Though Buenos Aires has been relatively slow on the uptake – to put it mildly – regarding the quality, quantity, and authenticity of international cuisine available within its city limits, one country has managed to stake out a nice little space for itself over the years. Peru is enjoying a full-on moment in the porteño sun as of late, much to the delight of anyone who’s keen for anything from spicy rocoto to a super-sweet suspiro limeño.
Following a spike in immigration to Argentina that began in the 1950s, the Peruvian community in Buenos Aires is now anchored in the neighborhood of Abasto, with myriad holes-in-the-wall slinging mountains of fresh ceviche, abundant chaufa, and goblets of chicha to emigrés and outsiders alike.
Over time, the scene evolved to include a broad array of restaurants across the city. Gastón Acurio’s Midas touch has transformed La Mar and Tanta into some of the hottest (and priciest) tables in town, while stalwarts such as Chan Chan and La Conga have managed to stay both current and classic at once. Other spots, like La Canoa, strike a dreamy balance between high quality ingredients and prices that won’t turn you apoplectic. Slowly but surely, locals are leaving their seafood-averse palates behind, diving into tiraditos with reckless abandon. It’s a beautiful thing, really.
As such, it’s only fitting that Buenos Aires host its own celebrations of all things Peru as the country gears up to mark its 197th anniversary of independence from Spain on July 28. In a clever marketing move, Pisco Day is on July 22, so – bam! – there you go. La Semana del Pisco was born, and now we have a legitimate excuse to get tipsy about town while honoring the legacy of la Tierra del Sol.
The Peruvian Consulate and the Association of Peruvian Restaurants in Buenos Aires are rolling out the red carpet, and for a whole week you’ll be able to visit some of the city’s best restaurants, stuff your face, and wash it all down with specialty cocktails showcasing the country’s boozy beverage (pisco, if you haven’t been following along with the class).
Did you know that the production one bottle of pisco requires an average 8 kilograms of grapes? Remember that for the next time you’re at a bar’s trivia night, or something.
Anyway, without further ado, the list of participating restaurants and the drinks each will be serving:
- Tanta: Pisco Ponch and El Ponche
- La Mar: Invertido and Pisco Ponch
- La Catedral: Alto Smach
- La Canoa: Shipiba Ardiente
- Osaka: AKA Sour
- Quechua: Quechua Frech
- El Sanguche: Pisco Sour de Algarrobina
- Cocos: Victoria Amazónica
- Peru Deli: Chicha Sour
- Rawa: Classic Pisco Sour
- Chan Chan: Classic Pisco Sour
Our favorites? Osaka’s AKA Sour (spoiler alert: it contains hibiscus wine?) and Tanta’s Pisco Ponch, though who are we kidding? They’re all magically delicious and you should aspire to drink all of them before the week is out.
La Semana del Pisco runs from July 22-29 at restaurants all over the city. Check out the Association of Peruvian Restaurants in Buenos Aires on Facebook for more information.