Buenos Aires street food



How good is it?

Walking through Costanera we can find a lot of „puestos“ like this one above. The Costanera sur runs along the canal and the ecological reserve.


This little wagons sell all kind of local specialties: choripan ( sausage sanchwich), hamburgers, churrasquito, bife de chorizo, bondiola al limon, morcilla, salchicha parillera o vacio. Basically everything that can be cooked on a parrilla.



Sauces always taste better in these places, so it is imperative to try the Chimichurri sauce together with our Choripán.We can also find a small range of side dishes as french fries, tomatoes or fried onions.


But ... it is as safe to eat in one of these places?...I guess that’s what most people may wonder. If you decide to go anywhere in sudamerica you are a bit fond of adventure, let’s face it. The cleaning on the wagons (and on the people who runs them), it’s not something to brag about. But hey, that is the street food reality everywhere in the world.
Not only in costanera can we find these places. In Palermo or in any big park they are also popular. They need a small grill and a bit of space so you won’t find them down town.

What we can find in the city center almost in every corner are "garrapiñadas“. Usually run by only one person and about 1 meter wide. For two or three pesos you can get a bag of delicious caramelized nuts freshly made.

What do I get when I order..?

Garrapiñadas: usually recently made, they are caramelized peanuts

Choripan: a grilled chorizo and a crusty bread (in Spanish: pan)

Chimichurri: is a sauce made from chopped parsley or cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, and paprika with olive oil. Lemon or vinegar can be added for more "bite"

Bondiola con Limón: a steak of pork meat and lemon. It’s usually the pork’s neck meet.

Vacio: juicy steak from the back side of the cow.

Morcilla: spicy and hot blood sausage.Ussually served with bread.

Churrasquito: a thick cut of skirt steak

Salchicha parillera: big sausage




10 Must see Places in Buenos Aires

It’s a big city and don’t know where to start? Here you have 10 top places you must see in Buenos Aires.

1. Plaza de Mayo

The plaza has been here since the 16th century. At the eastern end is the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace. From the main balcony several Argentinean politics address the populace (the Peron’s for example)

It is here where numerous gatherings and political protests have taken place, including the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, a regular assembly of mothers protesting the loss of loved ones called Desaparecidos (the disappeared ones, during the Dirty War, a bleak moment in Argentina's history.

Opposite the Casa Rosada on the Plaza de Mayo is the resplendent former Spanish town hall, the Cabildo, a fascinating old colonial building fronted by arches that once encircled the plaza, back during the May Revolution in 1810. The guards outside the building are members of the revered Regimiento de Patricios which was formed in 1806. They still wear their traditional uniforms, designed nearly 200 years ago.


2. Recoleta // La Recoleta Cemetery

This is one of the most fashionable districts in Buenos Aries. It is the site of the Iglesia de Nuestra senora de Pilar, a colonial church that is a national monument. It has several very attractive open spaces and public gardens, including the Plaza Francia where the city’s craft fair takes place on a Sunday.

The Cementerio de la Recoleta sounds an unlikely place for a spot of sightseeing but it is, in fact, one of the city's main tourist attractions. The necropolis is a city within a city, with numerous huge monuments fashioned in white marble, dark granite, and lustrous bronze, decorated with numerous stone angels and statues of the Virgin. The great and the good of Argentina's past lie here, including Evita Peron, who always attracts a big crowd. A number of past presidents, sports stars and writers were also laid to rest here.

Do lose yourselves in the serene atmosphere and sense of great history.


3. Mataderos

Its located approximate 6km southwest of Caballito. This barrio takes its name from the slaughterhouses, which used to be here. They went a long time ago but Mataderos is still home to a livestock market. You will find here one of Buenos Aires' most incredible events: the Feria de Mataderos which takes place on Sundays.
This is a celebration of the country’s rural traditions, folk music, traditional crafts and regional food specialities are served and local dances are performed. The highpoint of the day is the display of gaucho skill in which riders participate in exciting traditional events.


