Buenos Aires Restaurant Tips by Bwana_Brown

Buenos Aires Restaurants: 730 reviews and 751 photos

Our First Look at WHAM ! - Buenos Aires

Our First Look at WHAM !

WHAM !: It Was Close At Hand!

It had been a long trip from eastern Canada to Buenos Aires! Our final flight segment lifted off from Atlanta, Georgia at 11 PM (Argentina time) and we landed at 8:30 AM. By the time we cleared customs, arranged transport into the city and then delivery to our hotel it was already 11 AM. After getting that sorted out and cleaned up a bit, we finally made it onto the streets of BA. It was now pushing 1 PM and we were getting very hungry!

Favorite Dish: In the immediate area of the hotel, no restaurants stood out as very enticing places to enter. There was a Burger King and a McDonald's down the street, but I did not fly 7000 miles to eat at one of those!

After spotting WHAM, we had a look inside as we walked past it's large windows, and it seemed to be catering to an ordinary lunch time crowd. OK, we decided, let's go in and try our luck with our first Argentinian meal !

Address: Sarmiento 1699

Directions: About 4 blocks from Plaza Congreso on Av. Sarmiento.

Rating: 0

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 21, 2010
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Main Bar - We Were Seated Behind the Cash Register - Buenos Aires

Main Bar - We Were Seated Behind the Cash Register

Plaza Dorrego Bar: Amazing Ambience

When you enter the Bar, the atmosphere of the place really strikes home. The seating area is not all that large, fitting in a U-shape around the large central bar. The decor is very dark wood, with both the walls and tables marked up over the years by carved graffiti, even though this part of Buenos Aires is a 'protected' historical area. Small tables are scattered about the room, with those along the walls equipped with small lamps attached to the walls. Speaking of the walls, they go a long way up - to the very high ceiling so essential for proper cooling in a hot and humid climate like like that of Buenos Aires. Old ceiling fans spin slowly and the walls are covered with mirrors, old photos of personalities, racks of old bottles and various mechanical contraptions.

Favorite Dish: It was not yet busy when we entered, so we selected a window seat and ordered a couple of beers, which came with a delicious plate of peanuts in the shell, while we looked the menu over (see next Tip).

Rating: 0

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 15, 2006
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The La Americana Restaurant - Buenos Aires

The La Americana Restaurant

La Americana: A Buenos Aires Favourite

After a very full day of walking to the downtown area in the heat, followed by an afternoon in the Recoleta district, we were not in the mood for a big restaurant meal - we meant to go to an evening Tango show anyway. Looking for something simple and close-by, we consulted our Loney Planet guide book. Lo and behold, it mentioned La Americana as a good spot for some of the local take-away food, called 'empanadas'. I remembered walking past this restaurant only two blocks down Callao from our hotel!

Favorite Dish: La Americana specializes in empanadas and pizzas. You can order to either eat in the restaurant or get something 'to go'. The procedure is to get in line for the cash counter to order your selection, pay-up and receive a slip with your order on it. Then, approach one of the main food counters where someone will take your ticket and whip your food off the shelves behind (something like in a doughnut shop).

We did not know what we were doing and went directly to the food counters. Luckily, one of the older guys there took pity on us and processed our order anyway! (see next Tip)

Address: Callao 83

Comparison: least expensive

Directions: One block from Plaza Congreso on Av. Callao

Phone: 4371-0202

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 21, 2005
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The Hamburger has Arrived at Our Table - Buenos Aires

The Hamburger has Arrived at Our Table

Plaza Dorrego Bar: Time for a Hamburger

We were surprised that their menu also came in English, making our meal decision a great deal easier. I had yet to have an Argentinian hamburger, so this was my last best chance to sample their beef in this form!

The menu was very helpful in this regard, because there is a bit of a trick to ordering a hamburger. You can either order the beef patty by itself or the 'hamburguesa completa' which means you also get a bun. Finally, for another A$1.50 you can order the cheese, tomatoe and lettuce to go with it.

Favorite Dish: I decided to go for the full meal which, when it came, also included a slice of ham, a boiled egg and an olive! Because of the peanuts we had been snacking, Sue decided to keep things down to a dull roar with a delicious toasted cheese, lettuce and tomatoe sandwich that was pressed very thin.

Because we were in no big rush, and intermittent showers were falling outside, we lingered here a bit over another round of drinks as we enjoyed the atmosphere. By the time we left at just past 1 PM, the bar was fast filling up and I, in fact, had to try hard to catch the waiter's eye to pay our bill. The total cost of our meal plus three beers and two glasses of wine was A$31 (US$11 including the tip).

Comparison: about average

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Pub/Brewery

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 14, 2005
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Sidewalk Level Plaza Dorrego Bar - Buenos Aires

Sidewalk Level Plaza Dorrego Bar

Plaza Dorrego Bar: An Argentinian Pub !

Our first foray into the San Telmo district had taken place after our 47-block walk on a hot and sunny day on our first full day in Buenos Aires. Now, almost two weeks later we returned on our final day in the country before we flew out that evening. Knowing that we had not properly explored this part of the city the first time around, this time we took a taxi from our hotel and asked to be deposited in the heart of the area, at Plaza Dorrego. We had had a late night out at Cafe Tortoni, so it was almost lunch time when the taxi dropped us off, right beside the Plaza Dorrego Bar as it turned out!

