The Best Restaurants In Buenos Aires guide image


The Best Restaurants In Buenos Aires

Charred asado, plenty of malbec, the cheesiest pizza in the world, and more things to try in Argentina’s capital.

The people of Buenos Aires are a wildly passionate bunch. The country won the World Cup in 2022, and being a fan of the national team is basically its own religious sect. The same strong feelings are tied to food, especially when it comes to all things beef and pizza.

You’ll find meat everywhere in Buenos Aires, especially the tradition of asado: a particularly Argentinian ritual of large group gatherings where everybody gets together to share different cuts of meat like bife de chorizo and morcilla off the grill (a.k.a. parilla).

You might hear Porteños claim they have the best pizza in the world (yes, even better than Italy), and it makes sense: over 60% of the population has Italian heritage. The pies and slices might be a bit different than styles you’ll find elsewhere—they’re drowning in mozzarella and are eaten with a fork and knife—but they are just as delicious. (And just like pizza elsewhere, you’ll want to pair it with a cold beer.)

Meals happen later in Buenos Aires—dinner usually starts around 10pm and can go on until the early hours of the morning—so use the jet lag in your favor. That’s true whether you’re at tasting menu spots in the Colegiales neighborhood, modern wine bars dishing out memorable small plates alongside malbecs in Chacarita, or any classic parilla joint in trendy Palermo or touristy San Telmo. Find all of that and more in the guide below, and just remember to bring cash: due to inflation and the exchange rate, using pesos will cut the price of anything in half.


Don Julio

Don Julio is probably the most famous restaurant in all of Buenos Aires, and has racked up more accolades than EGOT winner and fictional nun Whoopi Goldberg. Any grilled beef option is excellent (the family who runs it has connections in the livestock industry), but you should start your meal with ground beef empanadas and then get into big plates of charred cuts of chorizo, crispy sweetbreads, and morcilla. Like most spots in Buenos Aires, dinner starts late—past 10pm—and the wait is usually long. Put your name down and wait things out at one of the many bars near Plaza Serrano.

When you walk into Los Galgos, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Argentina’s golden tango era. The cafe recently reopened in 2015 after closing in 1948, and you can really feel the history of the space—there are plenty of photos from the ‘40s on the walls and even some of the original furniture. 

Come in the morning to have a typical porteño breakfast of coffee and a medialuna, a ham and cheese tostado, or the revuelto gramajo. Los Galgos is also a great place to stop for lunch after touring the nearby Obelisco, Teatro Colon, and Plaza Lavalle—order the crispy empanadas, the flan with dulce de leche, and a glass of malbec.

Recoleta has a famous cemetery, the Museum of Fine Arts, and La Biela, a cafe and restaurant with actual life-size statues of famous Argentine writers that’s been around since 1850. The kitchen is basically always open, but you should come for dinner before you go out in the neighborhood—order a plate of sirloin steak, known as bife de chorizo, with fries and a salad.

The neighborhood of Puerto Madero is a lovely area for laid-back walks at sundown. After you’ve taken enough sunset selfies to make your travel partner swear off being seen with you at dusk, head straight to Siga La Vaca and look for the cow statues at the entrance—the name of the restaurant literally translates to “follow the cow.” Go for the grilled all-you-can-eat steak, which costs around $15 and includes chorizo, grilled steer chitterlings, and lamb sweetbreads. There’s also a solid salad and dessert bar, too.

Since this steakhouse is located a few blocks away from the Parliament building, you can expect a totally local crowd of government workers who come here for a parilla break between all that legislating. The menu is written on a blackboard, and you should definitely go for either one of their huge steaks with fries or a bondiola sandwich filled with shredded pork loin. There’s no better place to practice your Spanish and learn a word or two in lunfardo, the local slang.

If you’re looking for something to eat after visiting the Museum of Natural History and you haven’t yet reached your cow consumption limit, stop by Los Chanchitos for more excellent grilled meat. The dining room is pretty laid-back and cozy, and you’ll see large groups catching up over mozzarella sticks and a truly massive Neapolitan matambre, a popular Argentine brisket steak covered with tomatoes that comes with fries. End with a cup of tiramisu and walk eight blocks towards Musicleta Cultural Club on Aguirre Street to check out the bars and clubs in Villa Crespo.

