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Waves of immigration, particularly the Italian influence, have shaped Buenos Aires foods.
The traditional flavors and local gastronomy go beyond steaks and Malbec wine.
While in South America exploring the local food specialties, we spent about 3 months in Argentina.
A significant part of that time was in the capital, exploring Buenos Aires traditional food.
Based on what we learned and discovered, we’re sharing our favorite Buenos Aires foods and places to eat.
From breakfast pastries, street foods, unique Buenos Aires pizzas, pastas and delectable desserts, there something for every traveler’s palate.
Use this Buenos Aires food guide to help you navigate the local food scene. Get ready for a tasting and deliciously filling experience.
Here are our top 10 Buenos Aires foods you don’t want to miss. Let’s eat!
Top Food in Buenos Aires And Places to Eat Them
1. Medialunas and Sweet Facturas or Croissants and Pastries For Breakfast
Facturas is the name given to pastries that can be found at the many panaderias or bakeries around Buenos Aires.
These little pastries are covered with sugar and are usually stuffed or filled, but also available plain.
Traditional fillings include with dulce de leche (sweet caramel milk paste), crema pastelera (custard) or dulce de membrillo (quince jam).
These breakfast treats are sold individually or by the dozen. It’s worth buying a dozen to sample the different types and it is more economical as well, giving you a good excuse to buy more.
For a local experience visit a panaderia for these much loved pastries. Since you’ll eat them in the morning, we recommend taking a long walk afterwards to burn off the calories.
Buenos Aires Bakeries To Try Medialunas and Facturas
La Mantequeria literally means dairy in Spanish. It is a Buenos Aires favorite bread and pastry shop. It’s celebrated for its high quality pastries including organic options. You’ll find several locations in the Buenos Aires region with both dine-in and take-out options.
Address: Carlos Pellegrini 655, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Price: Count about ARS 130 for a medialuna (approximately USD 1.12 )
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best ways to try delicious Buenos Aires foods is to take a food tour. With a local guide, you’ll dive into the local food culture and traditional flavors, See our review of a Buenos Aires Food Tour Review: How To Learn About Argentinian Food Culture
2. Argentinian Milanesa For Lunch
What is Argentinian Milanesa? These are delicious thin cuts of beef, chicken or veal covered with breadcrumbs. This is one of the most popular Buenos Aires foods.
In Argentina, you’ll quickly discover the multiple ways of serving Milanesa. The most typical is the Milanesa Napolitana.
It’s a Milanesa covered with ham, tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. And, it is usually served with potato puree or patatas fritas or french fries.
If you want to see how milanesa is commonly prepared head over the Mercado del Progresso.
Watching the way the butchers carefully cut the meat, beating it up to make it as thin as possible and then adding the breadcrumbs is truly fascinating.
Not far from Buenos Aires Mercado del Progresso is Don Ignacio. This is one of the best traditional and authentic restaurants that specializes in Milanesa.
Try their speciality, the Milanesa Fugazetta Especial con Fritas. This incredible Milanesa comes topped with ham, melted mozzarella cheese, onion, olives with oregano and a side of thick cut fries.
The decor needs a special mention. It is not a big fancy restaurant, but rather a local casual restaurant on a busy street.
Once you walk in, you will find yourself surrounded by oldies music record albums from the 50s to the 80s, and the music that goes along with it.
Other than the retro ambiance, this eatery is known for its amazing milanesa dishes, which are made with a variety of tasty meat cuts and served alongside a side dish of your choice.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: Argentine Milanesa Recipe: How To Make The Best Milanesa Argentina Style
Best Restaurant For Milanesa in Buenos Aires
Don Ignacio restaurant is a great option for good food in a pop culture setting. Choose between sweet or spicy accompaniment for your milanesa. If you want something a little more exotic, try adding some chili flakes or dried tomatoes to your dish for an extra burst of flavor. For the best Buenos Aires foods, Don Ignacio is definitely worth trying.
Address: Avenida Rivadavia 3439, Cabillito, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday; 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm; Sundays from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm; Closed on Monday
Price: About ARS 500 to ARS 900 for a milanesa dish (approximately USD 4.3 – USD 7.74)
3. Argentinian Empanadas for Snacks
A trip to Buenos Aires would not be complete without trying the famous empanadas, a national favorite.
