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.
Basavilbaso 1328, Retiro
Set in a subterranean space, the décor at Basa is contemporary and minimal. Everything is dark—the furniture, the lighting, even the walls, which contributes to the moody, sexy atmosphere. The menu is Mediterranean-inflected, but in classic Buenos Aires fashion, also meat-heavy, spanning everything from rich pastas and grilled lobster to tapas-style dishes like croquetas and calamari. We suggest stopping in for a cocktail or two and some small bites to start off an evening, which, in this city, is likely to last into the early hours.
Casa Babel Bistró
Mendoza 1267, Belgrano
A lively, atmospheric option to hunker down in all night, Casa Babel Bistró occupies a refurbished home dating back to 1927 and is one of the city's most loved hidden gems. The multi-disciplinary space houses a production company, recording studio, and of course the bistro. In keeping with the culturally rich vibe that pervades the space, the menu reads much like a book, chapter by chapter with each dish inspired by a piece of writing, and accompanied by a stellar playlist. Following dinner, get comfortable on the couches for live music that continues into the early hours.
A local dining concept from Argentinian restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz, Casa Cruz, as with the London location, is not short on sex-appeal and glamour. A riff on the brasserie, the menu is international with heavy Argentine influences like plenty of meat-centric dishes alongside more Italian-style plates like eggplant parmigiana and pasta. Round the meal off with the dulce de leche flan (nowhere else in the world can you rationally eat this glorious, caramel-y condiment at all three meals, so take full advantage). Casa Cruz is decidedly upscale, definitely not the restaurant for a casual steak dinner; reservations are essential.
Brandsen 699, La Boca
Across the street from the Buenos Aires sports temple that is Boca stadium, Don Carlos is a classic mom-and-pop operation, helmed by Don Carlos himself. With no real menu available, prepare to be served whatever Carlos feels like sending out—if you like the look of something another diner is eating, ask for it—you’ll notice plenty of rustically prepared, traditional meat and pasta dishes coming out of the small kitchen in rapid succession. This space is no-frills, yet oozes charm—simple dishes, done well. While the area can be a little dicey at night, the homey space, flavorful comfort food, and superb people watching make this place well worth the trip. Cash only.
Pres. Jose E. Uriburu 1488, Recoleta
In a city heaving with steakhouses and (surprisingly) traditional Italian restaurants, El Burladero is a gem for those craving decidedly Spanish flavors. A fun spot where the white brick walls are adorned with paintings (and plenty of red and yellow accents in case you forget where you are), the seating is a mix of booths and intimate tables, high ceilings, and excellent service. Upon arrival, you’ll be served a little amuse bouche, juicy olives, and salty warm bread to get the appetite going. In terms of the menu, while all the plates pack a punch, the tortilla Espanola (paper-thin slices of potato and onion cooked into a type of cake with plenty of olive oil) is melt-in-your-mouth good and a must order—especially when washed down with a few jugs of refreshingly tart sangria.
Posadas 1086, Retiro
Housed within The Four Seasons Hotel, Elena is inspired by the storied life led by Elena Peña Unzué, the lady of the mansion on the hotel grounds (where many of the suites are located). It’s a chic, split-level space with monochromatic, marble chevron floors, leather walls, and sculptural light fixtures that cast a soft glow. In direct contrast with many of the city’s mom-and-pop old-school operations, Elena feels truly modern. Expect dry-aged steaks, Argentinian Kobe beef, rotisserie chicken, and perfectly cooked vegetable sides—paired with a stellar wine list, of course.
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.
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