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Louise Carr de Olmedo It can be tough to be in Buenos Aires when you don’t eat gluten. At first it’s possible to live perfectly happily on gluten-free steak and wine but after a few days you’re bound to crave something a little different – and your waistline will thank you for the change in pace, too. But where do you go for your empanada fix? Your pizza craving? Or your medialuna extravaganza? You don’t need to miss out when you’re gluten free in BA. You just need this guide. GF in Palermo OHSAWA Honduras 5900 Consult Ohsawa staff for details of their gluten-free offerings – the menu does not always show the gluten-free items available, but there are usually some perfectly decent options for lunch, snacks and dinner. The light and bright new location in Palermo is lovely – the ideal spot for brunch, or an atmospheric evening meal. Gluten free bread. Ph by Ohsawa CELIGOURMET Thames 1633 (Also in Caballito: Puán 633; Martinez: Gral. Paunero 1927; Microcentro: Maipú 694; and Belgrano: Cabildo 1304) Just one look at the elaborate cakes in the window of Celigourmet makes it clear you’re in the right place for your cream, chocolate and dulce de leche blowout. Celigourmet is best for its huge cakes and tortas, and also sells alfajores, empanadas, savoury breads, and microwaveable ready meals from locations across the city. The...

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Louise Carr de Olmedo You don’t eat meat. In fact, you’re vegan. In Buenos Aires? Well, you’d better get used to the laughter. But stop right there. Food choice has come a long way since Lonely Planet labelled Argentina as one of the worst countries in the world for non-meat eating travellers. Think you can’t survive as a vegan in the so-called beef capital of the world? Think again. The vegan circuit in Buenos Aires is getting wider and more interesting all the time. Don’t put up with the same old lettuce-onion-tomato salad. Buenos Aires is a vegan wonderland – when you know where to look. The Rise and Rise of the Vegan in Buenos Aires It is now estimated that between 1 and 2 percent of the population doesn’t eat meat. It may not sound like much, but that actually means 600,000 people, more or less, are vegan or vegetarian here.  Sociedad Argentina de Nutrición reports that the “meatless” sector of the food market grew 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. Pinning down the numbers for specifically vegan consumers is harder, but it is fair to say that there has been no better time to be a vegan in BA. It’s true; veganism is “cool” right now in Buenos Aires. Porteños are turning vegan for their waistlines, for the street cred, for the novelty. Then there are...

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Louise Carr de Olmedo Eating in a wholesome, sustainable way in this urban metropolis is a challenge. But persist because the rewards are rich – for your health, and your taste buds. Rest assured you can find a thriving, fresh organic food movement in Buenos Aires. You’ve just got to know where to look. Can You Find Organic Food in Argentina? The organic food movement in Argentina has a relatively short history. In 1985 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates only five farmers were producing organically. During the 90s, the organic sector became more professional and organised.¡ and Argentina was certified fit to export organic produce to the EC. Now Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of certified organic apples and pears and a number of organizations inspect produce for organic standards. Thanks to physical conditions like naturally fertile soil, low use of chemicals in conventional farming, low pest levels, and plenty of virgin land, the conversion to organic production is easier in Argentina than other countries. But organic food has not been wildly popular in the general market, where people are disinclined to pay more for something they don’t see as being “better”. If you’re looking for organic food in Argentina, you do have to dig deep sometimes. But Buenos Aires is the best place to find it. Supermarkets sell organic...

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Allie Lazar The best chefs of Buenos Aires reveal how to make their restaurant’s most popular dishes. Swiss Chard Pakoras & Carrot Chutney, recipe by Mariano Ramon from Gran Dabbang in Buenos Aires.  If chef Mariano Ramon ever took the pakoras off the ever-changing menu at Gran Dabbang in Palermo, the restaurant’s regulars would totally freak out. The crispy and lightly fried pakoras de acelga (swiss chard pakoras) have been on Dabbang’s menu since the beginning, and were originally added as a way to incorporate an Indian-style tempura element that was also vegetarian friendly. Mariano Ramón. Photo by Dabbang A popular food found throughout India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, pakoras come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. It can be compared to tempura in Japan or buñuelos in Argentina, all which share a similar fritter-like concept: take a vegetable or meat, batter it, lightly fry it, and serve with some sort of delicious dipping sauce. Pakoras at Gran Dabbang “In India, there are so many different varieties of pakoras, it’s a snack you find everywhere,” Ramon tells me. “The chutney-yogurt combination is a classic pair, not just when making pakoras, but in lots of different dish preparations. Our recipes aren’t traditional, but we use the same balanced flavor profiles to season our dishes.” The pakora not only transformed (by popular demand) into Dabbang’s signature dish, but it started popping up...

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Sorrel Moseley-Williams You’ve got a favourite corner bar in Buenos Aires, haven’t you? Whichever neighbourhood you live in or have stayed in, there’s surely one watering-hole, a bar de la esquina, that’s captured your heart. Thanks to their very architecture, corner bars in Buenos Aires tend to be the prettiest, standing out for that bevelled, three-sided entrance (known as arquitectura en ochava in Spanish) that lets diners and drinkers inadvertently interact, gazing out at a city in movement. And many of these classic establishments date back to the 19th century, oozing history, stories – oh, the tales these floors and walls could tell! Here, The Real Argentina visits four emblematic esquinas in Buenos Aires. LA FLOR DE BARRACAS, Barracas An insider view of the corner. Ph by La Flor de Barracas While paperwork confirms that La flor de Barracas has operated since 1906, it’s more likely this corner bar opened nine years earlier in 1897, according to current co-owner Carlos Cantini. But it certainly wasn’t one of Barracas’ emblematic esquinas back then… Carlos says: “Originally called Fonda genoa (Genovese Tavern), this establishment has always served up food and drinks. And back then, right opposite, was the railway repair yard. That attracted all sorts of changarines (casual labourers) and characters working there; so many, that this area was known for its knife fights.” Known variously as Luna Tarzan and even...

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