I recently returned from an epic trip to Buenos Aires and I am telling y’all, it was some of the best food of my life and by far the best steak. I’m a southern girl and we grew up eating lots of red meat in my house, so I have had my fair share of beef and I like it rare to medium rare – bloodier is better. But, Buenos Aires has much more to offer cuisine wise than just steak.
Charcuterie and cheese from your local delicattessen
Specialty meat and cheese shops abound in Buenos Aires and you can get an elaborate assortment of charcuterie and cheeses for an incredibly reasonable price. This is the spread we got from the shop around the corner from our Airbnb in Palermo. We only spent 100 pesos apiece too, which is about $6 USD. Um, yes please!
Bife de lomo at Parrilla Peña
Parrilla Peña is consistently ranked one of the best parrillas (steakhouses) in Buenos Aires and as soon as you cut into your steak, you’ll know why. The meat is absolute perfection and the service is top notch. It’s also one of the more affordable parrillas in in Buenos Aires. Pictured is the Bife de Lomo (tenderloin) and I will confidently say it was the best steak of my life and only 240 pesos or about $15 USD. Yes, that’s right, $15 for an easily 14 ounce steak that would cost you five times that in the US. Add a nice bottle of Malbec to the meal for just 100 more pesos and now you’ve got a feast fit for a king for around $21 USD.
Shawarma at Medio Oriente
Who knew you could get killer Middle Eastern food in Buenos Aires? The shawarma at Medio Oriente in the Soho neighborhood was absolutely delicious. The meat was cooked perfectly and the flavors were on point. My friend Natalie stumbled upon this place shortly after moving to Buenos Aires. “It had a line of people out the door, so I knew I had to go eat there,” she told me. (How can you tell if a restaurant is good? If it’s busy, people.) They also have a little deli here where they sell homemade pita, different types of hummus and baba ganoush. (All of which I taste tested and approve.)
Pasta at Il Sorpasso
I read that Buenos Aires had incredible Italian food before I arrived, but I’m not sure I believed it (the guide book I purchased was bold enough to claim the pasta here rivals that in Naples or New York City). I am definitely a believer now. I had the best pasta of my life in Buenos Aires at a little restaurant we stumbled upon in San Telmo, Il Sorpasso. To be fair, I have not been to Italy, but I have dined at some of the best Italian restaurants on the West Coast.
Choripán at Los Chori
You must eat Choripán when you’re in Argentina. Choripán translates to a grilled chorizo sandwich and the ones at Chori can’t be beat! I got the Classic Pork and it consisted of tomato, potato, arugula, oregano and, of course, chorizo. It was bomb, y’all and at only 80 pesos ($5 USD), it’s a hell of a deal.
The Grand Bife at Las Hormiga
We loved Las Hormiga so much that we ate here twice in one week. The steak was killer and the prices were low so when I wanted one last lavish steak lunch before heading back to the states, this is where we returned. The Grand Bife (pictured) was a t-bone and this meal was for two people, y’all. Make sure you order your steak “jugoso” if you want it medium rare (otherwise it’s coming out medium, and in my book that’s a damn shame).
Milanesa is an Italian dish that’s very popular in South America thanks to Italian immigrants and it is something you have to eat when you’re in Buenos Aires. So what is it? Milanesa is a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal or pork that’s cooked “chicken-fried-steak-style”. It’s prepared by dipping the slice of meat into beaten eggs, salted and seasoned, dipped into bread crumbs and then shallow fried in oil. I had this Milanesa at an adorable restaurant on El Caminito in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
All the sweet things from your local bakery
Buenos Aires is packed with little bakeries on every street and you’ll want to pop in for your favorite sweet treat or empanada. Prices are uber-affordable (these insane brownies were just 30 pesos or $1.90 USD) and the desserts are ridiculous. I was literally a kid in a candy store with my camera and these stunning sweets.