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Best steak in Buenos Aires?

I will be in Buenos Aires next week and can't wait to eat some amazing meat. Where must I go? Thanks.

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  1. You must and i mean must...try the Ojo de Bife in 647 Dinner Club. I was really surprised to discover that the best meat in the city was not to be found in one of the highly touted Parilla's. 647 looks great which in my experience means at best average food...and at times terrible food. I only found 647 through an Argentine friend who gave me the recomendation, the concierge in my Hotel kept trying to send me to places that could only be described as tourist traps. My last night was spent eating the best steak of my life and i am not exagerating...so try and let me know on the blog how it was.

    1. I personally LOVED a restaurant called La Cabrera in Palermo Soho. It's been written up in the New York Times too.

      I ordered the the bifo de lomo with pepper concasse....so tender and delicious! Highly recommended.

      1. I second the recommendation of La Cabrera. It's one of my favorite meals ever, and I've had a lot of meals in a lot of places. The food was excellent. I'd had steak for lunch so I had rabbit for dinner and my husband had steak. The meals are all served with wonderful little bowls of veggies and starches, almost like tapas. I think there must have been 8 or 10 of them.

        I also like that it let us check out another neighborhood. We had a late dinner so were really tired but the nightlife seemed to be really excellent. The place also seemed to have very few tourists, which is also nice. Also nice is that we really chowed down for around US$60 if I'm remembering correctly.

        We also ate at Cabana Las Lilas, which is a bit of a tourst mecca. I was underwhelmed (surprise, surprise) but it definitely wasn't bad.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mandyjmoore

          I'm glad to see someone agree with my recommendation! :)

          1. re: mandyjmoore

            I'll third the recommendation. The black sausage with dates and walnuts was amazing. By the way, servings of meat are really large here, you might want to split an order.

            1. re: mandyjmoore

              I ate at La Cabrera 2 years ago and it blew my mind. The service was amazing. We were a group of 6 and there was an extended wait, so the manager came around with a bowl FULL of freshly grilled and slized chorizo. We're talking 4-5 pounds of sausage for the maybe 12 people waiting. The food (beef, black sausage, chorizo, meat..meat..meat..) was delicious, and I wish I could recall all of the sides that came with the steak.
              I second the giant portion comment in the city. My girlfriend and I could have easily shared each and every steak meal we ate in Buenos Aires, and I have no problem eating large meals.
              Can't wait to go back some day.

            2. The wonderful thing about the city is that - all the steak is great and it's so inexpensive that you can order it anywhere and be pleasantly (or not) surprised. Some of the steaks at little cafes we ate at were terrific. One thing I found out was that the potatoes are marvelous, their french fries are awesome.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bronwen

                My wife and I are serious carnivores, but we must be about the only people in the universe who are not enamored of Argentine beef. We spent five weeks in the spring in Argentina and Paraguay, with more than a week in Buenos Aires. We had a few good steaks, yes, but most were tough, gristly and vastly overcooked, even though we ordered them rare. A major part of the problem was a countrywide farmers' strike that cut off the flow of beef to the cities. It We often ended up ordering seafood, the best of which was at a small restaurant south of Mendoza in Tupungato at the base of the Andes.

                1. re: Bradford

                  Hi Bradford - Can you tell me the name of the restaurant in Tupungato? My husband and I will be there for a few days in January.

                  Many thanks!

              2. Don Julio in Palermo is fantastic too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foreignmuck

                  I second the recommendation for Don Julio. When friends visit, it's the first parrilla we take them to.

                2. We went to Cabinas Las Lilas in Puerto Maduro - inasmuch as it has touristy elements; it is widely regarded as a classic. We were pleased.

                  1. La Cabana. A classic now owned by Oriental Express.It's soooooo good!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulista1950

                      I second La Cabana, we split a large steak and with veggies and apps it was plenty. Another place sort of opposite Recoleta Cemetary is La Chicrita (the outside has a cowhide design so you can't miss it). We had a fantastic lunch there.

