That best bite for breakfast:
- Medialunas (small buttery croissants) with coffee at a nearby bakery. My favorite was Las Calas, across the street from my apartment. If you´re looking for something sweet, try the pastelitos filled with dulce de membrillo (quince paste) or the many puff pastries filled with dulce de leche (caramel cream). These are perhaps better as dessert or afternoon snack.
That best bite for lunch:
- Something light and fresh in Palermo or Recoleta. A salad or sandwich at Pain et Vin, or En el Nombre del Postre, or Florencio´s. Maybe a sandwich de miga (light, airy, crustless bread with ham and cheese) pretty much anywhere. The point is to keep it light for dinner.
- Milanesa (a.k.a. Milanese, Wienerschnitzel). Breaded and fried cutlet of chicken or beef. In the original Italian version veal or pork was used. Argentines use full-grown crow so it´s sometimes way too thick and tough to eat. They also put tomato sauce, melted cheese and ham all over it and call it a “Napolitana.” The only one I´ve ever enjoyed was at El Preferido de Palermo. Get it there. Do not get it at el Club de la Milanesa.
That best bite for an afternoon snack + beer:
- Choripan. Chorizo + pan. You have to have one. And put some chimichurri sauce on there too. Or if sausages are not your thing then get a bondiola. Where? Any carrito at any park or market in the city. But don´t get the little hamburgers. Those are gross. Beer? Quilmes. It´s cheap. Split a 1 L bottle with your friend. It´s not strong anyway…
- Empanada. Super popular in Argentina, along with everyone else in Latin America. Get them at El Sanjuanino in Recoleta. Get at least one with chicken. And get a penguin-shaped jug of Malbec (instead of beer) to share.
That best bite for dinner:
- Asado. Preferably on someone´s rooftop. If not, at a parilla. Good ones include Parrilla Peña, El Trapiche and the touristy-but-for-good-reason La Cabrera. Asados go like this: empanadas, sausages (chorizo and/or morcilla), provoleta (melted Provolone cheese with oregano), mollejas (my personal favorite: grilled veal sweetbreads with lemon squeezed over the top). Then the Holy Trinity: costilleras, entraña and vacío. With chimichurri and a lot of wine. No salad on the side. Maybe a little bread but not too much of that either.
- If you have another night, pizza. Usually doughy, thick pizza. It´s not that great but Argentine´s are super proud of it because they think it shows off their Italian roots. Two good places to visit are El Cuartito in Recoleta and El Banchero in La Boca. My favorite is the thinner crusted stuff at Morelia in Las Cañitas. That best bite? The fugazzetta with tons of gooey cheese and a heap of caramelized, slightly burnt onion sprinkled over the top. Argentines also put something called fainá as a second layer above the pizza. It´s a triangular baked dough made of chickpea flour and seasoned with pepper, onions, and Parmesan. And it´s weird, I don´t like it. But get it if you wish!
That best late-night bite:
- Shawarma at Sinior Shawarma in Palermo Soho. A neighborhood institution.
- Thick, disgusting, sloppy pizza at Kentucky Pizza. Not good, but beloved.