Here's a list of the top 5 things travelers should not miss out on when visiting Argentina.
The diet in Buenos Aires is very meat-heavy, especially beef! The country is well known for its steak, and this will no doubt be high on the list of most visitors come meal-times. But that’s not all you can munch on in Buenos Aires. Thanks to waves of immigration from the Mediterranean, you will find dishes inspired by Spanish and Italian cuisine feature prominently in the restaurants, cafés and markets of Argentina’s ornate capital.
“Asado”: a banquet of beef.
Argentine asado needs no introduction, but just in case you've never heard of it, imagine world-class meat cuts salted and grilled to perfection. The ritual of asado begins with a serving of offals, such as sweetbread and kidneys, which are eaten while the main cuts finish cooking.
Once done, you’ll be presented with a choice of ribs, sirloin and tenderloin, among other cuts. The side dish is usually salad, although some restaurants offer French fries as well. Asado is a tradition and a ritual, shared by Argentine families on Sundays and by Argentine friends… whenever possible, actually. Argentines love asado and any time is the right time for having it.
“Milanesa de carne”: a deep fried beef covered with bread crumbs.
It’s no secret Argentines love meat. The country eats over 100 kg per person per year, and much of that in the form of milanesas. This traditional, inexpensive and delicious dish consists of round steak coated in breadcrumbs. Whisked eggs are used to make the breadcrumbs stick to the meat. They are usually fried and topped with mozzarella, although most restaurants offer at least 3 topping choices. The locals’ favourite? Milanesa a caballo (horse-riding milanesa), topped with fried eggs and served with a side of French fries.
“Empanadas”: salty argentinian pastries.
Simply put, empanadas are disks of puff pastry folded and filled with a variety of fillings. The most popular are meat, ham and cheese, and humita (a sweetcorn filling typical from the north-west of Argentina), although you’ll find different flavours if you visit the provinces.
Empanadas can be fried or baked, and they are the perfect finger food for you to grab while you wander around Buenos Aires. Fun fact: Pasteles are similar to empanadas but they’re bigger, fried and sugar-coated.
“Locro”: an argentinian wheat stew.
Arising from humble origins, locro is now commonly prepared and eaten on national holidays such as 25 de Mayo and 9 de Julio. This calorific and flavour-packed stew is made with an assortment of beans, corn and sausages, among other vegetables and meat cuts. It is usually spicy and thick, with a characteristic yellow-red colour. You can often find this dish in small cosy restaurants serving traditional cuisine in Buenos Aires.
“Choripán”: argentine-style sausage sandwich
Choripán is short for “chorizo” (pork sausage) and “pan” (bread). This pork sausage sandwich is a national favourite, and variations span from the classic “chori” (with mayo or mustard) to the gourmet kind which incorporates avocado, arugula and dried tomatoes, among other ingredients.
Choripán is usually homemade, eaten before asado or on its own, or bought at food trucks. Its taste is salty and greasy, and simply delicious. Fun fact: According to popular wisdom, the best choris you’ll ever have are the ones you buy from the food truck right outside the stadium, after watching a football match.