Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Latin America & Caribbean >
Dec 3, 2008 04:48 AM

Unpretentious, traditional food in BA

Hi All,

I have been reading and contributing to some of the threads regarding places to eat in BA. I don't know about you but when I travel, I tend to seek for local, authentic places that serve honest food that locals would eat and not fancy restaurants that are exactly the same all over the world...I myself hail from Buenos Aires and lived there until I was 20 (12 years ago). I have just spent a year over there for personal reasons which gave me time to explore the local food scene...I thought I would share with my fellow 'hounders some of my favourite so here I copy the links to the reviews of each place at Guia Oleo (the most comprehensive online guide to dining out in BA):

Regional Northwestern Food in BA (empanadas, humitas, pasteles, locro) (Ña Serapia

) (1810

) (Cumaná


Neighbourhood Cantinas/Parrillas (El Bochín

) (lo de Damián

) (Pinuccio & Figli

) (La Rosalía

) (El Obrero

) (Manolo


Excellent Chinese in Chinatown (Lai Lai


Fantastic fish restaurant (Nemo


The best place for traditional pizza (El Cuartito


You will not believe the size (and yumminess) of the tartas (Argy-style quiches), milanesas and other ‘minutas’ (Argy word for ‘fast food’ but it is as far from Mc Donald’s et al as it is possible to be!): (La Nueva Gata Alegría


A true gem...incredibly creative, unpretentious and delicious food at great prices in a cantina environment. Not to be missed!: (Orillas


The only ‘real’ British pub in BA...They do decent food too: (Gibraltar


The best place for breakfast, brunch and lunch in Palermo, only two blocks from the Zoo. Go ready to wait as it is very popular. Gorgeous Parisian-style café with stunning cakes, delicious gourmet sandwiches, salads and other quirky dishes. Absolutely recommendable. (Voulez Bar)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thank you so much for a great list and all the links, thankyouthankyouthankyou

    1. Thank you so much! We went to Lai Lai last night and had a fantastic meal. The first really beefy-flavored mapo tofu I've ever had, but it was absolutely delicious. I've loved eating traditional Argentine food, but being Korean, it was a bit of a relief to eat food with a ton of garlic and chiles after 2.5 weeks here. I'm going to try more of your recommendations.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AppleSister

        Haha...I know what you mean, especially about the chillies as I used to miss spicy food like crazy when I went back. There is a quite decent Indian restaurant called Tandoor on the corner of Laprida and Charcas streets in Recoleta but you've got to pay for the benefit and ask for the food to be 'Indian spicy' and even so, it is nowhere near the original curries. I'm glad you liked Lai-Lai; the service is also great as you go once and the second time, they remember what you ordered and who you are. I used to have 'pollo a los 3 aromas': marinated chicken in soy sauce, tons of garlic, ginger and basil (so yummy) and fish noodles (noodles made with fish) but everything else I tried there was fantastic. Enjoy your culinary discoveries in BA!

      2. You have to be careful with Oleo as there are a lot of reviews on there that have no relation to the reality of the place. Lai lai is very good, i discovered it 4 years ago the first time i came to BA, with my boyfriend who is a porteno. An even better chinese is Little China on Rio Bamba 1156 and the corner of Santa Fe, ...better than Lai Lai and even cheaper but the place is not much to look at. Also you must go to Sarkis in CalleThames ,Villa Cresp, the corner of Cordoba....buenisimo este lugar!!! Also for breakfast i highly recomend Oui Oui in Palermo, the service can be chaotic but the onda is great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: laurafoodfan

          Second the recommendation on Sarkis for Armenian food - pretty much the best in town for that style. It is, however, at Thames 1101, corner of Jufre, not Cordoba.

          Applesister - if you want to try a decent, though not amazing, Korean restaurant, there's Bi Won at Junin 548 in Congreso, or, you can trek out to Coreatown in the south part of Flores and there are some quite good traditional places.

        2. i hearty second the parrilla at EL OBRERO. wow. an awesome place.

          for locro i liked BAR EL TALLER in palermo on plaza serrano.

          my rec for a central and touristed yet still argy cafe/bar is LOS PORTENOS in recoleta. our hotel was right next to it and we considered it our cafe and homebase for rest stops and meetups on our visit -- ya gotta have a place like that when you are traveling...and you should be so lucky!