This post is part 5 of 15 in the series Buenos Aires, Argentina City Travel Guide

Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city full of culture including a world-class food scene and many of the most acclaimed restaurants in South America. We’ve eaten at each of these 20 standouts and we can tell you that these winners–from full-on fine dining to re-imagined Asian to perfect meat–are iconic for a reason. That’s why all of these special places to eat in Buenos Aires have also been recognized on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and/or within the Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires.

El Preferido Buenos Aires Restaurants

Find out what to expect at El Preferido Palermo, pictured above, and at 19 other acclaimed restaurants in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

20 acclaimed restaurants in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the most dynamic food capitals in Latin America. We know. We spent months gobbling our way through the city so we could tell you about these 20 restaurants in Buenos Aires including eateries on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and restaurants that made the Michelin Guide to Buenos aires which debuted in 2023.

Argentina is currently going through yet another massive shudder in its economy which means that menu prices are changing daily in some cases. Therefore, we have not included specific prices in this post.

Don Julio

Don Julio Buenos Aires

Just some of the thousands of pounds of beef and hundreds of pounds of sausage that are served at Don Julio every week.

The one restaurant in Buenos Aires that you’re most likely to have heard of is Don Julio which, in recent years, is at the top of pretty much all of the most prestigious lists of restaurants. Not bad for a steak house….but what a steak house. The owners raise and butcher their own (exceptional) beef and produce all of the other meat products they offer (sausages, etc.). The restaurant, in the Palermo area of the city, also has one of the best wine cellars in Argentina bursting with more than 14,000 bottles representing the most compelling wines being made in the country right now. Toss in classy steakhouse ambiance and great service and you’ve got a winner on your hands. Did we mention the free-flowing champagne for diners while they wait for their table to open up? Reservations are strongly, strongly suggested (it can be easier to get a lunch reservation than a dinner reservation). If you can’t get a reservation, turn up and wait for a table (the champagne helps).

#3 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

#19 on the 2023 list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Received one Michelin star in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Gran Dabbang

Gran Dabbang Buenos Aires

Gran Dabbang delivers 50 Best quality in a casual setting at everyday prices.

Don’t want to get dressed up, commit to a multi-course tasting menu meal, or pay a lot of money? Head to Gran Dabbang for chart-topping food that’s casual and affordable. This small, simple restaurant, in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, opened in 2014 and has been on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for years thanks to Asian-inspired food from Argentinean chef Mariano Ramon who keeps dishes like crunchy and light Swiss chard pakoras and deeply-spiced smoked lamb curry bursting with flavor, not attitude. Dinner only. And they don’t take reservations, so show up around opening time or be prepared to wait for a table.

#26 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Mishiguene

Mishiguene Restaurant Buenos Aires

See why this place is where we want to be on a Friday night in Buenos Aires.

There’s no place we’d rather be on a Friday night in Buenos Aires than at Mishiguene in the Palermo neighborhood of the city. Here, chef Tomas Kalika (pictured above, bottom left) has elevated and redefined Jewish food in general by riffing on his grandmother’s recipes. The menu here is serious about elegant versions of classic comfort food like smoky babaghanoush like you’ve never seen (or tasted) it before (top center), pirogis, and pastrami slow-cooked for 13 hours (bottom right). And every Friday night, Shabbat is celebrated at the restaurant with the arrival of a klezmer band that roams around the dimly lit dining room energizing the scene. Reservations required.

#31 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Trescha

Trescha Restaurant Buenos Aires

Chef Tomas Treschanski is creating a new world of fine dining at his Trescha restaurant.

At just 25 years old, it’s tempting to call Tomas Treschanski (pictured above) a “one to watch” chef. However, it’s too late for that thanks to Tomas’s Trescha restaurant in the Villa Crespo area of Buenos Aires. Tomas, who is Le Cordon Bleu trained and worked at Azurmendi, Frantzén, 108, and Borago, says he’s still forming his identity. While he works on that, he’s reimagining fine dining with a 15-course tasting menu for just 10 guests at a curved dining “counter” facing a sunken station where whimsically-named dishes are plated and presented. Ocean Deep, for example, came in two parts including a small portion of warm and tender carnaroli meloso rice aged with four types of algae for a rich umami flavor topped with pure white bergamot foam along with three slices of sweet and sticky deer loin tataki finished over coals then dusted with a powder of chamomile and lime. The dining experience, which feels both classic and fresh, unfolds at a deliberate pace with each course accompanied by a page featuring sketches from Tomas’s notes and dish descriptions. Innovative mocktails (like a silky, salty, herby, citrusy, riff on Milk Punch made with chamomile, algae, and muña syrup over a handmade pyramid-shaped ice cube), an international wine list (very unusual in Argentina), and craft cocktails mingle with each course. Some dishes change weekly and the entire menu is reinvented quarterly following intense R&D in the upstairs test kitchen that’s equipped with a climate-controlled fermentation and spore area, a medical centrifuge, and a mini still. Reservations required.

