Argentine Food to Try and Where to Find It in Buenos Aires

A wooden board with a red and white checkered paper holds four assorted empanadas, each with different fillings, placed on a wooden table.

Argentina is a food lover’s ideal destination for trying big steaks, cheesy pizzas, and yummy dulce de leche caramel spread. Argentine food will leave you with a desire to book your next trip to explore Argentina and its local cuisine.

The most famous foods in Argentina are delicious, high-quality meat and red wine. However, in Argentina, you will also find local cuisine heavily influenced by European cuisines. Italian traditions are especially strong. 

In this post, I will introduce you to some of the most popular Argentine foods—both the salty and the sweet ones! The post also includes my own personal recommendations on where to try traditional Argentine food in Buenos Aires. 

I lived in Argentina’s vibrant capital city for seven years. During that time, I have tried many different places, and here I bring you the best local places to try Argentine food.

A collage of Argentine foods including empanadas, alfajores, and more, with a man grilling meat. Text in the center reads "The Best Argentine Foods.

    

Have You Ever Tried Food in Buenos Aires

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The Best Salty Argentine Food to Try

If you’re a fan of savory flavors, then you’re in for a treat, because Argentinian cuisine offers a delightful array of salty dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Here are some of the best savory Argentine foods you simply must try in Buenos Aires.

A man wearing a hat and vest grills sausages and large cuts of meat at an outdoor barbecue, surrounded by people.
Photo Credit: Becci Abroad.

Asado

We cannot talk about Argentinian food without talking about Argentine meat and Argentine barbecue! Barbecue is called asado in Argentina, and it’s an essential part of Argentine culture. 

Argentine asado differs from how you might be used to barbecue in the US or Europe. Argentine barbecue features bigger pieces of meat on an iron grill, and the cooking takes a longer time. The grill for Argentine asado is called parrilla in Argentine Spanish. 

In Argentina, the preparation of the asado is a cultural ritual. When someone invites you over for an asado, you are included in the meat’s preparation because the act of barbecuing is part of the social gathering. The main purpose is to be able to eat the meat fresh from the grill. 

The locals also go to restaurants or Argentinian barbecue places called parrillas to eat asado. On weekends in Buenos Aires, many families meet at local restaurants to share an asado. If you want to learn how to prepare a traditional Argentine home-cooked asado, Asado Adventure is a boutique tour provider offering asado cooking classes.

Local Places to Try Argentine Asado in Buenos Aires

The most popular place to try asado in Buenos Aires, which you will find mentioned in every guide, is Don Julio. However, the place is getting very touristy and expensive. 

Instead, go local and try Parrilla lo de Charly in Villa Urquiza (Avenida Álvarez Thomas 2101)! The restaurant is open 24-hours a day and offers great meat and an authentic local feeling. The neighborhood of Villa Urquiza and the parrilla is a true gem hidden in Buenos Aires

Another popular place to try this famous Argentine food is Fogón Asado in Palermo (Uriarte 1423). Fugón offers a high-end tasting menu where you get to try different cuts of traditional Argentine asado.

A plate with four baked empanadas on a white napkin.
Photo Credit: Becci Abroad.

Empanadas

Empanadas are one of the most traditional dishes from Argentina. Made from a bread dough with a filling, empanadas are one of Argentina’s most popular fast foods. Throughout Argentina, you will find empanadas. Locals have an ongoing discussion about which region has the best empanadas. The northern regions of Salta, Jujuy, and Tucuman tend to win the Argentinian empanada battle.

Empanadas in Argentina can be fried in oil or baked in the oven. Compared to other countries in Latin America and South America, the most common cooking method for empanadas in Argentina is baking. Expect a wide variety of ingredients when it comes to empanada fillings. The most traditional options of Argentine empanadas are:

  • Jamón y queso (ham and cheese),
  • Carne picante (spicy meat),
  • Carne suave (not-spicy meat), 
  • Carne cortada a cuchillo (meat chopped by knife),
  • Choclo (fresh corn), and
  • Hummita (corn paste).

However, each empanada shop in Argentina has its own take on what type of filling is offered. 

Local Places to Try Empanadas in Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, you will find empanada shops on almost every corner. Nevertheless, the quality of the empanadas varies a lot. If you want to try really good empanadas in Buenos Aires, my go-to place is Mi Gusto in Palermo (Avenida Coronel Niceto Vega 5795). 

