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An Expert’s Guide to the 24 Best Restaurants in Buenos Aires

Looking to visit the best restaurants in Buenos Aires? Bookmark this insider guide as a short list before you book your flight. 

There’s a reason why Michelin inspectors made their way to Argentina last year. Buenos Aires, known as the “Paris of the South,” has routinely been overlooked as a foodie destination in Latin America. 

A dish from the adventurous 13 Fronteras restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A dish from the adventurous 13 Fronteras restaurant – a real must-visit when in Buenos Aires.

Today, Argentine chefs are mixing things up by creating twists on classic dishes. Whether you prefer traditional or modern cuisine, quality seasonal ingredients rule. 

As an expat of 10+ years and a dedicated foodie, I’ve got my finger on the pulse of the culinary scene. Read on for my pick of the hottest restaurants in Buenos Aires.

Palermo Restaurants

1. El Preferido de Palermo

Everyone knows steak is synonymous with Argentina. Unfortunately for me, when I first moved to Buenos Aires, I was a staunch vegetarian. Believe it or not, the sheer quality of the meat here had me eating asados after just a few months. 

It doesn’t get much more authentic than a dinner out at El Preferido de Palermo steakhouse, featured in the Michelin guide. The building dates from 1885, and the vibe inside feels like an old-timey country store.

The menu is straightforward, with just a few choice cuts of meat and impeccable side dishes. I recommend giving the blood sausage a try (it’s the only restaurant where I actually like the taste). 

If you can’t snag a reservation online, I recommend dining like a porteño after 9:30 pm. Starving for a steak right now? Wait in line outside, and friendly waiters will serve you free gin and tonics.

2. 13 Fronteras

Owners Dave and Cristabel Soady are not just another van couple. They decided to open a restaurant inspired by their journey from Washington, DC to Buenos Aires. Every dish on the tasting menu is a visual and culinary delight bursting with Latin flavors.

The gorgeous wooden bar serves as a stage for chef Dave’s rock-star personality. He’s known for telling a few tales from his wild travels and partying with musicians who visit the city.

You won’t regret an evening at 13 Fronteras. This is the place to be adventurous and say yes to mysterious ingredients (I once ate bull’s balls here). Make sure to reserve in advance if you want a seat at the bar.

3. La Alacena

This trattoria is a favorite pick from local food blogger Allie Lazar (featured on Somebody Feed Phil). Located on the outskirts of Palermo, La Alacena is arguably the best Italian restaurant in Buenos Aires. With over half the population claiming Italian heritage, pasta is almost a religion here.

The kitchen serves up reasonable-sized portions of fresh tortellini, cavatelli, and bucatini. Pair your pasta with a crisp white wine and panna cotta for dessert.

Each plate of pasta is an authentic experience, transporting you to a Sunday lunch in the south of Italy. Open for both lunch and dinner, this tiny restaurant is often fully packed, with diners spilling out onto the sidewalk. Reserve your table online or line up to drool over the lasagna bolognese.

4. Reliquia

No matter where you walk, Buenos Aires is full of architectural gems. The historic building that now houses Reliquia dates from the mid-1800s. You’ll notice its unique shape – the front of the building has been chopped off, which was designed to prevent carriage accidents as horses raced around the corner.

Opened two years ago by a trio of young chefs, Reliquia means “cherished treasure” in Spanish. They seem to have found the recipe for success with a seasonal menu, small plates, and natural wines.

Create your own tasting menu by ordering a few appetizers and mains. An absolute must is the fluffy brioche with smoked butter as a starter. Make sure you reserve a spot online, as there are only 40 seats in the restaurant.

5. Barra Chalaca

Barra Chalaca is a Peruvian street food chain from the famous chef, Gaston Acurio. The menu is split into traditional plates (like lomo saltado, ceviche, and causa) and innovative dishes such as trout wantacos, tiradito nikkei (lacquered in passion fruit honey), and chaufa tapado.

Order dishes to share, as most portions are large. To drink, enjoy an alcoholic or mocktail version of the curatodo (made with medicinal herbs and tropical juices).