These Argentine staples are small puff pastry folded pies stuffed with different fillings, mostly savory. The best empanadas are baked and these are ones you want to indulge in.
For the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, Cumana Restaurant in the Recoleta neighborhood is the place to go.
This tiny little spot offers a great selection of empanadas to choose from. Try the specialties; lomo picante (spicy, chopped tenderloin), jamon y queso (ham and cheese) and Roquefort cheese empanada.
While all the empanadas are excellent, there was just something about the Roquefort cheese puff pastry. The oozing cheese took us right to empanada heaven. At Cumana, don’t miss this savory snack.
Best Places to Eat Empanadas in Buenos Aires
This popular rustic restaurant with walls awash in vibrant red welcome you at Cumana restaurant. While it is known for the empanadas, the menu offers much more. You can dine in or take away empanadas with a variety of fillings such as pork, chicken, or vegetables.
And sweet empanada options include sweet corn or sweet potato jam called empanadas de Camote filing typical of Argentina. Pizza and other traditional Argentine dishes are also available.
Address: Rodríguez Peña 1149, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Price: About ARS 110 – ARS 200 for an empanada (approximately USD 0.95 to USD 1.70)
This downhome cooking joint is famed for its empanadas. These savory puff pastry folded little bites come both baked or fried with traditional flavors. The baked ones are our personal favorites, though you’ll not go wrong with the options available.
Address: Av. Pueyrredón 1508, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; 6:00 pm to 12:00 am; Sundays 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Price: ARS 200 per empanada (approximately USD 1.70)
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Looking for a unique culinary experience in Buenos Aires? Check The Argentine Experience. You will taste empanadas, learn to fold them, drink yerba mate and eat other favorite Argentine fares in a friendly dinner settings. It’s fun culinary activity to share with food lovers.
4. Argentinian Steak For Dinner
You can’t go to Argentina and not try the beef. Famous for having some of the best steaks in the world, you want to try one at a parilla or grill/steak house.
A local Argentina meat experience cannot be missed for a couple of reason. First, the opportunity to try different cuts of beef than you typically find in the U.S.
Secondly, the beef is high quality as the cows are grass-fed and free of antibiotics.
And finally, the asado cooking technique which seals in the flavors and cooks without the flames touching the beef.
With parillas at every street corner we recommend two for authentic local experiences. Las Cabras in the Palermo neighborhood is a popular and solid choice which is also budget friendly.
Here you want to get the gran bife Las Cabras. This is a huge piece of beef and a ridiculous amount of sides.
The serving comes with thick cut fries topped with fried eggs, pumpkin puree, grilled onion, vegetables with rice and a delicious spicy cheese.
El Desnivel, located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood is our second recommendation. It’s a casual not fancy eatery, filled with locals.
Here, you want to get Chorizo de Bife. This is a delicious thick cut of pure meat goodness. Be sure to order it jugoso, which means red and juicy.
Best Parrillas For Buenos Aires Steak
For a delicious and hearty meal in Buenos Aires, you simply can’t go wrong with El Desnivel. The menu is full of plump, juicy Argentinian steak and other classic South American dishes.
The bife de lomo or tenderloin is notable, just like the ribeye. And of course, no Argentine meal would be complete without some crispy papas fritas on the side.
Address: Defensa 855, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
Price: ARS 1000 – ARS 2000 for a meat dish (approx. USD 8.60 – USD 17.20)
This local gem has been a favorite among locals for years. The inviting dine-in setting and beautiful outdoor patio is perfect for any season.
What makes this restaurant stand out is its grill offer at an affordable price. You find a generous selection of Buenos Aires steak and a variety of meat cuts cooked over hot coals on an open-flame grill.
Whether you are looking for a quick lunch or an elaborate dinner, Las Cabras offers truly authentic Argentine flavors.
Address: Fitz Roy 1795, Palermo, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
Price: ARS 1900 – ARS 3000 for the main steak dishes (approx. USD 16.00 – USD 25.20)
Don Julio, a classic steakhouse is another highly recommended parilla. Its rustic old European bistro appeal with exposed brick walls, low lighting, and ambient music is ideal for a special night out. The menu features classic Argentine meat cuts, slowly cooked to perfection. In addition you’ll find a variety of delicious local dishes like tender seafood stews and rich, savory braised meats.
