The Recoleta barrio in Buenos Aires has a reputation of being full of stuffy rich people and traditions. This might be half true, but it’s got it’s fair share of hipster coffee shops, juice bars, and fabulous restaurants as well. Below are my favorites so far:
Tea Connection: This chain serves surprisingly fresh and interesting soups, salads, sandwiches, juices and entrees, with an international spin. They clearly also specialize in teas, my favorite being the Ayurvedic green tea.
Anima Café & Cakes: A thoroughly minimalistic bakery with adorable baked goods and animals prancing among them. The brownies are to die for and the flowers are beautiful.
Delicious Café: Best salads EVER, and fabulous cappucinos. High-quality ingredients and a creative chef make all the difference. Below, the Falafel Salad – microgreens, cherry tomatoes, crispy falafel, queso fresco, pistachios, sprouts, and yogurt-mint dressing. While you wait, complimentary hummus and crackers are served. Great muffins as well.
Factory Juice Bar (various locations): Wide variety of vegetable juices, fruit juices, and smoothies on offer.
Harper Juice Bar: Similar to Factory Juice Bar
Pani (Recoleta location, also in Palermo Soho): Happy décor and nap-inducing portions of over-the-top American-ish cakes are the specialty here. The “Afro” – a chocolate brownie topped with dark chocolate mousse, ganache, and sprinkled with chocolate shavings is a good example. Perfect for sharing with friends on Sunday afternoon.
Rapanui (Recoleta): the BEST gelato in the city, hands down. Good chocolates as well (the shop originated as a family run chocolate shop in Bariloche).
MID-RANGE AND UPSCALE RESTAURANTS
La Causa Nikkei: This Peruvian fusion restaurant has great ceviches and sommeliers on hand to recommend the perfect wine.
Parrilla Pena: Heralded as one of the cities’ more traditional and no-frills parrilla. Waiters in black aprons hand you a piping hot empanada with your menu, and massive slabs of meat are served with tangy chimichurri and papas fritas.
Roux: Often making the list of the cities top restaurants, this Mediterranean inspired restaurant serves some of the most creative flavours and dishes I’ve seen in a long time, along with excellent service. The wine list is excellent as well. On my first visit, we had a great red blend, followed by a vichyssoise amuse bouche. My main, quail with lemon ricotta ravioli and pear, was to die for (apologies for the horrible photo).
The second visit included local white Argentinian wine and the most perfectly cooked trout. I cannot recommend this place enough.
El Burladero: Spanish tapas, loud music, and fun servers. We tried fried squid, rabbit, and pista manchego.