Argentina is known around the world for its delicious, juicy, mouthwatering steaks, but it also has many lesser-known local dishes that will delight your tastebuds. We check out some of the tastiest dishes Argentina has to offer that aren’t slabs of meat.
Pastel de papa
Argentina’s answer to Shepherd’s Pie, this meaty, potatoey, cheesy bake is perfect for those not-so-cold winters, when people hide out in their houses for a few months. It’s a slightly drier version of the English classic, often with some olives and boiled egg thrown in for good measure. The ratio of meat to potato is about 50:50, so you definitely won’t need dessert after this feast.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Guiso de lentejas
Lentil stew is another firm favorite with Argentines when the temperature drops from about June to September, and this dense casserole has a tomato and red wine base with vegetable and chunks of chorizo sausage and bacon.
Eaten on national holidays and, again, in winter, locro is a traditional Argentine dish that will leave you full and satisfied. Made with corn, white beans and offcuts of meat such as veal shank (ossobuco) and pigs trotters, as well as bacon, chorizo and pork, locro is a hearty stew that was traditionally eaten by the working classes who couldn’t afford more expensive cuts of meat.
Milanesa is a staple in any Argentine household. A thin, breaded fillet of either beef or chicken, aubergine and soy milanesas are also a popular alternative to the meat varieties. Easy to cook, they can be grilled if you’re being healthy, or fried if you’re being naughty. They are often served “a la napolitana,” meaning they are topped with a slice of ham, tomato sauce or sliced tomatoes and cheese and put under the grill until the cheese melts. Delicious, but a heart-stopper.
The go-to snack on the go, empanadas are good to eat in or out. The lazy man’s option for home delivery, you are never too far from an empanada vendor, whether you choose to nip downstairs to pick up your docena, or 12 empanadas, or whether you get them delivered to you door. Beef, chicken, ham and cheese, cheese and onion, cheese and tomato and chard are the most popular flavors, but gourmet empanadas are fast becoming a regular feature on menus, so go for the picante options if you like your spice, or try out the open canastas for a bit of variety.
Given that Argentina is considered the Italy of South America by continentals, it is perhaps unsurprising that pizza reigns supreme here. Doughy, cheesy deep pans are the order of the day, and Argentines like to eat their slices with a knife a fork standing up at the counter. If you want the real local experience, order a slice of faina, a thin chickpea tart, to go on top of your pizza. It will keep you going ’til dinner time.
No asado or parilla would be complete without a slab of grilled cheese, or provoleta. Cooked on the grill itself with the help of a foil casing, provoleta is usually served as a starter, and you have to eat it quickly before it starts to congeal. Unfortunately this means it doesn’t usually last long enough for you to eat with your steak, but it acts as a nice lubricant for your belly before the meat arrives.
Sandwiches de miga
Loved by many, loathed by others, the sandwich de miga is a national institution. This thin, layered, crustless sandwiches hark back to old-time Argentina, before sushi and hamburgers were anywhere to be found. They can be eaten at any time of the day, and the best option is to order a toasted ham and cheese sandwich de miga, as it can be a bit dull otherwise.
Pasta follows on from the Italian influence in Argentina, and carb fans will drool over the multitude of fabricas de pasta casera, or homemade pasta shops, found around the country. From ravioli to gnocchi and cannelloni, high-quality egg pasta is available in abundance, and the choices of sauce range from bolognese, pesto, tomato and tomato and cream. Get them to make your pasta and sauce dish in-house to take away, or order a few boxes of ravioli to take home and whip up the pasta creation of your dreams in your own kitchen.
The days are longer here in Argentina, and most people don’t sit down for dinner until around 10pm, so locals need something to keep them going in the evening. This is where facturas, or pastries, come in. Consumed for merienda, or high tea, around late afternoon with coffee or mate, facturas constitute a healthy (or unhealthy, considering the carb, sugar and butter quantities in the pastries!) part of the Argentine diet.
Sure to give many the willies, lengua, or beef tongue, is a popular starter dish here in Argentina. Given that it is a muscle, it needs a long time to cook, but served “a la vinagreta” it is a tasty accompaniment to Sunday dinner.
Considering the wide use of beef in Argentine cuisine, it’s no surprise that veal shank, or ossobuco, is considered something of a treat. Slow cooked to melt in the mouth, ossobuco falls off the bone and is a great addition to stews or pasta dishes. The bone also gives the sauce great flavor and looks good on the plate!
Cordero a la cruz
A Patagonian specialty, it is rare to see lamb, or cordero, on the menu in other parts of Argentina. In Patagonia, the lamb is splayed and cooked on a cross in an open fire, giving it a delicious smoky flavor and delectable texture.
Disco de pollo
Another stew option, a disco is essentially a large, shallow pan which can be put into the fire and the contents cooked slowly. One of the most typical dishes to come from a disco is chicken casserole, great for feeding the masses when you’re on a road trip in Patagonia or staying at a country house for the weekend!
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.