Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

THE EXPERT

Renee McConnell is co-owner and creative director of San Telmo Group alongside brothers Dave and Michael Parker. She oversees various eateries in Melbourne and returns to Argentina regularly for inspiration. See santelmo.com.au

SNACK

Buenos Aires works on a different timetable to Australia and nothing really opens before 10am, so for my first meal of the day, I dive straight in and have an empanada at La Americana. They say you haven't been to Argentina if you haven't tried their version of the South American pastry. My favourites are the pollo (chicken), carne (beef, egg and olive) and jamon y queso (ham and cheese). Expect waiters in crisp white shirts, waistcoats and bow ties. It's cheaper to stand up to eat, and frankly the best way to experience dining like the locals. (No website; A v. Callao 83)

LUNCH

On Sundays, when the San Telmo Market is on, head to the Mercado San Telmo, an indoor market near Plaza Dorrego. Here, you will find everything under one roof. Follow the smell of the coal and smoke to Nuestra Parilla to grab a choripan and find out how good a chorizo roll with fresh chimichurri can taste. (No website; Bolivar 970)

ICE-CREAM

After an afternoon stroll, helados, or ice-cream, is an ideal snack. There's a great artisan heladeria in Palermo Soho called Tufic, where I like to have the dulce de leche ice-cream. A sticky, sweet caramel made from sugar and milk, for me, if it doesn't have dulce de leche in it, it isn't an Argentinian dessert. When it comes to dulce de leche, the darker it is the better. See tufic-helados.com

DINNER

A classic San Telmo parrilla, La Brigada serves meat so tender that waiters carve it with a dessertspoon. This place is just as good as the famous D on Julio, but without the price tag. Service is fast, informed, a little rushed and sometimes a bit rude, but I like that. You can stay safe with cuts such as flank, eye fillet or rib eye, or eat like the locals with bull's testicles or intestines. My favourite is mollejas (sweetbreads), hot off the parrilla with salt and a squeeze of lemon. (No website; Estados Unidos 465)

NIGHTCAP

After dinner, head to the Library Lounge, where you can curl up on big leather couches and sip on Fernet Branca, as the Argentinians do, or choose local pours from the wine list. It's a beautiful space filled with antique furniture, rugs and chandeliers,  and an extensive book collection lining the walls. On warmer evenings, I like to have a couple of drinks in the bar,  then make my way up to the pool bar to continue the party – it's always a late one in Buenos Aires. See faena.com

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