Asado is the national dish of Uruguay—a barbecue of various cuts of different meats, cheese, and vegetables cooked over a lovingly tended parrilla, or grill, lit by pine cones and wood. Traditionally, it’s a meal to share with many people and Uruguayans often have a parrilla at home to invite friends and family over for such an occasion. This list focuses on the top 10 parrillas, the restaurants focused on delivering the best asado in Montevideo.
Restaurant, South American, Steakhouse, $$$
This small corner grill in Punta Carretas is an incredible place for an asado. As soon as it opens people flock to get a taste of its juicy and tender cooked meat. The décor is reminiscent of a film set, its planked bar has a great view of the cooking meat so you can enjoy dinner and a show! Although the menu is select, it is specialized and precise so you know that you’re getting exactly what they know they can cook best.
‘Peter’s Kitchen’ is a very popular restaurant serving a large variety of high-quality meat, so make sure you have a reservation before you go. As soon as you walk in you can see the master chefs preparing the meat on their massive parrilla. Its design allows for a lot of open space with high ceilings. They offer a great variety of wine, perfect to pair with your meal.
This is one of the best places in Uruguay for meat lovers. You can tell this restaurant takes pride in its food because each meal is lovingly presented and served with a smile. The building is a beautiful converted house so it is spacious and comfortable at any time of day. They are also known for their delicious desserts, such as flan with a Uruguayan twist: covered in the traditional sweet sauce, dulce de leche!
You can have some great asado in this easy-going restaurant in Prado. Located right next to one of the biggest parks in the capital, Don Andres has a relaxed and friendly ambiance that is sure to make you feel right at home. There are all sorts of crazy things like antique cars, bikes, and surfboards hanging from the ceiling. But even this unique design doesn’t distract from the special meat served here.
La Perdiz is a lovely dining experience if you want to taste some authentic Uruguayan cooking. The classic asado is prepared in an open kitchen so you can see your next meal sizzling away on the parrilla. The staff are also attentive and warm, just like the interior design, which consists of solid warm colors and wood. Their meat is top notch, with every customer leaving full and satisfied.
In the up-market neighborhood of Carrasco this restaurant is held in high-esteem for its quality, class, and familiarity. Garcia is well located: very close to the beach and just off the main shopping street, Arocena. Everything about it is traditionally Uruguayan, serving excellent meat, wines, and desserts, with a background of tango and other staple Uruguayan music.
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse, Spanish, Cocktails, $$$
This restaurant is a wonderful blend of traditional and quirky, with various colorful portraits and paintings that line the walls. Located in Pocitos, La Fonda del Puertito is celebrated for its amazing asado and seafood. There are plenty of options to eat and drink that you’ll be spoilt for choice—they even serve complimentary mini-pizzas while you wait.
When you walk into this restaurant your expectations are sure to be high. The elegant white table cloths, open floor plan, and bare steel beams are a feast for the eyes so you expect something equally impressive on your plate. The various cuts of meat are expertly cooked to your preference and presented spectacularly. The desserts are also gorgeous to the eye and on the tongue.
Within the port market in the Old City neighborhood, this restaurant is just one of many great parrillas under the one roof. However, you will be drawn to Cabaña Veronica by the sight and smell of the meat on display on the grill. It is a great place to enjoy a true Uruguayan experience as soon as you get off the boat. Being right beside the port, it also has great seafood.
This is another great parrilla in the port market of the Old City. The chefs at El Palenque are wizards who conjure magical cuts of meat and cook them masterfully. They are also celebrated for their delicious grilled vegetables and grilled fish. The grilled fish platter is highly recommended by locals that frequent the area. Although the market is quite touristy, it is the perfect place to meet people and have a wonderful experience!