It’s best not to visit Argentina if you’re on a diet, the food is simply too good to resist. The pastries, the pizzas, the dulce de leche and of course, the famous meat! Numerous cuts, various cooking styles and an array of delicious sauces to drizzle on top. It’s nothing short of heavenly.
With influences from Spain, Italy and France, the food has a distinctive Mediterranean taste which blends seamlessly with traditional Latin flavours. It’s rich, hearty, indulgent and deliciously moreish. Here’s our guide to some of the best food in Argentina.
What is Argentina’s national dish?
Asados & Parrillas
Argentines love their asados – the Argentinian barbeque. The country is world-famous for it’s tender, juicy and flavoursome meat, and the way to cook it is over a parilla – a hot, open fire. But an asado is more than just a meal, it’s a gathering of friends and family that should last at least a few hours. Steak, pork, chorizo, ribs, chitterlings and blood sausage are popular cuts served.
Did you know?
Per capita, Argentina is the second largest consumer of beef in the world.
Vegetarian food in Argentina
Being the home of the steak, occupied by a nation of meat-lovers, you might think it would be difficult to find vegetarian food in Argentina. But, even though the streets are paved with steak-houses, there are lots of vegetarian dishes to try, especially in Buenos Aires. Some of our favourite vegetarian dishes in Argentina are empanadas, ravioli, pizza, medialunas, humitas and provoleta.
Drinks in Argentina
Yerba mate is a drink made by steeping holly in boiling water. It tastes very similar to green tea and can also come flavoured.
A trip to Argentina would not be complete without sampling a glass or two of their famous, red and silky Malbec wine.
A truly authentic Argentinian drink made by mixing over 15 herbs with sugar and lemon juice, then poured over ice.
One of the best drinks to quench your thirst on a hot summer’s day is agua de coco – fresh coconut water sipped straight from the coconut.
What food should I try in Argentina?
Dining at a steakhouse is almost a rite of passage when visiting Argentina, and the variety is endless. Some of the best cuts are bife de lomo (tenderloin), entraña (skirt steak), asado de tira (short ribs), vacío (flank steak) and bife de chorizo (sirloin / New York strip).
Half-moon pastries filled with a variety of meat, vegetables, fish, cheese or corn. Empanadas are hugely popular street-food snacks, often served at festivals and events. They come either baked or fried.
Another popular street food in Argentina is the choripán. Either pork or beef chorizo is flame-cooked, sliced in half, topped with vegetables, drizzled with chimichurri and served inside crispy bread rolls.
A dish originating from Italy, milanesa is meat (either chicken or beef), mashed into a thin patty, covered in breadcrumbs and fried. It’s usually topped with cheese and tomato sauce and sometimes a fried egg.
Pisa / pizza – faina
Brought over by the Italians, Argentinian pizza is delicious! A thick crust, a thin layer of tomato sauce and a hearty helping of soft Argentine mozzarella. Often topped with olives, oregano and chilli.
Dulce de leche
Anyone with a sweet tooth must try dulce de leche. A thick, sweet caramel sauce made by reducing condensed milk. Argentines put it in anything! Ice cream, cheesecake, chocolates, even sweet empanadas.
Possibly some of the best-grilled cheese in the world. Strong, sharp Argentine cheese is topped with oregano and chilli, then grilled to perfection – crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle.
These crumbly biscuits are one of the most popular snacks in Argentina. Made from two shortbread slices sandwiched together with jam or (their favourite ingredient) dulce de leche!
Essentially the Argentinian pesto, chimichurri is made by mixing up chopped herbs, garlic, chilis and olive oil. It’s the most popular condiment in Argentina and delicious drizzled over steak and meats.