Buenos Aires Stories and Tips

When you dine out in Buenos Aires....

In such a huge city, you can expect to find a lot of restaurants -- and you will. You also might expect to find an incredible variety of food. For this, you will have to look a little harder. Twelve million people in Buenos Aires, and they're all eating steaks.

Restaurants line the streets in Buenos Aires -- go into many of them, and you will find that the menu is more or less the same. If you want variety, you have to seek out those places that have made a name for themselves by being deliciously different. You won't find international cousine on every corner. You have to dig a little deeper.

Check out some of the entries in this journal. We love Mexican, Chinese, Thai, and Indian food, so we hunt those restaurants down -- and I write about them here!

If you love spicy food -- good luck! For the most part, Argentines don't, so even dishes that are listed as "spicy" -- even in, say, a Mexican restaurant where spicy is to be expected -- might not be very hot by your standards.

You will also notice that many Argentine restaurants charge a cover. Sometimes this is per person, sometimes it is per table. It is usually just a few dollars, maybe AR$10, but don't be surprised to see that added to your bill. This is not a tip; supposedly, it covers the use of utensils and the table service.

Tips are expected, though you generally can't put them on credit cards. If you pay with a card, make sure to leave the tip in cash. Some places don't accept cards, or they might have a minimum amount for using a card, so ask in advance if you don't have the cash on you.

When you enter a restaurant, you will most likely seat yourself and wait for a waiter to find you.

The Argentine dinner hour is late. Many restaurants don't even open for dinner until 8:00pm, and it doesn't really start rolling in there until 9:00 or 10:00. Make a reservation at popular restaurants, especially if you're keeping an Argentine schedule. If you prefer to eat a little earlier, you 'd probably be okay to skip the reservation -- but if you're thinking ahead, make one just in case.

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