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Top 6 Restaurants In Buenos Aires For Dinner – And 1 To Avoid

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2 months ago

Argentina has made our list of best places to travel in 2024, and one of the reasons is because Buenos Aires’s food scene is constantly innovating so that means the best restaurants in Buenos Aires are a moving target as well.

One of the things that Porteños (which is how Buenos Aires locals refer to themselves – it means “people of the port” stemming from European settlement days) pride themselves on is fusion foods, so Buenos Aires has become a city of amazing fusion foods.

Mural reading Are You Talking To Me? In Palermo Buenos Aires
Even some of the best restaurants in Argentina can be hidden behind peculiar murals

We’ve rounded up the best restaurants in Buenos Aires right now. One of these even holds a place on our list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires, but they also make incredible non-vegetarian food, earning it a place on this as well. And make sure you try the best of Argentinian alfajores while you’re in Buenos Aires!

6. Sarkis

Sarkis serves up Armenian fare in the heart of Villa Crespo which competes with Palermo for my favorite neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The atmosphere is lively, portions are generous, and it’s very budget-friendly.

Sarkis has earned a reputation for itself as one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires so you’ll find that it is usually very busy. We suggest arriving at least 30 minutes before Sarkis opens if you want to be seated straightaway – or prepare to wait for more than an hour for a seat!

Armenian food at Sarkis in Buenos Aires one of the best restaurants n Buenos Aires
Armenian is amazing at the best of times, but combined with Argentinian flavors like this beef delicacy served in vegetable broth, it’s extra special (Source: Sarkis)

Make sure to try their sucuk a la parrilla if it’s available. Sarkis has very successfully combined traditional Armenian sausage with traditional Argentinian cooking methods for a wonderful flavor combination.

As an aside, you’ll notice a lot of references to the Armenian people in Buenos Aires, including the Armenian Immigrants Square in Palermo. The Armenian community in Buenos Aires is one of the largest Armenian diasporas in the world and fled to Argentina during the Armenian Genocide. A lot of these Armenians trace their roots back to modern-day Syria and Lebanon.

Palermo Saturday markets
The Palermo Saturday Markets are a top thing to do in Buenos Aires

5. La Alcacena

It’s no surprise that Italian food in Argentina is considered some of the best in the world owing to the large Italian immigrant population in the country. There’s no better place to try the best of Italian food in Buenos Aires than La Alcacena. We are very confident that La Alcacena would hold on its own against any of the best restaurants in Italy.

The Sicilian pork with fresh garganelli pasta was very much something to write home about, but you can’t go wrong with any of their pastas. We also loved the eggplant parmesan (it seemed most tables had it when we were there).

The chefs at La Alcacena clearly enjoy creatively interpreting Italian classics, so you can expect some special flavors. The restaurant is located on a fairly busy corner of Palermo, so expect some noise if you plan to sit out on the terrace.

4. Dada Bistró

This is an excellent restaurant and bar where all corners and classes of the city come together. On any given night, you could find yourself drinking red wine and eating steak shoulder to shoulder with the Argentinian Minister for Agriculture, and a group of theatre actors just having finished their performance on your other side.

Inside of Dado Bistro in Buenos Aires one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires
The vibe at Dado is unmatched (even on the weekdays)

Dada really is a magnificent slice of Porteño life and is heaving at all times of day. If we were to call any of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires a hidden gem, Dado Bistró would be it. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with the floor-to-ceiling maximalist art covering the walls, the French and Spanish tunes, and creative use of mirrors.

Local tip: This is place you’ll want to bust out your Spanish. Dada usually has a few tapas items that aren’t on their menu which you’ll need to ask about.

There is nowhere that captures the Buenos Aires lifestyle quite as well as Dada. Soak up the vibe, enjoy the delicious tapas – and it’s all very friendly on the wallet.

