Mercado Buenos Aires

This Van Nuys spot is more than just a mercado – it’s a full-fledged operation that doubles as a grocer and dining hall for every Argentinian comfort food imaginable. And if the name doesn’t make it blatantly obvious, the mural of Lionel Messi watching over you as you scarf down empanadas confirms that this place is as Argentinian as it gets. Those empanadas also happen to be very good and come either baked with a flakey, golden crust or fried for a crispier, more crumbly exterior. Breakfast is also a treat, with the Papa Francisco plate being our go-to – crustless ham and cheese toasties topped with a fried egg that bursts on top. Dinner at Mercado Buenos Aires isn’t complete without the parrilla completa (ideally for two) that comes with skirt steak, tender short ribs, and some tangy marinated grilled chicken. And whatever you do, do not leave without a slice of their creamy flan with a scoop of decadent dulce de leche on the side. It’s a lot, arguably even too much, but frankly, that logic rarely applies to dessert.

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