Address: Guatemala 4691, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 1:00 am
Price: ARS 3000 – ARS 5000 for the main meat dishes (approx. USD 25.80 – USD 43)
5. Alfajores con Dulce de Leche For A Treat
Alfajores are emblematic sweets of Argentina and a national favorite. You can’t visit Argentina without succumbing to the temptation to devour several.
An Alfajor is a type of cookie that is made of two sweet cornstarch biscuits joined together with dulce de leche. This is a sweet caramel milk paset with a lovely dark brown consistency.
Argentines eat copious amounts in the form of alfajores or even as an ice cream flavour.
Alfajores are coated with dark or white chocolate, or simply covered with coconut or sugar powder.
They are eaten for breakfast, as a dessert at lunch or dinner. Or as an afternoon snack to accompany tea, coffee or yerba mate, the traditional drink of South America.
For an authentic foodie experience, we recommend indulging in alfajores for their long history that dates back to the 16th century and for the unique recipes found in different cities in Argentina.
You will find alfajores sold at many bakeries or panaderias throughout the city. You’ll also find them at specialty stores like Havana, which have some of the best in Argentina.
While these dulce de leche filled alfajores are sweet, they are not overwhelmingly sugary.
However, be careful, as it’s easy to fall into the habit of eating one every single day.
Best Places in Buenos Aires to Eat Alfajores
If you’re looking to try this decadent Buenos Aires traditional food, look no further than Dulce de Leche and Co.
Their epic alfajores with homemade dulce de leche are the perfect treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. With locations all across the city, you are never too far from this tempting Argentinian sweet.
Address: José A. Cabrera 5061, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Price: ARS150 – ARS 250 per alfajor (approximately USD 1.30 – USD 2.15 )
Havana Cafe an eclectic and inviting coffee shop is one of the best Buenos Aires places to eat alfajores. While they offer different kinds of sweet treats, the crowning glory of their dessert menu is their wide selection of alfajores.
From straightforward dulce de leche flavors to adventurous fruit fillings, Havana Cafe is sure to satisfy all your cravings.
This sweet shop can be found at nearly every corner of Buenos Aires.
Address: Armenia 1788, Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday 9:30 am to 8:00 pm
Price: ARS 100 to ARS 200 for an alfajor (approximately USD 0.90 to USD 1.80)
6. Fresh Pasta For Home Cooking
The Italian influence is strong in Argentina. With that pasta has become a Buenos Aires traditional food especially in the capital.
If you want a break from beef or are looking for a simple and easy meal to prepare, make your own fresh pasta.
One striking observation you’ll make is the many specialty pasta stores around Buenos Aires.
L’Artisan Taller de Pasta offers the best pasta in Buenos Aires. You can find different gourmet kinds of pasta like the classic linguini, gnocchi, cannelloni and the most sought after, the raviol (ravioli).
Their focus is fresh handmade pastas with no additives or preservatives made in their own “workshops”.
In general, the pasta is sold by the kilo at very affordable prices. The raviolis are sold by the plancha or board, with 48 individual raviol, more than enough for two people.
Simply boil the pasta in hot water for 5 mins and relish the Italian influence in one of the most traditional Buenos Aires foods.
Best Place to Shop And Eat Pasta in Buenos Aires
Surprisingly, we found many more fresh pasta stores in Buenos Aires than in Italy. Here are a few of our favorites.
With humble origins, this family owned corner shop has become quickly famous for its pasta. The 100% handmade pasta is high quality with innovative fillings. From savory meat ragu filling to creamy mushroom, parmesan and pumpkin flavors, the flavors are amazing. Don’t miss the olive oil sauces for delicious complementary flavors.
Address: Rodríguez Peña 1771, Buenos Aires.
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Price: ARS 1400 – ARS 1600 to the kilo (approximately USD 12.00 to USD 14.00)
Belgrano Pasta Artesanales is another of the best Buenos Aires places to shop for pasta. You’ll find fresh pasta made daily and a wide selection of sauces and fillings.
A highly recommended spot by portenos or Buenos Aires locals, Belgrano never disappoints.
Address: Av. Belgrano 1201, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Price: ARS 800 – ARS 1200 to the kilo (approximately USD 6.80 to USD 10.30)
Unlike most restaurants, Quotidiano Bar de Pastas in Recoleta specializes in pasta, though the menu has expanded recently. The wide selection of delicious pasta dishes includes favorites like penne all’arrabbiata and creative combinations like tagliatelle with burrata and other vegetables.
