We all know it—one of the best parts about exploring a new country is trying delicious food that you can’t get anywhere else! If you’re a foodie, Buenos Aires is definitely the place for you. Everywhere you look there are restaurants, bakeries, steakhouses, and cafes, all with mouth-watering desserts in their windows and breathtaking posters of the day’s special at their doorways. How can you possibly choose?
I don’t claim to have an answer to such a critical question, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Below are some of the best meals and desserts I’ve had in Buenos Aires so far. Take a look and decide for yourself what looks the most tempting!
Milanesa Napolitana at Saint Moritz
You can’t go to Argentina without trying milanesa. You just can’t. Milanesa is sliced meat (usually beef, sometimes chicken) dipped in beaten egg, seasoned, then dipped in bread crumbs. There are different variations of milanesa—for example, the milanesa napolitana shown above is topped with ham, melted cheese, and tomato paste. Milanesa is about as classically Argentinian as you can get, and you figure that out pretty quickly because it is everywhere. The dish shown below is from Saint Moritz in the neighborhood of Retiro, but you won’t be hard-pressed to find it elsewhere.
Choripan at Caminito
Choripan is a sandwich that stars grilled chorizo sausage, traditionally drizzled with chimichurri. It is popular in various South American countries, including Argentina. I got the choripan in the image below from a street vendor in Caminito (La Boca, Buenos Aires). It was delicious!
Tacos from Fábrica del Taco
Mexican food isn’t as easy to come by in Argentina as it is in the U.S., and after a month in Buenos Aires, my friends and I were craving it bad! This restaurant – Fábrica del Taco in the neighborhood of Palermo—came to our rescue. The image below shows three of their taco options: chicken, asado, and veggie. All were incredible, but in my opinion, the asado taco was the best. Asado is roasted meat, the Argentina national dish. It was essentially the epiphany of the Buenos Aires version of Mexican food!
Ceviche at Tanta Cumplimos
Tanta Argentina is a Peruvian restaurant located in Retiro, two steps from our IES Abroad housing. The image below shows their ceviche, a classic Peruvian dish. This particular ceviche is made of white fish with avocado mayo, all on top of a pita bread. On top of all that is shrimp breaded with quinoa. Fair warning, Tanta is relatively expensive, but it’s well worth it!
Another classic Argentine food. Empanadas are the go-to choice for a quick meal or a snack in Buenos Aires. You can find them everywhere! I bought the one above for 90 Argentine pesos half a block away from my building. Empanadas are folded dough stuffed with filling. They come in a variety of flavors, the most common of which are chicken, beef, ham and cheese, and veggie.
Cavatelli con Meatballs at Quotidiano Pasta Bar
Quotidiano is a true slam dunk for pasta lovers. Below, you can see their cavatelli noodles and meatballs covered in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce. Absolutely amazing, enough said ;)
Alfajor from La Fonte D’Oro
Now that the main course is over, it’s time for dessert! The alfajor below (from La Fonte D’Oro in Retiro) consists of two sweet cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche in between, but it can come in a variety of flavors. Dulce de leche is made by slowly heating sugar and milk over a period of several hours, and is often used as flavoring. It’s like caramel on steroids, and I’m very obsessed with it. Both the alfajor and dulce de leche are popular throughout South America.
Ice Cream from La Heladería Esmeralda
The best for last. I know, you’ve had ice cream before. Maybe you even think you’re an expert on ice cream. Trust me, you’re not. Not until you’ve tried ice cream in Argentina. It is mind-blowingly, overwhelmingly, astonishingly delicious. It is richer, thicker, and more flavorful than any ice cream I’ve ever had in the United States. In Buenos Aires, heladerías (ice cream shops) are on just about every block, and if you order a small cup or cone, you traditionally get to pick two flavors. My favorite heladería so far is Heladería Esmeralda, located in Retiro right next to IES Abroad housing. I’m a sucker for their super dulce de leche and their banana split flavors (pictured below), but I’ve also heard good things about their banana and tramontana flavors.
So there you have it, hopefully this gives you somewhere to start your food journey in Buenos Aires! And remember, when studying abroad, it’s important to keep your mind open to new experiences, and that goes for food too. Back home, I never would have tried a seafood dish like ceviche, and now I’m glad I did. You never know what you’ll discover if you’re willing to take a step outside your comfort zone!
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<p>I’m studying for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I hope to improve my Spanish language skills and learn more about the country’s women’s rights movement. I’m from the U.S. state of Minnesota, where I also attend college and study Spanish, Political Science, and English. I’m on a pre-law track and hope to pursue a career in immigration law.</p>