6. Don Julio

What else can I say, but “MESSI”? No, but in all seriousness, Don Julio is world-famous at this point. It has earned one Michelin star, and is the only Argentine restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Don Julio is synonymous with quality, service, and overall excellence. Are there other great steakhouses in Buenos Aires? Yes. But they don’t attract the same caliber of staff, such as renowned sommelier Martin Bruno

Lunch and dinner reservations are usually fully booked two months in advance, and the rest of the calendar is blocked off. You can sign up online for early access to a waitlist though. 

If you’re lucky enough to get a table, split the lomo de bife, bottle of “Y La Nave Va” Malbec wine, and seasonal sides (like endive salad and asparagus). 

7. BURI Omakase

Marcello “Chelo” Elefoso, has been a pioneer of authentic Japanese cuisine in Buenos Aires. From 2006-2020 he trained over 3,000 students in BURI Lab, a successful school for sushi chefs. In 2014 he opened BURI Omakase as a closed-door restaurant influenced by the omakase style of Kyoto (with soups before the nigiri courses).  

Like most traditional omakase restaurants, seating is limited around the sushi bar. There are only 10 spots available, so reservations are necessary

The menu changes each night, according to the fresh seafood available. Elefoso is passionate about using Argentine fish and beef in traditional Japanese sushi and wagyu courses.

After dinner, you can hop over to the apartment next door, converted into a Japanese cocktail bar, BURI Lado B. 

8. Chui

A trendy haven for vegetarians in Buenos Aires, Chui is one of the hottest spots for a date or an afternoon with friends. The garden seating area opens into an industrial-chic space that used to be a former ironworks. Opened in 2019, it still remains a relevant name on the Buenos Aires food scene.

The menu incorporates mushrooms into traditional ethnic dishes like Vietnamese baos, Argentine milanesa or Italian gnocchi. As you walk through the restaurant, you can even view different varieties of mushrooms being grown.

One of Chui’s four business partners has ties to music venues, so musicians are regularly invited to perform. From 4pm – 6.45pm each day you can enjoy cocktails with a vinyl DJ spinning funk music.

If you reserve ahead of time, you can get a table online. Otherwise, line up for dinner at 7pm or go for lunch on a weekday. 

Recoleta Restaurants

9. Elena

Elena is an elegant steakhouse where you can never go wrong ordering classics. Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, it’s the only hotel restaurant that made the cut in the Latin American version of the World’s 50 best restaurants.

If you’re a fan of wagyu or dry-aged beef, this is the best restaurant in the Recoleta area. Try the 450g T-bone steak and a glass of A Lisa Malbec for a perfect pairing.

While the ambiance is casual, it’s a magnet for celebrities. Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been spotted dining in the private wine cellar.

10. Roux

Martin Rebaudino is a chef with a dream: one Michelin star. Born and raised in a rural town, he’s an unexpected choice to head a traditional restaurant with French airs. 

A dish from Roux, a traditional restaurant with French airs in Buenos Aires.
The artistic presentation of dishes at Roux truly is unrivaled – especially when paired with its exotic ingredients.

However, Rebaudino is faithful to his wild instincts when it comes to the menu. At Roux, you’ll find wild game and exotic ingredients such as llama, king crab, quail, venison, and Patagonian trout. The artistic plating alone is worthy of a Michelin star. 

If you prefer something light, try the yellow-fin tuna, or take your pick of the best cuts of beef.

Make a reservation online and you might end up rubbing elbows with royalty (like Maxima Zorrieguieta, the queen of the Netherlands).

Centro Restaurants

11. Parrilla Peña

The parrilla (or grill) is a sacred ritual for most Argentines. The impressive charcoal grill at Parrilla Peña is kept stoking hot 24/7. Packed by locals and savvy travelers, it’s open for both lunch and dinner.

There’s a local saying, bueno, bonito, barato, that denotes an Argentine’s seal of approval. At Parrilla Peña, an entire meal (empanadas, steak, fries, and bottle of wine) is about half the cost of a single steak at other parrillas in Palermo.

If you prefer your steak lean, order the lomo de bife, and add a side of mollejas (sweetbreads).