Gluten free pasta options are also available, But that’s not all: Quotidiano also has a great selection of mouthwatering burgers and pizzas, making it the perfect spot for casual dining among Argentine families.
Address: Av. Callao 1299, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am. to 12:00 am
Price: ARS 950 – ARS 1400 per pasta dishes (approximately USD 8.00 to USD 12.00)
7. Fugazzeta Pizza with Faina
One of the most unique dishes in Buenos Aires is the Fugazzeta pizza. This classic pizza, along with the Milanesa, have been listed by the government as foods under “patrimonial value.”
This over 100 year old pizza comes from Genoa, Italy with the Italians that settled largely in the Buenos Aires area.
One of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires is El Cuartito, the first restaurant that started selling it.
Be prepared to wait in line at this legendary eatery. It’s a huge restaurant with plenty of seating. The long line outside is just an indication of its popularity but it moves quite fast.
Standing outside though gives you time to appreciate the ambiance and to look over the menu.
One thing we liked best is the option for pizza by the slice. This allows you to sample many different types of pizza instead of ordering just one kind.
Interestingly, most of the pizza is accompanied with Faina. This is a flat pancake-like bread made with garbanzo beans.
It is delicious and has the side benefit of filling you up with your protein intake. For food lovers, this is an experience not to miss out on while in Argentina’s capital city.
Best Pizza in Buenos Aires
Whether you’re a pizza aficionado or just looking for something new, El Cuartito Pizza is the place to go. The classic fugazzeta comes with a wide range of vegetable options for toppings. Variations span spinach, mushroom, and roasted red pepper toppings to pesto, black olive, and artichoke spreads. Be sure to add El Cuartito to your list. It’s Buenos Aires’s best place to get a proper porteño pizza!
Address: Talcahuano 937, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Open Sunday to Thursday, from 12:30 pm to 1:00 am; Friday and Saturday, from 12:30 pm to 2:00 am
Price: ARS 100 – ARS 200 for a pizza slice (approximately USD 0.8 to USD 1.7)
8. Tostadas For Media Tarde or Afternoon Snack
Argentines eat dinner quite late, starting at around 9:00 pm or later. To help tide you over after a day of sightseeing, take advantage of the culinary tradition called media tarde or merienda.
The most typical experience is to order a cafe de leche con medialunas. The coffee with milk comes served with a glass of sparkling water. And, it is traditionally served with a small sweet cake.
Another alternative is to have the cafe de leche con tostadas. The most common is the the tostadas con Jamon y Queso. This comes with four delicious toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, and it was our favorite.
If you choose to order a beer, you have the choice of artisanal beer. Choose from light to dark the Rubia, Colorada or Negra. You automatically get peanuts with your beer without having to ask.
The best Buenos Aires to enjoy your media tarde or merienda is at a Bar Notable. These are bars with historical or cultural significance.
There are 73 Bars Notables and they are an official part of the heritage of Buenos Aires.
In the Recoleta neighborhood, you have La Biela located across Recoleta cemetery. You can tour the magnificent cemetery and see where Eva Peron was buried.
Inside La Biela, you can seat next to the statue of Jorge Luis Borges the famous Argentinian poet.
If you are near the San Telmo area, visit Bar El Federal, the second oldest bar notable in Buenos Aires.
Best Bar Notables For Merienda
Opened by Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, La Biela is a favorite among locals and visitors to Buenos Aires.
It has a beautiful art-deco interior, elegant atmosphere, and delicious menu options filled with local specialties.
La Biela embodies everything that is luxurious about Argentine culinary traditions. From light snacks to full-fledged meals, La Biela offers some of the best food in Buenos Aires.
Address: Av. Quintana 600, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 7.00 am to 2.00 am
Price: About ARS 950 for tostadas and coffee (approximately USD 8.00)
Here’s our travel tips -El Federal, is one of the oldest and most beloved bars in Buenos Aires.
It’s been in operation since the 19th century with a surge of Italian immigrants. It has a warm, inviting atmosphere and a rustic antique-like decor.
El Federal is known for its enticing merienda offerings, including warm tostadas topped with savory fillings like grilled fish or refried beans.