#94 on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants

Received one Michelin star in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Alo’s

Alos Bistro Buenos Aires

A few of the delicious reasons why Alo’s is worth a quick trip to the San Isidro suburb of Buenos Aires.

For years, Alo’s has been circling the 50 Best list rising consistently through the ranks with its ala carte menu, tasting menu, and compelling wine list. Created by Alejandro Feraud, the kitchen is now often helmed by chef de cuisine Clara Corso (pictured above, middle left) who explained that the restaurant’s logo, a big black ant, is an ode to their belief that the Alo’s team is unstoppable when it works together. Pro tip: reserve seats at the bar facing the open kitchen where you can see all the action and go for the tasting menu so you can really enjoy what those ants can do with dishes like one perfect oyster served over rough salt and topped with spicy, zingy “bloody mary” and firm fish roe (top left) or sausage on a bed of rice simmered in stock made with twice reduced shrimp heads and finished in a tiny cast iron pan to create an overall chewiness and a delectable “burned” bottom (middle, middle). Alo’s is well worth the (easy) trip to the San Isidro suburb of Buenos Aires. Reservations required.

#38 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Elena

Elena Restaurante Buenos Aires

Try to leave room for dessert at Elena in the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires.

Elena, in the Four Seasons Hotel, is a huge space with an open kitchen, high ceilings, a mezzanine level, lots of wood and leather, and a glassed-in dry-aging cabinet for meat. The menu, designed to please the hotel’s international guests, is equally huge with seafood, grilled Argentinean beef (much of it aged in-house), duck, goat, lamb, pastas, and more. Our grilled octopus appetizer (pictured above, top right) was tender and bold. The bitter leaves salad was huge and balanced with fennel, radish, perfectly sliced grapefruit, and creamy feta. Black rice with mixed seafood (bottom left) came steaming and fragrant in a cast-iron skillet straight out of the oven. Tender lamb shoulder fell apart under the mere threat of a fork. Pro tip: be sure to save room for ice cream including flavors like roasted quince, passion fruit with candied cucumber, and salted and smoked peanut (bottom right).

#72 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

13 Fronteras

13 Fronteras Restaurant Buenos Aires

In search of new challenges in new places, chef Dave Soady (pictured above) hopped into his Toyota Tacoma with his wife and two shitsus, left Washington D.C., and started driving south. They ended up in Argentina where that journey–and the people, dishes, and encounters that animated it–inspired the creation of 13 Fronteras in the Palermo Hollywood area of Buenos Aires. Named for the number of border crossings he made during the road trip (fronteras means borders in Spanish), the restaurant serves guests seated at a long communal dining bar which allows Dave to meticulously plate dishes and interact with diners at the same time. Las Trenza de Doña Isa (The Braids of Dona Isa), he’ll explain, is a dish inspired by the act of harvesting potatoes with a family in Bolivia and pays homage to the matriarch’s braids and the stripes of the traditional woven textiles most Indigenous Bolivian women use to carry bundles and babies with rows of colorful sauces topped with braided roasted asparagus. Each dish–including an innovative dessert version of Argentinean asado bbq featuring beef-infused ice cream–comes with its own inspiring backstory which makes dinner at 13 Fronteras a journey for your mind and your mouth.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Aramburu

Aramburu Restaurant Buenos Aires

Beautiful dishes didn’t add up to a stellar experience at Aramburu.

At #36 on the 2022 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and a Relais & Chateaux restaurant, Aramburu, in the Recoleta neighborhood of the city, leads the fine dining pack in Buenos Aires in many ways and their tasting menu meals are epic. So we were excited as we finally sat down for dinner at Aramburu. Eighteen courses and four hours later, we had mixed feelings. Yes, the dimly lit room is impeccable and romantic and the open kitchen is compelling. Yes, it’s playful and enjoyable that there is no cutlery on the table for the first 10 courses which were meant to be eaten with our hands. Yes, most dishes were beautiful and some dishes–like sweet, tender, smoky, seared asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, sweet peas, and edible flowers in a subtly-sweet tart (pictured above, top right)–were memorably delicious. Yes, the wine flows freely. However, meaningful disappointments like being served the exact same wine (Ernesto Catena Alma Negra Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine) for the first six courses, weak substitutions for our friend who does not eat fish or seafood, and, at the end of the meal, being told that the cash discount officially offered by the restaurant does not apply when paying in Argentinean pesos left a bad taste in our mouths.

