Finding the best places to eat in Buenos Aires can be challenging for any first-time visitor. Even though I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, when my parents in law came to visit from the UK, I found myself doing extensive research to figure out which restaurants to take them to.
The parameters were: not too expensive yet not too cheap, high-quality food & service and pleasant environment (without being too touristy). Talk about a challenge!
This list includes all the restaurants & cafes that we shortlisted, tried and loved during their visit. Many of them are well-established and frequented by locals and their menus go beyond the quintessential Argentinian Steak.
- Related Post: 5 Weird Things to Expect When Dining Out in Argentina
These are some of the best places to eat in Buenos Aires according to a local
A visit to a traditional “parrilla” (steak house) is a must and it’s probably the best start to your culinary journey in Argentina. Parrilla Peña ticks all the boxes: it is rustic and authentic and serves high-quality meat in generous portions. The beef we had here was one of the best. To this day, my parents-in-law reminisce about the delicious meal & wine they enjoyed here!
Parrilla Peña | Rodríguez Peña 682 (Barrio Norte area)
For a more upscale (and slightly more touristy) experience, I recommend Don Julio. The “Bife de Chorizo” (sirloin steak) here is incredible and paired with a good quality Malbec makes for a special & unforgettable meal. Due to its popularity, advanced booking (available online) is a must.
Don Julio | Guatemala 4691 (Palermo area)
If you need a bit of a break from steaks and want to up your veggie intake, why not indulge in some delicious Middle Eastern food? Sarkis is a long-standing Armenian restaurant serving excellent food at great prices. It is less busy at lunchtime. If you visit for dinner, be prepared to wait for a table (arrive 15min before opening).
Sarkis | Thames 1101 (Palermo area)
I grew up eating pizza at this place so maybe I’m biased but I think they serve the best Argentinian-style pizza in the city! In true local tradition, the dough is thick and loaded with cheese. Getting one or two slices at the counter is enough to enjoy the unique atmosphere among locals and leave with a full belly!
Pizzería Güerrín | Av Corrientes 1368 (Congreso & Tribunales area)
Cadore is a classic “heladeria” (ice-cream shop) founded by an Italian family in 1957. Whatever flavor you order will be delicious but for a more local and unique choice, go for “dulce de leche” (milk caramel). Cadore is just 3 blocks from Pizzeria Güerrín, making it a great place for dessert after pizza.
Cadore | Av Corrientes 1695 (Congreso & Tribunales area)
Italian food in Buenos Aires is pretty amazing. Most restaurants make their own fresh pasta offering wide varieties such as ravioli, gnocchi, fettuccine and more. If you’re in the San Telmo area, Bar Naples makes a great lunch spot for a hearty Italian meal. It is a mix of restaurant and antique store, housing hundreds of vintage items and even antique cars, making it an interesting place to spend a couple of hours.
Bar Napoles | Av. Caseros 449 (San Telmo area)
To get a taste of the local specialties and regional dishes, head to El Sanjuanino. They make delicious empanadas which I recommend you take them to go and enjoy at Recoleta’s lovely parks just a couple of blocks away.
El Sanjuanino | Posadas 1515 (Recoleta area)
Tips for Eating Out
- Dinner time starts late – usually 8pm onwards, so plan accordingly!
- You’d be surprised that many restaurants do not accept credit cards. It is wise to always carry some cash just in case.
- You’re expected to leave a tip (usually around 10%). Note that this is separate from the “service charge” in your final bill.
- To save money at lunch, go for the “menu del dia” or “menu ejecutivo” which include a main dish, dessert, and drink.
- If you don’t specify, your steak will be cooked “a punto” (medium to well done). If you’re particular about your steak, make sure you voice out your preference to the waiter!
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