The selection of beers on tap is also quite impressive. From lagers to ciders and Argentinian wine, you’ll not be disappointed by the offering.
El Federal, which we frequented often, is a spot you must eat in Buenos Aires.
Address: Carlos Calvo 599, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
Price: About ARS 800 for tostadas and coffee (approximately USD 6.90)
9. Creamy Helado or Argentinian Ice Cream
Helado is ice-cream in Spanish, and Argentinians have mastered the art of making of it.
Many have said that the ice cream in Buenos Aires is better than Italian gelato, and we have to admit it’s just as good.
The ice cream is made with whole milk and is very creamy and thick. The quality is very high using all natural products and very little artificial flavors or preservatives.
All over Buenos Aires, you’ll find artisanal stores and well-known chains serving the very best ice cream dessert.
One thing that surprised us is finding ice cream served by the Kilo. While you can get your traditional cones or cups, the 1 or 2 kilo ice cream dessert tubs are quite a treat.
Where to Eat The Best Ice Cream in Buenos Aires
Many bakeries and coffee shops offer ice cream, but for an authentic experience, try the artisanal helado at Cadore.
This is one of the oldest heladeria’s or ice cream parlors established in Buenos Aires in 1957.
Today, it is notably distinguished as a landmark by the Cultural Administration. And it has been named one of the 10 best ice cream parlors in the world by National Geographic.
This ice cream was first made in Italy before the family moved to Buenos Aires with its highly guarded recipes.
Address: Avenida Corrientes 1695, Centro, Buenos Aires
Hours: Open Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Price: About ARS 550 for a cone (approx. USD 4.70)
10. Choripan Sandwich and Argentinian Street Food Favorite
Choripan is a popular Argentinian street food made with chori, a type of pork sausage.
The chori sausage is typically grilled and served on a piece of bread. Topping it with a flavorful chimichurri light sauce.
The sandwich is simple but delicious, and it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular snack in Buenos Aires.
In fact, the choripan is so beloved that there’s even an annual festival dedicated to this Buenos Aires food!
You will find choripan served for lunch at food trucks, coffee shops, and sometimes restaurants.
One of the travel tips we got from locals, for the best choripan, is on Costanera Sur near the Jorge Newbery airport.
Visit any one of the food stands and order this popular sausage sandwich. You’re guaranteed to love the chori as we did, especially the simplicity of preparation and delicious flavors.
This is one of the best traditional Buenos Aires foods not to miss on your visit.
Where to Eat The Best Choripan in Buenos Aires
This Argentinian restaurant is known for its delicious chori sandwiches with spicy pork sausages. Besides choripan, you’ll also find other cuts of meat transformed into sandwiches. Try the morcipan, which is blood sausage as a sandwich. Or, the vaciopan which is a cut of meat in a sandwich bun.
The menu at Nuestra Parrilla offers is quite local and it is one of the best places for Buenos Aires traditional food.
Address: Bolívar 950, San Telmo Buenos Aires
Hours: Open everyday, 1:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Price: About ARS 280 for a choripan (USD 2.40)
La Parrillita – Lo de fredy’s is another great place for chori lovers. The pork sausage is cooked on the asado and grilled to perfection. The round steak and mixed grill plates are other tasty options. Served with a side of chimichurri sauce you’ll savor the slowly cooked meat cuts.
Address: Carlos Calvo 471, San Buenos Aires
Hours: Open everyday; 1:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Price: About ARS 300 for a choripan (USD 2.60)
Map of Where to Eat in Buenos Aires
For the best restaurants and places to eat in Buenos Aires, use this map below to guide you through the city.
Note that the prices provided in this Buenos Aires food guide are only for guidance. In Argentina, the local currency is highly volatile and the latest prices might not correspond to the ones provided in this guide.
In Argentina’s capital traveling through food is a delicious experience. Going beyond beef and Malbec to discover “what else” brings you closer to the local culture and culinary traditions.
While this list of the best food in Buenos Aires is not exhaustive, it gets you started with the best traditional flavors.
No matter the time of year you visit Buenos Aires, these specialty foods will delight. Seek them out and mingle with the portenos.
There’s much to love about Buenos Aires food.
Have you ever tried any of these Buenos Aires foods before? Please let us know in the comments which Buenos Aires food intrigues you the most?
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest