Posadas 1519, Recoleta
Fervor is one of those goldmine restaurants that serves excellent food matched by exceptional service. An old-world steakhouse that exudes all the charm of a time gone by—with its floor-to-ceiling velvet drapes, checkerboard floors, red leather booths, and soft lighting—the interior feels classic and clubby yet nostalgic. The chefs dry-age all the meat, allowing the enzymes to break down, which results in melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and a more concentrated flavor. The steaks are then charcoal-grilled for smokiness and a thick crust that pairs so well with a robust glass of Malbec. Start off with a pisco sour and prepare to stay late.
Murillo 725, Villa Crespo
When you've had your fill of steak, get a reservation at the seafood-centric iLatina. The seven-course tasting menu served by chef Santiago Macías feels like a tasting journey from Mexico to Patagonia. These are the flavors that reflect the chef's own trajectory—Macías grew up in Cartagena and has lived and worked throughout Latin America. Housed in a renovated Villa Crespo townhouse, the Colombian-inflected interior—hardwood floors, predominantly white walls accented with pops of color—feels fresh and cosmopolitan. Be sure to go with the wine pairing to get a true taste of the many varietals found in the country’s wine regions, with each glass chosen specifically to compliment the dish. While seafood is the primary focus here, the beef cheek marinated in sugarcane reduction and Colombian coffee is some of the best you'll ever have.
Estados Unidos 465, San Telmo
Located on old-time San Telmo, this spot has been serving carnivorous Porteños their steak for two decades. La Brigada provides the nostalgia of old-school restaurants of yesteryear that any traditionalist will love—small tables are packed closely together, the walls are covered in paintings, references to home team the Boca Juniors, and images of notable Argentinians. Beneath the dining room is a cavernous brick wine cellar, home to thousands of bottles with a long wood table set up for subterranean tastings. In case there's any question as to the restaurant’s food focus, the menus are encased in cowhide and contain pages of nose-to-tail options from lamb tongue to every cut of steak imaginable—expertly seared for a dark crust and meat so tender the waiters actually slice it with a spoon. The deserts don’t disappoint either and in keeping with the overall vibe, you’ll find decidedly old-fashioned (but no less delicious) comforting treats like bread pudding, chocolate mousse, and baked apples to finish.
José Antonio Cabrera 5099, Palermo
Steak and all its many accompaniments are what this Buenos Aires institution is best known for. While we do recommend booking ahead, the inconvenience of standing in line outside is definitely tempered by the flutes of sparkling wine the waiters often disperse to the waiting crowd. The steak options are endless, with every possible cut finished with various sauces and butters. La Cabrera has a comforting, dimly lit, slightly kooky interior that encourages you to settle in for the evening—the walls are covered in plates and clocks while the tables are of the white-tablecloth variety.
Lafinur 3368, Palermo
Translating from Yiddish as ‘crazy or eccentric’, Mishiguene serves up what they self-describe as ‘immigrant cuisine’—essentially dishes sprung from the food memories of immigrant Jews around the world. Friday is the night to try and snag a booking, especially as on the Sabbath, the meal is accompanied by live Klezmer music. Argentinian chef Tomás Kalika honed his culinary craft in Jerusalem, helped along by his grandmother’s recipes. Kalika’s menu takes the diner on a journey through Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Israeli, and Middle Eastern food traditions. The space itself is cozy and convivial, filled with tables of varying sizes, walls lined with photographs and, more often than not, a super fun crowd. Order whole roasted cauliflower dressed up with labneh, matbucha, and silky tahini to enjoy alongside the sensational homemade breads (sesame bagels, Israeli pitta, raisin challah). The pastrami comes in salty slabs, the latkes are crispy, and the tangy hummus should be drizzled liberally on every plate.
Rocha 801, La Boca
A reservation is essential for what always turns out to be a truly special evening. This is Francis Mallman’s restaurant in the heart of one of Buenos Aires’ oldest (and on occasion dicey) neighborhoods, La Boca. Press the buzzer and be welcomed into what feels like dining at the chef’s home. The dinnerware is a little mismatched, the walls are covered in assorted paintings and prints, plush red velvet drapes dress each window, and low hanging lamps create that ambient moody light that makes you want to linger for an extra glass of wine. Steaks are the order of the day here (be sure to specify that rare means rare, as oftentimes Argentinians err on the side of well-done). Yes, it's an extravagance, but the atmospheric intimacy of the surroundings, and of course, the food itself, more than justify a trip to La Boca. Image courtesy of @annstreetstudio
Posadas 1042, Retiro
This award-winning Italian mainstay is housed in the elegant Recoleta neighborhood. Piegari has all the bells and whistles associated with a fine dining establishment–white tablecloths, a stellar wine list, and superior service. The sizable dining room packs out, locals and visitors alike show up night-after-night to this classic but modern spot for reliably good Italian fare (read: lots of pasta).
Sunae Asian Cantina
Humboldt 1626, Palermo
Argentinian food—though flavor-packed—lacks spice, and chef Christina Sunae’s Southeast Asian Cantina is a breath of culinary fresh air. The food aside, the space is refreshingly vibrant with banana-leaf wallpaper, splashes of color, and plenty of plants. The menu has mined the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia for inspiration—try the fresh yum talay salad (seafood, mint, cilantro, and a spicy, citrus-y dressing), the empanada-style wontons or the roasted eggplant puree (with coconut milk, sweet potatoes, and crisp banana chips). For diners craving something more familiar go for reliable standby’s like Pad Thai or a nourishing bowl of pho. Post-dinner sweet treats have been re-interpreted to reflect the aforementioned regions—we loved the key lime pie with it’s ginger-infused dough, pandan meringue, and green tea ice cream.
Soler 5862, Palermo
Located in the boutique Fierro Hotel, Uco is a wine-centric restaurant (named for Mendoza’s Uco region) with over 300 labels available and helmed by Irish chef Ed Holloway. The interior is rustic, and almost Scandinavian-looking with textural walls of contrasting planks of wood and big windows looking out onto the greenery outside. Chef Holloway presents a true farm-to-fork menu with everything down to the charcuterie prepped in-house daily. Open for all three meals, Uco is probably one of the only restaurants in South America to offer a full Irish breakfast alongside the typically sweeter Argentinian options. If you need a break from all the steak, try one of their vegetarian or fish paellas, while the eighteen-hour shoulder of Patagonian lamb is utterly unforgettable. Early bird eaters should try lunch over dinner as ideally, dinner should be eaten at around 9pm to make the most of the convivial atmosphere that's as paramount to the restaurant’s atmosphere as the food.
Bar du Marché
Nicaragua 6002, Palermo
Open all day, this restaurant resembles a classic French brasserie with its simple wooden tables and throwback checkerboard floors. Interestingly, the menu is more Paris-meets-Tokyo with both charcuterie and sashimi on offer, alongside some of the best sushi in the city. With over fifty wines available by-the-glass, Bar Du Marché is a solid spot to start your evening with a few small plates and a glass of wine before moving on to a larger steakhouse dinner. The breakfast is also worth noting: stop by for egg and toast dishes, creamy hot chocolate, and a sampling of their deliciously flaky pastries—many of which are filled with Argentina’s favorite sweet condiment, dulce de leche.
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