4. Teatro Colon

This extravagant seven stories Opera House has impressed visitors since it was opened in 1908. A small museum is situated in the lobby and guided tours are available in English. The tours go through the basement workshops, rehearsal rooms, stage and seating areas.

It’s a wonderful place to watch opera and ballet and listen to classical music


5. Cafe Tortoni

Do have a coffee at the famous Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires. Cafes are a way of life in B.A., but Tortoni is perhaps the most famous cafe in all of Argentina, patronized by celebrities since 1858. It is used as a set in many movies, showing an important part of the Buenos Aires history.


6. Palermo

The open spaces of this barrio, a legacy of caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas who was overthrown in 1852, made possible the Jardín Botánico. Here you can also visit the Buenos Aires Zoo, the Rosedal, the Hippodrome and the Planetarium.


7. La Boca

This working class area originally populated by Italian dock workers has bloomed into a colourful centre of art, restaurants and the colourful metal houses which present a refreshing change from the rest of the city. The colours come from the brightly painted houses on the Caminito a pedestrian walk named for the tango of the same name and the waters of the Riachuelo stained by oil sludge’s. The tradition began when the hose owners didn’t have enough money to buy painting for their houses. They receive donations, and of course it was hard to find a lot of paint in the same colour. The years went by and it became a tradition to use different colours. If you want to see some beautiful sights of the life in the docks visit the Art museum of Bellas Artes in La Boca where you can see the work of Benito Quinquela Martín.


8. San Telmo /San Telmo flea market

This section of the city retains some of the colonial flavour of past years and is steeped in the city's history. It was a fashionable district for years until a yellow fever epidemic drove the inhabitants north into what is now the Recoleta, and the lower classes and immigrants moved in. It has narrow streets, low buildings, antique shops and the famed Sunday antique market in the main square of the barrio. San Telmo's tango bars are an excellent place to learn and dance the tango.

Do learn to dance the tango, or at least watch others dance it. One of the best spots for admiring tango couples, or for receiving an impromptu lesson, is at the San Telmo flea market on Sundays in Buenos Aires.


9. Puerto Madero

By day, this riverfront area is a booming business and shopping district and by night, a hip neighbourhood with pricey restaurants and fashionable clubs. Wooden ferries will take you further into the tree-lined delta.


10.
Obelisco

The Obelisk, Buenos Aires' famed monument is on the widest street in the world, the Avenida 9 de Julio, where among the frantic traffic, you'll get great photos, particularly at night if you're visiting restaurants and nightclubs in the area.



Top 3 Baires experiences to do in one day!!

Just one more day until you go back home ? Check this short to-do list of Baires experiences and make sure you have done all of them!

1. Watch a football game!



Well, here is a dilemma: Could be a bit dangerous to go on your own to a “futbol” match. What you can do instead is find a local bar, or pub where they are showing a game of the national team. It won’t be very difficult because when the national team plays the whole city its in front of the TV. It’s not the same as to be in the stadium, but you will get the idea. Plus it’s safe, cheap and more comfortable. Anyway, Bocca Juniors and River Plate are among the most entertaining teams to watch in the world of football and with great individual skills, so you will have a lot of fun.

If you decide to go to a live match, careful with the tickets (you can get very fake ones and pay a fortune for them!). Instead of trying to save a few bucks, go to a regular ticketing place. Depending on the match, check the the different teams colours and be careful were you sit. If you already have a favourite team, just go for it!

2. Dance a tango



A challenge if you travel alone, but still a nice experience. There are hundreds of good tango bars and academies so it won’t be hard to find a place. Some people ignore that the nice songs are mostly about broken hearts and misfortunes, but feel romantic dancing to them anyway. I’ll advice you not to go to a posh professional place if you are a first-timer and just want to have some fun. The key here is to enjoy! If it will help you to get in the mood, let me tell you that Tango left the bordellos to conquer the world for one thing: the sensuality of the movements.

