This year was the first that Michigan State offered a Spanish international internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I made sure I was one of the students in the program. I have been here for over seven weeks now, and I am not only enjoying my human rights and business internship, but am also savoring the city’s food scene.
Some of the area’s most notable dishes include big steaks, pizza, empanadas, and dulce de leche. However, Buenos Aires has a lot more to offer than the basics everyone flocks to. When you get sick of meat and bread, be sure to check out some of these delicious food options.
Although it’s currently summer in the United States, it’s winter in Argentina, which means cold temperatures and strong winds. Luckily, many restaurants offer regional, hearty soups that serve as the perfect cure for the cold. The most common cazuelas (stews) served in the city include locro, lentejas, and carbonada.
Locro is a thick yellow soup with beef, ham, corn, big white beans, and onions. Its meaty and savory flavor is satisfying and filling. Lentejas is another popular dish made of dark lentils, sausage, beef, carrots and onions.
Carbonada is my personal favorite. With corn, onions, carrots, peaches, sweet potatoes, squash, and beef, this stew has the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.
A nice dish of warm, gooey provolone cheese served in a cast iron skillet? Oh yes. It is usually listed as an appetizer, but I would suggest making provoleta a meal of its own because why not just eat an entire pan of hot cheese?
3. Middle Eastern Food
Never would I have imagined eating some of the best chicken shawarma and tabbouleh in my life in South America. However, Buenos Aires is home to a large Arabic community, so Middle Eastern restaurants can be found throughout the city. And don’t worry, the heavenly garlic dip is included.
4. Slice of Faina
Faina is a dish made of chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This healthy pizza substitution is filling and packed with protein, while still providing that perfect bread-like texture and flavor. It tastes great dipped in olive oil and hot peppers or homemade tomato sauce. (And if you can’t make it to Argentina, it’s easy to make at home.)
5. Wine (other than Malbec)
Wine is an important drink in Argentina. Malbec is definitely the most popular because it is grown in abundance in the western region of the country. The great thing about Buenos Aires is that if you’re tired of Malbec or don’t like red wine, you still have options.
A popular mix among young people here is combining red wine and orange soda. The drink is refreshing, bubbly and fruity. Another wine option commonly found in Buenos Aires is Moscato. If you like white or sweet wine, that one’s for you.
These flaky little treats are Argentina’s national dessert. Their sweet and oily flavors resemble baklava, but instead of having a layer of nuts, pastelitos are filled with jelly. The most popular kind is batata (sweet potato).
7. Para llevar
Para llevar, meaning “to go” is a phenomenon in Buenos Aires that I have grown to love. The city is filled with cafe-type places that sell prepared foods. All the para llevar places have an overwhelming amount of options, including chicken, empanadas, tofu, quiche, noodles, grilled and raw veggies, and fruit.
Some locations are even vegan and vegetarian. The food is so fresh and tasty that I feel like I could happily give up meat.