Picture me, in Buenos Aires... eating where?
December 11, 2015 10:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Buenos Aires for one night only, and I need suggestions for where to eat.

So picture this: it's a Saturday night in mid December in BA and I'm in the city (in the whole continent, as it happens) for the first time. I'm only passing through, sadly, so I want to make my one dinner a memorable one.

I'm a 39-year-old European woman who speaks only the merest smattering of Spanish. I'm an experienced and confident traveller but on this trip I'm on my own, and so I'm in an establishment and a part of town where that does not cause me to feel uncomfortable.

I needn't be on the doorstep of my hotel (near General San Martin metro), but I'd like getting back afterwards to be relatively straightforward - a taxi is fine as long as I'm somewhere where I can safely get hold of one.

I'm dressed on the scruffy side for BA, which I gather can be quite a dressy city - think nice jeans and t-shirt.

I'm eating steak, of course; it's a really, really great steak. Because it's the done thing, I'm probably washing it down with red wine (though secretly I'd prefer a beer).

I'm likely eating early for a native, but not so early that the place is deserted; you might even say there's a mild buzz.

The restaurant is giving me a distinctive Buenos Aires vibe and atmosphere. It's not some sleek modern joint; it could be lovably rough round the edges, or some family-run neighbourhood institution.

So, MeFites who know the city: what's the name of my restaurant? (and will I need to book?)
posted by FavourableChicken to Travel & Transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't been to Buenos Aires for years, and was only there briefly, so, I don't have any restaurant recommendations, but this article Argentina On Two Steaks A Day was spot on. I only found it after I'd gotten home, and wished I'd read it beforehand, we would have brought red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
posted by oh yeah! at 10:54 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think if you dress down, you will miss out on the quintessential Buenos Aires experience and possibly some of the best restaurants. My personal favorite is Fervor in Recoleta. Fantastic steaks and organ meats, slightly fancy, but not over the top.
posted by Atrahasis at 11:38 AM on December 11, 2015

For steak if you're only going to be there one night then it's either Don Julio in Palermo or La Brigada in San Telmo. From your hotel, which is the downtown area, you should take a taxi - get your hotel to call you one on the way there and you can easily flag one down on the way home (on Defensa if you're in San Telmo) or get the restaurant to call you one. The area around your hotel will be dead at night and you should definitely avoid wandering around alone at night, especially towards Retiro station.

I would recommend La Brigada as it's marginally nearer to your hotel - you should book if you can but book for 8pm at the earliest - Porteños eat late. San Telmo is an interesting old area, and you should also try Antares beforehand if you would like to try some local beer.
posted by jontyjago at 11:38 AM on December 11, 2015

I can second Don Julio as being very good and having super-professional waitstaff. Probably also a place where you'd want to make a reservation, though as far as dress goes I don't think you'll feel out of place there. Incidentally, Antares also has a Palermo location that's pretty close to Don Julio.

I imagine you'd find Palermo to be marginally safer-feeling, but both areas are walkable and will be well-populated. It really comes down to which setting you'd prefer.
posted by invitapriore at 12:25 PM on December 11, 2015

2nding La Brigada.

La Brigada is pretty authentic - friendly and charming while not really fancy. Though, my experience in the couple times I've eaten there is that it's not 'foodie' good, it's a sort of unbelievable quantity good. From your description it sounds quite like what you're looking for.

In the not-what-you're-looking-for-but-kinda-cool-anyway category is a place called Florería Atlántico, which is written up here.

BA can be dangerous in spots, so you're right to take cabs just about everywhere.
posted by Sleddog_Afterburn at 1:02 PM on December 11, 2015

(even 8pm is really, really early for a saturday. it's early here in chile. and chile is not argentina. if you want atmosphere, you must plan for later.)
posted by andrewcooke at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2015

Yeah, I see you at Don Julio.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:05 AM on December 12, 2015

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