Seven Restaurants to Eat Asado in Buenos Aires


Seven Restaurants to Eat Asado in Buenos Aires


The land of tango, wine, football and delicious food. Argentina has many reasons to be on any traveller's list, but what is the most important one? Gastronomy. Once you taste the country's delicacies, you're hooked. And while there are many dishes to recommend, there is one that has conquered the world and become an icon: the asado.

The best excuse for people to gather around a table and share a unique experience. Because an asado is much more than just a meal. It is a sacred ritual that knows no gender or age. It only asks for one single condition: to share anecdotes, make new ones, and strengthen whatever bond the diners have with each other.

The asado is a tradition rooted in the culture and heart of every Argentinean. This is not just a dish, but a social activity that brings everyone together around a smoky fire. And, like any other ceremony, it has its own rules.

The asador, the person responsible for building the fire and cooking the meat on the charcoal, is the main character and gets compliments from the guests. The charm of this character lies in the delivery times: first there is a picada (a typical Argentine dish usually served as a starter) which includes charcuterie, cheeses, and snacks.

The feast continues with the achuras (offal) before the meat. Choripán, morcilla (black pudding), chinchulín (cow chitterlings), molleja (sweetbread), and kidney are some favourites. Once this first act is over, it is time to move on to the meat. Cuts such as vacío (flank steak), asado (ribs), entraña (skirt steak), picaña, and rib eye set the taste buds dancing, which also enjoy the typical accompaniment of fried chips or lettuce and tomato salad.

Sometimes the asado may also include chicken or pork, but true Argentinians always leave room for beef. And the finishing touch is to acknowledge the work done by the asador with a thunderous round of applause for the person responsible for such a feast.

The essence of the Argentinean asado lies in its simplicity and the quality of the ingredients. The meat must be cooked slowly at a low temperature, so that it melts in the mouth with every bite. The natural juices of the meat and the smoky flavour of the fire create a unique and exquisite blend rarely found anywhere else in the world.

The bottom line? A national passion and the perfect place to meet people and connect with the local culture. While it is typically enjoyed at someone's home, there are many restaurants that offer this experience in Buenos Aires, the country's capital:

1) Parrilla Don Julio

If asado is what it's all about, this iconic restaurant has been delighting palates since 1999, the year it was inaugurated. Palermo, that colourful neighbourhood with youthful energy, hides this treasure that is already public knowledge. So much so that in 2023 it entered, for the third time in a row, among the 50 best restaurants in the world according to World's 50 Best Restaurants. The ranking places it exactly in 19th place, being the only Argentinean among the top restaurants. Besides being internationally acclaimed, prominent figures such as Angela Merkel and Lionel Messi have visited this iconic corner of Palermo.

So, what is there to taste at Don Julio? The most famous cuts are vacío (very thin!), ribs and rib eye. The special feature of the restaurant is the quality of the meat: the cattle are fed on natural pasture and the breeds are chosen in pursuit of the highest possible excellence.

Reservations should be made well in advance, even several months before, as tables are scarcely available.

2) La Cabrera

This is another restaurant that also made to the podium in the World's 50 Best Restaurants in previous years. And it is no coincidence that it has become a must for foreigners. Grilled meats, casseroles, and starters stand out on the carefully curated menu, with the charcoal grill being the star of the show.

Their basic premise is that diners should wait for the meat and not the other way around. The result is a cut of meat at just the right point to get a real taste of what Argentinean meat really means in a cult restaurant. Its founder, Gastón Riveira, defines it as a true porteño grill. In fact, its location does it credit: Palermo.

3) El Pobre Luis

Located in the neighbourhood of Belgrano, this is one of the most visited grills in Buenos Aires. Everything in this canteen exudes a national spirit: football jerseys and photos hanging on the wall. A 40-year-old place for families that opened almost 40 years ago and is still very popular in the capital.

Offal, traditional local cuts and iconic desserts such as flan (crème caramel) with dulce de leche are some options on the menu. In addition, they also have a takeaway service, so that you can pick up and eat the delicacies from the comfort of your own home.

Something curious about this restaurant is that it was founded by a Uruguayan meat enthusiast, Luis Acuña.

4) Cabaña Las Lilas

Puerto Madero, the trendiest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, is also on the podium. This superb and refined restaurant stands out for the excellent quality of its meat.

Cabaña Las Lilas has also received international recognition. The prestigious American newspaper The New York Times named it one of the 10 best restaurants in the world, and it has also been continuously awarded the Wine Spectator Award since 2007.

Apart from the grilled dishes and distinctions, the views that this place offers are worth a visit.

5) Lo de Jesús

A menu that pays tribute to the most Argentinean ritual of all. Because the menu not only includes asado at its best (the rib eye and entraña are not to be missed), but also offers pasta and milanesas.

Angus and Hereford cattle fed on wet-matured natural pasture are the preferred breeds: the whole pieces are vacuum-packed in a cold room with controlled humidity and temperature. In addition, bone-in cuts are matured for 15 days, and boneless cuts are matured for 21 to 30 days. The result is top quality, tender and delicious meat.  

Gurruchaga 1406 is the address of this Palermo steakhouse that has already won the hearts of several locals.

6) La Carnicería

In their quest to be disruptive, the owners of this restaurant in Palermo have found the key to success. Because at La Carnicería you can taste premium meat, but with a few new twists on the most Argentinean classics. Starters of provoleta with pears and Creole salsa; homemade chorizo with potatoes, peas, and egg; homemade black pudding with green apple, potato, beans, and bacon; and cuts such as rib eye with pumpkin and even lamb loin.

A sensory feast that, besides fine dining, offers a space where the counter is the star and the decoration does the honours of highlighting the modern style with local hints.

7) El Ferroviario

Based on plenty, authenticity and local flavour, El Ferroviario describes itself as a unique establishment, and with good reason. This place has adopted the essence of a railway workshop, evoking its history.

Although it is a bit further away from the centre of Buenos Aires (in the neighbourhood of Liniers), this restaurant is known for its outstanding asado. You’ll see cuts of meat coming non-stop from the kitchen, and customers celebrate every mouthful with exclamations of joy. The place is suitable for families, groups of friends and couples, always with reservations in advance.

Credit: Visit Argentina

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