.
More information here.
Have afternoon tea at Alvear Palace
Alvear Palace is a 1932 hotel that looks more like it belongs in Paris than Buenos Aires. Here is where you will understand why the city is considered the Paris of Latin America. From the moment you walk in you feel like royalty. Marble and gold help too.
There are two spots on the ground floor of Alvear Palace that are particularly fabulous. One is the Lobby Bar, where small round tables with marble tops and waiters in white gloves serve drinks and coffee to the high society and to suited up men and women discussing important affairs.
The windows are draped, the walls are wood panelled, the atmosphere is demure and the service friendly. Enjoy a glass of wine, a cup of tea or anything you feel like, and simply take it all in.
If you want something even more classic, the hotel has a restaurant called L’Orangerie which is where a fantastic breakfast (open to non-guests and perfect for business meetings) and a buffet lunch is served among renaissance decor and crystal chandeliers.
But the reason to come is the afternoon tea, served indoors in the beautiful room or in the iron and glass covered courtyard, it does not get any more romantic and old-fashioned than this.
The scones and the small sandwiches taste so much better under the warm light, the colorful flower vases and the hotel’s special black tea blend. And I just loved the pretty china.
Sunset drinks at Alvear Palace
Buenos Aires does not have a lot of rooftop bars. There aren’t that many tall buildings and the few there are are mostly offices or official buildings. But one of the best places for a sunset drink is the rooftop bar at The Alvear Palace which doubles up as one of the best restaurants with a view in Buenos Aires.
The hotel has a nice gym and spa area on the top floor with a solarium and a couple of outdoor jacuzzis for guests as well as an indoor pool right by the building’s glass walls.
For non guests, the rooftop bar Alvear Roof Bar, is a great excuse to stroll through the hotel and see the Lobby Bar, L’Orangerie and even the pool facilities before walking out onto the fabulous terrace with a 270 degree view over the city.
The menu has tapas-style food, sandwiches and some bite sized desserts and a long selection of bubbly by the glass. If you like a tropical drink, the Malibulisima cocktail is made with my favorite spirit: Malibu. They also have jar cocktails to share with friends.
More information here.
Best restaurants in San Telmo
This part of the city has a lot of history thanks to its origins as the foundational place for Buenos Aires. This also means there are a few notable cafes and lots of cool restaurants in San Telmo.
Casual food at Mercado San Telmo
San Telmo market opened in 1897 and has maintained the same intricate wrought iron structure and beams since then, although the stores have changed.
The building structure is impressive, with the high ceiling, the central dome and the light coming through the stained glass of this buzzing market. It reminded me of La Boqueria in Barcelona.
There are a few restaurants, bars and grocery stores, and some noteworthy stops mostly focused on food items worth of a quick visit. Check out the dulce de leche store in the galleria, on your way to the domed market.
Another great stall is the sit in and take away empanada shop that is at the entrance of the market structure. The empanadas are baked onsite and you can see the wood oven at the back and watch them being cooked to perfection.
The stall sells all the various kinds of this famous Argentinian snacks that is so versatile it can be a starter, a take away item, a merienda, or a main. Each empanada is prepared in its unique shape and filling. Can you guess what’s inside each?
Maybe try a few and see if you can make the connection between shape and filling. Hint: the usual empanada shape is most likely filled with beef.
More information on the market’s Facebook page.
Fine dining and rare meats at El Baqueano
Fernando and Gabriella, the husband-chef and sommelier-wife couple behind El Baqueano have come up with a pretty unique and inspiring restaurant that is a must-try in Buenos Aires.
El Baqueano is a fine dining restaurant serving innovative Argentinian dishes using native ingredients that have been lost and are as exotic as they sound. I had never even heard of several of the elements that made each dish, of course, the Argentinian words for some of the foods were also not how I referred to them in Spain and quite a few were things I had no translation for either.
The restaurant has a dining space, split by a tall vertical wine cellar, and a long bar where you can enjoy a meal while watching the kitchen at work, this is perfect when you are dining alone like me and can enjoy your meal with a side of entertainment.
Don’t leave without trying the signature dish, the Andean three-color quinoa with raw llama, Peruvian pepper and amaranth crocant which usually features on the degustation menu, and let Gabriella pair each dish with her personal suggestion that can be surprising at first but perfect at last.
I had an intensely spiced Patagonian glass of vermouth to start with and a few other surprising suggestions that were unusual but spot on, but don’t let me spoil the surprise.
