A Guide to Argentina Food for Visitors

Dulce de leche

Dulce de leche is a popular sweetener used in Argentinian cooking, often seen for sale all over the country in large glass jars. Made by boiling equal parts of milk and sugar it has a very sweet, caramel taste and has a consistency between honey and butter. It is loaded with calories and is a popular condiment for spreading on bread and sweetening drinks. Ice cream is of excellent quality in Argentina and Dulce De Leche is one of the most famous flavours. In the hot summer months cafes all over the country and in particular Buenos Aires serve Dulce De Leche ice cream to cool off in the intense heat.


This popular beverage is drunk through a long metal straw called a bombilla, out of a gourd full of mate leaves and boiling water. It is common to be offered a drink of mate during long waiting periods and especially during arduous land journeys. Considered an icebreaker in Argentina it's considered impolite to refuse, so if you are offered some, take a sip and pass the gourd on to someone else. Many travellers buy their own mate gourd and find it an excellent way to make friends while travelling around the country.


Argentinians love their meat, and the Asado, or Argentinian barbeque, is the way they like it best - grilled on a huge spit over a pit full of red hot coals. If you are invited to an Asado or decide to eat in a Parilla (BBQ restaurant), bring your appetite because the food is served in large portions and consists entirely of sausages, steaks, ribs with just a few grilled peppers on the side. Many Parillas are all you can eat for a fixed price so it might be wise to eat lightly beforehand. In the southern parts of the country the Asado uses goat meat instead of beef.

Typical meals

Lunch and dinner often consists of standard fare such as pizza, pasta and meat dishes. North American, continental and Middle Eastern cuisine are generally available. Beef is of a particularly high quality. Those of you who are fond of tasting typical food will be pleased to find that Argentina offers exquisite regional dishes such as empanadas, this is minced meat and other ingredients covered with puff pastry, and locro a pork and maize stew. However Argentina is justifiably famous for 'asados', restaurants specializing in barbecued and grilled meat dishes, mainly beef, but also pork, lamb and chicken. Sandwiches de miga are wonderful dainty sandwiches made of very thin-crusted white bread and filled with slices of ham and cheese. Churros are also worth a taste. They are a bit like donuts and can come filled with dulce de leche or chocolate. The variety of cuts of meat and methods of preparing these is nothing less than spectacular, and the price of such a meal accompanied by one of the many excellent local wines makes it a bargain.

Typical drinks

Argentine wines are excellent and inexpensive. Their out-standing quality is recognized throughout the world. Whiskies & gins are excellent as are classic & local wines. Don't overlook 'ginebra bols' and 'caņa' both of which are national specialties. You'll be hard pressed to find 'mate' served anywhere although it's the most famous and distinct Argentine drink.

Argentina Recipes

Where's the BEEF? In a word "Argentina". Argentina is the beef capital of South America with more per capita consumption of beef than anywhere else in the world.

We have put together a collection of the finest recipes that reflect the flavor and tastes of Argentina.




Here's our picks of the month: