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.

Bringing the gaucho tradition to La Boca, famed pampa chef Francis Mallman set up his grill at this renovated Italianate town house not far from the brightly painted houses and tango dances on Caminito.

Since its opening in 1866, the storied French Club has drawn generations of politicians and writers. While the city’s intelligentsia still congregates at the lobby bar, the upper floor was recently turned into a 28-room hotel filled with antiques and period furniture.

Argentines take their empanadas (meat- and vegetable-filled pastries) seriously, and many claim that the tiny, 30-year-old La Cocina has the best around.

There’s no menu—you just sit down and they bring you food, like ensalada de pulpo. If you see something going by that you like, you just ask for half of it.

The oak-fueled ovens at Filo churn out wispy, chewy marvels in a nineties-kitsch space steps from Calle Florida. Long-haired diners nibble on elegant arugula-and-Parmesan salads while trying to decide among some three dozen toppings.

Chef Jean Paul Bondoux hails from the Bourgogne region of France; in 1993, he opened this restaurant that specializes in cuisine from his homeland, at the Alvear Palace Hotel.

The sommelier-owners pair mineral-rich Chardonnays and dense Argentinean Malbecs with local dishes such as skirt steak with quinoa and portobello mushrooms.

Although opened in 2001, Social La Lechuza oozes the atmosphere of the best old-school neighborhood parrillas (steak joints).

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).