3. Try Asado



Of course the ideal thing will be to get an invitation from a local. But if you don’t have any acquaintances there let me give you some advices. The most important thing about the asado (or argie bbq) is the meat quality. Then it has to be prepared, a process that might take many hours. You can find restaurants with a high quality, but also at a high price. If that’s what you are looking set yourself towards “Costanera norte” and “Puerto Madero”.

If you have rent a car try the outskirts, into the Buenos Aires province. On the road you can find very chep restaurants with good parillas. If renting a car or leaving the city are not in your plans, at least go to barrios “Caballito or “Flores”. They are not in central turistic areas and you will be able to find some nice places to eat an asado.

Avoid places with big cows in the front and signs with English letters. If you don’t speak any Spanish it can be a challenge, but its worth trying. Just ask for “una parrillada para dos” (a bbq for two) and you will be fine.

One thing that might encourage you if you don't speak Spanish: In Argentina all foreign movies are shown in the original language so you will find that basic English vocabulary will be understood. Add some body-language and some luck, and you will be fine in most situations!

Essential BA survival kit

The most important tips on how to survive in Buenos Aires:



CHE
You will hear that a lot. It’s an informal expression to call attention on people.

Che, where is the hotel? A way of addressing someone without saying his/her name. Also keep in mind that what they speak is Castellano, not Spanish. They use “vos” instead of “tu” as an informal addressing.

They tend to speak very fast, so don’t panic if after those Spanish classes you don’t seem to understand a word. Its been said that what they speak is Spanish with an Italian accent. Judge for yourself!

Safety

Like in any other big city (a population of 11 million people) all tourist should take precautions.

Lonely walks in poorly lit streets should be avoided. Argentineans talk very fast, and unfortunately pick pockets are quite fast too! If you want to see the rhythm of the underworld in Buenos Aires I recommend you to see the Argentinean movie “9 reinas” ( 9 queens). Although it’s a couple of years old, it’s quite realistic. Recently the local police has been reinforce with a lot of new agents. Tourist had increased in the last years, and its safety its and important matter. Take the usual precautions and you will be fine.

Currency and rate of exchange

The Argentine currency is the peso ($). There are $100, $50, $20, $10, $5 and $2 notes.

You can also find 1, 0, 50, 0.25, 0, 10 and 0,05 cent coins ( or “centavos”).

Shops accept credit cards and dollars. Look for “casas de cambio”(currency Exchange offices) to make the exchange. To everyday transactions its better to use pesos.

After the 2001 devaluation of the peso (before it was 1 dollar=1 peso), the tourist got a very good rate exchange. In the last couple of years, a bit of inflation affected the prices. So, expect cheap but not toooo cheap.

Should I remind that in touristy areas prices get higher?, Well,…the do!. Try not to go around with dollars or euros, and don’t stop taxis in the street. Get a “radio taxi” better.

But even with the “tourist rip off fares” you still find the city to be cheap.

Electric power

Don’t worry if you didn’t bring that adapter, the humidity in the air calls for a natural look anyway!. In Argentina the electric power is 220 volt, 50-cycle alternating current.

The power outlets have 2 cylindrical holes or two flat holes with ground connection.

Emergency

The ambulance emergencies service SAME, (free emergency ambulance service)

Public hospitals offer a 24 hour emergency service, without charge. Quite good the service, and many doctors speak English.

Weather

The climate is mild all year round. Tourist can enjoy walking around the city in any season. The medium annual temperature is 18º (around 64.4ºF).

Although frosts are rare, this last July we were able to see snow all over the “plaza de Mayo”. July is the coldest month, so an overcoat will be useful.

Phone calls and small shops

In Buenos Aires are many public telephone booths and they appear with regular coins. You can make local, national and international calls. The international code for Argentina its 54, and for Buenos Aires, 11.

You can also get phone cards in “QUIOSKOS”. Those small shops can sell from cold drinks and ice cream to tobacco or snacks.

Argentinian Food

Sure, let’s go to the end of the world to learn tango, but what’s really good to eat there? Look no further, here the absolute top five of Argentinean specialities!!! Mmmh enjoy!!!



