Enjoying Great Food in Crowded Metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina

GUEST ARTICLE: I wouldn’t call Buenos Aires one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever been to, but it was definitely one of the most interesting.

We were there for 5 days and barely touched it. What we did see was pretty impressive and the local food is delicious and certainly worth trying. The roughly 13 million people (minus us tourists) that live in the greater metropolitan area area of Buenos Aires was unbelievable – we’ve never seen so many people.

parilla

What a city, it’s massive! We arrived at around 7pm on a Friday night and had the chance to experience the rush hour traffic, something I would highly recommend you avoid.

Fortunately our taxi driver thought he was Mario Andretti and quickly weaved his way through a maze of streets until about an hour and a half later we finally arrived at our hotel in the district of Palermo.

You know it’s funny how drastic the change in scenery was, first we were driving through the most decrepit shanty town district that was crowded with derelict buildings and bars on every window. Then a few blocks over there were lines of beautiful condos and lush parks with sprawling green grass areas with flowerbeds all around.

We later discovered this juxtaposition was quite commonplace throughout Buenos Aires and most poor countries we have visited.

The Argentineans are a very proud people especially when it comes to their steaks. Which by the way I have to say are pretty close to the best that we’ve ever had.

parilla san cayetano cafe

If you’re looking for a great steak at a good price check out their local “Parrilla’s.” It’s a local eatery and from the outside looks very deceiving to what it actually has to offer โ€“ delicious. We had two fillet mignons, chorizo sausage, mash and wine for about $25AUD, you can’t argue with that.

The subway system is pretty old but it does the trick and it is super cheap, about 40cents per ride but it too is something to avoid during rush hour unless you feel like being a steaming sardine, yes it’s that packed and there’s no air conditioning.

I can’t even imagine what it’s like in the summer, yikes! Thankfully the cabs are also super cheap and can be found pretty much on every corner.

Our first sightseeing destination was the famous La Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried (‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ for those of you who don’t know who she is).

Before we entered the cemetery I noticed quite a few raggedy cats hanging about and once we made it inside we noticed heaps more. We saw about a dozen mangy looking street cats that have made the cemetery their home within the multitudes of the most beautiful sculptures and vaults we’ve ever seen.

la recoleta cemetery cats

We found out that within each of the massive family vaults there is usually an altar or dedication of some sort to the deceased and then stairs that lead to an underground area that can hold up to 40 family members โ€“ wow.

Another really cool district we went to is called San Telmo, the most ancient neighbourhood in the city. There is a massive pedestrian only street strictly dedicated to some pretty unique buskers, tango musicians and tonnes of shops and markets.

Tango in the Streets of Buenos
Aires

If you’re into antiques this is your place, I’ve never seen so many of those shops in one area. Unfortunately we never saw anything that took our fancy except this really cool mug made out of a cow’s hoof, now who wouldn’t want one of those. Merry Christmas Mom! Haha!

Also a great place to find empanadas the size of your head and yes steak, steak and more steak! This massive cobblestone street goes on for kilometres and eventually leads you to the downtown district.

The two pedestrian only streets were so packed that if you lost your place in what I call the cow cue, you had to step off to the side to time yourself back in. I don’t know how long these streets went on for but they had to have been at least a few kilometres each, yes girls โ€“ shopping, shopping and more shopping.

Next stop … Lima, Peru.

Hasta luego amigos!

This travel diary has been written by Rob Gower, a friend who enjoys taking the road less traveled!

12 thoughts on “Enjoying Great Food in Crowded Metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina”

  1. Never been that far south. Live here in the states. Have made many, many trips however to Mexico City. It too, is a vast sprawing city full of crazy Latin drivers. It also has many attractions, I prefer the countryside and the quaint out-of-way places along the old Pan-American Hiway. I always drive down, about a 2000 mile trip from my front door, but worthwhile. However, in recent years the drug cartels in northern Mexico have made the journey more difficult and I now fly down to Mexico City and rent a car once there. The scenes of Buenos Aires remains me of Mexico City. I love the city, but hate the traffic.

  2. I’ve been to Argentina many times, and agree that Buenos Aires is a wonderful city. A tip for those with more time on their hands: apart from Buenos Aires, Argentina offers many wonderful cities and sceneries. I recommend anyone to get away from the beaten path, and visit some cities and town not frequented by mass tourism. You’ll find the people and culture an unforgettable experience, and the food even better (and a lot cheaper) then in Buenos Aires.

  3. Wow, such pretty pictures. I would love to go to Argentina. My great grandmother was born there and i know we have family there, but we never went there. I have eaten argentinian food a couple of times and it tasted very good. The meat is excellent and their dulce de leche is to die for!

  4. “Steak, steak, and more steak!” Sounds like my kind of place. I’m going to have to see my way south to Buenos Aires one of these days.

    Funny picture of the cats……lazy cats.

  5. My wife and I went to Buenos Aires a long time ago. There was quite a contrast between the very poor parts of the city and then the more modern parts. But as you said, most if not all South American cities are like that. Yeah Buenos Aires doesn’t make for a good post card picture; but it is a very interesting place to visit.

  6. Iยดm actually in Argentina at the moment working with a community garden in La Plata. I am a big fan of Argentine food. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. We have never been “yet” to Argentina, but this is where our family tree leads us. My grandmother, born and raised in Buenos Aires, and would always cook these fabulous meals and recipes she got there as a child. We so much want to go there and experience that part of our culture, perhaps someday.

  8. I enjoy so much when someone post this kind of things about the city I live in… I really believe this city can offer a great time for any turist from everywehere…

    About the food, yeah, its great and cheap for almost every turist from Europe and States. Come down here and eat, eat, eat!

  9. well argentina is not poor. shanty towns are in every country included the us with more than 40 millions poors without healthcare and education.
    seet in this way. in argentina you can live in a shanty town, but you can still become a doctor because there is free education and free healthcare fore everyone including foreingers.
    in th overiew you will see that the us is poorer than argentina

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