The restaurant was included in The 50 Best Restaurants and is a real treat. Bookings are essential and can be made online but you don’t need to book month ahead, I got a booking a week in advance albeit I was having dinner for one.
Churros and chocolate at Cafe Tortoni
This 1858 cafe is one of the most famous restaurants in Buenos Aires and also one of the oldest.
Founded by a Frenchman and named after a cafe of the same name in Paris, Tortoni is as classic as it gets and is a real institution.
In the early 20th century, the cafe was used by the literati and intellectuals of the time who met in the basement to discuss art and literature. They didn’t spend a lot but gave the cafe a cache that has persisted. Today, this is where the tango shows take place.
Inside, dark wood and maroon leather chairs and grey marble top tables are scattered under an impressive stained glass ceiling, there is a small verandah floor above the kitchen where flower glass lamps reminiscent of Catalan Modernism or French Art Nouveau decorate the same small table.
Across the main dining hall, the walls are covered in photographs, and columns break an otherwise huge room providing some privacy and romance. There is also a room at the back with pool tables.
The cafe is always busy with mostly tourists who come to admire its traditional European design and the historic importance of the place and you could say this is probably the most popular cafe in Buenos Aires.
As a result, the queues can be a staple in the afternoon (although it seemed to move fast as the cafe is huge) and service is a bit erratic, probably because of how busy the place always is. Enjoy churros with hot chocolate.
More information on the website.
Pizza a caballo in Guerrin
Guerrin is probably one of the most famous pizzerias in Buenos Aires and it is also one of the oldest. The restaurant opened in 1932 by the hands of two migrants from Genoa, in Italy, who arrived in 1927 and founded Guerrin in the same spot it is today.
Guerrin still conserves the original bar from its opening, the traditional free standing area at the front where guests enjoy a casual meal standing and chatting with the staff. The pizzas come out of the wood oven hot and are served straight away.
This casual environment, so typical of pizzerias in Buenos Aires and in particular, of Corrientes Street, where some of the most famous ones are, is perfect for a quick bite.
You come in, order, get your slice of thick doughy pizza, eat it hot and leave, all within 15min. This is why it is so popular as an after work quick meal before heading home. The staff seemed to know all the regulars and it all felt like a family environment.
For a more proper sit-down option, there is a huge dining room at the back and another floor upstairs, where you can have a more relaxed meal with friends or family. Pizzas here are meant for sharing as there is no way you can finish one on your own.
Guerrin is where you must try the pizza a caballo, or pizza riding a horse, which is a combination of a simple chickpea flatbread called faina on top of any slice of pizza, though normally a cheesy margarita is best, eaten together.
The marriage is perfect because the chickpea pizza is rather bland and dry so it helps absorb the fat and oils of the cheese which is also generously sprinkled on Argentinian pizza.
For the most traditional of meals from Buenos Aires, a slice of pizza a caballo needs to be paired with a glass, full to the brim, of cold moscato, a sweet dessert wine my father makes in Spain. But beware, this is a fortified wine and, as such, has a higher percentage of alcohol than regular wine.
Fugazetta in Banchero
Banchero is another pizza institution founded in 1934 in La Boca which subsequently opened a branch a few steps down and across from Guerrin.
The pizzeria was also started by migrants from Genoa who first opened a bakery and then a pizzeria of equal historical value.
Banchero is best known for inventing another of Argentina’s great pizza contributions, the fugazetta, a cheese and onion pizza that is as thick as the others and covered with onion. This is a cheesy version of a fugazza.
Like Guerrin, Banchero also has a section at the front where the wood fire oven is lined by a bar and high chairs, and is the best place to sit if you are on your own. There are a few more standing tables before the big dining room.
Local foods at Pulperia Quilapan
This historic bodegon with a social, cultural and ecological mandate is a great place to enjoy the best of a local, slow Argentinian life and a great restaurant in Buenos Aires to have a bit more than just a great meal.
A pulperia is what in Argentina refers to a store that is a combination of a bar and shop where food is sold and enjoyed in house, a sort of grocery store with a dine-in option.
Pulperia Quilapan aims to bring the best of Argentina to Argentinians, by working with small producers to source and sell their best products in Buenos Aires. All products are local and ecological and sold with pride.
The store even has an online shop where you can buy a lot of what is on sale on site and which serves as the channel to promote local products and producers to everyone.
