The holiday season is officially upon us, and if you’re spending these fiestas in Buenos Aires, perhaps you’ve found yourself scrambling to make plans for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re an expat orphan that hasn’t been lucky enough to snag an invite to a local’s family celebration or just a tourist passing through as you avoid the frigid temperatures up north, fret not.
While Nochebuena and Año Nuevo in Buenos Aires tend to be more family-focused (at least in principle), there are plenty of options for those of us that won’t have the pleasure of listening to distant relatives fight about politics after one too many glasses of champagne.
Because we love you, we at The Bubble have put together a handy-dandy guide so you can book your table and get ready to welcome 2019 with panache.
I’ve lived here for 11 years and I’m *still* not over the fact that Christmas in Buenos Aires is basically over before it begins. At midnight on the 24th, all hell breaks loose, corks are poppin’ and gifts are torn open with reckless abandon (also, we already know what the gift is because the bag it came in is from the store itself. Le sigh.). By 12:07 AM, everyone is exhausted and drunk and you’re left to spend the entire day of the 25th eating leftover ensalada rusa poolside – that is, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool.
Why not avoid this scenario entirely and just go out for dinner? It’s a perfect excuse to dress up a bit and hit the town; besides, you won’t have to do any kitchen clean-up afterward so it’s basically a win-win situation. Here are some of the restaurants offering Christmas Eve dinner around Buenos Aires.
This Christmas Eve, treat yo’self with a sumptuous menu of cucina sarda at La Locanda. Chef Daniele Pina has crafted an over-the-top three-course menu of Italy’s best cuisine paired with Rutini’s Antología wines (spoiler alert: they’re super alta gama). Start things off with crunchy suckling pig with a honey-orange sauce or lamb tartare prepared tableside. For your main, feel extra-fancy with truffle ravioli or risotto a la marinara, among other things; if you save room for dessert you’ll be treated to panettone stuffed with gelato and then flambéed (!) in sambuca. There will be plenty of grappa and vino dulce to go around, so maybe definitely get a taxi or Uber home.
La Locanda | José L. Pagano 2697 | Christmas Eve | US $150/person | Tel: 4806-6343
Another gourmet af option is Roux, the perfectly chic little bistro tucked into a quiet corner of Recoleta. The five-course menu created by Chef Martin Rebaudino pulls out all the stops, making it an ideal option if you’re looking to impress someone special on the 24th. Kick things off with a yellowfin tuna tartare with pimentón from Cachi and a mango coulis, continue with some Santa Cruz prawns served alongside Patagonian trout caviar, stuff yourself absolutely silly with the suckling pig with apple purée, and then prepare for death (in a good way) with grilled San Rafael peaches and honey fro La Pampa for dessert. If you manage to make it through to the end, there will be plenty of turrón and pan dulce awaiting you for a midnight brindis. You must book your table in advance before December 17th, so get on it.
Roux | Peña 2300 | Christmas Eve | US $180/person, US $150 in cash | Tel: 4805-6794
If you’re looking for some Puerto Madero glam, the folks down at the Rëd Resto & Lounge have prepared an extra-special night of festivities for the whole family. Kick it all off with a buffet of more than 25 dishes – oysters, ceviche, sushi, charcuterie, and other classic porteño dishes, to name a few. For the main course, you’ll have your choice of grilled rack of lamb, rib-eye steak, salmon, and pasta (the takeaway here is that you should definitely wear pants with an elastic waistband). The mesa dulce promises to be a sugar-holic’s paradise, with pastries and sweet treats to keep everyone’s blood sugar spiking through to 2019. Wines on offer will be from Cafayate favorite El Esteco; and word on the street is that Santa Claus is planning to make an appearance.
Rëd Resto – Hotel Madero | Rosario Vera Peñaloza 360, Dique 2 | Christmas Eve | AR $4,200/person | Tel:5776-7777
Give yourself the gift of the meat sweats this Christmas! In all its punk rock glory, this hipster parrilla (that is truly, so much more than that) will be serving up a feast that will make even the vegans in the room drool all over themselves. From grilled octopus to sweetbreads with ajo negro to a double-beef extravaganza to venison loin to… you get the picture, right? You’ll finish things off with a nice citrus dessert and a plum tart. If you want a place where you can get a little rowdy, but still eat and drink like royalty, this is where you’ll want to be.
