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Aug 11, 2009 09:38 AM

Lactose Intolerant in Buenos Aires

My wife has a medium-to-mild case of lactose intolerance. She gets a bit gassy and bloated for a day or two afterward if dairy is eaten - which is not good if we're supposed to be on vacation and relaxing.

We'll be in Buenos Aires, Iguazu, and the Northwest. Are Argentinian waiters and chefs (especially in BsAs) accommodating to tourists with these issues? Will we be laughed out of a steakhouse if we ask them not to cook with butter? Are there empanadas down there with no cheeses and butter? I was hoping that the Andean northwest would be a little bit less cheese-crazy than their Italian-immigrant brethren down in the city.

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  1. Hi there! I am from Buenos Aires and no good parrilla should ever cook a steak with butter as far as I'm concerned. It might be worth clarifying this with the waiters just in case but it shouldn't be a problem as people are used to tweaking the menues and getting stuff cooked differently (unless you go to a traditional cantina).

    There are certainly good empanadas without cheese or butter. Empanadas de carne vary from place to place but usually contain minced meat, green olives, egg and possibly raisins and potatoes. Chicken empanadas are also safe and nowadays there are many, many kinds that would be suitable for her.

    Good choice about the Andean northwest. It is my all-time favourite part of the country where you can experience real tradition and regional culture. The food is fantastic! Try the llama (prepared in many ways, also in empanadas), tamales and humitas and if you go to Purmamarca, I'd recommend eating at the Manantial del Silencio hotel not only for the stunning views but also for the amazing fusion food. The 'pastel de novia' I had there was the culinary highlight of my journey! Another excellent place is 'Los Morteros'. Their pasteles and empanadas are simply memorable.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Paula76

      Thanks for the useful information!