When it comes to visiting Buenos Aires there are a few places that are worth checking out if you have the time to spare. Here are my top picks!
Local- New age Argentine cuisine. Open for both lunch and dinner, reservation appreciated. Flawless service. Palermo Hollywood
Las Pizarras- Farm to table style cuisine with a French twist. Think different proteins for Buenos Aires- lots of duck, seafood, rabbit, lamb. Dinner only, reservation recommended, but not necessary. Palermo Soho.
Salgado Alimentos- Homemade pastas. Personal favorite is ravioli stuffed with wild boar & rosemary and they make a mean provoleta (An Argentine classic of grilled cheese with olives, tomatoes, and chives). Very casual ambiance. Open for lunch and dinner. Highly recommend a reservation during dinner time as the place packs up rather quickly. Villa Crespo. *Great wine bar around the corner called Cava Jufre on Jufre 201 at Julian Alvarez, night only.
Primavera Trujillana- Fresh Peruvian cuisine set in a very casual ambiance, order one of the ceviches! Open for both lunch and dinner and located in Belgrano. Great lunch prices.
Cafe San Juan- New age Argentine cuisine with big portions. Open for lunch and dinner, reservation highly recommended. Located in San Telmo, the ambiance is casual with an open kitchen of line cooks wearing baseball caps, drinking beer and listening to reggae. The chef/owner is kind of a local celebrity.
Sudestada- spicy Asian cuisine located in Palermo Hollywood. Go for lunch during the week, they have an amazing lunch special and order either the vegetarian Thai noodles or chicken curry.
L’adesso- Italian, high quality ingredients located in Palermo Viejo. Their lunch special is a terrific deal and the eggplant parmesan is simply to die for.
I don’t spend much time in Recoleta, but my food blogging girlfriend said her top picks are Parrilla Pena, Cumana, Chez Nous.
CAFES & OTHER TASTY TREATS ::
Thursday Mexican Pop-Up- The Mexican cuisine in BA is quite an embarrassment. I’m trying to change that! Every Thursday from 6pm to midnight I host a Mexican Pop-Up in Palermo Soho where I serve a small menu of Mexican antojitos (small plates). Each week the food is different but expect Yucatan style tacos al pastor, jalapeno margaritas and homemade corn tortillas. I’m proud to be serving authentic Mexican in a city lacking in so much spice.
Baraka- my go to place when I need something slightly healthy or an afternoon tea/coffee. Everything is homemade. Great rooftop terrace, open for breakfast and lunch. Palermo Soho. No alcohol.
Bar du Marché- French bistro style cafe in Palermo Hollywood. Really great list of New World wines and a nice cheese selection. Open for lunch.
Siamo nel Forno- hands down best pizza in Buenos Aires. Thin with quality ingredients. Palermo Hollywood, dinner only.
Burger Joint- best burgers I’ve had in Argentina. It’s a spinoff of the hidden spot in the Parker Meridian in New York. Located near Plaza Serrano in Palermo Soho. Open til midnight.
Empanadas & Fugazzeta- these are my favorite local foods. The best empanadas can be found at La Fachada. There are two locations, one in Palermo and another in Colegiales. They deliver and are open only from 8pm-12am. If you’re craving these during the day you should go to Punto y Banca. It’s a ‘taxi driver’ kind of place located on a quiet corner in Palermo Viejo. They are known for their fried empanadas as well as their fugazzeta, a no-red sauce pizza covered in onions, oregano and mozzarella.
Ice Cream- BA has outstanding ice cream. There are loads of heladerias (ice cream shop) on almost every block. My personal favorites are Tufic (Guatamela 4597 in Palermo Soho) and the chains Persicco and Freddo which have locations all over the city. The popular and local combo is- dulce de leche & límon.
El Topo- the best churros in town. Hands down. Located in Palermo Soho after their original location on the beach south of Buenos Aires. Open daily.
La Cava Jufre- charming wine bar in Villa Crespo. Friendly and knowledgable owner. Nights only.
Rey de Copas- French/Moroccan bar with a killer ambiance. Expect classic cocktails and a relaxing atmosphere. Palermo Soho, nights only.
Pony Line- fancy bar in the newly renovated Four Seasons hotel in Recoleta. Pristine service and well made cocktails.
Soria- directly across the street from Rey de Copas this is a younger hip scene. Good music and decent prices. Palermo Soho, nights only.
878- speakeasy bar in Villa Crespo. Expect fancy cocktails and a big open space. Nights only.
Cervelar- speciality beer bar with locations in Microcentre and Belgrano.
TOURS & EVENTS ::
Beer Night- Every other Wednesday night the beer masters of Broeders Cerveza team up with Chef Liza Puglia hosting a Southern dinner with beer pairings. Expect to learn about the history and production of beer, a three course dinner and loads of fun.
Parrilla Tour- Learn all about the biggest tradition in Argentina, the asado. It’s a walking tour that has four stops all sampling a taste of BA. There is two- one in Palermo and the other in San Telmo. It’s quite a feast and a great way to learn about Argentine food culture.
Foto-Ruta- This thought out tour focuses on photography and capturing BA through a lens. Begin the day with a quick camera tip session and then head to the streets to snap away. After the camera’s down you’ll gather again and print out some of the days shoots over a bottle of local Malbec.
The Man Tour- The guys at landingpadba.com have put together an afternoon for the men in BA. The tour features a fresh clean shave, hand rolled cigars, a stop to the local hat store to try on gaucho classics, and is said to involve whiskey as well as other fine things.
BA WEBSITES ::
Pick up the Fork- the go-to website for restaurant recommendations. Word is the owner is now doing customized food tours throughout the city.
Whats up Buenos Aires- calendar of weekly events in Buenos Aires.
Landing Pad BA- informative site of things going on in the city, reviews, and BA tips.
Como Viajo- navigating the streets of BA via bus, foot, subway, and train.
THINGS TO DO ::
La Bomba de Tiempo- experience a night of drums, percussion, and dancing every Monday night at the Konex Cultural Center.
Buenos Aires Life Centre- yoga classes in English, real massages and acupuncture.
Polo & Futbol- check out a match of some of the countries most beloved sports.
Tango- whether it’s a lesson or a show don’t leave the city without sneaking a peek of the national dance.
Tigre- on a gorgeous day you’ll want to escape the chaos of Buenos Aires, jump on the train, and head to Tigre. Enjoy a boat ride, shopping, and a quiet lunch.
Colonia, Uruguay- a small old town that’s a boat ride away (tickets found at Buque Bus or Sea Cat) on the coast of Uruguay is a great way to spend the day or overnight. Don’t expect much action, it’s super tranquilo.