This Monday marked the first day of primavera here in the southern hemisphere, bringing with it, sunshine, pesky teenagers making out in the park, and best of all, another edition of Buenos Aires Food Week. Spring time means it’s finally time to stumble out of hibernation and into the city to chow down on some of the best gastronomy BA has to offer.
Now in its 14th edition, BA Food Week is bigger than ever before with 45 participating restaurants, spanning almost every barrio and cuisine in town. Headed by the Buenos Aires Capital Gastronomica, the goal of this week is to promote Argentina’s impressive culinary offerings to a new audience through fixed menus at budget-friendly prices. For the cost of AR $470 at lunch and AR $790 at dinner, you get three courses and an oh-so refreshing Aperol Spritz to start your meal off right. Each course has three options to choose from, and with each option as delicious as the next, it definitely could get difficult. But take note, the fixed price doesn’t include cubiertos, additional drinks, or tip, so chances are that the final bill might be a tad higher than expected.
This edition of BA Food Week lasts from September 23rd until October 13th, but there’s a slight catch. From September 23rd to September 29th, Food Week is only accessible to MasterCard holders, meaning us common folk have to wait a few more days until we can get our hands on some gourmet grub. On a more positive note, BA Food Week has continued their partnership with local NGO Banco de Alimentos, and is encouraging diners to support the surrounding community with a donation of AR $200. With that money, Banco de Alimentos is able to provide 36 plates of food for those in need, which is hands down a better use than buying your next few packs of cigarettes or coffee.
With so many premium options at affordable prices, Food Week is a great excuse to take a break from your typical routine and head to some eateries that may usually be out of budget. And if you’re still a little full from the 13th Edition back in April of this year, well, my only advice would be to buy some looser pants because these next few weeks are too good to pass up. A comprehensive list of participating restaurants and their menu’s can be found on the BA Food Week Website. And if 45 restaurants sounds a little overwhelming, don’t fret. Here at the Bubble, we’ve stressed over which restaurants are best so that you don’t have to.
Read on to find our top 5 recommended restaurants that will blow your mind but not your savings.
Nestled between two European-style buildings on the “Pasaje del Correo” in Recoleta, Bis is a hidden gem you’ll wish you had discovered sooner. Its owned by Argentine celebrity chef Gonzalo Aramburu who’s considered to be on top of the Buenos Aires culinary scene. Upon first glance, Bis gives off classic bistro vibes with its soft lighting and caramel-colored décor. But if you look just a bit little closer at the menu, you’ll find that the flavors and combinations at Bis make it anything but ordinary.
While both the lunch and dinner offerings seem absolutely delicious, if you’ve got to pick one, go for the dinner. To start you’ll have to decide between a warm shrimp salad, a potato and pea mix, or morcilla with a citrus emulsion. Next, it’s a tough call between an entree of squid ink rice with calamari, lamb with mint and yogurt, or white fish with greens and quinoa. For desert, the banana bread with lavender ice-cream seems like an absolute must. If that doesn’t interest you, a classic flan or a pavlova with fruit are on the menu to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you’re looking to get away from the high rises of the city for a minute, then Enero is the Food Week restaurant for you. With lively colors, tons of palm frond decorations, and a clear view of Rio de la Plata, this spot could almost make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean, well, if it weren’t for the water being so brown. Enero opened to the public in May of this year, and while its only been around for about five months, its blend of diverse Latin gastronomy and summer-like ambiance have already made a splash in the Buenos Aires food scene.
Make your way over to Enero during the afternoon hours for a relaxed and delicious lunch with a view. The entrada options are leek and potato soup, crispy polenta with tomato, or a spinach cake with garlic aioli that will have you wishing you could order one of each. To follow, chose between fish of the day with roasted veggies, sirloin with a fresh salad, or a vegetable quiche for the non-meat eaters among us. Lastly, Enero is serving up a classic French tarta tatin de manzana, Argenitine inspired dulce de leche pancakes, or a traditional Italian tiramisu. Which ever dessert you pick, the little sugar rush is sure to boost you through the rest of your day.
Next up is Green Bamboo, the perfect spot for when you’re craving just a touch of Palermo trendiness but food thats worth the price tag. Located in the heart of Palermo Hollywood, Green Bamboo has been serving up Thai food with a little kick since 1999. In the last 20 years its gained a great reputation for its flavorful food, while it’s glimmering Thai decor and iconic red lighting make it the perfect date spot. Green Bamboo also has floor level seating thats perfect for cozying up to your dinner date while you wait for the appetizers.
For starters, the dinner menu offers rice dumplings filled with chicken and ginger, squid stuffed with pork and mushrooms, or fresh cow tongue salad. For the main dish, diners can chose between marinated fish over rice noodles, spicy beef and noodle soup, or wild pork curry with eggplant. To fight off your sweet-tooth cravings at the end of the meal, the menu offers passionfruit panacotta, coconut milk with tapioca pearls and fruits, or fried banana soaked in coconut and almonds with coconut icecream. Even if you’ve been to Green Bamboo before, Food Week is the perfect opportunity to taste something new, I mean when was the last time you really ordered cow tongue salad?
Sagardi Cocineros Vascos
Known for their bite-sized pintxo’s and masterful grilling, Sagardi is a shinning example of just how tasty traditional Basque cuisine can be. I’ll save you the google search and explain that Basque country is an autonomous community in the North of Spain. And while Sagardi may be thousands of miles away, it’s food is a one way ticket to the authentic flavors of the Basque region.
It’s dinner menu features shrimp escabeche, pea soup with egg, or a tasting plate of ham to kick off the meal. For round two you can pick between pork loin with apple puree, bell pepper stuffed with fish, or a brothy rice with greens. To finish out the night the dessert menu includes turron custard, Spanish style french toast, or truffles. Best of all, Sagardi is only a few hundred meters away from Puerto Madero, meaning you settle down your stomach with a picturesque port-side stroll.
If you’re a fan of fusion food then jot down this last restaurant as an absolute “must visit” during food week. Taki Ongoy takes the best of Japanese cuisine and mixes it with Peruvian tradition to create endlessly elegantly and balanced dishes. From sushi to ceviche, every item on the menu is guaranteed to come beautifully plated and jam packed with flavor. If you’re planning on checking this spot out, then be sure to make your dinner reservation ahead of time.
On the menu are philo dough empanadas filled with lomo saltado (omg), shrimp gyoza or 10 choice pieces of sushi to start. Next up is either pork ramen, grilled panceta with rocoto, or parihuela soup full of grilled fish and seafood. As the meal winds down you can indulge in some sorbet with a Malbec reduction, arroz con leche foam with merengue and dulce de leche, or a lemon drop pepper creme brulee. With 3 courses this delicious, tables are guaranteed to fill up fast.