They believe that a lot of the local traditions of enjoying life with a glass of Fernet and a picada (an appetiser with a selection of cured meats and cheese with fruits and nuts) are being lost and want to bring them back.
The house where Pulperia Quilapan is located is also a historical building, a 18th century country house, with a garden and a large dining room.
Don’t miss the chance to come here in the afternoons for a mate, one of the few places in Buenos Aires where you can actually try mate. The ever present herbal infusion/tea is super popular but not a drink you have outside the home, so it’s hard to try it as a foreigner.
To have an even more fun time, join one of the Saturday afternoon tours of the store which will tell you a bit more about not only the building and its past, but also the many unique objects scattered around, like the lavatory of President Urquiza or a fake coin with the face of Spanish King Carlos III.
If you have never heard of alfajores let me not spoil the surprise too much. These crumbly biscuits that break down into sawdust as soon as you bite on them are made of mostly flour and lots of butter which is what makes them this addictive.
Alfajores are usually sold in pairs, glued together with a filling of usually dulce de leche but also chocolate or other delicious items. They are also dusted with grated coconut or covered in glazed sugar. They can even be covered in chocolate.
You get the picture and probably see that one pair of alfajores is enough to fill you up and that you need something to wash them down with.
Havana is an international chain hailing from Argentina and spreading this lovely signature sweet around the world.
They sell alfajores wrapped individually in a silver foil with a lovely cup of tea, a juice or a hot chocolate. They have a few branches across the city, many of them are just take-away stores selling them as gifts (they make great souvenirs too!).
There is a nice cafe with checkered black and white tiles and wooden chairs in Plaza Dorrego which makes for a great afternoon pick me up.
More information here.
Best restaurants in Puerto Madero
Puerto Madero is a great place to come for a stroll and to enjoy the many places to eat and drink in Buenos Aires. While you can find pretty much any local and international food chain here, there are a couple of restaurants in Puerto Madero that are worth a trip.
Innovative cuisine at Chila
Chila, the third great fine dining restaurant in Buenos Aires, is located by the water, in Puerto Madero and is an extraordinarily surprising and innovative place to taste Argentinian ingredients in an unexpected shape, form and taste.
Despite its new take on old ingredients and its sometimes disruptive approach, Chila is a member of the traditional Relais & Chateaux network. More information here.
Tango and show at Faena Hotel
Faena Hotel is one of those hard to forget hotels which stays in your memory for the many strangely unique and defining details that make it feel half the result of crazy and genius.
Located in Puerto Madero and perhaps the soul of the area’s renaissance, Faena is a hotel where the brand’s signature red, black, velvet and refined savoir faire blend in perfectly with the refurbished industrial feel of the area.
Walk into the hotel’s red exposed brick structure and you are met with a long dark corridor with a black acrylic bench, thick carpets and an indulgent swimming pool. The lobby bar has a long tail piano, and French Versailles chairs in gold, black and red. The area contrasts with the outdoor laid-back pool space, which feels more like a place to see and be seen than a place to relax.
Am I in Miami Beach or in Buenos Aires’ former industrial port area?
It is worth coming here for the dinner and classy tango show, that cost several orders of magnitude more than in town, or for a drink at the bar. This is the most eclectic and impossible-to-replicate of all the hotels in the city.
Best restaurants in Palermo
Palermo is a very happening part of Buenos Aires and while there are not a lot of things to do here, there is a lot to experience and the best way is through food. Here is where many of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires are, and also where many of them open and close. This is dining Heaven and Hell.
All the best local brands at Los Arcos del Rosedal
Right next to the Rosedal Park there is a relatively new dining destination which opened in 2016 to accompany the offer of greenery and lazy weekends in the park, Los Arcos del Rosedal.
These exposed red brick arches under the train tracks have been filled with restaurants and bars that have a wide array of food options for everyone.
There is both indoor and outdoor seating in all of them, even basement seating options, and the very appealing outdoor terraces invite passersby to take a seat.
You can have Southern dishes from smokehouse Rock & Ribs, a light brunch at Mooi, sweet and savory crepes at Santa Crepa, ice cream from Lucciano, a messy choripan from Chori’s first branch, southern fried chicken at Nola, a beer at Avant Garten or Asian food at Komyun.
And well, if none of the local and international options appeal to you, there is also a Starbucks. Or simply come for a stroll.
Brunch or musical drinks at Casa Cavia
This apple green, white, gold and very posh 1920s eclectic mansion restaurant in the upper part of Palermo is where the wealthy come to enjoy their weekend brunches.
