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The Urbanist’s Buenos Aires: Where to Eat


Parillo Don Julio  

Steak, No Steak
It’s hard not to head straight for a big fat ojo de bife in B.A. But beef is far from the only option here. Local foodies offer carnivorous picks in four neighborhoods.

Where: San Telmo, according to Fernando Rivarola, chef-owner of El Baqueano

Beef: La Brigada Estados Unidos 465; 54-11-4361-5557
“Hugo Echevarrieta is a singular character and personally greets each guest here. Order the asado de tira especial, a succulent cut of Angus with rib bones that weighs in at almost 800 grams. The steak is served so tender that it can be cut with a spoon.”

More Than Beef: Aconcagua Bolívar 905; 54-11-4362-3826
“A legendary neighborhood tavern, run by a Galician. It’s messy, old, noisy, with food cooked to order and daily set menus. Get the arroz con calamares, which is sort of like a Galician-style paella.”
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Where: Palermo, according to Andrés Rosberg, vineyard director of La Moradade los Andes

Beef: Don Julio Guatemala 4691, 54-11-4832-6058
“The tablecloths are made of leather—each being the entire skin of one cow. Make sure you taste all the achuras—sweetbreads, kidneys, chitlins—as starters, then ask owner Pablo Rivero for beef and wine recommendations, or get my favorite, the skirt steak.”

More Than Beef: Tegui Costa Rica 5852, 54-11-4770-9500
“Germán Martitegui’s eclectic take on international cooking with a deep respect for local ingredients. Try the burrata with strawberries, basil, and pistachios. There’s a brilliant selection of wines from sommelier Martín Bruno. Make sure you have the exact address: There is no sign.”
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Where: Villa Crespo, according to Allie Lazar, food writer and blogger at pickupthefork.com

Beef: La Esperanza de los Ascurra Aguirre 526, 54-11-2058-8313
“A funky (and cheap) tapas bar ideal for getting down with Italian- and Spanish-influenced porteño dishes. Go with a group and order the bife de chorizo, a sirloin steak that’s dressed up a caballo—with an oozy fried egg on top.”

More Than Beef: I Latina Murillo 725, 54-11-4857-9095
“A puerta cerrada (closed-door) restaurant run by Colombian siblings. The seven-course tasting menu features seafood and pork with a Caribbean bent. The star of the show is a braised pork shoulder slow-cooked and doused in a thick coffee-and-sugarcane sauce.”
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Where: Retiro, according to Ernesto Lanusse, president of the Asociación Argentina de Food Trucks

Beef: Nuestro Secreto Cerrito 1455; 54-11-4321-1552
“A lovely ambience (a glass roof and walls, which can be opened), and a top-of-the-line wine list, located in the Four Seasons with a view of the pool. Most interesting are the aged meats or the ones that are smoked with different types of native hardwoods.”

More Than Beef: Florería Atlántico Arroyo 872
“Hidden beneath a flower shop, this speakeasy-style bar and restaurant manages to feel authentic despite the fact that it’s so trendy. There’s always something on the grill that goes beyond beef, like a Spanish-style grilled octopus or whole sole.”


Secret Ping-Ponging
Ten years ago, a fire in the Cromañón nightclub left 194 partygoers dead, and the city responded with sweeping crackdowns on clubs and music venues while new safety regulations were put in place. The result: Bars went underground, and a “secret scene” (that reached fever pitch in the subsequent decade) emerged and is still going strong. Here, nightlife mavens pick out their favorite new spots.

Underground Pool: Café San Bernardo, Av. Corrientes 5436
“It’s in an old workers’ club where taxi drivers would play pool over a beer at the end of a long shift. In recent years, ‘Sanber’ has become the porteño hipster mecca, with fixies and skateboards parked inside the huge, badly decorated salon, while pool and Ping-Pong matches go on through the night. Someone’s usually playing music from local bands on an iPod.” —Javier Gover, Trashmission festival founder

Underground Cocktails: Victoria Brown, Costa Rica 4827
“By day, it’s a café known for its brunch; at night, the fake brick wall opens to reveal a luxurious bar. The cocktails are incredible—the Desde Cuba con Amor comes out smoking. Also unmissable is la Provence, with gin, lavender flowers, lemon, honey, and ginger juice. It opened in February and has become one of the barrio’s hottest spots, which is saying something, as bars are ten a penny in Palermo.” —Celina Andreassi, editor at the Argentina Independent

Underground Country Bluegrass: La Playita, Roseti 722
“There’s a random doorbell on a house in Chacarita. Buzz and somebody eventually lets you in. A small line forms at the door for a cheap cover, then it’s all ragtag couches and chairs, cheap beers, and a charming stage that features a Who’s Who of the underground folkie scene. Catch Buck Hunter and the Pig City Porkrollers, an expat country-bluegrass band that has a flair for the theatrical.” —Grant C. Dull, Whats Up Buenos Aires founder


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