Restaurants in Buenos Aires
When a chill wind blows into Buenos Aires from the Patagonian south, I find myself missing fish and chips, the greasy Saturday night fix of my British childhood.
Pasta is everywhere in this city. You can walk into a random place, order fusilli tossed in filetto and expect to get exactly that.
French restaurants in Buenos Aires tend to get it wrong, being either too fusty or too Left Bank pastiche. Intimate and sophisticated without trying too hard, Belgrano’s Fleur de Sel gets it spot on, impressing with details such as hot stones at the bottom of each bread basket.
You can tell when a restaurant is old: People talk about when it was founded, not when it opened. The fact that this Spanish restaurant was founded in 1860, then, makes it the city’s oldest eatery in continuous operation.
In a neighborhood that seems to reinvent itself at least once a week, this century-old Italian-style building houses a 60-year-old general store-turned-restaurant. Choose between the dining room and the bar; the latter is more atmospheric with its high shelves lined with tins and jars.
Founded in 1852 by the liberal wing of the Argentine political elite, this European-style club was a hotbed of progressive ideas up until the mid 20th century.
Set on the 12th floor of a building that also houses the Danish embassy, this unpretentious restaurant serves smørrebrød, frikadeller, pickled herring and other Nordic classics—plus thimble-sized glasses of punchy aquavit.
The lights are bright and fluorescent, the walls plastered with sports and movie poster, but the ovens here have been baking up thick, delicious pizzas since 1934 (and I do mean thick: Buenos Aires look down on Chicago-style ones).
If one dish exemplifies New Argentine Cuisine’s approach to tradition, it’s Soledad Nardelli’s souffle de dulce de leche: the sweet brown gloop that fuels every Argentine childhood quite literally raised to a new level.
New Argentine Cuisine is hard to define, but you’ll know it when you see it. At Dante Liporace’s Tarquino, you’ll see a lot of it. One dish I’ll never forget is his “Provolone pizza,” in which the heaviest of Buenos Aires staples is transformed into something as light as dandelion petals.
One part Oscar Wilde, one part Charlie Trotter and one part unique; Mallmann is probably Argentina’s best-known living chef.
With his skewed baseball cap, inked limbs, and skater drawl, Cristóbal looks and sounds like a 40-year-old Justin Bieber. At Café San Juan, he even has his mom working the till and pouring the wine. But there’s nothing casual about Cristóbal’s cooking.
At El Baqueano in San Telmo, Rivarola has created a menu that includes lots of things you don’t expect to find anywhere—carpaccio of llama, caiman dumplings, chinchilla, etc.—and omits one thing you expect to find everywhere—beef.
How do Argentines love dulce de leche? Let us count the ways. There’s Torta Rogel, a multilayered bomb armed with meringue and puff pastry. There’s Torta Balcarce, a vanilla sponge cut with Chantilly cream and studded with chestnuts.
Chef-owner María Luisa D’Aloiso has made this cupcake-sized venue a destination patisserie for sweet-toothed porteños. Sticky chocolate cakes, caramelized apple tarts, the famous cheesecake with dulce de leche… it’s all good, fresh, and fattening.