Studying abroad in Buenos Aires? One of the best ways to understand a place is through its food! Enjoy a taste of the local culture with our 10 food and drink recommendations below.
1. STEAK. Number one on any foodie’s list of top eats in Buenos Aires will include steak. The most famous, and expensive, cut is certainly the lomo, but my personal favorite is the bife de chorizo, cooked and served alto. Whichever cut you find the best, don’t skimp on the chimichurri, Argentina’s famous condiment made of sweet peppers, onion, oil, vinegar and spices.
2. THE MIGHTY PARRILLADA. Those with a healthy appetite should not miss the opportunity to partake in all of the offerings of the full parrillada (mixed grill). These are most often served on a mini barbecue at your table, and could include a mix of sausages, achuras (offal), short ribs, and a mixed offering of cuts of beef.
Photo: Parrillada by Diego Torres Silvestre
3. EMPANADAS. Empanadas are a staple snack food across Central and South America, but each region puts its own twist on this standard offering. Argentine empanadas are typically made either a savory short crust, or a dough similar to pizza. Of course, carne (beef) is the most traditional filling, but be sure to try as many varieties as you can.
Photo: An empanada from Parrilla Peña by Wally Gobetz
4. CHORIPAN. The most common offering of street food vendors across Buenos Aires is the choripan, a barbecued sausage sandwich made of chorizo, bread and chimichurri.
Photo: Choripan by Jess J
5. MILANESA. Milanesa is the Argentine equivalent of soul food. It is available in most restaurants, but is even more commonly served at home. This dish is a piece of steak, pounded thin and breaded, then either baked or fried (most restaurants will only offer the fried variety, while home cooks will often choose the healthier baking option).
Photo: Milanesa by Paula
6. MORCILLA. Argentine blood sausage is for the brave and adventurous food traveller, but is well worth the risk. It is almost always included in the mix of offerings of the parrillada, but can also be ordered alone. This local favorite is best eaten spread over a piece of bread.
Photo: Morcilla by Wally Gobetz
7. MOLLEJAS. Not all restaurants have this delicacy on their menu, so foodies must keep an eye out for mollejas (sweet breads, best cooked over the coals of a barbecue). This is another example of Argentine achuras (offal), so it’s not for finicky eaters. For the brave, however, this is arguably the best offal that Buenos Aires will offer.
Photo: Mollejas by Wally Gobetz
8. PROVOLETA. Who knew that it’s possible to barbecue cheese? This is another rich offering from the many barbecues in Buenos Aires. You won’t find this many other places in the world, so be sure to order a provoleta!
Photo: Provoleta by Wally Gobetz
9. FAINA AND PIZZA. In Argentina, try ordering a faina with your pizza. Faina is a pizza base made of ground chickpeas, served either plain or topped with sautéed onions. Faina can be eaten alone, but many argue that it is best eaten as a double-decker with a slice of pizza on top. Mind your local manners when eating faina and pizza, however. Argentines rarely, if ever, eat pizza with their hands. So be sure to use your fork and knife.
Photo: Pizza with faina by Wally Gobetz
10. DULCE DE LECHE. Anyone with a sweet tooth will find many opportunities to eat dulce de leche: served in sweet desert sandwiches, atop ice cream, or slathered between layers of cake. Dulce is the most common sweet in Argentina, so try it in as many combinations as you can find.
Photo: Flan with dulce de leche by jennifer yin
BONUS 11. CAZUELAS. There are several restaurants throughout Buenos Aires that specialize in cuisine from the north of the country. A favorite is Cumana in Barrio Norte (Rodríguez Pena 1149). The menus at these restaurants will still offer the standard pizza and emapanadas that can be found everywhere, but also feature some comforting and delicious casseroles that you won’t find anywhere else. The most traditional of these casseroles is locro (made of corn, beans and potato), but another favorite is the cazuela de calabasa (squash casserole), a sweet and savory concoction of squash, usually corn and other vegetables, topped with a crispy layer of honey-soaked provolone cheese. Not to be missed!
Photo: Cazuelas by Krista
Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite food or drink in Buenos Aires.