                    2. I give my vote 100% to 647 Dinner Club. The meat we ate there was of an incredible quality. I am not normally blown away by lamb and so only tasted a mouthful from my girlfriends plate, it was exquisite. My own plate was the Rib Eye which came perfectly cooked and full of flavour.

                      1. Personally, i found La Cabrera overrated. Lots of bells and whistles, but it draws the attention away from the meat, which is good but about average as far as Argentina goes. Also, they cut their steak and cook it in chunks, which means you get less delicious gradation of done-ness.

                        I will third the recommendation for Don Julio - it was my favorite place to go when i was in BA (for 9 months). But the best steak I had the whole time I was there was at El Trapiche - the atmosphere isnt as nice as these other places, its more bright light, AR cafeteria-ey, but the meat was delicious and wow . . . so perfectly cooked. Just wow. Great friendly service too.

                        1. My vote goes for gourmet meat to 647 Dinner Club for excelent meat cooked perfectly.One of the few places in the city that understands the cooking point of the meat.

                          1. Back from my trip to BA... ate lots of good steaks based on all of the recs I received. Can't pick a "best" steak, for there many delicious ones. La Cabrera was delicious, best value, and fun hip scene. At La Brigada, I had one of the largest steaks I have ever scene, and there was a great homey feeing. We had a 3 hour layover at the local airport so we took a cab to Las Lilas, gorged ourselves...lot's of fun. Also visted 647 and had the ojo do bife, it was well charred and tasty, but hardly the best steak in BA. I also had a fried fish dish there which was far better than the steak.

                            1. Strangely enough, the best steak that I had in Buenos Aires was at the old bar around the corner from the hotel I was staying at, the Hippo on Defensa in San Telmo. Runner-up was Densnivel also on Defensa.

                              I wasn't all that impressed by La Cabrera and did not have a chance to get to La Brigada (darn!).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sidwich

                                I am in Buenos Aires now and eating my way through the Chow Hound suggestions. Out of the top restaurants of the city so far i have eaten in,i really enjoyed 647 Dinner Club where i missed the steak and went straight for a super tasty pork loin. At the other end of the scale of the luxury market i ate in Sarkis which serves great Armenian food. I will keep you guys informed!

                              2. The best steak that I've had in Buenos Aires wasn't at a fancy restaurant. It was a place called El Desnivel in San Telmo. The restaurant can be described as "rough around the edges" but the lomo I had was fantastic. The only downside is that I think tourist guide around must point to this place because half of the patrons seemed to be British.

                                I have attached a photo of the beefy wonder I had.

                                 
                                4 Replies
                                1. re: erichensley

                                  I was looking for a site listing the best steakhouses in Buenos Aires when I came across this link and this thread from erichensley. I so strongly disagreed with his review that I went out of my way to sign up to this site torespond. El Desnivel is DEFINITELY not a good steakhouse. I ate there for lunch today and I was extremely disappointed. I had the Beef de Chorizo Mariposa and it was bland and slightly gamey. Since I was staying around the corner I thought I'd give this place a try since it had such good reviews from many sources, including locals. It is unfortunately disapointing and a slightly dirty place to be honest. I also had some sort of fly stuck to the side of my plate when it arrived. I only finished half of my steak... it was too tough to eat the rest. The only good dish I had was the patates florentine which I quickly finished.

                                  I'm quite a big steak connaisseur, and since I'm in Buenos Aires for a little over a month, I thought I'd try as many of the top steak places as possible. 2 days ago I tried La Cabrera. I thought this was a great steakhouse but not the very best I've been to. I had the rib eye steak and it was cooked almost perfectly. My advice would be to order theindividual size as the size for 2 includes a very thick cut which in my opinion compromises the charring consistency of the meat. The sides weren't anything special but I only really care about the meat.

                                  Since I'm temporarily staying in San Telmo, yesterday I went to a random restaurant which also happened to be a Parilla. The restaurant's name was Gran Parrilla Del Plata on Chile 594 esq. I resisted but ordered a steak again, and again a rib eye. I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The meat was amazing and I'd say better than La Cabrera. It was so good that I'm going back again tomorrow.

