Globe-trotting foodie Jodie Hopperton uncovers a thriving culinary scene in suburban Palermo in our Blog of the Week
On my last visit to Buenos Aires I decided to stay in a different area and explore a different side of the city. Palermo is more suburban but it has many of the great restaurants and bars Buenos Aires is famous for.
I really wanted to see tango in Buenos Aires too, but I wasn't keen to go to a big touristy show. My Argentinian friends recommended drinks at La Catedral to watch people dance in a hidden warehouse. Well worth a visit to get your tango fix in an authentic place.
Another thing I loved doing in BA was spending an evening in a Pena. This is a bar where from around 1am, sometimes after a show, locals bring guitars and sing. A little like an open mic, but everyone sits at their own table and, if interested, play at the same time. They just play and sing louder. The music is Argentinian, the guitar players are talented and sometimes you may see some dancing too. Penas are also a great place for a late night empanadas after a few drinks.
Food is plentiful and I certainly got my fix of steak and Malbec while I was in town. My only complaint, or maybe lesson learned, is that steak comes more cooked than I would generally prefer. You have to emphasis ‘rare’ and then it’s still not quite the saignon that I have grown used to in France.
- Miranda is a parrilla but go here for lunch or dinner and try the Ensalada Jacinta – an enormous salad of grilled chicken, pumpkin, and all sorts of other things. Usually no need to book in advance. Steaks are also good.
- Osaka is the best sushi I have ever eaten. I am no expert but I don’t say this lightly. The food is stunning, Asian fusion which includes variations of one my favourite dishes, ceviche. Book in advance and don’t miss it.
- La Cabrera is another great parrilla which comes with a multitude of extra sides and lollipop with the bill. Book in advance.
A few others which were recommended but we didn’t get to try are:
- Oui Oui, a great little brunch place
- Tô which is ‘Frapanese’ food (French-Japanese). Really cool atmosphere, great cocktails, good sushi.
Within Palermo there were a couple of bars that we loved:
- Frank’s bar is a speakeasy where you have to tell them the ‘password’ to get in, then you walk in to a room with a phone box where you have to type in the four digit code the bouncers give you. Very funny and the interior doesn’t disappoint.
- Isabel's cocktail bar is fun and has a good range of cocktails, each with their own story. My favourite was the ‘elegant and refreshing’ Oriental.
- Casa Cruz is a popular upmarket spot with velvet sofas and moody lighting, Try the Casa Cruz cocktail, created with vodka, apple Bardinet, ginger ale, ginger syrup and passion fruit pulp.
Jodie's blog is about getting off the beaten track, with some creature comforts, the next meal planned and perhaps a beverage in hand. "Food to me is central to other parts of life," she says. "It transverses time zones and cultures and finds common ground. I love feeding people: bringing friends together and sharing our lives and stories."
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