Favorite Dish: We had been looking for a nice Argentinian pub/bar with some character to it. One look through the large windows of this bar told us that this place had the atmosphere we were looking for (it even provides sidewalk seating on Sundays when the sun is out). We were not wrong, as we found out when went in a picked ourselves a table! (see next Tip)

Address: Calle (Street) Defensa 1098

Directions: On the edge of Dorrego Plaza in San Telmo district

Phone: 11/4361-0141

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 14, 2005
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Our Corner of the Japanese Gardens Restaurant - Buenos Aires

Our Corner of the Japanese Gardens Restaurant

Jardin Japones Restaurant: In the Japanese Gardens

The day before we were due to fly out of BA for Iguazu Falls, we went on another long exploration of the city. This time we took the subway system to the Palermo district and then enjoyed a long walk through the interlinked parklands in this part of Buenos Aires. It was another hot and humid day, with odd rain showers, so we were ready for some relaxation by 1:30 PM when we reached the Japanese Gardens. Fortunately, they have an excellent air-conditioned restaurant with very relaxing Japanese-style music playing in the background. We decided that this was a great time for some lunch.

Favorite Dish: The menu naturally carried a number of Japanese sushi dishes, but it also had the usual standbys as well. Sue and I each had their Ham, Cheese and Mayo Sandwiches in Crusty buns (A$6.50 each), with one side-order of French Fries (A$4). To slake our thirst from the long walk, I went with a 750 ml bottle of Quilmes beer (A$6) and Sue had a glass of white wine for the same price. There was also a small bowl of peanuts to nibble on while we waited for our order to arrive. The total cost of the meal was US$10.

It was while we were sitting here that we struck up a conversaion with an elderly American gentleman sitting by himself at an adjoining table. The conversation drifted to Tango dancing, eventually leading us to take his advice to attend a Tango musical show later that evening (see Nightlife tips).

Address: Av. A. Berro 2966, at the river end of the Zoo

Comparison: about average

Directions: On the river side of the wide Av. Pte. Figueroa Alcorta and about half-way between Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and the Retiro Railway station.

Other Contact: information@jardinjapones.com

Phone: 4804-9141

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Japanese/Sushi

Website: http://www.jardinjapones.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 14, 2005
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A Treat of Argentinian Empanadas & Wine - Buenos Aires

A Treat of Argentinian Empanadas & Wine

La Americana: Empanadas

Empanadas are tasty pastry turnovers that can be stuffed with any number of ingrediants. The most common of these are pollo (chicken), carne (beef), ham, cheese, boiled eggs, olives or just plain old vegetables.

The pastry is cooked either by baking it (horno) or you can go with the heavier fried version (fritas). We stuck with horno when we ordered these delightful little treats at various stages of our Argentine journey.

Favorite Dish: For our in-room meal, we ordered a mixture of ham & cheese, chicken and meat (piquant) empanadas, washed down with some of great Argentine wines that we had earlier bought at the local supermarket. We determined that we seemed to prefer the juicy meat empanadas, and usually ordered them later in the trip (something quick at an airport restaurant while waiting for our flight departure).

Comparison: least expensive

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 13, 2005
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The Waiter's Reflection - Buenos Aires

The Waiter's Reflection

Don Ernesto Parrilla al Carbon: A Welcome Oasis

The morning of our first full day in Buenos Aires saw us off on a major walking expedition to see the downtown sights. We hit the sidewalks at 9:30 AM and it was sunny and already 27 degrees C (almost 80 F). By the time we had taken in the Obelisk, Florida Street, Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada it was 33 degrees and almost noon.

We decided to keep on walking to the historic San Telmo district where we hoped we could find a restaurant with some ambiance. Winding our way through the old streets, we noticed them becoming empty of people as the sun beat down and it was Siesta time. Finally, 47 city blocks after setting out from our hotel, we spotted a restaurant crier on a street corner in San Telmo! He was not long ushering us into the Don Ernesto restaurant ('any port in a storm' as they say)!

Favorite Dish: This restaurant has a nice decour and, more importantly, nice air conditioning! It was not very busy, so we opted to go to an upstairs section with an internal balcony that overlooks the lower level. Our very friendly waiter, from Romania, quickly served up some cold beers to get us back on track while we looked the menu over. His English was minimal but the menu had a small English section which helped us in our final decisions: Sue had their Tenderloin steak with salad while I decided to try the Garlic Shrimp with rice. The steak was OK as were my shrimp, although they were a bit tough. Not one of our best meals, but it was very nice hour and a half relaxing in the coolness. By the time we left, it was really starting to fill up.

Total cost of the food plus a few beers was A$45 (US$15).

Address: Carlos Calvo 375

Comparison: about average

Directions: San Telmo district

Phone: 4307-6927

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 3

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 13, 2005
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Our Waitress Obliges - Buenos Aires

Our Waitress Obliges

WHAM !: Our First Meal in BA

Once inside WHAM, we found ourselves a window table so we could enjoy the sights of everyday street life in Buenos Aires. The young waitress came over and was very helpful in pointing out what was what on their menu, even though her English was quite basic.

Favorite Dish: We really enjoyed our cold Quilmes beers during the short wait before our order arrived. Sue had decided to keep it simple and went with our old stand-by from Portugal - a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. I figured there was no better time to get into the local stuff, so I ordered a 'parilla' fried chicken breast which came with a wedge of lemon and a slice of tomato. The french fries were a bit cool but overall, we were quite happy with our food and cold beers on such short notice. The total cost including three beers was A$26.50 (US$9).

Comparison: about average

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 3

Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 13, 2005
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