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Buenos Aires: Neighborhood Flavors

By Sylvia Mendez

If you happen to be in Bueno Aires and find yourself craving authentic Peruvian food, you’re in luck. Once, a bustling neighborhood and popular landing pad for many Peruvian transplants, has quickly become the go-to destination for delicious, home-style Peruvian fare. Check out these tasty eateries:

Chan Chan / Hipólito Yrigoyen 1390
Decked out with soft blue ceilings, wooden chairs and tiled walls, Chan Chan is a cozy spot to indulge in some seafood delights. The acclaimed ceviche mixto, a cocktail of shrimp, fish and mussels flavored with lime juice, is the dish to dig into. Complement this flavorful concoction with a plate of jalea, a lightly breaded and fried combination of calamari, shrimp and potato. This bohemian dive has become a local favorite, so be sure to arrive early for dinner if you want a seat.

Los Trujillanitos / Avenida Corrientes 3564
Bring your appetite to this family-style eatery. Wallet-friendly options range from chaufa, a staple of Chinese-influenced Peruvian cooking, to more traditional items, such as the papa a la huancaina, where ají amarillo spices a cheese sauce that is used to top sliced potatoes. These Peruvian yellow chili peppers are also used in the ají de gallina, a creamy hen stew made with ground walnuts and paired with boiled potatoes and black olives.

Kusko Hatuchav / Avenida Corrientes 352
Pacha, meaning earth, and manca, meaning pot, are both words in Quechua that describe the type of Peruvian cooking practiced at Kusko Hatuchay. Pachamanca involves slowly roasting vegetables and meat in an underground pot powered by hot stones. Try the pollo a la brasa, a sort of rotisserie chicken, and the humitas, a style of tamale shared by both Argentina and Peru, where cornmeal and meat melt together and are wrapped in a corn husk.

Top Tastes in Palermo

Buenos Aires is no slouch when it comes to great places to eat, especially in the fashionable Palermo district. Thick with luxe shops, cool boutique hotels and busy bars, Palermo is also home to plenty of wow-worthy cuisine at almost every corner.

The restaurant highlight award goes to Tegui (Costa Rica 5852; 5291-3333) for gorgeous meals in a glam setting — tuna carpaccio with shaved foie gras, veal tartare, sea bass, stuffed quail, amazing desserts and waiters that look as if they just stepped out of a music video. Patrons are buzzed in a graffiti-strewn entrance, enhancing the mystique.

Make dining at La Cabrera (Cabrera 5099; 4831-7002) a priority. The top steak place (or parilla) is constantly full, making it a loud but fun spot.

The small vegetarian restaurant Bio (Humboldt 2199; 4774-3880) is a delightful, fresh-flavor experience and a huge break from the barrage of beef.

The Swedish restaurant Olsen (Gorriti 5870; 4774-4191) is sexy and affordable and serves portions that won’t overwhelm like other spots. Check out the secluded and serene front garden.

Brunch or lunch at Oui Oui (Nicaragua 6068; 4778-9614) is perfect for eggs, sandwiches, or yogurt and granola. This spot has a real East Village feel.

Lunch at Nucha (Armenia 1540 and five other locations; 4833-9345) boasts a chicken Caesar salad sandwich to absolutely write home about and a lemon meringue tart that will push you over the edge.

-Doug Wallace

Photo by Olivia Andrews/