Traditional Food and Drink in Argentina

Written by: Dave Owen


Eating and drinking in Argentina can require a significant adjustment to your dietary habits. Meals are eaten later than you’re probably used to, and when they come they’re generally big, stodgy, and centred around meat.

Vegetarians may struggle, but nobody else is likely to go hungry. Here’s what to expect from the food and drink of Argentina.

Food in Argentina


You might think breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many Argentinians disagree. You shouldn’t expect much more than toast, croissants (medialunas), bread, and fruit, washed down with the usual hot drinks or some yoghurt.

Croissants Medialunas Argentina

Some cafes in Argentina might offer a more substantial breakfast, but most are saving their appetite for lunch.


You might find your belly rumbling by the afternoon, and lunch in Argentina will not let you down. Most of Argentina’s traditional food is based around meat, so expect sausages and steak, as well as Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta – your best chance of finding vegetarian food in Argentina.

Throughout the afternoon some cafes will offer sandwiches and tostados, so there’s little chance you’ll go hungry before dinner.


Restaurants in Argentina do not serve dinner earlier than 8pm, most locals commonly waiting until 10pm. It’s another big meal, typically consisting of appetisers, the main course, and an indulgent dessert.

Appetisers include empanadas (meat-filled pastries), chorizo, and an assortment of achuras (entrails) – they can be almost as filling as a main dish.

Argentina barbecue dinner

The most common main dish you’ll see is sirloin steak. Argentina is famous for its beef, and you’ll find countless barbeque restaurants offering different cuts of steak, ribs, sausage, and more – they don’t waste much of the animal. Luckily, salads are on offer too.

Italian restaurants are also plentiful, but be warned: their menus often list pastas and sauces separately – make sure you order both!

Dessert in Argentina is usually Italian ice cream or gelato. Dulce de leche, a thick sweet spread, is incredibly popular, and the sweet-toothed should make sure to try alfajor – two cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche.

Drink in Argentina


You can’t go home without trying the wine in Argentina. The most popular comes from the Mendoza region, which accounts for two-thirds of Argentina’s wine production.

Its unique position close to the Andes mountains means Mendoza wine isn’t like any other in the world. You’ll find plenty of wine tasting events, or seek out one of the many wine bars in Argentina and drink your fill!


Bars in Argentina offer beer in draft form (expect smaller glasses) or served in cans and bottles. Local brands include Quilmes, Isenbeck, and Schneider, and these are generally light lagers. There are also plenty of import brands available.

If you’re interested in truly local Argentinian beer, ask for cervezas artesanales – local handcrafted beers that some bars and pubs will have an offer. Quality will vary!

Local specialities

Fernet is a traditional drink in Argentina, characterised by its dark brown colour. Originating from Italy, it’s a bitter drink made from herbs, and packs a punch at 40% volume. In bars and pubs it’s usually served mixed with Coca Cola.

A non-alcoholic option is yerba mate, another traditional herbal drink, served in a hollowed out gourd that is passed around a group to share. It’s usually served hot, and although there’s caffeine involved, it’s vitamins and minerals that give it a stimulating effect. It’s pretty bitter, so nobody will judge you for adding sugar.

Check out these top Argentina experiences


South America Coast to Coast via Patagonia

from £1895

51 days

Argentina, Brazil, Chile

Join our expedition truck through some of South America's most spectacular National Parks, the vast wilderness of Patagonia, Iguazu Falls...

Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

from £1200

7 - 30 days


Rescue, rehabilitate and eventually release the monkeys back into the wild, so that they are self-sufficient. You'll assist in helping...

Veterinary Experience | Buenos Aires

from £1395

2 - 12 days


Our Veterinary Placement is located in the heart of Buenos Aires and is perfect for a passionate animal lover looking...

The Southern Explorer

from £3405

From 30 days

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Peru, ...

Visit mysterious Easter Island, idyllic Tahiti, explore South America, experience the wonderfully different world that is Japan before finishing up...

In-Class TEFL Course in Buenos Aires

from £1400

20 days


Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Buenos Aires and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign...

Kingdoms & Carnivals

from £3545

84 - 105 days

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru

An adventure for anyone yearning for an awesome road trip around South America’s most famous sites and undiscovered corners, from...

Southern Trans Oceanic Quito to Rio via Buenos Aires

from £2475

69 days

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru

Explore the Amazon Jungle, Hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, view the stunning Iguazu Falls and spend time...


Grand Galapagos – (Grand Queen Beatriz)

from £8235

Get on board this comprehensive journey through the unforgettable Galapagos Islands. Encounter the region’s incredible wildlife up close – unique...

Andean Discovery (Southbound)

from £1385

Take the party to new heights in the rarefied air of the Andes. With other young travellers not afraid to...

Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

from £1555

Colombia is an underrated country for travellers, but with our safe, social, and budget-friendly group trips, we want to change...

Galápagos Multisport

from £1549

This adventure is perfect for those who want to experience the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galápagos Islands but...

Peru Real Food Adventure

from £1496

Peruvian food and topography go hand in hand. Using what pachamama (mother earth) gave them, the Peruvians have developed a...

Colombia – Lost City Trekking

from £431

Everyone wants to visit an undiscovered region before it becomes a hotbed of tourism. Trek the “Ciudad Perdida” at Teyuna,...

Brazil Journey

From the sizzling heat of its nightlife to the cooling shade of its jungles, Brazil's cultural and natural treasures are...

South America Cruise – Ushuaia to Cartagena

The western coast of South America is stunning, as the landscape changes drastically from region to region. This 38-day cruise...

Amazon Riverboat & Machu Picchu Adventure

from £1903

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of land and river, this adventure is for you. Once you’re on board...

Explore Chile & Argentina

from £2089

From the tranquil wineries of the Maipo Valley and the green landscapes of northern Patagonia to the steamy tango joints...

Discover more delicious food and drink around the world

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]