#60 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants

Received two Michelin stars in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

El Preferido Palermo

El Preferido Palermo Restaurant Buenos Aires

Beloved Argentinean classics and fresh respectful takes round out the menu at El Preferido Palermo.

El Preferido Palermo, in the Palermo area of Buenos Aires, has been a go-to spot for beloved classic dishes like enormous milanesas  (pounded and breaded beef or chicken), homemade pasta dishes, Spanish tortillas, and French fries since 1952. After being taken over by the team behind Don Julio, the El Preferido menu has expanded to also include fresh takes that retain respect for the classics. Don’t miss the morcilla (blood sausage) with a fried farm-fresh egg in a hot skillet with thick, fragrant, sizzling slices of morcilla topped with pepper that adds kick and smoke (pictured above, bottom left). The radicchio and walnut salad (bottom right), made using the elongated leaves of the milder strain of radicchio (like a cross between radicchio and endive) and topped with sweet and creamy shaved walnuts, is also a winner. Topped with vinegar for brightness, this salad is tender, sweet, bracing, salty, crunchy, and satisfying. And that’s why El Preferido is at #22 on the 2022 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.

#16 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Kōnā Corner

Kona restaurant buenos aires

The decor, drinks, and dishes at Kōnā Corner are all gorgeous including (clockwise) creative and appetizing Adonis and Ash cocktails, bright and fruity Sashimi Usuzukui Citrico, and indulgent Sashimi Especial.

Two culinary powerhouses put their minds, hearts, and talents together to open a dauntingly ambitious project in the Belgrano neighborhood. The brainchild of celebrity chef Narda Lepes (of beloved Narda Comedor) and Ines de los Santos, creator and cocktail wizard of CoChinChina (which we included in our post about Where to Drink in Buenos Aires), KōnāCorner is not like anything else in Buenos Aires. Inspired by Japanese purity and artistically simple satisfaction (both of which they nail), the low-lit downstairs dining room (Narda’s domain) stuns with Japanese classics in an easy serene setting rolling forth from a zen-like open kitchen. The elegant upstairs bar (where Ines reigns) is full of views, intimate nooks and crannies, and drinkable surprises (a martini riff made with soju and pickled bamboo, for example). This may be a newcomer (opened in early 2023), but it’s hitting all the right notes right out of the box. We sincerely hope this is not the last collaboration from these two.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Casa Cavia

Casa Cavia restaurant

Expect style and substance at Casa Cavia.

Casa Cavia is an elegant indoor/outdoor restaurant crafted in a mansion in the Palermo Chico neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Trendy ladies who lunch, ambassadors, and travelers in the know come for food that is meticulous and gorgeous, service that’s polished, and an atmosphere that’s serene and stylish (there’s a working flower shop in the central garden). Inventive and well-executed dishes include tender, sweet, and juicy shrimp with toasted corn and creamed corn soup poured tableside (pictured above, top right). When we were there, the kitchen guinea pigged us with a new dessert (pictured above, bottom right) of dense chocolate mousse (more the consistency of frosting) with finely diced black olives topped with a sticky, sweet, seeded cookie. The combination of flavors (sweet, bitter, smoky, umami) and textures (creamy, oily, crunchy) was great and we hope this dish is on the menu by now. Bonus: the somms really know their Argentinean wines.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Julia

Julia restaurant eat in buenos aires

Textures, presentation, and culinary freedom are on display at Julia.

Created by chef Julio Baez and named after his daughter, the team at Julia runs what they call a cocina indie or independent kitchen as free from expectations, restrictions, and conventions as possible. On the plate, this means that ala carte and tasting menu dishes (on the pricey side) are fully formed gorgeous creatures with an emphasis on texture. Meticulously chopped squid in yogurt pesto came topped with slices of avocado precisely shingled on top for a silky smooth experience (pictured top left). Okra in nori seaweed vinaigrette was salty, tangy, and startling as the nori took on the texture of sun-dried tomatoes (pictured bottom left). Tender and mild Patagonian trout came with grilled asparagus and fermented carrot ver blanc poured tableside (pictured bottom middle). Our ample dessert featured homemade squares of marshmallow charred on the outside and sticky/chewy on the inside (textures again) with toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, and chocolate sauce (pictured bottom right).

#30 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

La Alacena Trattoria

La Alacena restaurant buenos aires

Just a few of the reasons we could eat at La Alacena Trattoria every day.

