Given that Uruguayans are some of the world’s biggest consumers of meat, it is no wonder that they have achieved excellence in the art of meat cooking, grilling and sizzling. One of the traditional ways to prepare meat in Uruguay is with the parilla, a huge grill that is placed directly on the fire. Parilla is also the name of the wildly popular Uruguayan steakhouses and La Pulperia is arguably the best parilla in Montevideo, with a simple menu and unrivalled quality of meat. The restaurant is open for dinner and has only two sittings throughout the night, but is a mandatory stop for all meat lovers who visit Montevideo.
Doña Inés Dulces Tentaciones is a tiny pastry shop and café in the Pocitos neighborhood. The venue offers a wide variety of homemade cakes, from traditional American-style cupcakes and cookies to muffins, dulche de leche and scones. This pastry shop also serves some of the best coffee in Montevideo as well as a selection of teas. The sumptuous treats, to be enjoyed in the café’s white and rose-decorated interior, are complemented by friendly service and a cute, homely atmosphere. Doña Inés Dulces Tentaciones is the perfect place to stop for a sweet treat while sightseeing in Montevideo.
3293 Miguel Barreiro Chucarro corner, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2708 0349
At El Tinkal, guests can enjoy a delicious sandwich and a beer while admiring the beautiful sunset from Montevideo’s grand promenade. The traditional Uruguayan sandwiches served at El Tinkal are called chivitos and are as simple as they are tasty. Filled with sliced churrasco beef, mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise and a choice of other ingredients, they are filled with a variety of flavors that go together in perfect harmony. El Tinkal is Montevideo’s prime venue to taste this Uruguayan specialty.
Emilio Frugoni 853, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2418 4705
Bistró Sucré Salé offers a taste of France in the heart of central Montevideo. More specifically, in the beautiful, historical building of the Alliance Francaise. The fountain and iron gazebo in the courtyard, the songs of Edith Piaf and the smell of freshly baked croissants create a delightful ambience that transports diners to another continent. Bistró Sucré Salé is open for breakfast, lunch and brunch on weekends and offers a completely different experience from all other restaurants in Montevideo. The delicate balance of flavors, its warm and welcoming atmosphere and Italian-quality espresso make the Bistró Sucré Salé experience a joy.
Boulevard Artigas 1271 esquina Charrua, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2402 7779
This lovely restaurant nestled in the neighborhood of Palermo offers a truly gourmet experience. La Cocina de Pedro is characterized by minimal chic décor and the beautiful open-plan kitchen it is named after. La Cocina’s menu boasts an incredible variety of dishes and flavors, and breathes sophistication. At La Cocina de Pedro, diners can taste impeccably executed staple dishes of Uruguayan cuisine such as parrilla meat and tortillas or try one of their many pastas, risottos, fish, salads or gourmet sandwiches. La Cocina is one of the culinary highlights of Barrio Palermo and Montevideo itself.
El Mercado del Puerto is one of the main gastronomic destinations for the Montevideo locals. While the market is simply overflowing with stands that serve parilla-grilled meat, one of the best places to eat is Empanadas Carolina. Empanadas are a typical Latin American dish made with fried or oven-baked dough filled with spiced meat. This family-run business serves the most delicious empanadas in town. There is often a very long line and the wait might take up to 20-30 minutes but no one should leave Montevideo before tasting these excellent empanadas.
This charming restaurant can be found in the old town of Montevideo and it is hands-down the best seafood restaurant of the city. As one of the kind waitresses will explain, the menu is written solely on chalkboards as it changes every day. The owner and head chef of Es Mercat believes in utilizing exclusively fresh products for his dishes and it is only after his daily trip to the Puerto del Buceo, the city’s best fish market, that he decides what to serve that day. Es Mercat offers excellent food, meticulous presentation and a wonderful atmosphere, making it the best bet for a delicious fish-based meal in Montevideo.