                                  Over the course of my stay here in Buenos Aires I will try as many steak houses as possible and report back to this site, so expect to hear back from my in due course.

                                  My benchmark is still Peter Luger's in Brooklyn, NY and I have yet to find a steakhouse as good as this one. I live in London, England and I would often find an excuse to fly over to NY for the weekend just to have some Peter Luger's!

                                  Cheers

                                  1. re: werdna23

                                    will try out your suggestions in BA...

                                    Best steak in London? Pope´s Eye in Putney... menu is steak only. Three cuts, four sizes. And fat chips.

                                    There´s a salad you can have as a starter and/or a side.

                                    And home made puddings. The rhubarb crumble and custard is my favourite.

                                    CASH AND CHEQUES ONLY. NO CREDIT CARDS.

                                    1. re: werdna23

                                      Gran Parrilla Del Plata on Chile 594 is fantastic - I want to keep it a secret but I don't think that's fair to other beef lovers out there.

                                      The service is excellent (very professional) and HONEST. The waiter immediately informed my boyfriend and I how large the portions were when we initially ordered too much. And, unlike other steak houses we visited, the waiter did not try to upsell anything. We asked for a recommendation for wine and he directed us to bottles that were very reasonably priced.

                                      The meat was cooked exactly the way we wanted it ("a punto") and my grassfed steak-loving boyfriend could not stop praising his meal. As for me, I got an assortment of weird things - chitterlings, morcilla (blood sausage), and sweetbreads and they were all fantastic. Unlike other places where I've had the intestines, the ones here has little to no funk flavor. The blood sausage was, by far, my favorite as the casing was perfectly crispy and the interior was rich and complex. (I think they added little pieces of cartilage to keep the texture interesting.)

                                      We also got grilled cheese with red peppers and bacon. Absolutely fantastic. The cheese tasted like mozzarella sticks without the breading and with all of the delicious saltiness. If you haven't had it before, give it a try. Portion is quite large though so pace yourself accordingly.

                                      Word to the wise - try not to eat too much of the bread that they give you in the beginning. The entre portions are HUGE and you don't want to waste stomach space.

                                      1. re: anniebananie

                                        So happy you liked Gran Parrilla Del Plata!!!!!

                                        I spend one and half months in Buenos Aires and I went to Gran Parrilla a total of 12 times!!! I just needed to write back in and correct what I had on the menu. It wasn't the Rib Eye but the Baby Beef (450grs): http://www.parrilladelplata.com/home-...

                                        Following my initial posting, I ate at every single top steakhouse in Buenos Aires and Gran Parilla topped all of them.

                                        There is one place that is better though but it is not in Argentina. It's called El Palenque in Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo, Uruguay - again the Baby Beef. This place was incredible!! I tried the El Palenque in Punta del Este as well but it's not nearly as good as the one in Mercado del Puerto.

                                        I do miss the Gran Parilla though.....

                                  2. What makes the best steak? Obviously the quality and flavor of the beef has to be excellent. I think that at most of the well known places the beef is probably very comparable. The other elements of how well cooked and salted the food is may be just as important. I haven't been to all the places mentioned on the list but will mention another small old unfancy parrilla that just serves up perfectly cook bife de chorizo and other cuts. Parilla Iguazu - corner of sucre and figeroa alcorta two restarants away from Sucre. (which is excellent in a very different way). I look forward to trying some of the others on the thread. Also a comment. It's interesting to me that the beef here is very full flavored but not at all gamey in the way a lot of grass fed meat in the states is. What do you supose makes the difference? (or are we getting grain finished meat in all these parellas).

                                    1. We found El Establo as the best steak house in BA. Small place up the main street in San Telmo. You couls cut the Bife de lomo with a fork. Also, the most reasonable prices. la Brigata was a close second, somewhat more expensive. Desnivel was also quite good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: foodieBruce

                                        Yes! We're in BA right now, and on our first night we were trying to get to Parilla Lezama but they were closed for the summer, so we stumbled upon Del Establo. (Defensa 1463) I was weary because I hadn't read about it in any guides, but it was fantastic! We have had a lot of steaks since, but this was by far the tastiest. And the service was great - a perfect first night, and we might end our trip there too.