La Carnicería | Thames 2317 | Christmas Eve | AR $3,200/person | Tel: 2071-7199
Bonus Track: Christmas Dinner at 416 Snack Bar
OK, Christmas Eve is all well and good, but what’s happening on the night of the 25th? Predictably, most places are closed, giving staff a much-needed break; however, if you’re sick of your family and crawling the walls by 4 PM, it’s *so* nice to have an alternative. Enter 416 Snack Bar. Prepared by Chef Bobby O’Donoghue from Primer Paso catering, the menu promises to make both your tum and your heart happy; consider this the best option to spend Navidad with your friends at a decidedly laid-back (but delicious as all get out) spot in Palermo. The menu includes everything from roast turkey and honey-glazed ham to roasted Brussels sprouts, stuffing, and homemade gravy – and more. Oh, the price includes a bottle of El Porvenir wine per person (!) so things will certainly be festive. Don’t leave this to the last minute, though: book your spot ahead of time or spend the night at home crying over Netflix.
416 Snack Bar | Carranza 1940 | December 25th | 8 PM | AR $2,000 | More info & Booking
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires is slightly less family-oriented (though a lot of people seem to spend it at home until midnight, then they dance at the boliche until dawn), but it’s still not easy to find a restaurant open for dinner. Luckily, this reality has changed and there are now some solid options for splashing out in your best white linen and pink underwear (yeah, that’s a “thing”).
Uco at the Fierro Hotel
One of my personal all-time favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires, Uco has big plans for this holiday season. Why not spend New Year’s Eve in its lush verdant garden, a tropical oasis in the middle of Palermo Hollywood? The cuisine focuses on the best ingredients and produce that Argentina has to offer – as usual – and will include salmon with beets and fresh greens, burrata with figs, slow-cooked Patagonian lamb (18 hours, to be exact, or the amount of time you spend watching RuPaul’s Drag Race reruns each week), and a rich chocolate-pistachio concoction for dessert. You must book your space ahead of time, clearly; the menu includes wine pairings, waters, and coffee. Bonus: Uco will be serving a New Year’s Day lunch for those of you that aren’t dealing with “adult headaches.” For US $50, tuck into some fresh fish tiradito, a pork loin with potatoes and peppers, and carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream.
Uco | Soler 5862 | New Year’s Eve | US $125/person | Tel: 3220-6820
Sunae Asian Cantina
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Los esperamos el 25 y el 31 para festejar con un menú de Filipinas Navidad y Año Nuevo 2019! AMUSE BOUCHE GAZPACHO: Sandía, leche de coco, albahaca thai, pickles de sandía. Luigi Bosca Riesling las Compuertas ENTRADAS BUBUTO: Tamal de pollo, arroz, achiote y maní; envuelto en hojas de plátano. y LECHON PAO: Cochinillo, pan al vapor, daengjang, kangkong frito. Luigi Bosca Rose PLATO PRINCIPAL (dos opciones) TIYULA ITUM: Ribs de rez en salsa negra de coco quemado, cúrcuma, lemongrass y chiles; con arroz al vapor. o KARE KARE: Langostinos, calamar y vegetales de estación en curry de maní, leche de coco y flor de banano; con arroz al vapor. Luigi Bosca Pinot Noir POSTRE HALO HALO – MEZCLA MEZCLA: Frutas de carozos, helado de leche condensada, granita de melón, merengues y sorpresas! Luigi Bosca Brut El menú incluye: Vinos y Espumante de @bodegaluigibosca. Bebidas sin alcohol, té y café. Cotillón a las 12hs de Año Nuevo! *Opciones vegetarianas y celíacas con notificación previa. Avisar en caso de alergias. Precio adulto: $3320.- [email protected] o al 011 4776 8122 Al realizar la reserva por favor indicar la elección del plato principal. #navidadfilipina #medianochefilipina #añonuevo #asiancantina Ilus.: @robert_alejandro
Ring in 2019 by transporting yourself to Southeast Asia (because with this humidity we might as well be in a tropical paradise, right?) with Sunae. The Filipino-inspired menu sounds straight up awesome from start to finish: watermelon gazpacho, chicken tamales and pork bao, grilled beef ribs with burnt coconut or a squid-prawn curry… Are you drooling yet? Because I sure as hell am. Everything will be paired with Luigi Bosca wines and the menu includes cotillón at midnight – honestly, it’s not a party in Argentina if there isn’t cotillón involved – so get your act together and book your spot!
