Argentine cuisine is largely about steak and wine, and also pizza and pasta which came from the Italian immigrant influence. You can easily find parrillas, pizzerías, cafeterías at every corner, or better yet, your guidebooks will guide you to the must-visit ones. However, for adventurous diners or more sophisticated food lovers, they may want to seek out a more gourmet and inventive dining experience. In that respect, there are quite a bunch of choices, thanks to all the budding talented chefs bringing new excitements to the Buenos Aires gastronomic scene. But as many newcomers soon realize, they are not that easy to find. The question remains where are these awesome eateries?
Since the trend of closed door restaurants has started a few years back, googling ‘puertas cerradas‘ (or simply check out our Buenos Aires closed-door restaurants blog) will easily land you a good list of hidden gems to satisfy your taste buds. However, given the concept is no longer new, meaning many, including mediocre ones, have also joined the rank. Hits-and-misses are slowly trickling in, and labeling as a ‘closed door’ seems to be no longer a guarantee for something amazing.
The other way is to pour through different food and drink magazines, websites, dedicated foodie blogs, in both Spanish and English. While that is fun and all, you do need to put in quite some work to weave through a lot of opinions. Knowing many of you love a good meal but may prefer keeping the work to the minimum, let me end your misery right here.
Earlier this month, the renowned UK’s Restaurant Magazine, who is also responsible for the Annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, has released the 2013 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. These restaurants were chosen and tallied by a panel of 250+ influential leaders and experts in the Latin American restaurant industry. Among all the countries, Argentina is proud to receive the most restaurants listed, with 15 out of the Top 50! (See the list HERE) All of them, but one in Mendoza, are in Buenos Aires. That means, you lucky fellas better note them down and start dialing to make your reservations.
[Note: The No. 1 winner is Astrid Y Gastón from Lima, Perú. They also made the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (at #14). The reason why I want to point them out is that we do have an Astrid Y Gastón here in Buenos Aires, and yes they are owned by the same people, but unfortunately they shouldn’t be seen under the same light. First, it is because the voting for 50 Best is based on restaurant and not chef/restaurateur. Second, I did have the pleasure to dine there once, the experience was good but far from award winning awesomeness. It was a tad disappointing but why take my word for it. Give it a shot, just keep in mind that they are not the same.]
Now that you have a great trustworthy list to get you started, we can also begin to spread the word that Argentine cuisine can and is ready to go beyond the steak, the pizza and the empanada.