What we loved most about the food in Argentina was the mix of traditional dishes the country is known for along with its international food. We quickly found out there is more to Argentina than steak and wine... like pastries and ice cream! We focus our food post on Buenos Aires since that is where we did most of our eating out (especially restaurants) but we enjoyed many of the local dishes in the other cities we visited as well.
Two crumbly cookies filled with dulce de leche, a caramel-like filling made from milk and sugar. They come in all kinds of forms: plain, rolled in coconut flakes, dipped in white or dark chocolate (see below) or with a different filling all together, such as fruit. In all our time in Argentina, I somehow only managed to capture one picture of the cookie but believe me we ate our fair share of them. Not only are they sold everywhere, they are commonly served on overnight buses as both as dessert with lunch/dinner and as a breakfast treat.
The Argentinian version of a croissant but smaller and sweeter. Growing up in France, I found these a little too sweet to have for breakfast but loved them for snack time. We even found a place that served them with a Nutella filling! The first picture is from La Biela, a very famous traditional café near the Recolata Cemetery that's worth a visit.
No trip to Argentina would be complete without trying the delicious steaks. We tried the following two places while in Buenos Aires:
- Siga La Vaca – the meat was nothing special but the all-you-can-eat dinner is worth it especially since it includes a liter of beer or soda or a bottle of wine, per person. No way you're getting out of there without ending up a little tipsy...
- La Cabrera – one of the most famous spots to enjoy a good Argentinian steak. This place earns extra points for its happy hour every day from 7-8 pm: 40% off the total bill. It was also very conveniently placed for us, just down the street from our hostel. If you can, get there a little before 7 pm to be sure to grab a table. We made it there at 6:45 pm and were first in line. The portions are quite large so Tyler and I shared a steak and ordered 2 bottles of wine, which we enjoyed with our dear friend Alvin. The restaurant also brings out tons of sides such as spinach with melted cheese, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. The number of sides almost completely filled any extra space we had on the table, which was pretty ridiculous. And all this for $31.25!
Similar to Italian gelato, Argentinian helado is everywhere and all parlors offer a substantive range of flavors. Of course, you'll find dulce de leche helado in all of them but we loved trying others like chocolate rocher (made with huge chunks of Ferrero Rocher chocolate), Sabayon Granizado (rum based sabayon with dark chocolate chunks), bitter chocolate, tiramisu (referred to as “drunken cookies”) and more!
We tried 3 different parlors in BA: Tufic (our favorite), Un Altra Volta and Cadore based on the reviews from this great article.
Pastry stuffed with various filling then baked or fried. While in Argentina, we tried all kinds of different fillings such as cheese, ham and onion, chicken, beef, lamb, caprese, etc. We couldn't get enough!
Very simply put, a choripan consists of a chorizo stuck in a piece of bread and sometimes, but not always, served with a spicy salsa. We weren't huge fans of this dish but it's a must-try in Argentina where these are sold everywhere.
It's an important part of the culture in Argentina and widely available. I mean, they serve it on overnight buses for crying out loud! Take advantage because it's cheap and delicious. We must have enjoyed a glass of wine (or bottle) almost daily in Argentina.
We used pickupthefork.com religiously as we found that the reviews were always right on point. Below are some of the ones we liked most:
La Cresta: wrap and salad joint, many of them made with the juicy roasted chickens they make on site
Burger Joint: only 4 different burgers to pick from but they are awesome and creative
El Banco Rojo: another wraps and salads place but they offer delicious falafels and lamb döner kebabs
Sudestada: Thai food place with an amazing lunch special. One appetizer, entree and drink (including a wine option of course) costs 65 pesos or a little over $8 at the current official rate
La Francisca Deli: this small shop in Palermo Soho makes some of THE best sandwiches we've ever eaten. We got the tip from a fellow traveler we met in Puerto Iguazu and we're so glad we tried this place out. They cost next to nothing and are made with fresh ingredients like cured meats, salmon, arugula, brie, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.