Patagonia Sur is located in an old red, blue, and yellow house in La Boca. This fine dining spot sort of feels like an Art Deco-style hotel lobby, with bookshelves, chandeliers, antique rugs, and white sofas, all next to a hanging sphere-shaped stove. The menu highlights food from the Southern region of Argentina, with things like humita, a corn cake with garlic and cheese. There are only a few tables in the dining room, so you’ll definitely want to make a reservation for dinner.


Güerrín should be one of your first meals in Buenos Aires—they’ve been making the best pizza in town since 1932 on the centrally-located Corrientes Avenue. You won’t find a thicker and fluffier dough fully covered with cheese anywhere else. To prove it, order an Especial Güerrín' with mozzarella, ham, and green olives. Avoid the crowds and go for a very early dinner (or Argentine lunch) around 6pm, but even if you have to wait, the line moves quickly and the food comes out fast. Don’t worry about trying everything on your first visit—you’ll most likely end up here more than once.

Banchero is a legendary pizza restaurant in La Boca that makes great fugazza slices oozing with cheese. Come and have lunch after walking around the colorful Caminito, a touristy stretch of souvenirs, live tango shows, and historic houses of the first immigrants who came to Buenos Aires. In addition to pizza, they also make great beef empanadas, calzones, and chickpea flatbreads called fainá. Banchero has big wooden doors that are hard to miss, not to mention lots of old photos on the walls and a big painting of the neighborhood’s port.

Las Cuartetas is another classic pizza restaurant that you should seek out for a quick slice, especially if you’re seeing a play in any of the theaters along Corrientes Avenue or a concert in Luna Park stadium. This place usually stays open late, and you’ll probably see hungry travelers and locals at some of the many tables, surrounded by brick walls, golden lamps, and a big oven at the back of the room. The mozzarella and onion-based fugazza pizzas are our favorite—just know that you’ll definitely need a fork, knife, and a whole stack of napkins to eat these things. Do like the locals do and order your pizza with a cold Quilmes beer.

Mi Gusto has a ton of locations, but if you’re staying in Palermo, the spot on Niceto Vega Avenue is super convenient for a quick slice of pizza or an empanada before going to the pubs on Fitz Roy Street a few blocks away. We love their burger-flavored empanada, the very Argentine matambre à la pizza empanada that’s made with shredded brisket steak with cheese and tomatoes, and the cheesiest double mozzarella slices.

Pin Pun is a small and unpretentious restaurant located in the old neighborhood of Almagro, on Corrientes Avenue but off the tourist track. It’s easy to find—just look for the red wall, the neon lights, and the smell of fresh-baked dough and browned cheese. The famous mozzarella pizza is a must, but the fried empanadas are just as good. It's a great place to come with a group and yell along with the locals during a Boca Juniors vs. River Plate soccer game, or stop by late on Fridays and Saturdays when they’re open 24 hours.


San Telmo has what feels like dozens of bars on every corner, but Nilson is one of our newest favorites. It’s not a big place, but that’s fine since the best seats are outside on the cobblestone street with a great view of the San Telmo Market. It’s the ideal place to stop and check your step count after walking around the famous Mafalda statue, sip an excellent pinot noir, and snack on some cheeses. They serve wines from nearly every wine-producing province in Argentina—Mendoza, Salta, Cordoba, Río Negro, Neuquén, Chubut, and beyond—and have a by-the-glass menu that changes weekly.

The Jewish community in Argentina is the 7th largest in the world, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of great Jewish restaurants in Buenos Aires. Mishiguene, where you’ll get traditional dishes updated with modern cooking techniques, is definitely the best Argentinian Jewish restaurant in town. 

Order pastrami and you’ll get a dish of beef brisket cooked and smoked on potato latkes that’s topped with a fried egg. Equally good is the Jerusalem Mix, which is made up of steer sweetbread, chickpeas, tomatoes, and pickled onions. There’s dim lighting and jazz playing in the background, and it’s located right next to all the parks on Libertador Avenue, like Eco Parque, the Japanese Garden, and the Planetarium.

Catalino is in Colegiales, the current hub for all the restaurants where the chefs use tweezers. Order things like wild pig empanadas baked in a stone oven, deer cooked on the coals, and their famous buñuelos, which are fried dough fritters with greens. They also use the best seasonal vegetables and fruits from local farmers. The patio is filled with plants and the smell of firewood, and is also home to a pet hen named Catalina who you’ll likely see wandering around.   

