Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 has officially crowned the top places to wine and dine on the continent, with Argentina claiming a whopping ten of the 50 spots.
On October 30th, some of the most well-travelled food critics, chefs, gourmands, and restauranteurs who frequently dine in Latin America assembled to vote for what they consider to be the best restaurants, recognizing some of the outstanding achievement in what is a rapidly growing and highly competitive industry.
In a celebration of Latin America’s gastronomic milieu, the awards ranged from the “Miele One to Watch” and “Chef’s Choice,” to “The Art of Hospitality: and the “Sustainable Restaurant” accolades, covering all aspects of the culinary scene and acknowledging the talent of all involved, opening our eyes to the future potential that this industry has to offer.
“Food is a part of our culture, a language and a tool”
Rejecting the analogy that “food is just fuel,” Latin America’s 50 Best recognizes food as a way of life, drawing communities together, sharing cultures, and fostering relationships. It stands as a platform which not only promotes food as a physical but also a social enabler, encouraging us to break the daily mould of eating as a necessity and encouraging us to view it as an art – a concept which takes time, effort and companionship to both enjoy and master.
“To eat is a necessity, to eat intelligently is an art”
With this in mind, let’s cast our eyes to Argentine’s prizewinners, which have been recognized for their extraordinary culinary talent, their hospitality and improvement:
6th Place: Don Julio – Best Restaurant in Argentina & Art of Hospitality Award
The restaurant which offers you a glass of champagne as you wait to be seated, it isn’t a surprise that Don Julio has mastered the art of Argentine hospitality as well as the asado. Renowned for its bife de cuadril (rump steak) and entraña (skirt steak), all the beef is from grass-fed Aberdeen Angus and Hereford Cattle and left to mature for at least 21 days. Don Julio prides itself on using nearly every part of the cow, and cooks the meat on a traditional ‘V’ iron grill in a rustic yet luxe restaurant.
11th Place: Tegui Restaurant
The haute-cuisine brainchild of renowned chef Germán Martitegui falls short of the Top 10 this year, but after just hosting Indian chef Gaggan Anand (perhaps you’ve seen him on Netflix) at the restaurant mere days ago, something tells us that there are plenty of tricks up his sleeve – and there will be for the near future.
18th Place: Mishiguene – Highest Climber
Where Jewish immigrant heritage meets Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Israeli and Middle Eastern cooking under one roof, Mishiguene has to be one of the most innovative restaurants in the city. With chef Tomás Kalika’s use of traditional techniques on contemporary ingredients, it is sure enough that this restaurant is becoming increasingly popular in Buenos Aires, having jumped 32 places in the list since 2017. We’ve heard rumors that the tasting menu is the best route to go down, where you will sit at the chef’s table inside the kitchen and experience behind-the-scenes of this culinary masterpiece.
19th Place: Chila
Chila presents hyper-curated and glamorously understated dishes, and as a member of the Relais & Chateaux family, has a long-standing tradition of excellence in Buenos Aires. If you tend to avoid Puerto Madero like the plague, perhaps this is the one reason to reconsider.
32nd Place: Elena
An ideal spot to celebrate an anniversary or other special occasion, Elena specializes in dry-aged beef and other carnivorous delights. Its masculine, wooded interior belies service with finesse and incredible attention to detail.
36th Place: El Baqueano
Having just celebrated its tenth anniversary, El Baqueano highlights local Argentine ingredients prepared with contemporary, innovative techniques. Here you’ll eat vizcacha (like a chinchilla) or alligator paired with some of the country’s most prestigious wines.
38th Place: Gran Dabbang (New Entry)
A new entry of the Top 50 restaurants, the Gran Dabbang isn’t a stranger to The Bubble, when in 2017 we recognized it as Palermo’s go-to restaurant for original flavors. Fusing Asian and Latin American cultures, chef Mariano Ramón creates an unforgettable, unique sensory experience in a laidback and stylish environment. A restaurant which gives vegetables a leading role, it is very vegetarian friendly, and will inspire you to get creative with the simple ingredients you have lying at home.
42nd Place: Aramburu
One of the city’s leading options for tasting menus, eating dinner at Aramburu is a completely sensorial experience de principio a fin. If you’re lucky enough to book a table, you’ll discover a whole new world of favors behind a very unassuming door in the Constitución part of town.
44th Place: Proper
Who would have thought that an old mechanic’s garage would be the setting for the region’s 44th best restaurant? Proper is a foodie hipster heaven; anyone who knows anything will order at least two portions of its now-legendary flan for dessert.
46th Place: Narda Comedor (New Entry)
Based on five core principles: eat seasonally, drink water, try new things, eat vegetables, and eat well, chef Narde Lepes’ restaurant is known for its attention to health and well-being, proving that nutritious ingredients can be delicious. With beautifully colored and balanced plates, Lepes pays particular attention to vegetables, with cauliflower, onions and legumes taking center stage in most of her dishes. A promoter of sustainability, Narda Comedor is a new entry to Latin America’s 50 Best and is a promising competitor for the future.