Buenos Aires

Restaurants in Buenos Aires

Beef is usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Buenos Aires restaurants, and with good reason: Argentina’s prairies produce some of the best cuts in the world. But local cuisine also boasts European influences, and modern, inventive twists. Some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires offer “tenedor libre” service, an all-you-can-eat buffet of appetizers, meats, salads and desserts. Modern Argentinian cuisine is served in a refined atmosphere at Casa Cruz, one of the most popular Buenos Aires restaurants. The unmarked entrance leads to a low-lit space where chef German Martegui serves specialties like foie gras crème brulee, grilled octopus and Argentinian veal tenderloin. At Sucre, chef Gonzalo Sacot interprets Argentinian classics with Italian, Spanish and even Japanese touches. Expect octopus tiradito, organic fried chicken and hearty cuts like Black Angus tenderloin, cooked in a wood-fired grill, plus a comprehensive list of national wines. For a French-inspired menu, head to Chila, a trendy eatery featuring tasting menus built around seasonal ingredients like quail, shrimp and fresh goat cheese. Chila has been honored with multiple awards, including Best Restaurant from Cuisine & Vins magazine in 2011.

Tucked away in Recoleta, this rustic nook with red leatherette booths is home to the town’s best empanadas. Flash-baked to order, the pastries arrive blistered and plump with creamed corn, mozzarella and basil, or hand-chopped beef sweetened with onions.

Stuck in a late-Modernist time warp amid the Microcentro bustle, this 60’s café is for certain media and politico types an office, living room, and caffeine-emergency ward.

Owned by chef Federico Simoes, this Palermo Soho restaurant serves Mediterranean-Argentinean cuisine in a small, understated dining room.

Christina Sunae serves delicate pork dumplings and salads bursting with papaya and mango; save space for her green-tea ice cream.

In the ever-evolving Palermo Viejo, glamorous restaurants come and go within a week, but this spacious destination, housed in a converted manor, has stood the test of time (and economic crisis).

Of all the steak houses in this carnivorous city, La Brigada may have the most loyal following: members of the national soccer team are regulars. Have the colita de lomo, a sirloin tail so buttery you can cut it with a spoon.

Located in the Recoleta neighborhood, Cumaná serves both Argentine dishes and non-traditional fare like wood-fired pizzas. Lanterns and shelves of ornamental bottles decorate the bright, orange walls.

This tall, airy storefront in Palermo Viejo is presided over by the colorful Cecilia Hermann, who could have stepped out of a magical-realist novel. Guardian of Argentina’s culinary traditions—with a penchant for angel figurines—she presents a nearly anthropological display of sweets.

Olsen transports diners from Palermo Viejo to Scandinavia with its seafood-heavy menu and impressive selection of more than 60 vodkas. Dishes like blini, smoked herring, and red tuna are a large part of the restaurant’s allure, but so is the 60’s-inspired dining room, set in a former warehouse.

One of the joys of dining in Buenos Aires is that virtually any restaurant with a grill can crank out the best beef you’ve ever tasted. This no-frills parrilla is a perfect example of scrumptious simplicity.

An unmarked doorway in Villa Crespo conceals Almacén Secreto, the private kingdom of chef Abigail Machicado, who prepares dishes from Argentina's south (venison raviolones), center (oven-baked Paraná River fish), and north (charquisillo, a stew made with cured meat).

This 1954 stalwart on a hard-to-find street in La Boca serves up nostalgia alongside plump steaks, tortillas de papa, and shared tureens of homey soup. Yes, that is a photo of Bono and Francis Ford Coppola on the wall.

Here’s a nook once loved by Jorge Luis Borges. Over there, a table favored by tango singer Carlos Gardel. Here, your café con crema comes surrounded by history. Order the tostado especial Tortoni, the world’s biggest yet lightest grilled cheese, ham, and tomato sandwich.

Located in the trendy Palermo Soho district, this restaurant serves super-sized portions of Argentine steak to an often-packed house. Beef is served on wood boards, with one order ample enough for two people.

Not more than a kick of a fútbol from the Boca Juniors stadium, and as brightly colored as a Caminito house, Il Mattarello is the gritty barrio’s best known Italian cantina.