Our guide to dining out in Buenos Aires
Some of the delights of Buenos Aires are the numerous bars, cafes, and restaurants.
A resto-bar is an Argentine concept of a restaurant and bar combination. People either come for a meal or stop by for drinks only. In general, the bar portions of resto-bars do not get busy until after 11pm or midnight. These are more relaxed than traditional bars and it is easier to chat with locals. In the gay ones, you get the chance to find local hotties too.
Gay-friendly Farmacia is in the bohemian old ‘Gas Light’ district of San Telmo, south of the main gay areas. A café by day from 10.30am onwards; by night a fab restaurant with great food, ambience and service – a must! Open for meals Tue – Sun from 9 pm.
Be sure to visit the Cafe Tortoni which hardly seems to have changed since it opened in 1893. On the weekends it has live music including tango. Another favourite is the Cafe de la Paix in Recoleta.
Meat eaters should visit one of the numerous parillas. Argentina is a major producer of beef and the meat is excellent. One of the most popular is the Chiquilin a large restaurant with a great atmosphere. There is plenty of space so you won’t need reservations.
Restaurants with a more eclectic menu, and a gay crowd include Filo (with an art gallery downstairs).
With its location on Av. Santa Fe, the ideal avenue for cruising, Babieca is the most gay-friendly bar and restaurant in town. Easy to find, this bustling restaurant has a light, friendly atmosphere. Serving from both à la carte and the chef’s special menu, it also stocks a fine selection of wines to complement the food. Enjoy a leisurely meal or coffee outdoors in the sun, with that French cafés vibe.
Argentina is beef country, so expect to see the famous pampas-bred thick steaks on every menu. The adventurous gourmet will try the parrillada, a full course of mixed barbecue meats. For an appetizer, try empanadas, meat pies (with raisins, hard-boiled eggs and olives) that you eat with your fingers. Bife de lomo is akin to filet mignon. Don’t request ketchup, as all meats are served with a vinaigrette on the side.