Cafe, parrilla, wine, repeat — that’s pretty much what the buzzing Buenos Aires dining scene has been about for decades. Porteños (people from Buenos Aires, the port city) have long been steak eaters, and many restaurantgoing traditionalists don’t consider a meal legitimate unless heaps of grilled meats abound at the table. But in recent years, a new generation of gastronomes have looked beyond the parrilla (steakhouse) and sparked an interest in vegetable-centric dishes, worldly flavors, and reinvented comfort foods from Argentina’s past.
Logistical tips: This South American city with a European feel is home to people who love to go out. They frequent cafes, restaurants, and bars at any hour of the day. Locals eat dinner quite late, around 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and restaurants won’t start serving cena (dinner) until at least 8 p.m. Service can arrive at a snail’s pace, and many places only accept efectivo (cash). Due to inflation and a rocky economy, prices and exchange rates for Argentine pesos are constantly changing, but anyone carrying foreign currency will generally find food incredibly affordable. If you do enjoy a meal at a traditional parrilla, order meat like a pro: As a general rule, order your steak jugoso (medium rare) or it may come overcooked for your liking.
Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.
Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 450 pesos (less than $6 USD)
$$ = 450 - 1,050 pesos ($6 - $14 USD)
$$$ = 1,050 - 1,500 pesos ($14 - $20 USD)
$$$$ = More than 1,500 pesos ($20 USD)
Allie Lazar is a freelance writer blogging about food and restaurants in Buenos Aires.Read More