Eating out in Argentina

Feature, Traditional Argentine Food — By

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The following is intended to give you a general idea of what you will see in all of the basic restaurants here, and in little take out places. Buenos Aires is a huge city, and has a great selection of restaurants, so there are plenty of other options available. The following is what you can expect to see everywhere.

Parilla Argentina is known for its fabled Argentine beef, and they do eat a lot! Parilla means BBQ, so Parilla restaurants serve BBQ´d food. Mostly different cuts of meat, but also fairly common are pork, goat, lamb, and chicken. BBQ´s here are always done with either charcoal or leña (charcoaled wood), so the flavor is quite different from the gas BBQs that are used in other parts of the world, especially North America.

Milanesa – a milanesa is pretty much anything that is breaded, but usually refers to a thin cutlet of breaded meat. It is usually fried, and can be served plain, with ham and cheese, or with a tomato sauce on top. This is one of the most common foods here, and is a type of fast food.

Pizza – It is pretty amazing how many pizza restaurants there are in Buenos Aires and even the restaurants that aren´t specifically for pizza, still serve pizza. There are a few styles of pizza available in Buenos Aires. There are thick and thin crust pizzas. Some places place the ingredients on top of the cheese, others place it below the cheese. Almost all places put a lot of cheese on, and if you go to some of the cheaper pizza joints, the pizzas tend to be really greasy.

Empanadas – These are everywhere….in bakeries, restaurants, kiosks, gas stations. Its an Argentine form of fast food, and depending on where you go, are often very tasty, and fairly cheap. It is a pastry in the form of a half moon, stuffed with meat, chicken, or vegetables, and are then baked or fried. They make a nice appetizer to a meal, or are great to take as a snack or a meal if you are on the go. Be careful though, empanadas are so accessible and common, most people end up eating too many and become bored of them (and put on a few pounds).

Salads – vegetables are not something that are eaten in abundance here. Luckily, salads are easy to find and many restaurants have some great salads to choose from. The most common is ensalada mixta, which is usually lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, although often you can choose what goes in the salad. Some of the other common ingredients include beets, eggs, onions, and potatoes, among others.

Sandwhiches de Miga – These are very, very basic sandwhiches which are served in some restaurants, but are mostly available in bakeries. They are a type of sandwhich made with 2 or 3 slices of bread, with the crusts cut off. Inside is usually ham, cheese, mayonaise, tomatoes, olives, or egg salad. These are a sort of comparison of the sandwhiches served in North America, but are, in my opinion, not nearly as good. If your used to a nice 2 inch thick sandwhich made with lettuce, meat, sauces, and a bunch of other vegetables, sandwiches de miga will be a huge disspointment. They do make a good, quick snack that is easy to transport.

Tartas – these are what we know as quiches, although they don´t always have egg, and as far as I know, quiche is always made with egg in it. Bascically, these are open-face pies, filled with vegetables, eggs, and sometimes meat. The most common are filled with ham and cheese, spinach, egg, or squash.

Again, this is a list of the most common Argentine foods, that you will see everywhere all the time. There are many other common Argentine dishes as well, please read more about them here: Typical Argentine Food

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  1. First of all congratulation for such a great site. I learned a lot reading article here today. I will make sure i visit this site once a day so i can learn more.

  2. admin says:

    Sounds great Tom, Ill make sure to continue providing you with useful information. If you ever have any questions, let me know!


  3. marita says:

    Great, great site and info.
    Actually, the ensalada mixta is tomato, white onion, and lettuce.

  4. admin says:

    Thanks for pointing that out! Change made 🙂

    – Matt

  5. B wicks says:

    What is a good side dish to go with an empanada?

  6. Matt says:

    Well, that depends….are empanadas to be use as your main course? They go great with any typs of stew, such as lentil stew, locro, carbonada, etc. They also go great with a picada, which is a plate of cheeses, olives, and cold cuts. If you prefer something lighter, a big mixed salad is a nice alternative.

  7. Angie says:

    Where might I find info. on typical Appetizers, Entrées, Desserts found in a more upscale restaurant? Picturing a place you would dine at before going dancing with some other couples.

  8. Diego says:

    Hi Angie,
    That would depend a little on the kind of food you are looking for. Are you looking for tradiational Argentine food, but trendier than your average spot?

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