The large house has several spaces among which my favorite, the garden, where you can sit in leafy surroundings and enjoy Cavia’s interesting cocktail menu and refined take on brunch items.
There are private rooms where politicians were dining while I was having my rich chocolate cake, and indoor spaces in the many rooms to escape both winter cold and summer heat. There is a bookstore and a publishing house, Ampersand, on the upper floor and an upscale bar.
The menu at Casa Cavia is as extensive as is the number of spaces and there are brunch options, lunch menus and set menus. The most interesting option is the food or drinks pairing with music.
Each of the dishes in the brunch and drinks menu is inspired and suggested for pairing with a song which is available on Spotify. The cocktail menu is presented in the shape of an old vinyl and the songs are presented next to intriguing combinations with ingredients and flavor profiles like roasted peppers, cigars and yerba mate.
On weekends you need to make a booking, especially if you want to sit at the lovely garden. More information here.
Indulgent donuts at Donut Therapy
Donut Therapy is a fantastically fun and laid back store selling colorful and flavourful donuts with all sorts of fillings and toppings.
The store was started by an American foodie, presenter and blogger who, along with her Venezuelan chef-partner, was missing her comfort food back home. It is an ever buzzing pit stop for those looking for some deliciously sweet comfort food.
The store started as a follow up from the supper club the couple used to run in their home and kicked off as a weekend pop-up shop. Success was such that the batches of 100 donuts would sell in less than half an hour. A permanent store in Palermo was finally opened to cater to their following full time and now packs up almost 1,000 doughnuts a day.
The donuts are big and they can be a meal in themselves. The staff is friendly, a few of them also Venezuelan, and ready to tempt you with any of the options.
There are dulce de leche donuts but also other more interesting combinations with marshmallows, pink toppings and other funky things. You can see them being fried behind the counter in the open kitchen.
This corner shop with red exposed brick interior has some stools along the glass windows for people watching and a sofa you sink in and never get up from. There are also outdoor tables and chairs along the side of the road.
As the owners say, “I’ve never seen a sad or grumpy person in a donut shop”, hence the name. I did leave with a bigger smile than when I came in, despite it started to drizzle and I had no umbrella.
Wines at Lo de Joaquin Alberdi
Argentina screams wine and parrilla. But there is more to local wines than Torrontes and Malbec and to learn all about it without a visit to Mendoza you need to pop by one of the wine bars in Palermo.
One of the better and more fun ones is Lo de Joaquin Alberdi, named after its owner and sommelier.
The wine bar organises wine tastings every Thursday and Friday night and if you have a group they can also organise private sessions. Tastings include six wines and a cheese and cold cut board along with a wealth of knowledge on the local regions.
This is also a great place to buy some Argentinian wines to enjoy back home as they can deliver anywhere. More information here.
Peronist food at El Peron Peron Gastro Bar
Only in Argentina can a politician receive so much attention that a restaurant is opened in his or her name.
And this is only one of a few restaurants in the city that are uniquely devoted to the famous Argentinian politician Juan Peron and his wife Eva.
Peron Peron is a homage mostly to Eva Peron, his wife, and the couple’s political views. There is even a shrine to her and a themed menu with dishes that were related to or favorite of either of the two. The walls are covered in memorabilia from the couple and their political party.
Most interesting is that this is not meant to be a tourist trap but rather a place that the founder conceived as a forum for the Peronist youths to come and continue discussing and advancing in their political philosophies.
Have the potato and osobuco stew pie, uniquely defined as the ultimate expression of Peronism: osso buco a meat for the poor masses, a stew considered an inclusive meal for everyone, prepared in the form of a pie, meant to be shared.
If you wanted some truly unique restaurant in Buenos Aires, I would guess Peron Peron Gastro Bar will be hard to beat and you may even learn a thing or two about Peronism cuisine or politics.
Parrilla at Don Julio
Parrilla Don Julio has to be the most famous parrilla in the city. An ever constant stream of tourists and locals come to this restaurant to enjoy award-winning thick and made to order grilled meats in a traditional surrounding.
Customers sprawl onto the pavement and the road and fill this corner in Palermo with laughter and conversation.
Visitors consist of a mix of half tourists drawn by the popularity of the place and its ranking in the best restaurants in the world, and half locals, in search of the genuine parrilla and the high quality of the meat reserved for special occasions.
From the moment you walk in this is a celebration and one that will for sure end in a food coma deserving of a siesta.
