I traveled light to Argentina. Next time I'll go lighter.
Since losing my luggage a few years ago on a trip to Italy, I vowed to pack my belongings in one carry-on bag. I always overpack as it is. And I like the mobility of less luggage. Since I was moving about the country, I decided to give the one-bag (plus my computer briefcase) experience a test.
The reason I would travel even lighter the next time is you can buy most of what you need in Buenos Aires. Matt Kramer had told me of the hand-made leather goods and they were beautifully crafted, everything from shoes to suitcases to jackets, purses, vests, you name it. Next time I'll carry on a small nylon bag with enough belongings for a day or two, and then outfit myself with the local clothing options, a suitcase and backpack. The leather goods are that amazing and affordable.
Three weeks on the road totaled some 54 meals dining out. Aside from a steady diet of meats (i.e. steaks), there are many excellent, casual restaurants in Buenos Aires. The dollar is still strong against the Argentine peso, so you can eat and drink in style without worrying about overspending.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Estados Unidos 465, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4361-5557
Another traditional Argentine steak house (with more steaks on its menu than I've seen) with a fantastic wine list featuring the country's many Malbecs.
JA Cabrera 5099, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4831-7002
There are two La Cabreras (Norte and Palermo) located on the same street within a few feet of each other. The menus are similar, old-fashioned steak houses, with dining rooms that are both lively and casual. They are so popular that large crowds form before either opens.
Vicente Lopez 1661, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4813-6993
Imagine lunch in a quiet French countryside inn. This too provided a nice alternative. Simple menu, good food, modest wine list.
Soler 5608, Palermo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4775-6964
All of the entrées at this stylish, casual, two-story Peruvian-Japanese restaurant were delicious, but Peruvian ceviche and salmon in a peanut sauce were a cut above.
Berutti 2602, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4822-5415
Here's another option to break the steak and pappas fritas mode, a Spanish-inspired seafood eatery, also serving rabbit and lamb, set in a friendly, spacious setting.
Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
1661 Alvear Avenue, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-5171-1234
The restaurant (and wine bar) in the Park Hyatt was the fanciest, most upscale of the places I dined. Chef Federico Heinzmann's multicourse meal included an especially delicious hake steak.
Av Del Libertador 1098, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (011) 54 11-4807-6691
With a menu featuring Italian-Mediterranean cuisine, this offers a nice change of pace from traditional Argentine cuisine. Excellent wine list.
Beyond Buenos Aires—Argentina Wine Country:
Balcarce 802, Salta 4400, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 54 11-387-421-4865
Sweetbreads are a staple of the Argentine diet, and the best I had was at this spacious eatery in Salta, known for its barbecue and local cuisine.
Italia 6055, Chacras de Coria, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 54 26-1496-1731
Nadia Haron's is a modest yet beautifully decorated little spot in the city of Chacras, south of Mendoza. If you're not careful you can walk right past it. The menu changes nightly. The dining rooms are quiet and comfortable.
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