The Top Thing to Eat: Buenos Aires

Written: The Top Thing Staff | August 28, 2023


Traditional Argentine Dishes

Empanadas: A staple of Argentine cuisine

If you're visiting Buenos Aires, you simply can't miss out on trying the delicious empanadas. These savory pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as beef, chicken, cheese, or spinach. The dough is usually baked or fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy shell that encases the flavorful filling. Whether you're grabbing a quick snack on the go or sitting down for a meal, empanadas are a must-try in Buenos Aires.

Asado: The famous Argentine BBQ experience

Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable culinary experience with asado, the famous Argentine BBQ. Asado is more than just a meal; it's a social event that brings family, friends, and even strangers together. The highlight of asado is the tender, juicy cuts of beef, cooked over an open flame to perfection. Pair it with chimichurri sauce, a flavorful combination of herbs and spices, and you'll have a true taste of Argentina. Don't forget to indulge in some traditional sides like provoleta, a grilled cheese, and a refreshing glass of Malbec wine.

Matambre: A mouthwatering stuffed meat roll

Another traditional Argentine dish that will leave you craving for more is matambre. This mouthwatering stuffed meat roll features flank steak that is flattened and marinated with a delightful mixture of vegetables, herbs, and spices. After marinating, it is rolled up and cooked until tender. The result is a succulent and flavorful dish that is often served sliced and accompanied by salads or roasted vegetables.

Whether you're a meat lover or enjoy trying new flavors, Buenos Aires offers a variety of traditional dishes that will satisfy your cravings. So, don't miss out on the opportunity to indulge in empanadas, asado, and matambre for an authentic taste of Argentine cuisine.


Classic Argentine Desserts

Dulce de Leche: The beloved caramel treat

When visiting Buenos Aires, one dessert you absolutely cannot miss is dulce de leche. This creamy and sweet caramel treat is a staple in Argentine cuisine. Made by slow-cooking condensed milk, dulce de leche has a rich and indulgent flavor that will leave you wanting more. Whether spread on toast, filled in pastries, or simply enjoyed by the spoonful, dulce de leche is a must-try dessert in Buenos Aires.

Alfajores: Sandwich cookies that melt in your mouth

Another classic Argentine dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth is alfajores. These sandwich cookies consist of two buttery and crumbly cookies filled with dulce de leche. The combination of the soft cookies and the smooth caramel filling creates a heavenly taste that melts in your mouth. You can find alfajores in various sizes and flavors, including chocolate-covered options, making it the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee or mate.

Churros: Crispy fried dough with a sweet filling

If you're craving something crispy and indulgent, churros are the way to go. Argentine churros are made by frying dough until golden and crispy, then dusted with sugar. They are typically served with a side of dulce de leche for dipping or can be filled with this delicious caramel treat. Taking a bite into a warm churro with its crunchy exterior and soft interior is a delight that will transport you to the streets of Buenos Aires.

Whether you're a fan of caramel, cookies, or fried dough, Buenos Aires has a dessert that will satisfy your cravings. Make sure to indulge in dulce de leche, alfajores, and churros during your visit to experience the sweet side of Argentine cuisine. Your taste buds will thank you.


Street Food in Buenos Aires

Choripan: Grilled sausage sandwich with chimichurri sauce

If you find yourself exploring the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires, make sure you don't miss out on trying the famous choripan. This mouthwatering street food delicacy consists of a grilled sausage nestled in a fresh baguette-like bread and topped with tangy and flavorful chimichurri sauce. The combination of juicy sausage, crispy bread, and the zesty sauce will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Bondiola: Slow-cooked pork in a sandwich

Another must-try street food in Buenos Aires is bondiola. This succulent slow-cooked pork is tender, flavorful, and often served in a sandwich. The meat is marinated in spices, herbs, and sometimes a touch of citrus, then slow-cooked until it's melt-in-your-mouth tender. Served on a crusty bread roll and topped with condiments like lettuce, tomato, and mayo, the bondiola sandwich is a savory delight that will satisfy your cravings.

Medialunas: The Argentine version of croissants

No visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without indulging in the local breakfast favorite, medialunas. These delectable pastries are similar to croissants but with a unique Argentine twist. They are smaller and sweeter, with a slightly denser texture. Medialunas come in two varieties – “medialunas de grasa” made with lard, and “medialunas de manteca” made with butter. Whichever you choose, these flaky treats are perfect for enjoying with a cup of coffee or mate in the morning.

In conclusion, Buenos Aires offers a wide array of delicious street food options that will please any food lover. From the mouthwatering choripan to the succulent bondiola and the irresistible medialunas, the city's street food scene is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. So, venture out onto the streets and treat yourself to these delectable delights that will surely leave you craving for more.


Must-Try Food Markets in Buenos Aires

When it comes to experiencing the vibrant culinary scene in Buenos Aires, food markets are a must-visit. Bursting with flavors, aromas, and local delights, these markets offer a unique opportunity to indulge in the city's gastronomic treasures. Here are three food markets that you shouldn't miss during your visit to Buenos Aires:

Mercado de San Telmo: A foodie paradise in an antique market

Located in the heart of the historic San Telmo neighborhood, Mercado de San Telmo is a food lover's paradise. This market, set amidst antique shops and cobblestone streets, is brimming with stalls offering a wide range of Argentinean specialties. From grilled meat and empanadas to traditional sweets and dulce de leche, you'll find an array of delicious treats to satisfy your taste buds. Don't forget to try the mouthwatering choripan, a classic Argentinean street food made with grilled chorizo and crusty bread.

