*Updated: February 2017*
It’s charming, it’s bohemian, it’s artistic, it’s gritty, San Telmo’s cobblestone streets are packed with history, culture, and an active team of great restaurants and bars. Here is your go-to guide for all things legally ingestible in San Telmo.
El Banco Rojo
No trip to San Telmo is complete without a visit to El Banco Rojo. Fast food the way fast food should be done; Banco Rojo recently relocated to a larger local that blasts hip hop music makes boner-worthy doner kebabs and deep fried spicy lamb empanadas worthy of making your empanada tickle. It’s a solid spot to feed any hunger pains, since you really can’t go wrong with virtually anything you order.
We all need a healthy alternative in our lives sometimes, and Hierbabuena will help with that beefy detox. Fresh juices abound the menu, as does beautiful vegetable packed salads and elaborate sandwiches served on freshly baked breads.
Estados Unidos 465
La Brigada may be touristy and gimmicky, but the fútbol themed steakhouse continues to grill some of the best steaks in Buenos Aires. It’s an infamous spot where the waiters cut the beef with a spoon right before your eyes. The owner also wins major bonus points for havng an award winning soul glow mullet.
We love aperitivos, we love picadas, so put the two together and let’s show some mad love for El Refuerzo. It may be a tiny spot with only a few tables, but what it doesn’t have in size, it makes up for in personality (that’s what she said?), with a room filled with vintage bottles and kitchenware.
Nikkai // Shokudo
Independencia 732 // Defensa 910
4300-5848 // 4361-9227
Both restaurants owned by the Japanese cultural association, and both spots hidden from street view, these are two of the most authentic Japanese/sushi eateries in Buenos Aires. While the menus do feature the blasphemous cream cheese rolls, it’s easy to steer clear with a winning boat of fresh sushi, sashimi, ramen, and other Japanese dishes.
Gran Parrilla del Plata
It’s everything you ever wanted in an authentic Argentine steakhouse: set on a emblematic San Telmo corner, Gran Parrilla del Plata has been a neighborhood favorite for quite some time, preparing excellent quality steaks while attentive waiters make sure your wine glass is never empty.
Here’s your chance to eat alpaca and alligator in probably the most refined way possible. A totally unique restaurant that specializes in exotic meats, Baqueano just won international recognition as ranking in the top 50 restaurants in Latin America. Chef Fer Rivarola also heads up Cocina Sin Fronteras, or Kitchens Without Borders, where he teams up with mega chefs from all over Latin America for special pop up dinners.
Av. Caseros 486
Enter the simply decorated, naturally lit restaurant and it becomes immediately apparent that this place shares a love for quality food and ingredients. No cheesy gimmicks here, the spotlight shines on vibrantly colored produce that centerpieces each table. Lofted above the semi-open kitchen are crates fill with fresh produce (red peppers, green apples, eggplants, lemons, garlic and red onions) so diners can see each ingredient in its most natural form.
Vegetarians you are in luck – tucked away in a beautiful huge house, this spot serves a mix of vegetarian and vegan dishes, with options that range from veggie burgers, hearty salads, chickpea quiches and braised tofu. It also offers a selected list of organic and artisanal wines as well, and not to mention yoga classes and even massages.
Mercado San Telmo bonus track:
Coffee addicts, I command you all to head directly to Coffee Town tucked away in el Mercado de San Telmo. It’s a small coffee hut nestled in between a vegetable stand and a hoarder’s antiqued-out dream, Coffee Town is the love child of the Centro de Estudios del Café and serves some of the best coffee in the city. Once you get your caffeine jolt, have your nose follow the smoky meat scents outside the market and step into the neighborhood’s best grill den Nuestra Parrilla. This hole in the wall on Carlos Calvo 471 serves an insanely good choripán (sausage sandwich), with an even better cast of local characters from the barrio who loiter around drinking hooch wine all day long.
San Telmo Bars:
Juan de Garay 500
Drink aficionados, alcohol snobs and plain old bar borrachos – this retro bar was made just for you. Wonderful inventive and classic drinks, good food and music make it the best spot in San Telmo for a serious drink.
Open the unmarked red door and head up a steep flight of stairs into San Telmo’s drinking playroom. A winning daily happy hour and great bar food, expect a younger crowd on the prowl for some alcohol-induced fun.
It’s a restaurant, wine store, and most importantly wine bar, Aldo’s is the perfect spot to sit in a sea of wines and guzzle a glass, or a bottle.
Breoghan Brew Bar
Beer drinkers look no further, Broeghan’s should now be your go-to watering pub. The beer is brewed in house, featuring an A-team of beers like IPA, Stout, and Golden Ale.
For more craft beer bars in Buenos Aires.
Additions- Oct 2015
We’re (still) waiting on slow Allie Lazar (been 2 years now) to write up these relatively new locations so in the meantime amateur foodie and director of LandingPadBA Jed will make a meek attempt at describing these locations:
Delicious wraps, burgers, crispy fries and tasty sauces. It’s good…
Pork, pork and more pork. Peanut butter, carrots and pickles with pork…bacon.
Carlos Calvo 488
Great lunch specials. Fresh, well represented dishes from South America. Yes, worth a lunch or two.