Around Town

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"Given the zesty flavor of Argentine beef, it's not surprising that a dizzying array of palate-teasing steaks litter the menus in traditional Buenos Aires eateries. Throughout the city, the aromas of steak and choripan (spicy sausage sandwich) emanate from the ubiquitous parrilla grillhouses, where both the sophisticated and the uncouth tuck into sizzling heaps of offal and sweetbreads or savor melt-in-your-mouth cuts of rib and rump.

However, a slew of new eateries, many clustered in Palermo Viejo, B.A.'s own Soho, are fast transforming the city's culinary offerings. New-wave chefs place great value on creativity, seeking inspiration from traditions as diverse as Lebanese and Thai, Indian and Provençal. Enterprising chefs are even turning to the country's exotic fauna, bestowing long-awaited culinary recognition on low-fat, low-cholesterol meats such as ñandú, a South American ostrich, and the yacaré caiman, a seven-foot alligator...

Since Buenos Aires adopted a strictly enforced no-smoking law in October 2006, the days when the aroma of your artfully contrived dish mingled freely with your neighbor's high-tar cigarette are long gone. Porteños remain unconvinced that it's time to quit—just count the number of diners rushing outside for a puff between courses—but the city's determination to apply the law has confounded critics who said it could never be enforced."

For everything you ever wanted to know about dining (and drinking) out in Buenos Aires, see Or for a list of restaurants by ranked by best food in a price range or style, new places, popular places and even online reservations, try only drawback is that these sites are in Spanish only!

To get a feel for prices at local establishments (average meal, per person), see Please remember that prices are subject to change, so make sure you check again while you are in B.A.

For recommendations by local members, see the Picks page. For suggestions by the travel concierge by Condé Nast, see

Here are just a few top-of-the-line places not to be missed!
  • Dominga, Honduras 5618, Palermo. A soothing retreat—all bamboo, wood, and tinkling water—it's half sushi bar and half eclectic bistro.
  • El Trapiche, Paraguay 5099, Palermo. With teardrop-shaped hams hanging from its ceiling, brusque uniformed waiters, and tables full of smoking and drinking porteños, El Trapiche is typical spot. With a 22-page menu, if you can't find what you're looking for here, you probably can't find it anywhere!
  • Jangada, Bonpland 1670, Palermo Hollywood. Specializes in line-caught river fish from the Río Paraná.
  • Mark's Deli and Coffee House, El Salvador 4701, Palermo Viejo. The perfect stopping point on a warm afternoon. Unlike most local coffee houses, Mark's serves iced coffee!
  • Mott, El Salvador 4685, Palermo Viejo. Another ideal rest stop on the Palermo shopping circuit (right next to cult shoe designer Mishka), Mott manages to be both slick and welcoming.
  • Un' Altra Volta, Libertador 3060, Alto Palermo. One of the unmistakably Italian assets that Argentina's Genovese and Neapolitan immigrants brought to the New World was a knowledge of ice cream and nowhere is it better reflected than here. Open daily 8 am to 2 am.
  • El Cuartito, Talcahuano 937, Barrio Norte. Like Naples, New York, and Chicago, Buenos Aires is a town that loves pizza and this is the place to go.
  • El Pobre Luis, Arribeños 2393, Belgrano. If you are a fan of soccer ("football" outside the U.S.), this is the place to get your beef. Go for a meal and see why.
  • El Sanjuanino, Posadas 1515, Recoleta. Enrique Baudonet's inviting hole-in-the-wall brims with the rustic flavor of the Argentine outback.
  • Nectarine, Vicente López 1661, Recoleta. Nevermind the back-alley approach in a tucked-away pedestrian arcade, this French-inspired bistro is refined and elegant.
  • La Bourgogne, Alvear Palace Hotel, Ayacucho 2027, Recoleta.  The Alvear Palace is the grande dame of Buenos Aires's luxury hotels, and La Bourgogne its magnificent restaurant.
  • Chila, In Puerto Madero, is widely praised for its well-presented nouvelle Argentine cuisine. Chila remains an elegant (if slightly stiff) favorite of business.
  • Tomo I, Carlos Pellegrini 521, Hotel Panamericano, Microcentro. The decor of Tomo I, B.A.'s storied temple of alta cocina, is a bit sterile—but don't let that fool you. A piece of heaven right downtown.
  • La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar, Bolivar 865, San Telmo.  This inventive molecular gastronomy restaurant in the crumbling old neighborhood of San Telmo is a pleasing study in contrasts.
  • Patagonia Sur, Rocha 801, La Boca. The place is owned by Francis Mallmann, the globe-trotting dandy who is Argentina's best-known chef and restaurateur.  Open Thursdays through Saturdays noon to 3 pm and 8 pm to midnight, Sundays noon to 3 pm.

Of course, the thing to eat in Buenos Aires is beef. Requisite steak houses include:

La Cabaña, at Rodríguez Peña 1967, Recoleta; Cabaña Las Lilas, Puerto Madero; La Caballeriza, www.lacaballeriza-argentina.comEl Mirasol, Brigada, Estados Unidos 465, San Telmo; La Celeste,; and La Cabrera,

In case you were wondering, yes, there actually is an alternative to steak in Buenos Aires. Good fish and seafood restaurants include:

JANGADA (see above)
LA MARISQUERIA, Av. Las Heras 2745, Barrio Norte  / T.4804-6400
STROBEL’S, Pje. Carabelas 261, Microcentro / T. 4328-1865
SOLO PESCADOS, Anchorena 533, Abasto / T. 4861-0997
FELIX CLASICO, Freire 794, Avellaneda / T.4228-5874
JANGADA, Bonpland 1670 / T. 4773-0411
OVIEDO, Beruti 2602, Barrio Norte / T. 4821-3741 (note, some locals list this place among the Top 5 restaurants in Buenos Aires!)
JOSE LUIS, Av. Quintana 456, Recoleta / T. 4807-0606
NEMO, Cabello 3672, Palermo / 4802-5308.

Check out the listing at for further details.


And speaking of Saltshaker, don't miss the "Closed-Door Restaurant" rage in Buenos Aires. For more information, see or (in Spanish).

Some of the hottest places in town are fairly close to our venue. They include:

Godoy Cruz 2481, Palermo
T. 4774-6967

Mis Raíces

Arribeños 2148, Belgrano
T.: 4784-5100

Casa Saltshaker
Uriburu entre Peña y Pacheco de Melo
T. 15 6132-4146


Freire y Lacroze, Belgrano
T. 154-492-7046

Casa Coupage
Güemes 4382, Palermo
T. 4833-6354