Food freak must haves in BA
Empanadas and MORE empanadas! Also, anything slathered in dulce de leche. :) The ice cream is wonderful, and the strong Italian influence in Buenos Aires makes delicious and creative pasta dishes very prevalent. The food in Buenos Aires is some of the best I've had anywhere in the world...it was almost impossible to find bad food in that city. You are in for a treat!
Hi there. I am from Buenos Aires, although I live in the UK. I am not sure what you mean by 'unique' but I definetely concur with sweet polly re the empanadas which are just amazing! If you are going to get them to take away, do not miss the ones from 'La Tucumanita' and 'Tatú'. Otherwise, 'La Querencia' and 'Na Serapia' are excellent for empanadas and regional food from the Northwest (locros, tamales, humitas...I'd highly recommend you tried them unless you are going to Salta, Jujuy or Tucumán and can have the best over there).
Pizza is amazing...especially at 'El Cuartito' and 'Guerrín', two of the most traditional pizzerías in Buenos Aires. And don't forget to have it with fainá!
Also true about dulce de leche and ice cream. Try churros stuffed with warm dulce de leche (go into a good patisserie or panadería and confitería and check the selection out!). Medialunas de grasa are also worth a try as well as alfajores (Havanna and alfajores de maicena).
For the best ice cream, Persicco and Volta.
And if you can, do a short day trip to an estancia near Buenos Aires ('El Ombú' in San Antonio de Areco or 'La Bamba' are very good ones) where you can have a full-size, traditional gaucho-style asado with choripán, morcilla, chinchulines and the best cuts of meat in the world. Foor a complete restaurant guide with customers' reviews, check: www.guiaoleo.com.ar
Have a great time!
Do not miss the choripan from the street vendors outside the Costanera Sur ecological reserve (adjacent to Puerto Madero)! Juicy links of chorizo served on a warm roll with your choice of delicious, fresh chimichurris and salsas. The vendors line up outside the reserve on weekends and you can stroll down the boardwalk and select whichever supplier looks tastiest (fyi - you can't go wrong). I spent a month in BA eating at some of the best restaurants in the city, and my weekly choripan may have been the best thing I had during my trip. Authentic, fresh and uniquely Argentinian - what more could you want?
If you're really a "food freak", you should also try the stuff that nobody ever recommends. All the better parrillas offer up a selection of "achuros" or "innards" - and different depending on the place - but it's a great town to try various versions, grilled and otherwise, of kidneys, sweetbreads, tripe, intestines, and a variety of other cuts. Plus the sausages, as Polly recommended - morcilla, chorizo, salchicha parrillada...
re: Casa SaltShaker
Soooooo much amazing food. A great take out parilla, Procuitto, on Junin between corrientes and rivadavia. Its really cheap. Some great sushi places in Palermo and Puerto Madero. Try the old ice cream places on Corrientes. Vesuvio is a little older but Cadore is better. Absolutely DO NOT miss Guerrin Pizza on Corrientes. There are hundreds of 100 year old cafes or confiterias that offer a pretty authentic BA experience. If you wanna see a lot of Americans go to the Parillas at Puerto Madero. Its really hard to find a bad local place in Palermo. Go to a River Plate or Boca Juniors game and get a choripan outside the stadium and drink plenty of quilmes before the game!
Just finished a 3 day camping trip in San Pedro, about 2 hours outside BA. Each day we had a different local fish from the river there.
Day 1: We had baked pacu at a local restaurant. It was white in color but very meaty. Similar in taste to a char maybe. Only large bones, nothing small so it was easy to eat. The skin was also flavorful.
Day 2: We went to a parilla where they cooked local fish. I got the pejerrey which was similar to a haddock, but a little more flavorful. White and flaky.
Day 3: Stopped at a pescaderia for Sabalo, which we prepared on a parilla at the camp site. All it needed was a squirt of lemon and it was breathtaking. Lots of bones, but not too bad. You couldn´t eat the skin though becuase we hadn´t the tools to descale it before the asado.
I'm studying in BA this summer and thus far I am seriously under-impressed by BA. Please teach me to love it here. I am so underwhelmed by the Italian food.
I spend most of my weekdays in San Nicolas. Any good lunch places?
Weekends and nights I will venture anywhere and really really need good food to make love this place. Good places near the Jardin Botanico would great too.