F&W's roundup of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires, from an excellent small-plates spot to two sister parrillas (grill restaurants) just a few yards apart. For more great restaurants, check out our guide to the world's best places to eat.
Best known as the Malba cafeteria, this bright glass dining room outfitted with Arne Jacobsenchairs and Eero Saarinen marble tables attracts a hip crowd of local painters and models (especially during weekend lunches). The contemporary French menu, by young French chef JeromeMathe, focuses on freshly caught Argentinean and Chilean fish, as well as meat and poultry servedwith a choice of four sauces and side dishes.
We loved: Rib-eye steak with béarnaise sauce.
Politicians, trade-union leaders and top executives cross the Riachuelo River to the industrialsuburb of Avellaneda to hold clandestine meetings in one of Felix Clásico's two diningrooms—one filled with neon signs and newspaper clippings, the other lined with red velvetdrapes. Chef Alfredo Joda's repertoire of seafood ranges from Norwegian cod fish to blackhake.
We loved: Shrimp and squid with garlic; sole with tomatoes, basil and oliveoil; salmon with a coriander-and-Chardonnay sauce.
For 16 years, chef Jean Paul Bondoux has been perfecting his classic French cooking with acontinually updated menu in this formal-chic dining room near the National Museum of Fine Arts andthe Palais de Glace Museum. More than half of the 500-label wine list is local, with bottles fromthe esteemed Mendoza winery Finca & Bodega Vistalba.
We loved: Chilean turbot cooked in a salt crust and served with a white buttersauce.
Chef Matthias Zumstein's small-plates menu is wide-ranging, merging Porteño andMediterranean influences in dishes like an Argentinean-beef carpaccio with caper pesto.
We loved: Spiced-roasted jumbo shrimp.
At this trendy Palermo Soho spot, sushi takes on a Porteño point of view—most of thedishes are prepared with very fresh, lean salmon. Cinema is the theme: Films by Seijun Suzuki andWon Kar Wai are projected on the wall over the counter of the open kitchen, and industryheavyweights including Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola have dined at Little Rose.
We loved: New York Panko (salmon, cream cheese, rice and seaweed covered incrispy panko bread crumbs).
Cecilia Carena recently moved her restaurant to a 1920s Italian-style house in the heart of thevibrant Chinatown, but she sticks to the same tried-and-true Thai dishes she's been servingfor the past 15 years. It's a good thing her menu is as extensive as it is—includingeight different curries—since Thai food is hard to come by anywhere else in the city.
We loved: Haw mak (salmon and shrimp in red curry); banana fritterswith honey.
Local meat lovers split their time between these two sister parrillas (grillrestaurants) just a few yards apart. The extra-large beef cuts—nearly two poundseach—are smoked over wood and come with 13 vegetable side dishes, including a pumpkincasserole.
We loved: Ojo de bife (rib-eye steak); bife de chorizo (sirloin strip steak).
Although roughly half of the Argentinean population is descended from Italy, few restaurants inthe city serve stellar Italian food. Sottovoce is the exception, thanks to chef Alejo Waissman,whose pastas—especially the stuffed handmade ones—are wonderful.
We loved: Bresaola with mozzarella di bufala; greentagliatelle with squid, prawns and spider crab with tomato sauce; pappardelle with mushrooms.
Chef Germán Martitegui's fourth restaurant only bears a tiny sign with its name onit; the rest of the spot's facade is dominated by street art by Nicolás Monti. Insidethe huge, 100-year-old loft space, Martitegui and his kitchen staff work in an open kitchenpreparing an audacious, experimental menu—just four appetizers, four main courses and fourdesserts—that changes every Monday. A few recent choices: codfish foam and smoked mashedpotatoes.
We loved: Veal fillet steak with farofa (tapioca); foie gras withbrûléed pears.
The cooking of sisters Ada and Ebe Concaro has been the standard-bearer of Argentinean cuisinefor the past 38 years. With the help of Ada's son Federico Fialayre, the meat dishes,prepared with ingredients like Patagonian lamb, suckling pig and water buffalo from the Entre Riosprovince, continue to be exemplary. The radically remodeled restaurant now has a chic new look andwine cellar.
We loved: Kingfish fillet with cashews and lime; passion fruit parfait.