                                      2. Overall, steak quality is very good in BA though I don't think their best is as good as the best I have had elsewhere. That said, it is dirt cheap, obviously. La Cabrera was good, get the lomo di bife for a smaller more traditional(to a new yorker) cut. Still not small.
                                        Forget Las Lilas in Puerto Mad.
                                        And the previous poster who said it is absolutely spot on when saying that grassfed beef in Argetina(ok, s america) is far superior to grassfed beef(overall) in the USA.
                                        That nasty gamey, grassy flavor is all too often so overpowering. No, it is not the different flavor that is supposed to come from grass fed, it is just rubbish.
                                        Actually, much grass fed beef you can purchase in the USA that has this poor quality is from Aussieland and NZ. I am hardly saying that all grass fed beef from there or even domestically is terrible, just way, way, way too much of it.
                                        After you find the overabundance of good and better quality beef in Arg, for so little, it is even more upsetting.
                                        Now, I guess I need to try Don Julio.

                                        1. Although I am travelling to Bs.As. for more than 30 years,and have tried many, many parillas, I only made it to the 647 Dinner Club in San Telmo last year. It really was a memorable experience. I prefer, though, another steak restaurant, the Happening, on Costanera Norte, alongside the river, near the city airport Aeroparque Jorge Newberry (there is another one in Puerto Madero, which is not nearly as good...better avoid it). At the Happening, they have excellent steaks, not too many tourists, a very good service, nice and different antipasti and a good wine selection. Las Lilas, though, even has a better wine selection, but sometimes there are too many bus tourists and then the service sucks. Also, I do not like that they only work with one credit card (I think it is MC). Btw: Las Lilas actually belongs to the Brazilian restaurant group Rubaiyat (The Rubaiyat at Alameda Santos in São Paulo is definitely my first restaurant choice for meat worldwide) and not to the Swift Armour group, who only purchased the meat brand Cabana Las Lilas some years ago, as one post somewhere else on this site suggested. Other places I can recommed include Don Julio, Ramona (for Costela), Hereford (also on Costanera Norte) and La Cabaña. But in general, you can get a good Bife de Chorizo almost everywhere, even at smaller restaurants and even in some of the tourists traps. Bom appetite!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Oldiemeister

                                            we loved LA CABANA. wonderful food and staff.

                                          2. La Cabrera in Palermo Soho was by far the best place we visited for meat. The Morcilla and the Sweetbeads were amazing. The steaks were legendary. I had a very disappointing meal at 647, and at 10.30pm there were still only 4 tables in the whole restaurant on a Friday night. Cabana Las Lilas was horribly overpriced, but a great setting on the marina. The steaks were very average

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: beckypoostchi

                                              Could never find this place! We went to 647 Tacuari street (the address listed on 647 Dinner Club's website) 2 days ago but the building looked completely run down (with no clues of there being a restaurant inside). The building has no signage and the locals have never heard of this place.

                                              Has this place closed? (The website is still active though... .)

                                              1. re: anniebananie

                                                Went to 647 2 years ago. The front entrance looked like one of those roll-up metal doors in the Meatpacking District, so it's easy to miss. Had to confirm with the GPS a few times before knocking on the door.

                                                The food is only average. They had a prix-fixe menu at the time which kept the prices more reasonable than usual.

                                                Our best steak in 2 weeks was at this little neighborhood place called Parilla Pena (c. Rodriguez Pena) that someone rec'ed on CH. Unpretentious and just plain good food.