While you wait (the queue is always long and you should book ahead) you get a glass of prosecco and there are sofas that look like the ones at my grandparents house.
Make sure to arrive on an empty stomach, starving if possible, because the smallest pieces are almost half a kilo and impossible to finish otherwise.
Don’t be greedy on the starters and the sides and bear in mind food is made to order and can take up to an hour to get ready, so it is difficult to stay away from the bread roll and sauces that will materialise after you sit down and which go so well with the prosecco.
The menu is simple, and entirely focused on the meats, best enjoyed with a group so you can try and compare a few of the cuts. All the meats served at Don Julio come from livestock that grow and graze outside of Buenos Aires and the meats mature in the fridges at the restaurant.
The decor is rustic with a touch of countryside. Exposed brick walls, empty bottles of wine and the occasional splash of cattle photos. And remember, a bife de chorizo is not a Spanish red sausage but a sirloin steak, the house specialty.
Choripan at Chori
Choripan is another of the great Argentinian contributions to food. Argentinians love to reinvent, and usually add to, major dishes such as pizza or ice cream usually making them richer and perhaps unhealthier but so much tastier.
A choripan is the local version of a hot dog but it has so much more than a sad bun, a steamed sausage and some ketchup, mustard and maybe mayonnaise. This street food popular at football games is prepared in a whole new level at Chori.
There are now three branches of Chori but the one in Palermo is the original. This yellow explosion of sausage cartoon walls on a quiet street corner is a no-service casual place with sausages hanging from the ceiling, flaming coals on an open grill at the back and a long sharing table with stools in the middle. There are also some tables outside and a bar by the glass wall.
You order at the counter, get your drinks on the spot, pay and then your name is called when the food is ready. There are monthly guest chefs invited to create their new choripan suggestions but some of the favorites are ever-present.
Makes sure to come dressed casually because I guarantee some food and sauce will end up on your fingers, shirt or trousers as it is impossible to fit the whole sandwich in your mouth.
Check their FB page for more sausage cartoon fun.
Sophisticated fine dining at Tegui
Another award-winning restaurant in Buenos Aires that is trying to elevate Argentinian cuisines and ingredients in a refined manner and a fine dining space is Tegui.
This sleek restaurant with a glass garden, dimmed lights and straight lines attracts a more international crowd than El Baqueano. I noticed that about half of the guests were foreigners and I kept on being spoken to by the staff in English (quite uncommon in Buenos Aires – I must look American).
The walls and floors are bare and smooth, the steel kitchen opens onto the long dining room, although it is too far from the diners to actually see anything, and the staff are friendly and fun, good company if you eat alone like me.
The whole atmosphere is intimate and minimalistic, like the dishes, presented perfectly and surprising at every turn using molecular cuisine techniques.
Best restaurants in La Boca
La Boca is a traditional neighbourhood but it has a couple of very interesting places to eat that make the trip worth it.
Old fashioned food at El Puentecito
This uber traditional restaurant in Buenos Aires Barracas neighbourhood, by the port area, is so far away from the tourist path that the staff looked at me as if I was lost when I walked in.
The restaurant receives its name from a small bridge that used to be nearby and has metamorphosed several times throughout its almost 150 years of history, from a drinks store to a warehouse, a restaurant, a cantina, a pulperia, a parrilla and now just a homey restaurant.
El Puentecito was famous with politicians and local personalities in the 20th century and Hipólito Yrigoyen gave one of his political speeches here before becoming President in 1912.
When I walked down the few steps to the dining area, just below the pavement, I could feel I was in a historical place, filled with memorabilia on the walls, Spanish flags here and there, small bull figurines, old photographs, and TVs showing the football game.
Families gathered around a traditional Argentinian meal, generous portions of bread and typical food from Argentina. If you want to go back in time, this is the place to do so.
We cannot end the list of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires without a mention to perhaps the most popular place with celebrities of all walks of life.
Founded in 1954 by a Spaniard from the north who arrived at age 18, El Obrero started as a bar then added some dishes and finally turned into a bodegon frequented by the workers of the area, hence the name.
Today, it is famous for being famous. Heads of state have dined here, the Prince of Denmark and the Prince of Monaco, even Bill Clinton who came unannounced and had no space.
The walls are covered in photographs of famous people and not a single spot is empty. The same furniture it opened with is still used today.
The house specialty? Bife de chorizo, or sirloin steak, that needs to be paired with a good glass of wine.
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