Lewis the Lion gorges on Argentine Food!

Restaurant sign in Buenos Aires

By the time that Lewis the Lion had crossed back into Argentina and then back into Chile for the second time, he worked out that he had probably spent over nearly 2 months in Argentina in all! Over that time, he had eaten exceptionally well and especially on his favourite Argentine food: juicy- jugosa – steaks! After all he is a carnivorous lion! (He will explain later why Argentina has a worldwide reputation for its fabulous steaks).

Steak, vegetables and chips

First of all, breakfasts in Argentina (like in Uruguay) usually include “dulce de leche” somewhere, whether it be in pastries or just on its own to spread on your bread.

Dulce de leche filled pastry and tub

“Dulce de leche” is a very popular South American sweet caramel spread and is found in biscuits, such as alfajores (a biscuit sandwich), cakes, chocolate and other desserts.

Pots and pots of dulce de leche

Alfajores - Caramel Biscuit Sandwich

Dulce de Leche Chocolate

Sachets of Dulce de leche

Lewis the Lion throughly enjoyed his breakfasts at the hostel he was staying in, in Buenos Aires, Estoril Terrazas,

Lewis the Lion at the breakfast table

where he would have freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee or tea,

Freshly squeezed oranges for breakfast

a pastry,

Selection of pastries


Lewis the Lion with a box of cornflakes

and bread with an array of jams. (In this picture you can see that there are the following flavours: Higo – Fig, Frambuesa – Raspberry, Zapallo – Pumpkin , Dorazno – Peach and Frutilla – Strawberry).

Lewis the Lion and the Argentine jams

Argentina, like Uruguay, has had a heavy Italian influence on its cultural cuisine with so many immigrants arriving from Italy. Therefore, it is quite easy in Argentina to find pizza and pastas.

Cheese, tomato and olive pizza

Although Lewis the Lion couldn’t always expect the pizza and pasta taste exactly like the pizza and pasta he was used to in Italy or in the UK. One time he ordered a lasagne and rather than in being made with a bolognese meat sauce, it was layers of pasta filled with ham, spinach, mozzarella and beshamel sauce. Quite different but tasty nonetheless! He also liked the little sachets of parmesan cheese that would accompany pasta dishes.

Another typical Argentinean food that Lewis the Lion discovered was empanadas.

Street seller with empanadas

He even saw them being cooked in a pan in the street when he was in San Pedro in North-West Argentina.

Frying empanadas on the street

Empanadas are a type of folded pastry which is filled with a variety of fillings, from meat to vegetables. They are sold in many places and are a typical snack food. One of Lewis the Lion’s favourite empanadas was a vegetarian option called a “Cabrese” which was filled with mozzarella cheese, basil leaves and freshly chopped tomatoes.

Meat (and especially steaks) is something which Argentine’s take a great pride in.

Helen enjoys steak and vegetables

Bife de lomo y bife de chorizo

They have exceptionally good quality meat due to the amount of land that they have which allows animals to have good grazing ground. Lewis the Lion got used to enormous steaks (usually as big as 250 grams) which simply melted in your mouth!

Some more steak!

You could have them plain or with an accompanying sauce, e.g. peppercorn.

Lomo - Fillet steak with a peppercorn sauce

It is very common in Argentina to see the word “Parilla” which is a grill or barbecued meat. A parilla offers all sorts of different meats from beef, chicken and pork.

Here is a popular poster that Lewis the Lion saw around Argentina, describing the different types of cuts of meat.

A poster showing the different cuts of Argentine meats

Usually accompanying the meat was a special kind of tomato and spicy sauce called chimichurri. (This is also found in other Latin-American countries).

Lewis with the chimichurri sauce

However, if you don’t eat meat, there are plenty of other options for vegetarians in Argentina. Lewis the Lion loved his local restaurant especially because they did enormous salads where you could choose the ingredients that you wanted from a big list. Often these salads were so big that he sometimes would finish them the next day for his lunch! (He also liked this restaurant because you could often see the chefs making up fresh empanadas in the window!).

Lewis the Lion's local restaurant

Apart from this local restaurant, on the same street, a little bit further down was Buenos Aires oldest cafe’ in the country: Tortoni. It had a really chique and sophistocated air about the place.

Cafe' Tortoni - the oldest restaurant in Buenos Aires

Lewis enjoys visiting the elegant "Tortoni Cafe'"

Lewis the Lion really lapped up the atmosphere in this restaurant with its attentive waiters dressed in black, its marble floor and wooden tables and chairs.

Lewis reads the Tortoni menu

He also tried the house speciality: churros y chocolate. (Churros are a type of long doughnut with ridges and you dip them into your cup of hot chocolate! Delicious!).

Lewis enjoys churros y chocolate!

He didn’t try another popular drink called a “submarino” which is a cup of hot milk with a chocolate bar in it!

Another place where Lewis enjoyed a hot drink was in Plaza Dorrego in this traditional cafe bar. Here you can see Lewis with the waiter.

Lewis with a waiter in a traditional cafe' bar in San Telmo

Lewis the Lion discovered that you could practically drink all of the same drinks in Argentina as you could back home in England, e.g.

hot chocolate

Hot chocolate


Coffee and cake menu

fruit juices,

Fruit juices



and all sorts of soft drinks. (The diet version was always called “light”).

However, as Lewis already explained on his previous blog, the one big difference for Argentines was that they tended to drink mate’ as opposed to tea. You could see people carrying their thermal flasks and mate’ pots and straws everywhere!

A poster showing different mate' pots, straws and flasks

Other desserts that Lewis enjoyed in Argentina included this almond cake

Postre con almendras - Almond dessert

and everybody’s favourite biscuit was called a “alfajores.” This was a kind of biscuit sandwich usually filled with dulce de leche. Sometimes they were covered in white-chocolate and other times in milk or dark chocolate.

Alfajores - Caramel Biscuit Sandwich

Because of the immigrant Italian population, good ice-cream parlours could also be found around the country.

Lewis the Lion investigates the ice-cream flavours

However, in different places across Argentina (with it being such a big country), Lewis the Lion discovered that the food varied too. For example, with all the fresh water around Bariloche, trout was a popular choice.

A trout lunch!

Whereas in North-West Argentina, e.g. around Salta, traditional food such as Locro (a type of casserole) was served, followed by their traditional cake: torta Salteña (a type of layered cake with meringue and nuts).


Torta Salteña

Here is a copy of the traditional food which was served in Salta:

Traditional North-Western Argentine menu

Just a little further north again, towards the Bolivian border, Lewis the Lion was surprised when on the set lunch for the day, there was llama steak! (There would be more of that when he got to Bolivia!).

Lewis tries some llama steak for the first time

Whereas back in cosmopolitan Buenas Aires, you could order ciabatta and flour tortilla sandwiches as seen in this menu:

Sandwich menu

One thing was for sure, when travelling in Argentina, Lewis the Lion was never going to go hungry as he was simply spoilt for choice! However, if ever he felt like a taste of home (which wasn’t very often, thankfully!) you could always rely on some of the big American fast-food restaurants which seem to be everywhere in the world!

McDonald's is everywhere!

If you went to Argentina on your holidays, what food or drink would you most like to try? Why?

About Helen Molloy

Helen Molloy has been a Primary Learning and Teaching Consultant, leading on the introduction of Primary Languages in the City of Stoke-on-Trent for the past 5 and a half years. She is passionate about language learning and inspiring children into developing a curiosity and awareness of other people's languages and cultures.
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