12. Tori-Tori

If you walk around Buenos Aires, you’ll notice there’s more than just steakhouses on every corner. In the 20th century, the city was a melting pot of immigrants. Waves of Japanese arrived after World War II, bringing with them traditional ways of cooking.

Tori-Tori is the first Japanese yakitori restaurant to open in Buenos Aires. The word yakitori means “bird on the grill”.

Be prepared to eat first, and ask questions later. Yakitori uses all the edible parts of the chicken, such as chicken tail, cartilage, liver, and quail eggs.

To reserve a table, send a message via WhatsApp: +54 911 6172-7151. Seated at the bar, you can get a front-row seat on the charcoal grill, which was imported from Japan. 

Chacarita Restaurants

13. Ácido

It’s easy to walk right by this restaurant located on the outskirts of Chacarita. Around 8pm, you can follow the line of Y2K-styled hipsters forming on the sidewalk. Inside, you’ll find nostalgic decor reminiscent of your grandparent’s basement. 

Ácido is the project of 25-year-old chef, Nicolas Tykocki. The name “Ácido” refers to one of the pillars of cooking that helps bring balance to a dish. 

The limited menu incorporates an eclectic blend of global cuisine, with weekly specials. If you don’t mind eating with your hands, order the ssam (Korean BBQ lettuce wraps).

14. Picaron

Picaron began as a lunchtime cantina and side-project for Maxi Rossi (former chef at Sacro). Rossi comes from a background in high-octane Michelin restaurants, so Picaron is a big change of pace for him.

The restaurant’s logo (a circus bear riding a tricycle) represents the almost ridiculous challenge of applying high-cuisine techniques to simple flavors. This balancing act must be working, as Picaron has already received a Michelin mention.

In a city where fresh seafood is hard to find- Picaron boasts raw oysters and razor clams on its menu of cold dishes. Plates are individual-sized, so order two to three per person.

Lunchtime is walk-ins only, but online reservations are required for dinner. 

15. Anchoita

Anchoita is my favorite restaurant in Buenos Aires. And it’s completely booked for the rest of 2024.

There’s a reason why it’s so difficult to get reservations at Anchoita. It seems like it has the recipe for success, with a sleek industrial decor, an impressive wine list, and a table with over 100 cheeses from every province.

Owner and chef, Enrique Piñeyro, has made it his mission to make a name for authentic Argentine cuisine. His menu highlights traditional dishes like locro, surubi (a fatty river fish), and mate cocido (a tea-like infusion).

But what draws so many people to Anchoita is its excellent price-quality. Unlike other Michelin-star restaurants, Piñeyro has kept prices accessible to the Argentine public.

Before you despair about chances of getting a table, line up starting at 6.30pm and you have a good shot at getting a seat at the bar.

16. Donnet

Donnet is one of the most interesting restaurant concepts in Buenos Aires. This mushroom-based restaurant will surprise even the most hardened carnivore.

Manuela Donnet, its namesake, is a leading researcher into culinary uses for mushrooms. Almost all the dishes on the menu feature girgolas, shiitakes, portobellos, and other exotic varieties – even the dessert! 

Donnet’s kitchen aims to be zero-waste, and seasonal. Her dedication to this philosophy was born as a reaction to an early stint working at McDonald’s, which pushed her to explore a vegan lifestyle. 

The eight-course tasting menu is highly recommended. You’ll get the full mushroom experience, from starter soup to portobello dessert.

Make reservations online or stroll in for an available table. The ambiance can get a bit raucous between the cumbia music pumped out of the kitchen, and the 1970s tiled walls. 

Villa Crespo Restaurants

17. Trescha

When we go out to eat, sometimes we expect to be surprised, entertained, or just filled with good food. Tomás Treschanski makes dining an intellectual exercise at Trescha, with “eating as an idea”

But that doesn’t make it boring. A dinner at the 10-seat chef’s table is an exciting journey with each of the 14 courses accompanied by a paper guidebook explaining that dish.

Upstairs you’ll find a scientific test kitchen, built to explore new techniques in fermentation and flavor extraction.

The cost of a pairing dinner (with international wines, or mocktails) is equivalent to what you’d expect for a restaurant with one Michelin star. However, Trescha is sure to gain a loyal clientele with its promise of constant culinary innovations. 

