North American, Continental and Middle Eastern cuisine is generally available, whilst local food is largely a mixture of Basque, Spanish and Italian. Beef is of a particularly high quality and meat-eaters should not miss out on the chance to dine at a parillada, or grill room, where a large variety of barbecue-style dishes can be sampled.
Popular local dishes include empanadas (minced meat and other ingredients covered with puff pastry) and locro (pork and maize stew). In general, restaurants offer good value. They are classified by a fork sign with three forks implying a good evening out.
Argentine wines are very good and inexpensive. Local distilleries produce name brands of most well-known spirits. Whiskies and gins are excellent, as are classic and local wines. Caribbean and South American rum add flavour to cocktails. There are no licensing laws.
Caffarena 64, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The atmosphere (Boca Juniors souvenirs on walls, tango musicians moving from table to table at weekends) is as much a part of the attraction as the simple home-cooked and reasonably priced food at this hugely popular Boca restaurant. Closed Sun.
Azcuénaga 784, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ask the waiters to guide you through the specialities at the back of the menu (written in Chinese) for authentic Chinese food including seaweed, duck etc. Cheap to moderate.
Reconquista 269., Buenos Aires, Argentina
Generous, well-cooked and simple food with daily specials such as roast chicken with sweet potato puree. The real attraction, however, is the stunning location in the patio of an old convent where, amongst palm trees and bird song, you might even forget that you are at the heart of Buenos Aires financial district. Cheap.
Perón 1883, Buenos Aires, Argentina
An old standby, and a good deal because dishes such as peceto al horno con papas (roast meat and potatoes) are big enough for two. Cheap.
Local 61-62, Galería Boston, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This Catamarcan eaterie is regarded as having some of the finest empanadas in the city with juicy, hand-chopped fillings (vegetarian corn or cheese and onion are also available) and delicious pastry. Cheap.
Corrientes 1368., Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you want a traditional porteño pizza experience look no further than this Corrientes institution. The classic order is a portion of mozzarella, fainá (a pizza-shaped Genovese speciality made from chick pea dough) and a glass of sweet moscato – eaten at the counter. Cheap.