Mercado de Belgrano: Fresh produce and local delights

For a true taste of Buenos Aires' local flavors, head to Mercado de Belgrano. This bustling market is known for its fresh produce, organic foods, and a wide variety of local specialty products. You can browse through stalls selling aromatic spices, homemade cheeses, cured meats, and artisanal bread. Indulge in a traditional Argentinean breakfast with a medialuna, a sweet and buttery croissant, paired with a strong cup of café con leche.

Mercado Central: Explore Argentina's largest wholesale market

If you want to immerse yourself in the true essence of Argentina's food culture, a trip to Mercado Central is a must. This is the largest wholesale market in the country, and it's where the city's restaurants and chefs source their ingredients. Stroll through the aisles filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats. You can also find traditional Argentinean products like mate, a popular herbal tea, and alfajores, delectable sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche.

As you explore these vibrant food markets in Buenos Aires, you'll discover the immense culinary diversity and rich flavors that define the city's gastronomy. So, get ready to indulge in a truly unforgettable culinary experience.


Dining Experiences in Buenos Aires

Parrilla: Enjoying a traditional Argentine steakhouse

When in Buenos Aires, you cannot miss the opportunity to indulge in a traditional Argentine steakhouse, known as a “parrilla.” These restaurants specialize in serving mouthwatering grilled meats that will leave you craving for more. Make sure to try the famous cuts of steak, such as bife de chorizo or entraña, cooked to perfection and served with chimichurri sauce. Accompany your meal with a glass of Malbec, Argentina's renowned red wine, and you will have a truly authentic dining experience.

Closed-Door Restaurants: Unique and intimate dining experiences

For a truly unique and intimate dining experience, consider visiting one of Buenos Aires' closed-door restaurants. These hidden gems are usually located in the homes of local chefs who offer personalized menus and a cozy ambiance. You can enjoy a multicourse meal with dishes that showcase Argentina's culinary diversity, from homemade empanadas to delectable seafood and desserts. These exclusive dining experiences are perfect for foodies looking for something beyond the typical restaurant scene.

Sunday Asado: Joining locals for a weekend tradition

One of the best ways to experience traditional Argentine cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture is by joining a Sunday asado. Asado refers to the Argentine barbecue tradition, where friends and family gather to enjoy delicious grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables. You can join a local asado at a popular restaurant or even get invited to a local's home. This social and culinary tradition will provide a unique insight into the Argentine way of life and give you a chance to savor some of the best grilled flavors Buenos Aires has to offer.

In conclusion, Buenos Aires offers a variety of dining experiences that will satisfy any food lover's palate. From indulging in a traditional parrilla to experiencing the intimacy of closed-door restaurants and immersing yourself in the Sunday asado tradition, you will discover the rich flavors and culinary traditions that make Buenos Aires a food lover's paradise. So, pack your appetite and get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure in the vibrant capital city of Argentina.



Whether you're a foodie or just looking to explore the vibrant culinary scene in Buenos Aires, this diverse city has a lot to offer. From mouthwatering steaks to delectable pastries, you'll find something to satisfy your taste buds. Don't miss out on trying the iconic Argentine dishes like asado, empanadas, and dulce de leche. And if you're feeling adventurous, be sure to indulge in some traditional mate tea. Buenos Aires is a melting pot of flavors and cultures, and every bite tells a unique story.

Summary of the top foods to try in Buenos Aires

  1. Asado: Argentine barbecue at its finest, featuring succulent cuts of meat cooked over an open flame.
  2. Empanadas: Savory pastries filled with a variety of fillings such as beef, chicken, cheese, or spinach.
  3. Dulce de leche: A rich and creamy caramel-like sauce used in desserts and pastries.
  4. Provoleta: Grilled provolone cheese served with chimichurri sauce.
  5. Pasta: Buenos Aires has a strong Italian influence, so don't miss out on trying fresh homemade pasta dishes like ravioli or gnocchi.

Additional tips for exploring the food scene in the city

  1. Visit local markets like Feria de Mataderos or Mercado de San Telmo for a variety of fresh produce and street food.
  2. Explore different neighborhoods such as Palermo or Recoleta to discover hidden gems and trendy restaurants.
  3. Sample regional dishes from other parts of Argentina, such as locro (a hearty stew) or humita (a corn-based dish), which are popular in Buenos Aires.

Frequently Asked Questions about Buenos Aires cuisine

  1. Is it safe to eat street food in Buenos Aires?
    While street food is generally safe in Buenos Aires, it's always recommended to eat from vendors with clean and hygienic setups.

  2. What is the typical dining etiquette in Buenos Aires?
    It is customary to tip around 10% of the bill at restaurants. Also, Argentines typically eat dinner later than in other countries, with many restaurants opening for dinner around 8 or 9 pm.

  3. Are there vegetarian or vegan options available in Buenos Aires?Yes, Buenos Aires is becoming more vegetarian and vegan-friendly, with many restaurants offering plant-based options. Look for menus marked with “vegano” or “vegetariano” for these choices.

  4. What is the national drink of Argentina?The national drink of Argentina is mate, a traditional herbal tea commonly shared with friends and family.