El San Juanino
Tucked away in Recoleta, this rustic nook with red leatherette booths is home to the town’s best empanadas. Flash-baked to order, the pastries arrive blistered and plump with creamed corn, mozzarella and basil, or hand-chopped beef sweetened with onions. You’ll eat surrounded by Porteño matrons impatiently waiting by the tiled takeout counter, ravenous tourists, and jovial old-timers into their umpteenth carafe of coarse wine. Don’t Miss Empanadas fritas with a beef relleno so succulent it squirts juices down your chin.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.