This option is kind of like the best of both worlds, since you won’t have to do any cooking or shopping yourself, but you can enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor in the comfort of your own home (and air conditioning). Picture this: you invite your nearest and dearest over to yours, filling the place with flowers and candles and a killer Spotify playlist. But you’ve spent all of your energy on the décor and have zero enthusiasm left for the menu. L’Adesso is one step ahead of you. Order from a variety of Italian-inspired favorites like burrata with jamón crudo di Parma (AR$ 550),Roman-style porchetta (AR $400), or fish carpaccio with oranges, olives, and arugula (AR $350). If all you need is something sweet, go for the tiramisú (AR $220), pan dulce filled with limoncello cream (AR $450, serves five), Sicilian cannoli (!!), or panna cotta (AR $50/each). Orders must be received by midnight on December 29th.
L’Adesso | Oro 2047 | Book for New Year’s Eve takeaway | Tel: 2077-7748
Tap into that old-school porteño Fervor glam and book your spot at for the night of the 31st. The menu on offer is decidedly traditional – it’s what the restaurant does best, after all – and you’ll be able to eat to your heart’s content all night long. Start things off with everything from chorizo to empanadas prepared in the horno de barro to a “truffled” Brie and smoked salmon salad. Save room for the main course, choosing from a seafood kebab, grilled salmon, bife de chorizo, or a vegetarian tagliatelle for the non-carnivores out there. Desserts keep things classic, with a chocolate panna cotta, flan de dulce de leche with almonds, and ice cream with fresh fruit. The menu includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (duh), and spots must be booked and paid for in full ahead of time.
Fervor | Posadas 1519 | New Year’s Eve | AR $7,500/person | Tel: 4804-4944
Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Ring in 2019 surrounded by Argentina’s best wines in a space that is the epitome of cool. Aldo’s Vinotecta, with locations in both San Telmo and Palermo Hollywood, is puttin’ on the Ritz with a massive feast ideal for any discerning foodie. A buffet of appetizers – think oysters, ceviche, smoked trout salad, charcuterie, and so much more – will kick things off, followed by an array of entrées: slow-cooked suckling pig, mushroom risotto, organic roast chicken from Entre Ríos, among others. The mesa dulce will include eclairs, banana cheesecake, an ice cream sundae station (!), and turrón semifreddo. Basically, all of the good stuff. Oh, and you’ll be able to try more than 30 wines on offer, so consider yourself spoiled for choice. Book your table in either San Telmo or Palermo online and go wild.
Aldo’s Vinoteca | Moreno 372 & Arévalo 2032 | New Year’s Eve | AR $3,600 | More Info & Booking
If how you spend New Year’s Eve is an indication of what awaits you in the coming months, why not pull out all the stops and indulge yourself in a sumptuous gastro-luxury experience? Aramburu, known for its forward-thinking, molecular-inspired tasting menus that appeal to each and every one of the senses. Paired with wines by Luigi Bosca, you’ll nosh on conceptual (yet no less tasty) dishes like “coral” (with seaweed, rice, carrot, and pear), oysters and baby squid; move on to the “dumpling” with baby goat, quail, cauliflower; steak with foie gras will then segue into reinvented Argentine festive desserts with a massive, modern twist. This is bound to be a meal you won’t soon forget.
Aramburu | Salta 1050 | New Year’s Eve | AR $7,800, AR $6,500 without wine pairing | Tel: 4305-0439 | Web
With its enviable outdoor patio space, Peruvian powerhouse La Mar is another ideal spot to ring in 2019. Given the typically high temperatures that plague Buenos Aires this time of year, cooling down with some Pisco Sours and overdosing on fresh seafood sounds kind of like the best idea of them all, doesn’t it? If this sounds like something up your alley, then run – do not walk! – to book your table for the night of the 31st. The menu includes greatest hits, such as cebiche de pescado blanco y pulpo, a nice tiradito of prawns and crispy potatoes, *two* rice dishes with shellfish and other delights, all topped off with classic Peruvian desserts like suspiro limeño and more. The menu includes somm-selected wines and non-alcoholic beverages; upon booking you’ll need to pay a 50 percent deposit to guarantee your space.
La Mar | Arévalo 2024 | New Year’s Eve | AR $3,500/person (includes tip) | Tel: 4776-5543
This Buenos Aires institution has decided to join the festivities and offer its own special menu for año nuevo. With views over the ever-bustling Av. 9 de Julio, Tomo I is an oasis of traditional elegance, impeccable service, and innovative cuisine. Under the expert eye of Federico Fialayre, the menu will delight you with everything from foie to prawns with strawberry to those famous duck dumplings (#yum) to roast suckling pig and more. An over-the-top dessert buffet will prepare you for the midnight toast. Note that modifications can be made to accommodate food allergies, but you’ll need to let them know when you book.
Tomo I | Carlos Pellegrini 521 – Entrepiso | New Year’s Eve | US $160/person | Tel: 4326-6698