I am, more than most things, a foodie. But rather than five star restaurant dinners (don’t get me wrong; they have their place), I absolutely love good street food. I was not expecting Buenos Aires to be one of the best street food destinations I’ve ever visited. But it is.
So if you come to Buenos Aires, what should you look for? Here are some of the staples.
(Note: I am not including prices on anything. With the way inflation is currently in 2023, and the power of the blue dollar (click here to read about the blue dollar), everything here is insanely cheap. But even those prices have all fluctuated while I have been here in the city, although the dollar has outpaced inflation.)
If you do one casual meal here in Buenos Aires, get some takeout empanadas and go sit in one of the city’s many parks and watch the dogs play. This has been a 2-3 times a week activity for me, with my local empanada shop offering a deal for three plus a soda. Varieties seem to be pretty much the same at most joints. You’ve got your meat (both spicy and not), chicken, ham and cheese, verdura (spinach mainly), and several others. Empanadas here are baked rather than fried, so they aren’t oily, and two or three makes a perfect lunch on the go.
Buenos Aires has a huge Italian expat community, and pizza has become almost as prevalent here as empanadas. In fact, most pizza places also serve empanadas and vice versa. The reason: pizza here is made with empanada dough as the crust, meaning it is a bit doughy and flaky. It is good. But to take it to the next level, head to El Cuartito (near Teatro Colon), which has been serving the best pizza I’ve had here since 1934, and get a fugazzeta. This pizza, which comes either with or without ham, is stuffed with extra cheese and topped with charred onions. It is so much cheese that even a Chicago pizza would be envious, and wow is it good! Just note that while a slice of pizza can totally be eaten to go, fugazzeta is 100% a fork and knife experience.
Choripan is basically a sausage sandwich, with a grilled pork chorizo butterflied and put into a roll or baguette. It sounds simple, but as nobody does grilled meat like Argentina, it is amazing. Add some chimichurri (either red or green) and you’re in for a treat. Or get the choripan’s cousin, the morcipan, made with morcilla (blood sausage) in place of the chorizo. Note: Argentine chorizo is not really spicy like Mexican or Spanish chorizo is.
Ice cream in Argentina is made with powdered milk. Some people swear by it, claiming it is even creamier than elsewhere, and there are shops all over. I’ll be honest; I found it good, but not nearly the best I’ve had. It’s worth a try, though, especially since dulce de leche is a flavor found everywhere here.
Coffee and Pastries
If you are someone who likes your morning pick-me-up on the go, then coffee and pastries qualify as street food. The coffee in Buenos Aires is fine; it is nothing to write home about. However, the pastries are something else. Many coffee shops advertise specials for a coffee and one or two medialunas. A medialuna is basically a croissant, but here it will have a sweet glaze over the top. I now prefer these to the original. Or get an actual pastry. This city has amazing bakeries, and many of the cafes make their own pastries to go with the coffee. My favorite place is Lharmonie in the Palermo neighborhood, where they have the best almond croissant I’ve had in my entire life.
Overall, in my month in Buenos Aires, I’ve had some form of street food probably five times a week. While the focus has been empanadas, each of the things on this list has been something I’ve consumed multiple times from multiple places, and enjoyed on every occasion. So even if you are someone who prefers fine dining, or wants to go nuts on beef and red wine (click here to read about those Argentine delights), make sure to give some street food a try. You will not be sorry!
Like it? Pin it!