Food and wine in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is synonymous with char-grilled steak and smooth red wine, but it has other treats as well.

Make sure you try dulce de leche, chorizo, empanadas, choripan and medialunas.

Dig into the culinary history of Buenos Aires and you'll immediately understand why it's a city for foodies. As well as South American cultures, Argentine cuisine is flavoured by Spain, Italy, Russia, Japan and the Middle East. This melting pot of influences is fantastic news for travellers who are willing to try new things. To wash it all down, Argentina has a long-established wine industry that produces outstanding white and sparkling wines, as well as sumptuous reds.

The ultimate breakfast in Buenos Aires is a macchiato coffee and medialunas (Argentine-style croissants) spread with dulce de leche, a thick caramel sauce. Off-the-scale delectable!

Steak, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Buenos Aires food is all about the steak

Buenos Aires is the right place to pursue your quest for the ultimate steak dinner. Argentina produces some of the world's best beef and the local steakhouses, known as parrillas, know exactly what to do with it.

You can start with an empanada (Latin American meat-filled pastry) then proceed to the parrillada mixed grill, which will give you a taste of everything. The wood-fired flavours are out of this world. In Argentina, grilled meat always comes with a superb sauce - chimichurri is a favourite. The intense combination of parsley, garlic, chilli, oregano and onion is beef's best friend. 

If you're looking for the best Buenos Aires steak restaurants, head to the exclusive neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, where trendy restaurants are cheek-by-jowl along the waterfront. For a more traditional example of Argentine grill, find your way to San Telmo, an older barrio known for its museums and antiques.

There are literally hundreds of parrillas serving traditional food in Buenos Aires, so ask your accommodation host for best steakhouse recommendations or look online for the latest Top 10 steakhouse rankings.

Coffees and croissants on a tray, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

More incredible edibles

The ultimate breakfast in Buenos Aires is a macchiato coffee and medialunas (Argentine-style croissants) spread with dulce de leche, a thick caramel sauce. You'll find this particular indulgence at many cafés in the city. Bring some jars of dulce de leche home as a souvenir - supermarkets carry a choice of brands. 

If you need some street food to keep you going mid-morning, enjoy another encounter with dulce de leche by eating alfajores - delicate cookies sandwiched together with gooey caramel; the Argentine interpretation of an oreo.  

For lunch on the go, a choripan will hit the spot. It's a crusty bread roll filled with grilled chorizo sausage and chimichurri sauce. Lip-smackingly good!  Or grab a selection of empanadas, little pastry turnovers filled with spicy beef, chicken, ham and cheese, cheese and onion, tuna or creamed corn. Argentine-style pizza is another option; it's lighter on the tomato sauce and heavier on the cheese than traditional Italian pizza.

Before dinner, grilled provoleta is a gooey type of gorgeousness that goes down well with a glass of crisp white wine. You can follow it with milanesa, an escalope of beef or chicken that's hammered thin, bathed in breadcrumbs, fried, and then topped off with ham, cheese and tomato sauce. Wickedly delicious.

Buenos Aires wine and other liquid delicacies

Argentina's wine industry is in fine form. The rolling hills and valleys of Mendoza province produce the country's famed malbec, which manages to be bold, fruity and smooth all at the same time. Argentina also produces dark, brooding syrah, powerful cabernet sauvignons and super-smooth merlots. All of them are food-friendly, though experts say the best match for steak is malbec.

The flagship white in Argentina is torrontes, which is distinctively crisp, floral and citrusy. Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier also do well in Argentina, so you'll find plenty of choice for chicken and seafood dishes. If you're toasting your holiday, Argentine sparkling wines are excellent - dry, but with a subtle sweetness. Look for Chandon Extra Brut, Cruzat Extra Brut and Bianchi Extra Brut.

When you need an energy boost during an action-packed day in Buenos Aires, order a cup of yerba mate. This popular South American drink is said to pack the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate. Made from the naturally-caffeinated leaves of the South American holly tree, it tastes a bit like green tea. The locals usually make it themselves, but you'll find it on the menu at parrillas (steakhouses) throughout the city.

Buenos Aires food highlights