We could eat at La Alacena Trattoria in the Palermo area of Buenos Aires every damn day. In fact, we ate here more frequently than at any other Buenos Aires restaurant. Here’s what we wrote about this low-key hot spot when we named it the Best Italian Restaurant of 2022: “In a town full of Italian immigrants, La Alacena Trattoria is an Italian food standout. Helmed by a young female chef, this scrappy restaurant is not beholding to terms like “classic” or “nouveau”. Instead, they’re in hot pursuit of “simply delicious” with dishes like baby calamari on a bed of creamy white beans with a dollop of pesto (pictured to right) and bucatini Arrabiata with sausage (pictured bottom right) coming out of the tiny open kitchen. All pasta is homemade, the wine selection is quirky and well-priced (this is a great place to try a new-to-you bottle), and there are fantastic fish dishes and meat dishes too.”

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Anafe

Anafe restaurant BA

Buttoned-up Anafe is making its bid for the big time.

One of the most old-school of the new-school places to eat in Buenos Aires is Anafe. What started as a closed-door restaurant morphed into a food truck before opening as a full-fledged restaurant in the Colegiales neighborhood. The indoor/outdoor space fills fast (reservations are a must) with a mix of hip young locals, older local couples, groups of women, and gaggles of travelers (we heard a lot of English being spoken at neighboring tables). All have come for the food which is unafraid of risk. The current craze for tartare was personalized here using fragrant deer meat instead of beef (pictured top right). Octopus saffron rice came paella style in a shallow and sizzling cast iron pan with slices of morcilla (blood sausage) on top which melted into the dish when stirred, enriching it with even more flavor (pictured bottom). The wine list is long and compelling, options by the glass change daily, and service is attentive (though our starters came out at breakneck speed).

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Bodegon Mengano

bodegon mengano buenos aires

A new-to-us chef delivered magic at Bodegon Mengano.

Bodegon Mengano, in the Palermo Soho neighborhood, is not a new restaurant (it opened in 2018). Its chef/owner, Facundo Kelman, however, was very much new to us and, despite a resume that includes time in the lauded kitchen of Tegui, he is very much unsung (so far) in the Buenos Aires restaurant scene. This needs to change. Facundo’s stylish and bustling take on a traditional bodegon (a place where immigrants ate affordable versions of dishes from Spain and Italy) is inventive and laid back with an open kitchen and a lively vibe. Of all of the dishes we ate at Bodegon Mengano (including a world-class empanada pictured top right), Facundo’s reinvented chicken with scallion sauce (a bodegon classic) stood out with a combination of breast and thigh meat wrapped in a leak on a bed of chicken liver in a broth made from the chicken carcass topped with chicken skin chips (pictured bottom left). This whole animal treatment was the best chicken we’ve had in years. Hot tip: Facundo is almost always in the kitchen except on Saturdays.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Ajo Negro

Ajo Negro restaurant eat in Buenos Aires

As fish and seafood restaurants proliferate in Buenos Aires, Ajo Negro stands out from the crowd.

There are an increasing number of fish and seafood restaurants in Buenos Aires. A standout is Ajo Negro “Mar de Tapas” in the Chacarita neighborhood of the city. This long narrow space presents its ambitious dishes simply with a menu divided into small tapas and large tapas. There are six red wines to choose from and six white wines to choose from. Make your choices and watch young tattooed chefs rock out to Ozzy Osborne as they delicately tweezer herbs to finish plating dishes using raw, cooked, and dry-aged fish and seafood (the restaurant built its own dry ager). A spongy bao bun arrived stuffed with tender marinated raw fish with peanuts, julienned ginger, and cilantro. Nearly transparent chipirones (small calamari) came in a silky broth dotted with morsels of toothsome pasta (pictured bottom right). And save room for dessert…Hot tip: this place does not take reservations, so turn up a few minutes before opening time and try to get seats at the bar in front of the kitchen so you can see all the action.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Chuí

Chui vegetarian restaurant buenos aires

Chuí is the kind of vegetarian restaurant that Buenos Aires deserves.

Chuí in Villa Crespo is the most fully-formed of the new batch of vegetarian places to eat in Buenos Aires. Here’s what we wrote when we named Chuí as the best vegetarian restaurant of 2022: “Chuí is the kind of vegetarian restaurant a city like Buenos Aires deserves: daring, unexpected, never done pushing. You will not find a “veg burger” on the menu. The treatment of vegetables here does not rely on attempting to stand in for meat. They do their own fermenting, foster a wide range of mushrooms, and seem to be genuinely curious about how far an all-veg ethos can go under chef Leonardo Govetto Sosa. Standouts include a complex, bright, sweet, and almost fatty green pea hummus with mint, Patagonian extra virgin olive oil, and a topping of fired raw peas. A charred avocado half came with kimchi and leche de tigre (made from a base of nuts instead of fish) is gorgeous to look at (pictured bottom left) and full of nuttiness, fattiness, and deep flavor. A large variety of evenly browned, softened, and seasoned mushrooms on a bed of pureed lentils and green apple with crunchy dry Yamani rice got a jolt from fresh lime and we couldn’t stop eating it (pictured bottom middle). And don’t get us started about the fantastic pizzas…”

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Na Num

Na Num korean restaurant eat in buenos aires

Come hungry and adventurous to Na Num.

