top of page
  • Writer's pictureBecca Jackson

13 amazing Argentine foods and 4 must try Argentine drinks. Try them, your stomach will thank you!!

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Meat lovers will eat well in Argentina; that is not to say vegetarians and vegans won’t; but may find things a little trickier as Argentina loves its steak! Most restaurants, even in smaller towns, have vegetarian options on the menu, but vegan may be harder to come by and you should check, regardless of the ingredients listed, what the recipe contains.


Table of contents

Typical Argentinian food

2. Steak

4. Picada

5. Lamb

7. Pizza

Sweet stuff

Popular Argentinian drinks

4. Mate


Typical Argentinian food

1. Asado/Parilla

There is nothing quite so Argentinian as a BBQ, depending where you are in the country you will see the words Asado or Parilla or maybe even both. Roughly translated Asodo/Parilla means you are about to get some of the best barbequed meat of your life. If you do get to try it cooked by a Gaucho in the foothills of the Andes, even better!

2. Steak

Argentina is famous for its steak and for a very good reason, it is wonderful! They are often ranked the highest beef consuming country in the world!

Our favourite cuts are Bife de Lomo (tenderloin) and Bife de Chorizo (sirloin). The lomo is less fatty with limited marbling so not as flavoursome, but still tender and juicy. Lomo can be good for those who are easily put off by fat and don’t want to 'fight' with the meat. The chorizo is also big and juicy but more flavoursome due to its higher fat content.

Bife de Chorizo steak, Bariloche, Argentina
Bife de Chorizo steak

3. Chimichurri

This uncooked sauce made from parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, red wine vinegar & fresh chilli makes a delicious accompaniment to steak.

4. Picada

Cheese & meat platter – perfect with a glass of Argentinian Malbec, enjoy a selection of queso y fiambre (cold cuts).

Picada - cheese & meat platter at Restaurant Ampi, Cafayate, Argentina
Picada - cheese & meat platter at Restaurant Ampi, Cafayate

5. Lamb

The south of the country in the region of Patagonia is well known for its delicious lamb. We sampled lamb asado (BBQ), two different kinds of lamb stew with veggies and lentils, & the most amazing lamb empanadas! Whatever form the lamb comes in it is amazing (although I would avoid lamb pasta as unfortunately the tomato sauce it usually comes in is over sweet and in my opinion, ruins the dish) and certainly rivals that of New Zealand and Wales.

6. Sorrentinos

Filled pasta parcels similar to ravioli. We visited an extremely good pasta restaurant in Salta called La Cefira that showcased these.

Cheese & basil sorrentinos topped with tomato & olive sauce, La Cefira, Salta
Cheese & basil sorrentinos topped with tomato & olive sauce, La Cefira, Salta

7. Pizza

Perhaps not what you were expecting but the Argentines, like many other nationalities, love a pizza. They appear to prefer the deep pan with plentiful toppings, American style, and pizza restaurants like this can be found all over the country. Our personal preference is thin, crispy Italian style base and we did manage to locate a few restaurants like this too.

Italian style pizza
Italian style pizza

8. Burgers

Because of the abundance of good beef in Argentina, beef burgers are also very popular and we had some fabulous ones whilst there. Some restaurants will also offer a chicken option which I found to be very good also & a vegetarian burger but I found this varied massively in quality.

9. Empanadas

A trip to Argentina is not complete until you have eaten your body weight in empanadas, although Argentina aren't the only country in the Americas to offer Empanadas, they can be found all the way up to Mexico (see our Mexico food & drink post). Similar to a small English Cornish pasty or a Bolivian Salteña, these pastry parcels are filled with either meat, cheese, chicken or vegetables. The lamb empanadas in Patagonia were particularly good.

Mixed empanadas, Salta, Argentina
Mixed empanadas, Salta

10. Milanesa

Although originally an Italian dish, this is a popular addition to most Argentine menus. A thin meat steak (usually veal) is covered in breadcrumbs and fried. Similar to the German schnitzel this would then be served with fries and salad.

Sweet stuff

11. Chocolate

Not only famed for its craft beer, Bariloche is the home of chocolate! You can find an artisanal chocolate shop on nearly every corner.

12. Dulce du Leche

A sweet, caramel flavoured spread that can be found in biscuits, tarts, spread on toast & even as a flavour of ice-cream. The locals love it so you will see it everywhere!

13. Alfajores

These delicious shortbread style sandwich biscuits are usually filled with dulce du leche or chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. You will find these in Bolivia and Peru too.

In El Chalten in Patagonia we found an even chocolaty version!

Chocolate Alfajores, el Chalten, Patagonia
Chocolate Alfajores, el Chalten, Patagonia

Popular Argentinian drinks

1. Malbec wine

Ah Argentina’s most glorious wine! A confident red grape that is full of flavour and produces bold, smooth wines. It is wonderful on its own but also compliments those steak dinners incredibly well. I wonder what came first, the Malbec or the steak?! I can honestly say I have never had a bad one so whether you splash out or go for the house wine you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Mendoza is the world capital for Malbec & so the best place to sample it (if you are wanting to do a cheap tour read our Maipu Bikes, self guided wine tour post) you can even get Malbec ice-cream 😋

Dave enjoying a Malbec ice cream in Mendoza, Argentina
Dave enjoying a Malbec ice cream in Mendoza

2. Torrontés

If you are wanting to try something a little different give this white grape a go. Mainly produced in Argentina, we stumbled across this variety in Cafayate. It produces fresh, aromatic wines that are smooth but slightly acidic. Great in the sunshine!

3. Craft beer

Bariloche in Patagonia is the best place to head to sample the beer. There are over 25 small start ups in the one town, each brewing a different craft beer. There is even a ‘beer street’ allowing you to move from one brewery to another with ease 😉

Craft beer and chocolate in Bariloche, Argentina
Craft beer and chocolate in Bariloche

4. Mate

Like other South American countries mate is drank widely here. With a slightly bitter, earthy flavour similar to green tea, mate is made by soaking yerba mate - green, finely chopped leaves in hot water. You will often see the locals going about their daily business carrying their mate cup and a small flask of hot water they use to top up their brew.


bottom of page