Buenos Aires - a 24-hour feast

Take a look at how to squeeze Buenos Aires' many delectable treats into a gut-busting 24 hours with our tips on eating in Argentina's capital. From the best steak of your life to the snacks for the sweetest of sweet tooths, BA is a city that packs in the treats. We get the most out of it with loads of fabulous trips that take in tango town - take a look at one of our favourites, Brazil & Argentina Discovered.

A great walking city, a place of poetry and passionate expression, sport-mad and dance-crazy, another of Buenos Aires' many joys is its cuisine, a distillation of its multicultural mosaic and Argentina's fertile pampas. Its delicacies are many, so here's a little help to make sure you work through its highlights. 

 

Breakfast

Buenos Aireshas already made our shortlist for cities that brew up some of the world's best coffees, but that's just the start of the pleasures of breakfast here. Make sure your cortado comes with a liberal supply of medialuna- small croissants (hence the name) often finished off with a sweet glaze. In case that wasn't enough of a sugar-kick to start your day, a smothering of dulce de leche should see you right. The sticky caramel sauce is a national treasure, eaten at any time of day, and it's virtually mandatory for any visitor to the city to devour it in regrettably large quantities. Whether you're among the big sights of the city centre, Recoleta's Parisian elegance or Palermo's cobbled backstreets, a leisurely brekkie at a pavement cafe gets you to the heart of why BA is such a liveable, loveable place: equal measures sociable and relaxed, with a fine-tuned sense of easy indulgence. 

 

Lunch

You could make a beeline straight for steak, and once you've wolfed down some of the local carne, living up to all the cut-with-a-spoon, melt-in-your-mouth cliches, it's certainly tempting. But there are plenty of alternatives worth exploring that flaunt the city's rich internationalism. Downtown has a good line in pizzerias - boisterous, standing-room-only affairs where you queue up and order a couple of slices, then jostle for elbow room among the workers and locals tucking in. Look out for slices with faina, a flatbread made from chickpea flour.

Another favourite is the ubiquituous choripan. Argentina's answer to the hot dog is simplicity itself: crusty bread, chorizo, most likely topped with a lathering of the herby, vinegary condiment, chimmichurri. Perfect, tasty grab-and-go street food.  This is a city with a seriously sweet tooth, so it would be rude not to do as the locals do and make sure lunch is rounded off with some dessert. A good bet is alfajores, a confection with Arabic roots, brought to South America by the Spanish but which nowadays seems as Argentinian as tango. Two biscuits, often flavoured with cinnamon and almond, are held together, perhaps unsurprisingly, with a filling of dulce de leche or jam. THe occasional chocolate coating can finish the treat off nicely.

 

Dinner

Perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind when heading out for dinner in Buenos Aires is timing. Head to a restaurant anytime before 10pm and you risk arriving before the chef does - the city likes to dine late. An emergency supply of alfajores should stave off hunger until it's time to head out, and when you do, the steak here is simply unmissable. Vegetarians and pescatarians are both pretty well catered for, but it's carnivores who will get most from BA's dining options. An asado is a great way to sample the local wares: many different cuts of meat grilled over a charcoal or wood-fired grill, with little in the way of sauces. This is honest, unfussy cooking that allows quality ingredients to speak for themselves. As well as steak, expect your asado to come with black pudding (morcilla), sweetbreads (mollejas) and chitterlings (chinculines), as well as more straightfoward fare such as chicken, pork and, if you're lucky, Patagonian lamb. An enormous dish, made for serving - you'll be surprised by how much you'll manage, especially when it's washed down with an excellent Malbec or some Quilmes beer. 

To follow, a must is ice cream, and you could do a lot worse than rounding off the culinary day as you started it, plumping for dulce de leche flavour. Ridiculously moreish, and with enough of a late-night sugar jolt to keep you moving on the tango dance floor until the early hours.

Read about about feasting at Boma Restaurant, Victoria Falls

See our full list tours to Argentina.

 

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