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.

Hands down the best option for a sit-down dinner, La Pausa serves excellent Argentine cuisine like grilled bife de chorizo (sirloin strip) or four-cheese gnocchi in a spacious, low-lit dining room.

Popular with the A-list set, Casa Cruz is an upscale Argentinean restaurant known for its clubby atmosphere, lively bar scene, and contemporary cuisine. Located in trendy Palermo Soho, the restaurant is marked only by a set of imposing, 16-foot brass doors.

Once a tailor shop, then a deli with a bar, this ur-bodegón is famous for its collection of old vermouth bottles, grilled sardines, and a wine-infused oxtail stew.

One of the classic Buenos Aires pizza joints, El Cuartito started serving Argentina’s famous crusty pizzas in 1934.

An esplanade over the Río de la Plata makes this Italian restaurant one of the city's top dining experiences. Mushroom risotto and creamy gnocchi with ham are perfectly al dente.

Don’t judge yet. This American chain is a different creature in Argentina, having added waiter service and a rather refined atmosphere to its offering of hamburgers and fries. Ezeiza’s new 4,300-square-foot outpost—open 24/7—also serves the only truly affordable fare in the airport.

Located in the center of the Palermo Soho shopping district, this casually chic restaurant serves French-Mediterranean fusion fare along with handcrafted cocktails and local wines from the Mendoza Province.

Cocina criolla—northern Argentinean flavor—rules at this no-frills, dirt-cheap cult favorite across from the Parque Las Heras. The carne picante (spicy beef) empanada is the juiciest in town, and the carbonada stew teeming with pumpkin and corn spells comfort food.

In a neighborhood better known for nouvelle cuisine treatments of Argentine food, Pablo Rivero and his parents built Don Julio into a mainstay by presenting top-quality plates of classic parrilla steak-house fare.

The Scene: In steak-mad B.A., a fish- and veggie-focused supper club is a welcome dining option—even better that it’s in the cozy Chacarita neighborhood home of a 33-year-old vegan-leaning chef, Diego Felix, who enchants visitors with indigenous South American ingredients.

In otherwise trendy Palermo Hollywood, this brightly lit parrilla is a no-frills affair. But the perfectly prepared bife de lomo (beef tenderloin) and matambrito (pork flank) and low prices keep it packed with locals.

Argentina’s McDonald’s have long featured what America’s Golden Arches are just beginning to add: an attached Starbucks-style coffee shop. Enjoy a double cappuccino and the expansive views of bustling Ezeiza on the McCafe’s large outdoor seating area.

Of the dozens of fine steak houses that line the picturesque docks of Puerto Madero, Las Lilas is arguably the best (and certainly the most famous: Jenna Bush reportedly dined here in 2007).