Plaza Serrano and the surrounding streets are where everybody goes out for the night in Buenos Aires. But instead of (solely) drinking malbec or eating choripan, you should come to Lado V for vegan food like mushroom tacos and a lentil and carrot burger—oh, and also to dive into a ballpen surrounded by neon lights. It might sound like a vegan McDonald's from the ‘90s, but this spot has good food and is extra fun, even if it is a bit gimmicky.

La Fuerza is a small bar located on a corner in Chacarita where you’ll eat your meal under dim lights and listen to music from the early 2000s. Try some vermouth that’s bottled in the Andean region by ordering the Vermouth Primavera, and pair it with potato chips “a caballo,” which has nothing to do with horses and simply means they come topped with two fried eggs. It’s a great place to snack and drink, but you could also get one of their fainazzeta pizza with caramelized carrots and onions if you want something closer to a full meal.


Las Violetas should be your spot for breakfast or merienda, which is what’s known in Buenos Aires as afternoon coffee or tea. They’ve been open since 1884 and serve hot drinks, ricotta cake, medialunas, and dulce de leche cookies called alfajores. The space is truly stunning and feels like an Argentinian palace—the architecture is incredible and there’s plenty of stained glass and gigantic golden pillars.

Montserrat has the largest concentration of Spanish people in Buenos Aires, so it makes sense that once you walk into Centro Asturiano, you’ll feel like you’re in an old tavern in northern Spain with wine bottles, vintage photos, and antiques everywhere. Come for lunch after you tour the Barolo Palace and Parliament Square, order one of their ridiculously large tortilla españolas, and add on some gambas al ajillo that’s served sizzling in the traditional clay pot. Close out your lunch with a cup of custard.

There aren’t many things better than having lunch near the river on a sunny day, except maybe inheriting your great aunt’s yacht. While we wish our great aunt had a yacht (love you though, Aunt Charlotte), we’ll settle for a meal at El Ñandú right on the Río de la Plata. This is the spot to have a sandwich for lunch before sunbathing at Peru Beach on the river shore or taking a ride on the coast train. Order a choripan, a popular chorizo sandwich that pairs perfectly with a Coke and only costs around $4. The outdoor patio at El Ñandú is huge with tons of trees, and is a great place to linger on a nice day.

After you’ve eaten enough meat to feel like you could have personally shut down a dairy farm, come to Narda Comedor for lunch. It’s run by a famous Argentine chef, who opened this spot in 2017, and the menu has a number of solid plant-based options. Palta que lo Parió is one of our favorite dishes and is made with toasted bread, avocado, egg, and coriander. Definitely grab a spot outside when it’s nice out, especially since they’ve got a great view of the park in Bajo Belgrano.

Don Ignacio is all about two things: crispy chicken milanesa and rock music. Stop by for lunch after walking by the local shops on Rivadavia Avenue and order some breaded cutlets that are bigger than a snare drum and cost around $5. The menu has over 30 different milanesas, but we like the Don Ignacio with ham, onion, mozzarella, and fried eggs best. They’re usually playing The Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry and it sort of feels like you’re in a mini rock and roll hall of fame—there are photographs of Elvis on the wall, Gibson guitar trinkets everywhere, and old posters and framed album sleeves.

After checking out Chinatown and the Spanish art museum in Belgrano, stop by Larreta, a restaurant with a dining room that’s inspired by old Spanish houses. Once you step foot inside, you’ll find a calm place where locals come to hang out and have a laid-back lunch fueled by plenty of seafood, like fried squids and a shrimp, mussels, and crab casserole. Take a walk down nearby Cabildo Avenue, where you’ll find all different types of cute clothing shops, to digest your mollusks.

Ask anyone where you can find the best ice cream downtown and the first answer you’ll get is Cadore, a small, craft ice cream shop with an original location in Northern Italy. They’ve been around since 1957 and serve a good mix of classic and modern Argentinian flavors with Italian roots, like panettone and tiramisu. Grab a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream and enjoy it outside on Corrientes Avenue.

People are always talking about how Argentina is known for its beef, but you know what also comes from the cow? Dairy. Buenos Aires does not mess around when it comes to Italian-style gelato. Rapa Nui (which has a few locations) has some of the richest chocolate, most complex vanillas, and brightest fruit flavors we’ve ever had. You should also buy some franui, which are chocolate-dipped raspberries, on your way out.

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photo credit: Martín Chavesta

The Best Restaurants In Buenos Aires guide image