Empanadas

Maybe one of my favourite, the so called “empanadas” are half-moon shaped pastries that can be filled with many ingredients like meats, vegetables, cheeses, and spices. They are usually cooked in the oven, although some can be fried to. I would say that the most popular variety is the meat-filled empanada that consists of ground beef, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and spices. Chicken and ham/cheese flavour are also quite popular. Since you don need a dish to eat them (just hold it in your hand!) it’s very popular to use as an appetizer, watching a good soccer game!

Alfajores



Naamyy. Especially tasty cookie it’s the king of the Argentineans snacks. Consist in two flat cookies joined by a thick lay of dulce de leche, cover of course by a thin lay of chocolate. You can find many different types, with a white chocolate cover, with almonds, etc.

Dulce de leche



Recently I´ve being in Norway and they have something quite similar call something like “hapo”. But make no mistakes, Dulce de leche its 100% originally Argentinean!
As a popular sweetener used in Argentinean cooking it’s often seen for sale all over the country in large glass jars. Its has a very sweet caramel taste with a honey consistency. To be honest, it’s calorie nightmare. Argentinean children, when coming back from school, usually eat a slide of bread with dulce the leche. Reject imitations!

Mate



Wow …of all the specialities maybe this is the one less appreciated by foreigners Why?, its not sweet, it doesn’t have a good taste. But then….why it’s so popular?. I guess it’s because the whole “mate ceremony”.
Drink out of a gourd full of mate leaves and hot water through a long metal straw called a bombilla. It’s usual to enjoy it among friends or among friends to be. One in the group is the one in charge of poring (its call “cebar”) hot water and sugar after each person. There are a lot of traditions around it. For example, it’s not polite to refuse one. And when you are full you just give back the mate with a “gracias”. If the straw gets stuck, it means that you have “mal de amores” (or problems in your love life). The most skilful “cebador” (person in charge of the water-sugar refill) is the one capable of keeping the same yerba for a long time without changing it.
Very important, never boiled the water!, It will totally ruined the mate. Usually drink by the gauchos, but always without sugar….since they say that mate with sugar was only for ladies!
For foreigners, it’s a heavy test drinking it in “the gaucho style”…..give it a try!

Asado/Parilla



After soccer and tango, meat it’s the next national pride. Truth is that the quality it’s quite good, and the meat quite tasty. The asado or argie barbeque, is the most popular way to prepare it.
The usual “parilla” it’s a grilled on a huge spit over a pit full of red hot coals. The food is served with salads. A special mention deserves the so called “choripan” .Consist in a sausage with bread and chimichurri salsa. Mmmn please check the picture below, and If you can grab one……don’t waste any time!!!!

Buen Ayre


If you a looking for reason to go to South America, Buenos Aires is the answer. The most cosmopolitan city in South America, you will find bustling streets, grand avenues, old-time cafes and stylish restaurants.

Get the inside tips to get around the city! According to the Argentinean everything its bigger and better there, specially the meat!
Find out how everything about a country built by people who came from all the corners of the world and couldn’t resist the temptation to stay!

The City

Originally founded as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre,which can be, translated something like "City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Good Winds it’s now internationally known as Buenos Aires.



To make a distinction from the province of the same name it’s usually called “Capital Federal”, a blink to the federal system in the country.
Local names are Baires, Bs As, o Ba. The financial district it’s also called “la city porteña”. People borne here are known as “porteños”, coming from the word “puerto” (port).
In many tango lyrics you can also find the name of “la reina del Plata”. That means “Queen of the river” ( Plata being an allusion to the Plata River where the river lays).

Buenos Aires

Some Facts:

Established : 1536
Government
- Chief of Government Jorge Telerman (Mauricio Macri elected as successor)

Area
- City 203 km² (78.5 sq mi)
- Land 203 km² (78.5 sq mi)
- Metro 4,758 km² (1,837.1 sq mi)

Population (2001 est.)
- City 2,776,138
- Density 13,679.6/km² (35,430/sq mi)
- Metro 12,400,000