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Buenos Aires

argentina meatArgentina is well known for its cattle ranches, and carnivores will glory in the fresh, top-quality steaks available in restaurants around the city. (You'll quickly learn the word parrilla, or grill.) There are some meat-free options as well, but vegetarians should take care to ask whether dishes are prepared with meat stock. With the city's large Italian population, cuisine from the Boot is also quite popular here. Portenos dine late; many restaurants don't open for dinner until 8 p.m., and most locals eat between 9 and 11 p.m.

Cabana las Lilas, the best of the city's parrillas, is where steak lovers will discover why Argentina is famous for its beef. Thick steaks come sizzling from the charcoal grill. Prices are on the high side.

Cafe Tortoni, a favorite with the city's artists and writers since 1858, is the place for a light lunch amid Old World ambience and prime people watching. An Art Nouveau beauty, it has a stained-glass skylight, original artwork, caricatures, portraits and photos of great poets lining the walls.

Broccolino, a casual family-run trattoria, takes its name from New York City's Brooklyn, and boasts Brooklyn memorabilia and a mural of Manhattan's skyline. Pizzas, pastas and calamari are among the favorite dishes.

La Bourgogne, located in the Alvear Palace Hotel, is generally considered the best restaurant in the city, and one of the best in all of South America. French and Continental dishes are served in an elegant formal dining room decorated in pastel hues. Reservations are highly recommended, as are jackets and ties for men.

Bice, a sibling of the well-known restaurant in Milan, has pleasing, understated decor and is a longtime favorite for Northern Italian dishes including risottos and interesting pasta combinations.

There aren't too many good Asian restaurants in Buenos Aires, but travelers needing a fix can try the Southeast Asian fare at Cocina Sunae. The menu changes frequently and might include options such as sauteed shrimp with spicy tamarind sauce or Vietnamese pork belly braised in coconut juice.


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