Where to find the best platitos in Buenos Aires

September 21, 2023

Right about now, you’re probably thinking: Sarah, what in the world is a platito?

Let me explain in the form of a short anecdote.

My Argentine partner is an all-day, everyday meat guy. Milanesas for lunch, tostado de jamon y queso for merienda, and asado for dinner kind-of-vibes. You could place him in a parrilla de barrio (local barbeque restaurant) and he’ll be happy as a clam… or should I say steak? Anyway, I digress.

I, on the other hand, am 100% a vibes gal. I don’t care if a restaurant has the best food. I need my dish to be served with lo-fi beats, concrete floors, edgy artwork, and a wall full of wines, preferably organic. (Or some iteration of this image.)

What I quickly found out in Buenos Aires is that the best restaurant vibes are typically always married with a certain style of food: platitos.

In short, platitos are exactly what the word implies: small plates. Think tapas or
canapés. They’re almost always served on the most beautiful ceramic plates you’ve ever seen with forks that could be confused for readymade sculptures.

After making this discovery, whenever my partner asked me where I wanted to eat, I would gleefully call out “platitos!” and receive a dramatic eye roll and loud sigh in return. He seems to be under the illusion that it’s “never enough food.” However, you and I both know that the best solution is just to order more platitos. Win, win.

I was never quite able to convince him that multiple thoughtfully crafted dishes instead of one heaping milanesa is better, so I found my fellow platitos devotees (a.k.a. my classiest girlfriends) and we made it our mission to find the best spots for platitos in Buenos Aires.

Here is the result of our hard, tasty work:

1. Gris Gris
José A. Cabrera 5918, Palermo Hollywood

If a vinyl record and bottle of wine had a baby, it would be Gris Gris. This self-proclaimed “listening bar” was inspired by the Japanese concept of Jazz Kissa, cafes that specialize in playing recorded jazz music. As you appreciate the record-lined walls (the personal collection of Gris Gris’ owner) and moody, red lighting, you might as well order one of everything on the menu.

2. Sampa
Av. Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 769, Villa Crespo

Don’t let the 99% vegetarian menu scare you off. This Tibetan-inspired restaurant is anything but boring. I highly recommend sitting at the front bar surrounding the parrilla where meaty portobello mushrooms and broccoli florets crisp up.

3. El Imperfecto
Gascón 1417, Palermo

A modern take on the classic Argentine bodegón, El Imperfecto is set in a renovated home with checkered floors and antique furniture. You’ll find dishes reminiscent of Northern Argentina’s native culture, from locro to humita and empanadas. Many dishes are prepared in a wood-fired oven, giving the plates a smoky and aromatic taste. Comfort food, elevated.

4. Lardo & Rosemary
Av. del Libertador 3810, La Lucila

This wine bar and tapas spot is north of the city — but worth every taxi ride. They specialize in natural and organic wines paired with sophisticated street food. Sit at the long communal table or cozy up at the bar along the faded brick wall. Either way, it’s reservation only, so make sure you plan ahead.

5. Corriente
Ferrari 384, Villa Crespo

Is it New York… or Buenos Aires? This wine-focused restaurant oozes cool from the concrete floors to the half-finished walls. The location was originally a dulce de leche factory, but nowadays, you’ll find everything from beef tataki to ham pate. Chef’s kiss.

6. Anafe
Virrey Avilés 3216, Colegiales

From the outside, Anafe may come across as a discrete and relaxed cafe. But don’t be fooled. The minimalist decor is paired with literally award-winning plates (like “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants”). The two founders were inspired by their travels around the world and designed a menu that they describe as everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

7. Obrador
Charlone 202, Chacarita

You can’t argue with the price to quality at this charming corner restaurant that makes nearly everything in-house. From the furniture and lamps to the sauces, yogurt, and butter, Obrador prides itself on being a workshop — hence, the name! Its outdoor tables overflow with neighborhood locals on the weekend, so get there early.

8. Nanum
Roseti 177, Chacarita

Korean food, but with a twist. In a small yet sophisticated space, traditional dishes like toasted rice gnocchi and seaweed salad are topped with unconventional garnishes like cilantro or red onion. The chef, a daughter of two Korean parents, opened Nanum to bring creativity to her culinary heritage, pushing the boundaries of Korean food.

9. Sonora
Céspedes 3073, Colegiales

Wood-fired pizza and charcuterie make the perfect pairing in this New York-inspired wine bar. The burning clay oven is the centerpiece, churning out delicious flatbreads and warm breads. And scout’s honor: you won’t be disappointed by the wine selection.

10. Lutero
Av. Jorge Newbery 3801, Chacarita

This cozy, street-corner restaurant is seemingly always overflowing will hip locals — and with good reason. From the homey interior with vintage lamps and burning candles to the unique take on classic comfort foods (think potato wedges, pizza, and buñuelos), Lutero is an easy choice for a weeknight dinner.

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