At Mi Gusto, they have all the traditional empanada flavors such as ham and cheese, meat, corn, and more. But they also have a lot of untraditional flavors. Don’t miss out on vacio y provoleta! Vacio is a specific cut from the traditional Argentine barbecue and provoleta is the Argentinian version of provolone cheese that the Argentines barbecue together with the meat for their asado.

Four different slices of pizza with various toppings, arranged on a gray surface. There are three potato wedges in the upper left corner.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Pizza

The food culture in Argentina has a heavy Italian influence, and that’s why pizza is another very popular Argentinian food. Beginning in the late 19th century, Argentina experienced considerable European immigration, especially from Italy. The impact of Italian immigrants on Argentine culture today is reflected both in the local Argentine slang and in its cuisine. 

Argentine pizza is characterized by having way more cheese and a thicker dough than its Italian counterpart. You can find pizza places in most Argentine cities. The quality of the pizza varies quite a lot from one place to another.

Local Places to Try Pizza in Buenos Aires

A Buenos Aires classic for trying Argentine-style pizza is Pizzería Güerrín in downtown Buenos Aires (Avenida Corrientes 1368). Pizzería Güerrín is a traditional pizza place where you can get pizza by the slide. Here, locals normally stand eating their pizza slices before heading out to continue their day. 

The pizzaría is located a stone’s throw from the popular landmark El Obelisco, right at the intersection of Corrientes Avenue and Avenue 9th of July. So, Pizzería Güerrín is an easy stop for lunch while sightseeing in Buenos Aires.

A breaded and fried piece of meat topped with melted cheese, olives, and tomato sauce, served with a side of French fries on a wooden board, with a knife and fork placed beside them.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Milanesa

Milanesa is classic everyday Argentine food. It is a thin chicken or beef filet covered in breadcrumbs and either fried or baked. The milanesas you get at the local restaurants are normally fired, while Argentines at home tend to cook the milanesas in the oven. As with several other delicious food options in Argentina, the milanesa is originally Italian. Over time, the Argentines have embraced milanesa, and it has become a popular dish in Argentina.

Local Places to Try Milanesa in Buenos Aires

You can find milanesa on the menu in almost all local restaurants in Buenos Aires. One of the most popular places to try milanesa in Buenos Aires is at Club de la Milanesa. As the name indicates, it is a restaurant chain dedicated to making milanesas.

The Best Sweet Argentine Food to Try

If you have a sweet tooth, Argentina is ready to spoil you with its delicious desserts. Here are some of the sweetest treats to indulge in when visiting Buenos Aires.

A wooden sign with a decorative border reads "Licor de Dulce de Leche Artesanal" and "Dulce de Leche Artesanal." It's hanging outside a building with potted plants.
Photo Credit: Becci Abroad.

Dulce de Leche

The most popular Argentinian dessert is dulce de leche! Dulce de leche is a traditional Argentine caramel spread, made from slow cooking milk, sugar, and vanilla. Directly translated, dulce de leche means “the sweet of milk.” 

Argentines are fanatic about their dulce de leche, and the caramel sauce is a favorite ingredient in almost all desserts in Argentina. In any local coffee shop or bakery, you will see everything from medialunas (Argentine-style croissants) to cakes and brownies with dulce de leche. 

Local Places to Try Dulce de Leche in Buenos Aires

The best way to try dulce de leche in Buenos Aires is to buy a jar at a local supermarket. Most dulce de leche brands in Argentina have two types: the typical one for spreading on a piece of bread and the one for baking, called  “repostería.” You will want to avoid the  “repostería” dulce leche and go for the common one. 

There are many different brands of dulce de leche. One famous brand for trying popular sweet Argentine food is Havana. It is a local brand from the city of Mar de la Plata on the Argentine Atlantic Coast that has experienced great local and international success. The chain has cafées and stores all over Buenos Aires, where you can buy a jar of good-quality dulce de leche.

A few cookie sandwiches with one partially eaten, surrounded by shredded coconut and wooden spoons containing shredded coconut and caramel spread, all set on a rustic wooden surface.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Alfajor

Alfajor is another popular dessert that cannot be overlooked when discussing food in Argentina! An alfajor is two cookies with a filling in the middle. Sometimes, the alfajor is dipped in chocolate or dusted with powdered sugar.

