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Jun 6, 2009 07:41 PM

Buenos Aires 6/15-7/15 food/grocery recs

Hi All! I'll be in BA for about a month, renting an apt in Recoleta. I will be travelling solo (female, from manhattan) and would love some recommendations for grocery stores or markets (I love to cook) and for some decent cafes suitable to read/work in for a few hours each day. ALSO would love to meet up with any fellow Chowhounders in BA during this time. So, please message me if you'd like a foodie dining companion. Thanks!

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  1. Hi lam! I am from Buenos Aires although I am living in the UK. In terms of food markets, unfrotunately there aren't many (especially not in Recoleta). However, the best place for food shopping and the only chance you've got of finding exotic ingredients apart from all sorts of natural and fresh foods is Chinatown, on Arribeños street (Belgrano neighbourhood). I'd strongly recommend Lai Lai as the best Chinese restaurant in the area (in my opinion) and then you can explore the Chinese supermarkets and shops for food and other items. They also have a few stalls with Chinese street food which are quite good.
    The 'feria' in Recoleta (by Iglesia del Pilar) is on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays and it's well worth a visit. The crafts are excellent. There are lots of street performers and some food stalls (although very basic).
    Another excellent place to visit is 'Feria de Mataderos', a much more authentic and less touristy Argentinian experience. They have lots of stalls selling regional foods such as chorizos, cheeses, jams, dulce de leche, empanadas, etc and also a stage with folk and tango all day. The street parrillas are fantastic: cheap, simple but very tasty.

    As for cafés, Buenos Aires is full of them as everybody stops for coffee and a chat during the day. I prefer the old-style ones. Here's the full list of 'bares notables' declared of historical interest by the city's government:

    San Telmo is the old part of town and there are lots of traditional bars and restaurants there (El Federal, Seddon, Británico, Bar PLaza Dorrego and Bar Sur are all worth a visit). Café García in Devoto is stunning; with pool tables and a famous 'picada' but my all-time favourite is in the Abasto neighbourhood. Thankfully, not many people know about it. It's called "El Banderín" and it's a beautiful place that has not changed one iota or been modernised at all. The owners are always there (two old guys with the whole family coming and going all day). It's small but great to just sit with a beer and some complimentary peanuts or potato chips and watch the world go by.

    Enjoy your time there! Lots to experience and explore...

    1. My wife and I will be in Recoleta together with our son [15] from July 4th through Bastille day. We are returning after a great trip in July 2008. Check out Dan Perlman's site, for great reviews from an American who has lived in Argentina for a few years.

      1. Hello, Be sure to visit Reale Productos Gourmet at Puyerredon 2054, near Las Heras and the famous Recoleta Cemetery. A paradise for cheese, coldcuts, cured hams, olive oil and good wines all at below market prices. Owner is very friendly and speaks English
        Marc in Canada

        2 Replies
        1. re: Marquito

          Do you have shares in this place by any chance? :-) Out of the whole of BA, it seems odd this is the only place you can think of recommending. No probs if you do, though...

          1. re: Paula76

            Dear Paula 76,

            I wish, but I simply ran into this boutique and the owner spoke a bit of English which surprised me. I was in B.A. only for 10 days and found this place to be close to my rented apt and the cemetary. I also went to a place called Valentino in an upscale shopping center and found the prices to be expensive for the same products...If you visit B.A. give me your thoughts!
            Marc in Canada

        2. I just started searching this Board for recs for a 'fast trip' to BA and noticed this thread.
          For restaurants I ALWAYS use Chowhound, but for travel I go to Travelzine (I'm also a member there, and know that Chowhound prefers us to concentrate on the Chow!).
          And I noticed a couple of potentially helpful threads on Travelzine:

          They also do 'meet-ups' (I've attended a few in Toronto - my home base) - there's a section for those too.
          If I recall correctly the local poster is Graziela (But Yahoo Groups is down for maintenance as I'm posting this).

          1 Reply
          1. re: estufarian

            OK - not quite right - Graciela was visiting BA - Don & Linda were there for some time (renting an apartment) and the local expert (from Patagonia) is Ana Maria!

          2. Hi lam! While online researching tasty places to try in BA, I just ran across your post...and am so excited to see it! I am a female fellow Chowhound from San Francisco who will also be traveling solo in BA for a month. Unfortunately, I don't arrive until the morning of July 9th, but there is definitely still some overlap! I will be staying nearby, in Palermo Viejo. I cant seem to figure out how to message you directly through Chowhound without reporting to all (sorry!), but I have listed my email in my Chowhound account under "blog." I have names of several places to try in BA, but obviously, no personal experience to report on yet. Hopefully, we can meet up and come up with some great reports to share!

            1 Reply
            1. re: sfcitygal

              Hey! I'm spending the summer... or winter in Buenos Aires doing an internship and living in Palermo as well. I'll be here until the end of July. I also have compiled a list of restaurants I really want to try out... I'd love some company!