Herald favorites: international cuisine in Buenos Aires

The city’s restaurant scene is so much more than the sum of its national eateries. We take you on a world tour across the capital

Buenos Aires has no shortage of incredible restaurants, as anyone who has spent any amount of time in the capital can attest. For those looking for authentic Argentine cuisine, there are parrillas, bodegones, and pizzerias galore, to say nothing of the countless trattorias, bistros, and other comedores dotting the city and its surrounding province.

But Buenos Aires’ food scene is much, much more than the sum of its national eateries. In recent years, but especially since the pandemic, it has experienced an explosion of cuisines from across the globe, from Southeast Asia to West Africa and across the Americas. 

Many of these establishments put a local spin on foreign dishes. Others seek to preserve old-world traditions and cooking techniques, wherever they may have originated. Whether you’re looking to sample a Cameroonian roti or a ceviche from Peru, however, there’s guaranteed to be a spot to satisfy your culinary curiosity at a price that’s within your budget.

Given the size of Buenos Aires and the breadth of its dining options, we at the Herald struggled mightily (and fought bitterly) to keep this list to just nine locations, so expect a sequel in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s an incomplete selection of our favorite international restaurants — and a few ideas for what you might try to order.

Mirutaki in Palermo Hollywood

Our 10 favorite international restaurants

Gran Dabbang (Scalabrini Ortiz 1543, 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., Monday to Saturday) — Voted one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America in 2022, this hole-in-the-wall on bustling Scalabrini Ortiz offers some of the tastiest Thai food with the freshest ingredients you’ll find in this hemisphere. 

Chan Chan (Hipolito Yrigoyen 1390, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 11:45 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday) — A downtown classic, Chan Chan has the best ceviche in the city, full stop. Be sure to complement it with a pisco sour, which is as refreshing as it is delicious.

Mirutaki (Ángel Justiniano Carranza 2339, 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday) — The lines may be endless, but trust us on this: the ramen is worth the wait. Mirutaki also offers takeout if you can’t be bothered with the Palermo Hollywood crowds.

El Buen Sabor Africano (Camargo 296, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. 12 a.m. Saturday) — Few restaurants in Buenos Aires will expand your culinary horizons quite like El Buen Sabor Africano, which serves an assortment of African dishes that include meat smothered in a chard-and-peanut sauce. The fried plantains are ethereal.

Shan Dong Fan Dian (Vera 468, 7 p.m. to 10:30, Wednesday to Sunday) — Chinatown in Belgrano is home to any number of great restaurants, but for our money, Villa Crespo’s Da Dong Fan Dian is the best Buenos Aires has to offer, with a menu of authentic dishes from the Shandong region of China. 

Iñaki (Moreno 1341, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Monday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday) — Basque cuisine at its finest. If you’re craving a seafood paella or some grilled octopus, Iñaki is the spot for you.

Dehli Mahal (Cordoba 1147, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., Monday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday) — It’s no secret that Argentines, very broadly speaking, don’t much care for spicy foods. Fortunately, Delhi Mahal pays them no mind, offering an array of dishes that will make your eyes water and your nose run.

El Club Sueco (Azopardo 1428, 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday) — Heaping portions of seafood make El Club Sueco a sui generis dining experience in Buenos Aires. It also has a lovely outdoor space where you can take a bit of sun.

El Molino Dorado (Quito 4100, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Wednesday to Saturday) — A destination for Russian emigres and food lovers alike. El Molino Dorado also offers a selection of flavored vodkas, which the owner might share with you if you catch him on the right night.

El Preferido de Palermo (Jorge Luis Borges 2108, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., all week) — We’re cheating just a little. This stylish Palermo eatery is as Argentine as it is Spanish, but its tapas are too delicious not to include on this list. It also has some of the best milanesas in town and a grilled lenguado that falls right off the bone. Just keep in mind that it can be impossible to get a table, so make your reservation (weeks) in advance.

El Club Sueco in San Telmo

A few of our favorite things

Where even to start? Part of what makes these eateries so appealing is that their ingredients are so unique and their cuisines so varied. Still, a few dishes immediately spring to mind: the pot-sticker dumplings at Da Dong Fan Dian, which are delectable; and literally any of the ramens at Mirutaki, which put soups at similar Japanese restaurants to shame.

Argentina has some of the most welcoming immigration policies in the region, and the diversity of its population is increasingly reflected in its foods and restaurants. So if you want to gain a more fulsome understanding of the culture, you owe it to yourself to visit the locations where its immigrant communities dine and congregate. Trust us: your taste buds will thank you for it.

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