The most traditional style of alfajor in Argentina is called alfajor de maicena. This Argentine dessert is made with two small cookies made of maicena, or cornstarch. In the middle between the two cookies is a thick layer of dulce de leche. Finally, the alfajor is rolled in coconut flakes that stick to the dulce de leche.

You can find many variations of alfajores in Argentina. The cookie dough can be made of a more brownie-style dough. The filling can be with fruit jam or chocolate cream. However, an absolute classic is still to have the filling of the alfajor with dulce de leche. 

Local Places to Try Alfajor in Buenos Aires

You can find a wide variety of alfajores in any local supermarket in Buenos Aires. However, it is also worth trying a homemade alfajor in a local coffee shop. One of my favorite versions of Argentine alfajores is Havana’s alfajor with 70% cacao. In Buenos Aires, you can find it in any of the many Havana cafées in the city.

A cup of ice cream labeled "helados Occo" with a blue spoon inserted, placed on a wooden table in a sunlit room.
Photo Credit: Becci Abroad.

Ice cream

Ice cream is another Argentine food you’ll really want to try—Argentine ice cream is seriously good! In many ice cream stores in Argentina, you will see that ice cream is sold not only in a cup or cone but also by the kilo. For locals, it is very common to go to the ice cream store and order a quarter of a kilo, half a kilo, or one kilo of different flavors of ice cream.

Dulce de leche has also taken over the ice cream market in Argentina. Every ice cream shop in Argentina has, at least, a few different options on dulce de leche ice cream: a plain one, an option with chocolate chips, or one with brownie bits. Honestly, only the imagination sets the limits to the flavors of dulce de leche ice cream you can find in Argentina!

Local Places to Try Ice Cream in Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, there are many great places to try Argentine ice cream. Here are three of my favorite places:

  • Freddo is the most popular ice cream chain in Argentina. You will find at least a couple of Freddo’s in each neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The quality is good and it is a safe choice if you want to try Argentine ice cream.
  • Lucciano’s is another great option for trying Argentine ice cream. The ice cream is delicious and they also have ice cream sticks with cute motives if you are traveling with kids. 
  • Rapanui is a local Argentine brand from Bariloche that makes chocolate and homemade ice cream. Be sure also to try their Franui, a jar of frozen raspberries covered with chocolate.
A bakery display showing trays of assorted pastries, including cherry-topped danishes, powdered sugar-covered donuts, and pastries drizzled with chocolate and icing.
Photo Credit: Becci Abroad.

Facturas and Medialunas

Facturas is the Spanish word used in Argentina for a wide variety of traditional Argentinian pastries. You can find facturas in every local bakery in Argentina, and it is definitely worth trying some of these sweet Argentine foods. Facturas are especially popular foods for breakfast and afternoon snack, merienda, in Argentina.

Part of the facturas group is medialunas. The medialunas are the Argentine food’s version of French croissants. In Argentina, there are two types of medialunas: the medialuna de manteca and the medialuna de grasa. The medialuna de manteca,  or with butter, is sweet, has a heavier dough and is a bit shorter in size than croissants. The medialuna de grasa, or with grease, is more salty, thinner and more compact than both the croissant and the medialuna de manteca.

The medialunas de mantecas are the most popular sweet Argentine food. In bakeries and traditional Argentine coffee shops, you will also find them cut open in the middle like small sandwiches and filled with either dulce de leche or ham and cheese.

Local Places to Try Facturas and Medialuna in Buenos Aires

The best local places to try facturas and medialuna are in any of the traditional Argentine coffee shops and cafes. One of the best bakeries in Buenos Aires to try facturas and medialunas is Santa Paula in Recoleta (Avenida Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 3154).

Are You Ready to Try the Best Argentine Food?

Food in Argentina is perfect for everyone who loves to try yummy local cuisine when traveling. Argentine food will definitely add some calories to your diet, but who cares when you are in an amazing country with plenty of opportunities to burn off calories by wandering around beautiful Buenos Aires or hiking the majestic mountains of Patagonia?

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Rebecca Hoffman

Rebecca is a long-term Danish expat sharing her insights on travel and life abroad on Becci Abroad. She has spent over a decade abroad in diverse destinations, from Cuba and Spain to Sweden and Argentina. Her mission is to inspire you to embark on your own global adventure! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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2 thoughts on “Argentine Food to Try and Where to Find It in Buenos Aires”

  1. My neighbor is from Buenos Aries, and occasionally, she shares some of her food with us, and it is always amazing. I loved reading the article to learn more about Argentine food.

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