Argentina — Food and Restaurants
Buenos Aires is an excellent choice if you’re looking for entertainment, and the city comes alive at night. The party atmosphere is exactly what you’d expect from the country that invented the tango. Streets vibrate with people dressed to the nines on their way to restaurants and theaters, specifically in the barrios of Puerto Madero and Recoleta, and an array of chic nightclubs keeps the in-crowd dancing until sunrise.
Bars and Pubbing in Argentina
Buenos Aries has lots of great spots for nightlife, but one area that should be mentioned is Palermo, a young and trendy part of downtown with low-rise buildings, bohemian bars, cool nightclubs, and fashionable restaurants. This is one the most popular places to go out and covers a huge area. Some of its more famous establishments include Club 69 @ Niceto (Niceto Vega 5510, Buenos Aries), especially hopping on Thursdays and MaxXximo Bar (Honduras 5551, Buenos Aries), open from 7:00 pm until late, Wednesday through Sunday.
Puerto Madero is another area worth checking out. This modern port is the location of some of the most expensive real estate in Argentina’s capital, with towering new buildings, chic restaurants and clubs. The security in this area is generally very high and it has a reputation of being one of the safest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires for a night out. However, prices for going out are also at a premium, but it comes along with a glamorous feel. Universe Bar (Martha Salotti 445, Buenos Aries) is one of the favorites. The dockside Asia de Cuba (Pierina Dealessi 750, Buenos Aries) is best on Wednesday nights, while the super-cool Jet Lounge (Avenida Rafael Obligado 4801, Palermo, Buenos Aries) is always popular on Thursday.
Recoleta is possibly the most affluent and attractive district of Argentina, with beautiful old buildings, designer shops, and is home to the famous cemetery based around Recoleta Village encompassing a string of fine dining, sleek bars and places to dance. Try Bar Gran Dazon (Libertad 1161, Buenos Aries), open 6:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. or Casa Bar (Sanra Fe and Rodregez Pena, Buenos Aries), which is good for watching US sports and indulging in familiar western food like cheeseburgers and fries. It’s open from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Dining and Cuisine in Argentina
To eat out in Argentina is a wonderful experience, and Argentinean restaurants usually do one thing very well – meat. Most have an excellent selection of parilla, the Spanish word for grill, which is often used alongside the restaurant’s name to give an indication of what you’ll find inside. You can sample anything from regular steaks to animal parts that only locals dare to eat, such as liver, kidney and tongue.
However, Argentina is not a vegetarian’s nightmare. Italian favorites such as gnocchi are a welcome alternative in many establishments. Likewise, there are many French, Spanish, and German options. Over the last few years, vegetarian and organic restaurants have become commonplace in the large cities and towns.
For those visitors with a sweet tooth, Argentina has some excellent endings to the meal. Dulce de leche (toffee-like condensed milk) is one of the country’s great addictions and appears on dessert menus everywhere. You will find it drizzled on cakes and buns, and even on breakfast tables. Also, don’t miss the alfajors (dulce de leche sandwiched between two sweet biscuits), which can be found at kiosks on virtually every street corner.
Buenos Aires is known for its high concentration of chic restaurants from the traditional Argentine steak house to every international delight you can think of. One area which is often considered the best for eating out is San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood in the city. This barrio lies six blocks from Plaza de Mayo, bound to the north and south by the Microcentro and La Boca, and east and west by Puerto Madero and Avenida 9 de Julio. For a coffee or daytime beer, El Federal (corner of Perú and Carlos Calvo, Buenos Aires) and Bar Plaza Dorrego (Defensa 1098, Buenos Aires) ooze with old-world charm; established in 1864 and 1881, respectively, and much of their original décor has been preserved. For a night out, the Basque restaurant Sagardi (Humberto Primo, 319, Buenos Aires) is new, modern, and attractive, with a large open bar area at the front.
In the north, some of the popular dishes include humita (masa harina and corn), tamales (a starchy corn-based dough) and locro (a thick stew). If you’ve had a Mexican tamale, you have the basic idea; a leaf wrapping with various fillings and humitas are similar, as well. When visiting Salta, El Solar del Convento (Caseros 444 A parrilla, Salta) has some of the most delectable and is also known for the best empanadas in Northern Argentina. Gaucho-dressed waiters and a beautiful interior set the tone for a memorable dining experience.