Na num means “to share” in Korean and this tiny restaurant is certainly part of the trend toward shared plates, but with its own distinct culinary twist. Opened by Korean Argentinean Marina Lis Ra in the Chacarita neighborhood, Na Num brings true spice, fermented ingredients, pickled ingredients, and bold sweet/savory combos. For example, Marina’s take on a humita (a sweet tamale) swaps almond milk for cow milk (making the dish vegan too) and adds kimchee, pickled turnip, and a burned sugar crust topped with watercress and dusted with sumac. It’s a creamy, sweet, crunchy, sour, and umami reinvention that’s both lighter and more complex than a traditional humita. Whatever you do, don’t miss the slow-cooked gochujang pork ribs (pictured bottom right) that come to the table glossy in a spicy glaze that’s sweet, caramelized, and sticky. The meat is so tender it falls off the bone so it can mingle nicely with a side of white rice. A salad of greens and candied peanuts in a light creamy dressing balances the plate. Reservations are a must for one of two nightly set seatings. If the door is locked, just knock.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

La Carniceria

La Carniceria steak buenos aires

Nouveau parrilla is still a hit at La Carniceria.

La Carniceria in Palermo (which we first visited in 2019) was at the pointy end of the next-wave trend of upstart propositions with its mission to shake up some of the stuffy stereotypes of what a parrilla restaurant should be. La Carniceria continues to redefine the genre with a young, hip vibe, quality meat produced on family ranches, and a creative kitchen. Reservations required.

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Niño Gordo

Nino Gordo restaurant BA

Be ready to engage all of your senses (including your sense of culinary adventure) at Niño Gordo.

The team behind La Carniceria also created Niño Gordo (Fat Baby) in Palermo Soho. This “Asian parrilla” is every bit as surprising and delicious as that sounds which is why Niño Gordo landed at number 75 on the 2022 list of Latin America’s 100 Best Restaurants. The decor is loud punky Asian, the crowd is festive, and the menu is small but packed with winners. Tataki de Bife (pictured top left) comes as a mound of tender sweet sushi rice wrapped in nearly translucent slices of raw ojo de bife (rib eye) topped with an egg yolk and dots of wasabi–just mix and eat. And we can’t stop dreaming about the Katsusando “milanesa” sandwich (pictured bottom right) which is a square of ojo de bife (rib eye) flash-fried then placed on thick-cut brioche toast that’s been slathered with mayonnaise on one side and black tonkatsu on the other. The meat is impossibly soft and smooth–more like black and blue tuna than a hunk of beef–and the sweet/buttery bread and sauces perk the whole thing up. Hot tip: Niño Gordo may be adding a fish version of the sandwich to the menu (we tried it and it’s wonderful). Reservations highly, highly recommended.

#43 on the 2023 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants

Recommended in the 2023 Michelin Guide to Buenos Aires

Amarra

Chila Restaurant

Playfully perfect culinary creations at always-adventurous Chila which is now Amarra, a host kitchen in which chefs from around Argentina can shine.

If Don Julio mastered one specific aspect of Argentinean cuisine (the parrilla meat extravaganza), Chila, in the Puerto Madero neighborhood, mastered the city’s tasting menu scene earning year-after-year accolades and legions of pleased diners (including us) with playful and creative dishes like the ones you see above. After the pandemic, the team behind Chila changed their focus and began operating their elegant restaurant as a combination incubator and pop-up to showcase Argentina’s culinary talent. Now called Amarra, the place is a kind of host kitchen that gets taken over by a chef and his or her team for weeks at a time during which Buenos Aires diners are given the opportunity to experience the work of chefs from around the country.

 

See our favorite new-breed restaurants in the city in our post about where to eat in Buenos Aires right now. Got a favorite restaurant in Buenos Aires that you don’t see on our lists? Don’t keep it to yourself! Tell us all about where you love to eat in Buenos Aires in the comments section below.

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Series Navigation:<< City Travel Guide: Cheap Eats in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaCity Travel Guide: Fresh Chefs and Fresh Restaurants in Buenos Aires, Argentina (updated April 2024) >>

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