Argentina, famous for its steaks and malbec wines has more to offer foodies and travelers in the gastronomy scene. Our mission at Authentic Food Quest is to transform travelers experiences through the discovery and knowledge of authentic food. After 3 months in Argentina, we have put together our top 10 authentic foodie experiences you should not miss in Buenos Aires.
1. Discover The Unique Products at Mercado del Progreso
There are several types of farmers markets in Buenos Aires. For an authentic experience, visit the historic Mercado del Progreso. Go late in the afternoon and see the unique preparation of Milanesa.
What is Milanesa? These are thin cuts of beef, chicken or veal covered with breadcrumbs. Watching the way the butchers carefully cut the meat, beating it up to make it as thin as possible and then adding the breadcrumbs is truly fascinating.
2. Try Milanesa at a Bodegon
After you have seen Milanesa being prepared at Mercado del Progreso, you will definitely want to taste one. Not far from the market is Don Ignacio, one of the best traditional and authentic restaurants that specializes in Milanesa.
Try their speciality, Milanesa Fugazetta Especial con Fritas. This large Milanesa comes topped with ham, melted mozzarella cheese, onions, olives with oregano and a side of thick cut fries. This unpretentious restaurant is filled with oldies music record albums from the 50s to the 80s, and the music that goes along with it.
3. Enjoy Sweet Facturas At Local Bakeries
Facturas is the name given to pastries that are found at panaderias (bakeries) around the city. These little pastries are covered with sugar and are filled with dulce de leche (sweet caramel milk paste), crema pastelera (custard) or dulce de membrillo (Quince paste). For an authentic foodie experience, visit a panaderia and sample a few facturas.
4. Savor Alfajores
Alfajores are one of the most emblematic sweets of Argentina. It is a type of cookie that is made of two sweet cornstarch biscuits joined together with dulce de leche (sweet caramel milk paste). For authentic foodie experiences, we recommend indulging in alfajores for their long history that dates back to the 16th century. You will find Alfajores sold at panaderias, cafes or specialty stores.
5. Make Your own Fresh Pasta
The Italian influence is strong in Argentina and with that, pasta is an essential part of the local cuisine. When you want a break from beef or are looking for a simple meal, make your own fresh pasta. The best pasta place for an authentic foodie experience is L'Artisan taller de pasta. We recommend it for their hand made, fresh pastas which have no additives or preservatives. In 5 mins or less, you will experience Italian cuisine the Argentinian way.
6. Do Media Tarde (Late Afternoon Snack) At a Bar Notable
Argentineans are known to have their dinner quite late, starting at about 9pm or later. To tide you over, take advantage of the afternoon snack called media tarde or merienda.
Order the typical cafe de leche con tostadas. Get the tostadas con jamon y queso, which are four delicious toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.
Find a Bar Notable and enjoy your Media Tarde. There are 73 Bar Notables in Buenos Aires which have cultural significance and are an official part of the city's heritage.
7. Devour Fugazzeta Pizza and Faina
One of the most unique types of pizza you will find in Buenos Aires is the fugazzeta. This classic pizza, along with the Milanesa have been listed by the government as foods under "patrimonial value."
The best place to try fugazetta is at the restaurant that first started selling it in Buenos Aires. El Cuartito is legendary. The pizza is often accompanied by faina. This is a delicious flat pancake-like bread made with garbanzo beans. For a foodie, this is an experience not to miss out while in Buenos Aires!
Helado is ice-cream in Spanish, and Argentinians have mastered the art of making of it. This high quality ice cream is thick and creamy and made with natural ingredients.
For an authentic experience, try an artisanal helado at Cadore. This is one of the oldest heladerias established 1957, and a designated cultural landmark. Treat yourself to the popular dulce de leche flavor.
9. Relish Empanadas
A trip to Buenos Aires would not be complete without trying the famous empanadas. These are small pies with a "croissant" shape, stuffed with different fillings, mostly savory. The best empanadas are baked and these are ones you want to indulge in.
For a unique foodie experience check out Cumana Restaurant in Recoleta. This local spot offers a great selection of empanadas. Try the specialties; lomo picante (spicy, chopped tenderloin), jamon y queso (ham and cheese) and Roquefort cheese empanadas. So delicious, you will fall in love and go to empanada heaven.
10. Experience a Parilla
You can't go to Argentina and not try the beef. Famous for having some of the best steaks in the world, you want to try one at a Parilla (grill/steak house).
These world-class steaks come from cows that are grass-fed and free of antibiotics. The unique asado cooking technique, seals in the flavors and cooks without the flames touching the beef.
For a local and historic experience, check out El Desnivel, in the San Telmo neighborhood. Get Chorizo de Bife for a delicious thick cut of pure meat goodness. Be sure to order it jugoso, which means red and juicy.
Which of these authentic foodie experiences interest you the most? Share your comments below.
(This post was originally published on www.authenticfoodquest.com)