If you’re dining as a couple, you’ll need to reserve your spots a month in advance, but solo diners can snag a seat at either their 7pm or 10.15pm dinner shifts. 

Colegiales Restaurants

18. Anafe

Anafe started with humble beginnings in 2018 operating out of a converted one-bedroom apartment. The restaurant has since moved to a much larger location, with an open layout and architectural details.

Chefs Mica Najmanovich and Nicolas Arcucci have been inspired by their travels around the world. Nico brings a Mediterranean style to his dishes, whereas Mica is more a fan of Asian influences. 

To get a table inside, you must reserve online, as dinner reservations fill up quickly. Start off with the paté financier (filled with a peach chutney) as an appetizer and choose a few dishes to share, such as the arroz de calamar (served with blood sausage). 

19. Catalino

Dining at Catalino is more than a culinary experience. The restaurant is one of the few in Buenos Aires where all the food is pesticide-free, seasonal, and sourced from small producers. 

Perfect for date night, or a casual lunch, Catalino has plenty of charm. The building is a private home with a patio full of lush plants. Despite its limited menu, portions are surprisingly large.

You can’t go wrong with any of their vegetable dishes or exotic meats, like venison and wild boar.

Belgrano Restaurants

20. Corte Comedor

There are a few signs that Corte Comedor is not your traditional Argentine steakhouse. You’ll notice the decor is more neon lights than low-lit ambiance. That’s because Corte grew from a boutique butcher shop into one of the best steak experiences in Buenos Aires. 

As a foreigner, every time I’m invited to an asado I get overly excited about the chorizo and almost forget to save room for steak after. The trio of chorizos from Corte has me thinking about them to this day. Each one is prepared with a different herb or veggie (cumin, beetroot, or roasted red pepper).

For your main course, try something new with the ceja de ojo de bife (a flavorful and tender portion that wraps around the rib eye cut). Pair it with a Malbec wine from label Judas, by bodega Sottano. 

21. Neko Sushi

Neko Sushi (known for its fusion sushi takeaway) recently opened an omakase restaurant in Belgrano. The new location is a perfect spot to dress up and celebrate a special occasion. Servers are warm and attentive, and the decor is elegant.

Enjoy a glass of the house wine (made specially for the restaurant) with a wasabi ceviche as an appetizer and six-piece nigiri tasting. 

22. Orei Ramen

Orei Ramen has earned its spot as a favorite restaurant in the new Barrio Chino. This small ramen stand has no tables and chairs and is takeaway-only. Yet you’ll always find a line forming outside. 

Chef Roy Asato opened Orei (which means “gratitude” in Japanese) in 2020, during the middle of the pandemic.

You can choose from three styles of broth (chicken, pork, or veggie) from different regions of Japan with alkaline wheat noodles.

San Telmo Restaurants

23. Cafe San Juan

Leandro “Lele” Cristóbal first opened Cafe San Juan in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis. The concept was almost anti-gourmet and gained popularity with clientele looking for homemade flavors. 

The homemade flavors of Cafe San Juan has made it a must-visit restaurant in Buenos Aires.
The homemade flavors of Cafe San Juan’s dishes have made it a real hit in the city.

Come here to try authentic porteño dishes such as oxtail canalones and rabbit stew. Tables are easy to get at lunchtime, but the restaurant fills up at dinner. Fortunately, they have another location a few streets down.  

24. Caseros

Caseros was a dark horse selection as a Bib Gourmand Michelin restaurant. The name is a play on the word casero (“homey” in Spanish) and the street name Avenida Caseros. Its decor and menu is evocative of a countryside bistro. 

Staples of porteño cuisine can be found on the menu, such as grilled polenta and faina (a garbanzo flatbread commonly eaten on top of a slice of pizza). 

Choose from classic pasta dishes or opt for a Peruvian-fusion seafood stir fry with papas huancaína. 

Send a WhatsApp to: +54 911 3662-1659 to reserve a table.

Planning a trip to Buenos Aires? Use our guide to find the right time of year to visit Argentina. We also have itineraries for three or five days in the city.