Cuisine in Argentina is a blend of some of the best flavors from South America and around the world.
Remember that as a tourist you need to check if you need an Visa Argentina or Reciprocity Fee before your departure.
A period of European colonialism brought new and different flavors to the native peoples, and Argentina rapidly became foremost among its neighbors as a food destination.
While there are as many variations of Argentine recipes as there are cooks in Argentina, the most common dishes are still easy to spot. Some are mostly served at home while others are easy to make and popular with tourists.
Home-Cooked Argentine Food
Sunday family dinner is a broadly recognized tradition in Argentina, and one of its closest ties to European culture, where meals are often the centerpiece for family gatherings and social events. There are a few dishes that count as staples of a traditional Argentine family gathering, and many of them are also prepared daily throughout the week:
Carbonada a stew frequently served a hollowed half of a squash. The ingredients vary significantly between regions and individual cooks, but this is a warm and hearty staple for many Argentines, and also served as an appetizer in restaurants.
Empanadas feature in almost every Latin American country. A small serving of meat and vegetables is wrapped in flatbread dough and then baked or fried. These are available from nearly every food seller in Argentina and are especially popular among tourists or anyone eating on the go.
Estofado is a thick stew-like tomato dish that is most often served over pasta, a dish adapted from Italian influences.
Dining Out in Argentina
For those who do not have the benefit of home-cooked Argentine food, there is no shortage of restaurants and street vendors. Although food in Argentina is hugely diverse, there are some uniquely Argentinean options available just about anywhere you look.
Do you have a taste for barbeque? Parilla means barbeque, and these restaurants are common throughout Argentina. They serve a variety of meats including chicken, pork, lamb, and beef. Argentine barbeque is prepared over wood coal or charcoal, lending a uniquely South American flavor.
How about a quick sandwich? Look for milanesa, an Argentine fast-food item made with a thin slice of meat, breaded, fried, and served with ham and cheese or tomato sauce. These are quick, popular, and can be found almost anywhere in the city.
Ready to try an Argentine quiche?
Check the menu for tartas, which are open-faced pies with fillings made from vegetables, meat, ham and cheese, or egg.
Don’t forget pizza! Although pizza is considered an Italian dish, the Argentine variety is also delicious and popular. Many restaurants in Argentina serve pizzas in addition to their traditional menus, and there are also pizza-only establishments.
No matter the reason for your visit to Argentina, the food is worth a healthy portion of your time. Every region offers a different variety of dishes, with an endless supply of unique flavors and ingredients. Many simple and hearty dishes are available for the picky eaters or anyone with food sensitivities, however, there are also plenty of ethnic and unusual options for the adventurous.
Apply for an Argentina Visa
- Note for US Citizens: Effective on March 24 2016, the Argentina Government has temporarily suspended the Argentina Reciprocity Fee for US citizens.
- Note for all Australian citizens: From the 1st of July 2017, Australians no longer require to pay the Reciprocity fee to visit Argentina..
- Chinese Citizens to apply for the English: Argentina Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) / Spanish: AVE - Autorización de Viaje Electrónica online.
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