If you want good and fast with a side of cool, El Banco Rojo is your place in Buenos Aires. And as its name suggests, you'll know you're at the right place when you see the red bench outside. This small San Telmo restaurant offers up different types of wraps and kebabs with home-made potato chips. (You'll probably never want to look at a bag of Lay's again.) Take a seat on one of the stools in the informal dining area or ask for your food to go. The spartan food-themed d�cor is silly and fun; as an English speaker you'll probably notice the words "Bite Me" on the wall.
Recommended for Homestyle because: El Banco Rojo makes a tasty and comforting lunch spot in San Telmo.
Sarah's expert tip: El Banco Rojo is vegetarian friendly, which is not always the case in BA. There is plenty for meat eaters, but vegetarians have some options too.
Comfortable Juana M is not your typical parrilla. The restaurant is located in a spacious basement with contemporary art covering the walls and candles set on all the white tables. The menu consists of barbequed meats as well as pastas. The salad bar, which is free when you order a main dish, is great and can also be ordered by itself if you are looking for a healthier meal. For lunch, Juana M opens earlier than most places in the area do, at noon, although most diners roll in around 2 pm. It is a good place to bring a group.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Juana M is a nice place to eat in Retiro for homestyle meats and pastas.
Sarah's expert tip: Juana M is a good option if you have a group with disparate tastes or requirements. You will find choices on the menu for carnivores, vegetarians, carb lovers, dieters, celiacs, etc.
Hip hangouts seem to come and go at a dizzying pace in South America's most trend-conscious city, but this Microcentro-based, Italian restaurant, with its modern art flourishes, seems to be perennially in fashion – and incredibly popular. Patrons come for house-made fresh pastas, a thin-crust (read: non Argentine style) pizza list that reaches three figures (baked in the huge wood-fired oven) and the upbeat atmosphere. Filo tends to be loud and fun, making it a good choice to come with friends. However, the restaurant is an especially popular choice at lunch time, when the surrounding office workers descend on the place.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Filo is one of the city's best loved Italian restaurants.
Sarah's expert tip: There are some who say that no meal is complete without dessert, but at Filo, it happens to be true: don't leave without having dessert, preferably tiramisu.
This Palermo Soho steakhouse stalwart hasn't been much swayed by the trendification of the neighborhood and continues to serve choice cuts without gimmicks in a comfortable, traditional space. Think rustic style but still charming. Service at this Buenos Aires steakhouse is always warm and knowledgeable; this is the perfect place to acquaint yourself with the happy marriage of Argentinian beef and wine. Let the waiters at Don Julio help you if you find yourself overwhelmed with the large wine list. As could be expected, they specialize in Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Try to sit outside when the weather is nice.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Don Julio does meat like it should be done in BA.
Sarah's expert tip: Come to Don Julio for the grilled cuts of meat copiously washed down with bottles of Argentine wine, but stay for the flamb�ed figs with ice cream.
Buenos Aires' legendary mega parrilla El Trapiche was serving up grilled bifes de lomo and matambritos (thin cut of pork) long before the area in which it is located became known as "Palermo Hollywood" (because of the number of film companies setting up) and the cool gang moved into its leafy, cobbled streets. Thankfully, El Trapiche continues to do what it does best: generous portions of tender grilled meats, pasta, wine and a bustling but relaxed Argentinian atmosphere. No need to dress up; come as you are and be prepared to eat. For dessert, you can't go wrong with some Argentine ice cream.
Recommended for Homestyle because: You can sink your teeth into some of Buenos Aires' best grilled meat here.
Sarah's expert tip: Come hungry and ready for a real Argentine, meat-eating experience: plenty of beef and pork tempered with pasta, bold red wine and sweet ice cream.
Casual but upmarket, Tiendas Naturales is an organic cafe and restaurant located in the Palermo neighborhood. Tiendas Naturales is open throughout the day (in fact, every day from 8 am to midnight) and serves baked goods, sandwiches, salads, wraps, hamburgers and pastas, in addition to teas, juices, smoothies and cocktails. Bring your smartphone or laptop to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. You have your choice of different types of tables inside, or the cafe tables for two outside. Otherwise, you can order fresh bread and pastries to go, or have them delivered, and go explore one of the nearby parks.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Tiendas Naturales is an organic and relaxed place for a good lunch.
Sarah's expert tip: The food at Tiendas Naturales is organic and doesn't contain preservatives, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean it doesn't have calories! The smoothies are particularly good.
Thanks to the large waves of Italian immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, pizza is everywhere in Buenos Aires, but the quality is known to vary widely. However, Güerrín, opened in 1932, is one of the best of the old classics concentrated on Avenida Corrientes and is considered an institution of good Buenos Aires pizza. Here the pizza comes Argentinian style: thick, pie-like wedges with lashings of cheese. Stand for a slice at the counter at the front for a quick bite or settle in for a feast and a bottle of moscato (sweet wine) in the back. Prices are low.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Güerrín is well known amongst the locals and responsible for some of Buenos Aires' best pizza.
Sarah's expert tip: Find yourself in the area for the theatre? Güerrín makes for a great, quick and cheap meal before or after a show. Pay at the counter first.
Ask the locals and the expats: they will all tell you that Che Taco is the best Mexican food restaurant in Buenos Aires. You'll find lots of taco, burrito, quesadilla, nacho and sandwich choices, as well as different sauces (including habanero) if you want to kick the spice up a notch or three. Just don't skip the guacamole. Then to drink, choose from Mexican aguas frescas, beers and cocktails. This informal San Telmo restaurant is decorated with lots of bright colors as well as touches like festive pi�atas and Mexican blankets. Pictures of Frida Kahlo and Cheech Marin decorate the walls.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Great, comforting Mexican food with colorful decor. Need we say more?
Sarah's expert tip: The food is great and the drinks are big; it's a recipe for wanting to stay a long time. If you come at night though, know that Che Taco closes relatively early for Buenos Aires.
While the Buenos Aires dining scene is often dominated by steak, pizza and pasta, there is more to Buenos Aires and Argentina, and 1810 Cocina Regional is a good example of that. There you will find traditional Argentine fare like meat and vegetable stews; delicate empanadas filled with ham, chicken or cheese; as well as home-style desserts like flan, rice pudding, alfajores, cheese with quince paste and dulce de leche mousse. The somewhat elegant decor evokes Argentina's colonial past with dark woods, black tablecloths and horseshoes used in napkin holders, but the prices are reasonable, making it a good choice for the budget conscious who are looking to dine.
Recommended for Homestyle because: 1810 Cocina Regional serves good quality but inexpensive traditional Argentine food.
Sarah's expert tip: In addition to the Palermo location, you can find 1810 Cocina Regional downtown and in the Belgrano neighborhood. All have lunch specials during the week.
Located in Villa Crespo, Sarkis is an immensely popular Armenian and Middle Eastern restaurant. (Buenos Aires has one of the largest Armenian communities in the world.) At Sarkis the food is tasty, the prices are reasonable and it's easy to eat family style if you come with a group. Unfortunately, to get in on the goodness, wait times upwards of an hour are not uncommon. When you sit down, you'll get pita bread while considering the menu, where you'll find dishes like kebabs, kaftas, cheese pastries, tabbouleh and stuffed grape leaves. Wash it all down with some Argentine wine or beer.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Porteños love to come here with family and friends for the family-style dining.
Sarah's expert tip: If you don't fancy waiting, then come to dine seriously late or have someone from your group take one for the team while the rest of the group comes later or starts off at a bar.