Food in Argentina

The food in Argentina is not the healthiest (lots of carbs and sweets), and there are not a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in the Argentinian diet. It’s not the easiest to navigate as a vegetarian when you’re eating at local restaurants (I was often given extra carbs instead of a vegetarian protein when I shared I was vegetarian), so I ended up breaking my vegetarianism for a couple of meals, since I was feeling so lethargic from only carbs. I also think because Argentina is so famous for their red meat (both in empanadas and asados), so it’s worth trying regardless.

Alfajores– many tourist shops in Buenos Aires let you try there alfajores, my favorite was the dark chocolate alfajores from Cachafaz (the cheapest option to purchase it is directly from the Cachafaz store, I went to the one in La Boca)! I realized from this trip that I actually didn’t like alfajores that much because the cookies are very dry, my favorite version was actually a non traditional version called alfajor de coco from Le Pain Quotidien (which is ironically not an Argentine cafe). Alfajor de coco was delicious because instead of a hard cookie, the dulce is sandwiched between two fluffy coconut macaroons.

Dulce de Leche– similar to alfajores, many tourist shops in Buenos Aires let you try their Dulce! My favorite by far was the Campo Quijano, it was pricier than other brands I saw, but definitely worth spending more for! Dulce is in EVERYTHING in Argentina and seems to be a staple of the Argentine diet. There were many cafe’s with brownies sandwiched between with dulce and meringue, multiple dulce ice cream flavors in heladeria’s (ice cream shops), alfajores of all different types (see above), chocotortas (see below), dulce in latte’s, and even desserts called conito (which is dulce de leche with a tiny cookie in the bottom, covered in chocolate, which I liked even better than alfajores)! I could not get enough of it!

Chocotorta- if you love dulce de leche, this is the dessert to try! According to my Argentinian friends, this is the birthday cake of choice for Argentinians! It’s basically dulce de leche stuffed between soaked chocolate biscuits, and my favorite version of it was a Nutella chocotorta from the cafe inside Ateneo bookstore

Medialunas- half moons are the literal translations, but these are served at breakfast everywhere in Argentina. They look like croissants but don’t taste like them, they aren’t flaky and taste like sweet brioche. They were too sweet for me to eat at breakfast, but I think they are definitely worth trying! You can find them at any panaderia (bakery) in Argentina.

Empanadas and Asado- you can get empanadas and asado anywhere, but if you want the full out experience, I’d recommend checking out Don Julio’s, which is famous for their steak and is known to be one of the best restaurants in the world! There’s a really long line if you don’t have a reservation, but they give out complimentary champagne and empanadas while you’re waiting outside, which is really fun! You can book a reservation here.

My group and I ended up going to El Preferido de Palermo because the wait at Don Julio’s was too long, and El Preferido is owned by the same people. El Preferido also gave complimentary alcohol and empanadas while we were waiting, so we got to double dip :). I didn’t think the steak was mind-blowing (and neither did my meat eating friends), but the experience was worth it (and I think Don Julio’s is likely better since it’s more famous! You can also get great steak spending much less money, but I do think Don Julio’s is worth checking out for the experience (plus, it’s not outrageously expensive because the dollar is really strong compared to the Argentine Peso)!

Italian food– There’s plenty of Italian food in Argentina due to the large Italian immigration into the country, many restaurants serve both asado and handmade pastas, but nowhere I personally visited had mind-blowing food, so I don’t have a specific recommendation to share. I’ve also heard the pizzas in Argentina are worth checking out and have a thicker crust than traditional Italian pizza and tons of cheese (if that’s something you enjoy)!

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