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There are very few Hotel dining rooms that can successfully traverse breakfast to dinner but even the mornings at “the market” have a real occasion.

Old Victorian curiosity
cabinets overstuffed with Argentinean antiques add an eclectic atmosphere where I enjoyed fuelling up on post-run bacon breakfasts. Big silver industrial lamps light up a feast; a stunning, overstocked buffet table heaped with buttery croissants, beautiful crystal bowls with fruit salads, hot slices of off-the-bone ham. I indulged my favourite new Argentinean habit, “dulce de leche,” a caramelised, sticky sweet sauce made from long-boiled milk and sugar, on beautiful sliced French loaves while letting my eyes wander all over the antiques on the wall - one of my more memorable breakfast experiences.





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El Mercado Faena| Martha Salotti 445 1107 Ciudad Autónoma de, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Buenos Aires | +54 (0)11 4010 9000 |
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The providores provide city restaurants with beef from ranch houses all over the countryside, each with their own methods and flavour as distinct as rural vineyards. So at La Pergola even healthy, light lunch eaters like us ordered steaks for lunch, the only restaurant on the pleasant, leafy Plaza Dorrugo. They were juicy and really well done. As we polished off our crème brulees, musicians and tango dancers entertained customers while street sellers showed off their wares. It’s amazing to see how serious and dramatic the performers here get (although at night I tend to prefer live music as a sole focus and to talk when I am dining). We crossed paths with a Peruvian musician who is working his way to Brazil and then Mexico. It feels soulful to intersect lives with strangers around the world from a totally different walk of life, sometimes for a brief moment.



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La Pergola| Av. Córdoba 680, El Centro, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires | + 54 114 321-0000 |
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Some Beunos Aires coffee lovers love to leaf through books while sipping their coffee and this is a gorgeous, old-school example: a café-bookstore in a converted old movie palace. The clientele are served onstage from the wings while the books are the ‘audience’ – down in the pit and in the balconies. This architectural gem is pretty rare in a world dominated by bland, generic chains.




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Ateneo Grand Splendid | Recoleta, Av Santa Fe 1860, Barrio Norte, Buenos A, Buenos Aires |
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The Argentineans pride themselves on their heritage of European elegance and visitors can seek out spots of olde-worlde grandeur. You don’t have to be a design buff to visit the eclectic Museum of Decorative Arts, a converted ambassadorial residence; many locals take tea at the gourmet French café in the gatehouse. You can sit out in a pretty garden courtyard and nibble on the signature croque madame, the fancy French way of saying grilled (sharp) cheese, ham, egg and toast (croque monsieur’s don’t have the egg, naturellement).

Although there is too much traffic
for me to think of Buenos Aires as a great walking city, the café culture ensures you never have to pace very far to find a snack. It’s not a takeaway culture - people seem to find a place to perch, and take their time to enjoy their coffee or the doughy medialuna pastries that are everywhere. It’s the Latin take on the croissant that comes manteca style (with butter) or oily (grasa). Traditional Havanna alfajores cookies also come with a variety of choice of fillings - dulce de leche, chocolate and fruit. You can’t leave BA without trying one of these diet breakers! If you like street food you can also try the choripan, an Argentine version of the hot dog with a hard roll.




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Croque Madame Café | Croque Madame Café , Botanico, Av Libertador 1902 Av. Callao 1569 Ciuda, Buenos Aires | View web site
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The restaurant is on a terrace, above the courtyard that separates the old and modern wings of this neo-classical looking Hotel. I always like to check out a great accommodation name in a new city but would normally not stop down and eat there. Long, drawn out formal hotel service in the day is bad time-management when a new playground beckons outside! It was at the suggestion of our guide, Mario but the delay meant that we missed out on visiting Eva Peron’s grave. This restaurant was a bit stiff  – and the crowd..."old establishment". However, it was really interesting to people watch. On the upside of eating here, hotels can always customise simple food... like chicken breast or grilled steak -  which fits into Sheira's gluten-free diet a lot better.




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Like all siesta cultures, Argentineans dine late. Restaurants are often empty before 8.30 pm and don't get real busy till 10.30pm onwards !



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Argentinean meat is amongst the best in the world so going to a parilla, a restaurant that specialises in beef, is a mission. La Brigada is the San Telmo neighbourhood’s temple to great steak. It is well renowned.The impeccable waiters don’t speak English, apart from understanding, ‘medium-rare.’

We LOVE THAT - 
 it adds to the sense of adventure. I have my way of putting on a ludicrous ‘local’ accent - that usually gets the message across. We couldn’t read the menu- no English,... again no serious problem, we here to eat meat !  La Brigada is an unpretentious spot with wooden beams, photos crowding the walls and small tables jammed close together. We loved the way the sizzling, juicy steaks are simply served with baskets of bread, chips and great wine, keeping the focus on the grassy meat - which is Aberdeen Angus cattle. The prime cuts are befe de lomo and befe chorizo; the baby beef is the tenderest meat you’ll taste anywhere.

But there are other elements to the Argentinean grill experience. There is always spicy chorizo sausage to start and we discovered that offal is not niche here! The mollejas (sweetbreads) and chinchulines de chivito (kid intestines) are right up there with steak to most Argentineans. The La Brigada cellar is a great opportunity to try full-bodied reds that can hold their own with the robust tasting steak, with wine labels like Perdriel Centenario and Miguel Escorihuela Gascon. The three-finger thick T-bone is supposed to be sublime with a D.V. Catena Malbec red.





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La Brigada | La Brigada , 465 Estados Unidos, Buenos Aires , Buenos Aires |
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Although you can eat well just about any where in B.A. we also wanted to try a "hot-spot" restaurant. Casa Cruz has a dark, night club feel with a slick bar in the middle, very, very fashionable waiters, polished mahogany and banquettes: the perfect setting for lots of sophisticated Argentinean locals. But the posh décor and sexy crowd doesn’t overshadow chef, Germán Martitegui, the real star: his food is exotic and innovative without being inaccessible. He is known for unusual flavour combinations like halibut and goat cheese or eucalyptus chocolate cake. Sheira and I tend to favour a quick, hearty bite over a long, slow dining experience (we’re picnic not degustation people) so we should have left more time to slow down our engines to the Casa Cruz pace.



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Casa Cruz | Casa Cruz , Uriarte 1658, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires |
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We arrived at Palermo’s coolest bar / restaurant, which is covered in pop art. You will love the tapas - we kept re-ordering various meats, cheeses and olives .... and the waffled potatoes !! As the cocktails start flowing everyone gets into playing board games lying around, with decreasing motor skills at hand!! The creative atmosphere alone is worth the visit. We invited our driver Adolfo to join Sheira, Mario and myself for this early evening B.A. tapas bar experience !




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Acabar| Honduras 5733 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina, Buenos Aires |
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