                                                1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                  Hi HungWeiLo, glad that you liked Parilla Pena. I was the poster here on CH that loved the spot. After 8 or more trips to BsAs I still love the place. Havent been back for awhile as I have been trying to top it ( not easy ) Lane Mosler wrote a blog according to the taxista ( I beleive she is in New York these days ) anyway google her. It was her blog that had tipped me off to Pena. Buen Provecho.. Chau

                                                  1. re: Foodandwine

                                                    thanks for the tip on Parillo Pena, we just got back from there after a lovely lunch of bife de lomo and papas fritas provencal. Was delicious and just under 200 peso including tip

                                                    1. re: krosfyah

                                                      If you have the chance, check out Restaurant Dora. Absolutely my fave in BA. Had my first Argentine steak there and came back early from skiing in Chile for yet another meal at Dora before flying home.

                                                      1. re: krosfyah

                                                        Glad you liked it krosfyah. Its really an overlooked place compared to the other touted spots. I like the old world charm, no tourists to speak of, good wine list and totally great food at very reasonable pricing.. Here is the write up that Layne Mosler had written in her blog that tipped me off to Parilla Pena in the first place:

                                                        http://www.taxigourmet.com/2007/05/20...

                                                        Buen Provecho!

                                              2. I'm not sure if they are still around, but I ate a fantastic steak and meal at a restaurant out near the Universidad de Buenos Aires called Aquellos Años about 5 years ago. Nice atmosphere and staff on top of it for incredible prices.

                                                1. El Establo on Paraguay / San Martin.

                                                  Try the Bife de Lomo, Brochette de Lomo or Medallion de Bife.

                                                  All are excellent washed down with a San Thelmo win ( 1/2 bottles available )

                                                  Bigmac52

                                                  1. Just flew back from B.A. two days ago. La Cabera was cheap and was very touristy. But delicious and the amount of food they give you was ridiculous. Try Campo Bravo in Las Camintas, it was great. Also, La Cabana Las Lilas was fantastic, however it was WAY overpriced. Many of the locals we spoke with said the place was a ripoff, however with the exchange rate being so favorable, we didn't mind shelling out the extra cash.

                                                    1. I've only been in the city little over a week, so it's possible that my opinion will change between now and then but for now, the best beef I've had here has been at El Estrebe. It's a tiny, unpretentious place in Recoleta, on Peña between Pueyrredón and Larrea.

                                                      It is not touristy, it is not fancy (but it is clean, etc.) and might be considered too brightly lit, but the food is reasonably priced, the wine list is fantastic, and the beef is off the hook! I've been to La Cabrera (disappointing at best) and Estilo Campo in Puerto Madero (very good, fancier, but Estrebe is still infinitely better).

                                                      I've had the ojo de bife, the vacío, and the lomo at Estrebe, and all were great (although the vacío (flank) was definitely more cooked than I would have liked.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: foodfoooodfooooood

                                                        I was in Buenos Aires for a few weeks recently and had very good steak along with good atmosphere at Juana M on Carlos Pelligrini in Retiro and at Miranda on Fitzroy in Palermo. Juana M also has a very upscale salad bar that's included with most meals.

                                                        1. re: janeh

                                                          We didn't have steak at Juana M, but we loved our meal there - we hadn't planned to go there, just happened to be in the area, and it was very good. Nice atmosphere.

                                                      2. Just got home after 4 weeks in BA, had the best steak ever(this is my 5th trip to BA) @ La Brigarda, San Telmo. Not only was the Bife de Chorizo fabulous but the starter of pasta with a fresh tomato sauce was great. Decided to go back 2 weeks later and have to say the steak was not as good-it was not bad but not up to the same standard as before nor was the service but that could be down to one of the busiest days in the yr(new carnival holiday-so loads of Brasilians in BA)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: manchesterian

                                                          I agree with this recommendation 100% - my favorite used to be La Cabrera but the terrible service outweighs the food at this point. I may be a lush for sushi, but I love the lomo at La Brigada!

                                                        2. For those with limited budgets, I think that La Cholita in Recoleta and Las Cholas in Las Cañitas are the best value for the money. Everything on the menu is good. The other option, as mentioned, is Desnivel
                                                          http://www.argentinatravelgroup.com/6...