3. Niño Gordo

Niño Gordo has made our list of top vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires and this top restaurants in Buenos Aires generally. As Daniel describes it, Niño Gordo is more than simply a pan-Asian restaurant, but a true dining experience.

Bar at Nino Gordo in Buenos Aires
The bar at Niño Gordo is a different vibe to the other spaces in the restaurant

The restaurant is split into the lantern hall, the octopus hall, the bar and the front patio, each of which carries a unique atmosphere. No matter where you sit, you’ll want to get the katsusando which is a special experience in that it combines the traditional Japanese white milk bread with local Argentinian beef and spices.

Katsusando with Argentinian beef at Nino Gordo one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires
The very, very tasty katsusando

Local tip: If you can’t get a reservation in advance, stop by the restaurant in the afternoon. The staff are incredibly helpful and will try their best to find you a table.

Niño Gordo also holds a place in the top 100 restaurants in Latin America so it’s quite popular. It’s easy to see why, with its diversity of flavors and unmatched vibe.

2. Na Num

On Google Maps, you’ll see Na Num (mis)labelled as a Korean restaurant, but you’d better look elsewhere if you’re looking for Korean food. Na Num has invented a whole new fusion Korean-Argentine cuisine which, I dare say, can’t be found anywhere else. Na Num would win the award for the cheer creativity of its dishes, earning it a spot on our top restaurants in Buenos Aires.

The standout dish is the mussels ceviche which combines a kimchi-based broth, toasted seaweed and sesame oil into what is otherwise a very Latin American dish. It truly is lick-the-plate-clean delicious and is what I would consider to be the height of creative, fusion food, wherein people from both food cultures could easily recognize flavors of their own food.

The best of both worlds: Na Num (Source: Na Num)

Na Num is an experimental vision of the head chef, Lis Ra, who did not want to stick strictly to the two cuisines but rather create something innovative which takes the best of the flavors of both cuisines. And for that, Na Num has certainly succeeded.

1. Anafe

Anafe is consistently one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires, as rated by every person that I’ve recommended it to. The experience is incredibly refined without feeling stuffy (think white table cloth but sharing plates). They’ve perfected the balance of flavors, textures and presentation, and the service is pleasant and warm.

The problem with Anafe is that, if you dine at Anafe before you go elsewhere, it will become your benchmark for good food in Buenos Aires – and most everything pales in comparison. If you’re looking for the best restaurant in Argentina, Anafe is the unequivocal winner.

The arroz de calamar at Anafe is beautifully done (Source: Anafe)

Travel tip: Anafe is best for dinner but also does brunch (which can be an amazing experience in the summer when you can sit outside)

Make sure to leave room for dessert. Nobody should leave Anafe without trying the Copa Sambayon which is one of the best desserts that we tried in Argentina.

And one to avoid…

Don Julio is one of those restaurants that was likely absolutely incredible when it was selected as part of the World’s Top 101 Steakhouses. Unfortunately, the fame seems to have got to them, and it shows in both the quality of service and the food.

To be clear, neither the food nor the service was bad: it just wasn’t anything more than average, especially with the price considered. You shouldn’t need to ask for water four times, and then become visibly upset on the fifth ask for them to finally bring water.

Don Julio is, first and foremost, a steakhouse

I firmly believe that a restaurant has to work even harder to keep its good name once they’ve earned it, but at least for us, Don Julio failed to live up to expectations.

Compounding this, it’s incredibly difficult to get a table, and the price borders on unjustifiable given that you can definitely get an overall better experience at other parillas in town. If you do want to go, make sure you book at least two months in advance.

The tomato counter at Don Julio (Source: Don Julio Parrilla)

One thing I will say is that the Don Julio is beautifully decorated and presented. The tomato motif is present in all aspects, from the wall decorations to the first plate that arrives at your table. It’s a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon in Palermo.

There is also quite a buzz in and around the restaurant because it has always been known as one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires. But if what you’re after is quality steak at an amazing price, you’re better off at La Escondida.

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