BsAs Food Related Shopping
I thought it would be a cool idea to collect together listings of various food and drink “sources.” I’ll try to organize it in some manner that makes sense – I’m also open to suggestions. If you have a listing you think should be added, send me an e-mail. Mostly this will be listings of various stores that have some sort of specific theme, like a really good spice shop, or an “ethnic” market that’s out of the ordinary. As I check them out personally, I’ll add commentary.
This also seems like a good spot to link to various posts I’ve done on ingredients – sometimes the translations can be tricky.
Doña Clara – Av. Corrientes 2561, Once – Decent sized shop with tons of different supplies and utensils that are primarily oriented around baking, and offered at a fair price. Also a great selection of dried herbs and spices, chocolates, sugars, and flavorings including many that are difficult to find.
El Cocinante – Juncal 2750, Palermo – Small shop specializing in high-quality cookware, knives, and countertop appliances.
Jardín Sur – Córdoba 3781, Palermo/Almagro – The shop specializes in grills and outdoor ovens, of a wide variety of sizes and shapes – from stovetop to small hibachi style to “weber” style grills to steel drums to brick barbecues and even giant domed beehive woodburners. Prices are quite reasonable, and they have a delivery service that will drive you home with your new possessions so you get them right away. The store also offers a selection of other garden and patio items like furniture, fountains, and lawn gnomes… sorry, no pink flamingoes.
Le Gout – Montevideo 1079, Local #27 in the Galería Armenia, Recoleta – Small, quirky shop specializing in tools, molds, books and various ingredients for pastry work (excellent chocolates, fondant, different sugars), as well as offbeat, hard to find items – examples – tomato vinegar from Italy, and concentrated fish stock.
It’s also worth being aware of the wholesale restaurant district, which is along Av. Jujuy, from roughly the 1200 to the 1600 blocks, along with the side streets that cross it. All the shops will sell retail as well, and while it’s not much of a savings over other locations in the city, it’s usually at least a little, plus, you’ll find far more things in a concentrated area than you’ll find anywhere else.
Food Markets – Obviously there are many in this city. My goal here are places that specialize in something unusual, or have a particularly excellent selection.
Asia Oriental – Mendoza 1677, Barrio Chino – Fairly new supermarket in chinatown with a huge selection of things from all over Asia, a fantastic fish market, and alot of exotic stuff. Slightly pricier than Nueva Casa China listed below, but a bigger selection.
Casa China – Arribeños 2163, Barrio Chino – The name is listed only in Chinese, followed by “Casa China” – but then the same could be said of many businesses along this strip. A fairly good sized market that specializes in organic and macrobiotic foods, mostly packaged goods.
Casa Polti, Juramento 2455 (and also in the Mercado Belgrano), Belgrano – An impressive little spice, herb, and dry goods shop. Shelves lined with jars of various powders and leaves and stems. Sacks on the floor filled with seeds and nuts from all over. A wide array of sauces from around the globe. Just to give you a sense of some of the oddities – tomato powder, fig syrup, squid ink, and cacao husks.
Diki – Libertad 1157, Recoleta – A small and interesting store with a specialty in chocolates and candies, both domestic and imported, that line the center shelves. Around the outside of this sweet extravaganza is an array of local and overseas spices, sauces, teas, juices, and liqueurs, many of which I haven’t seen anywhere else in the city. If you’re searching for that one offbeat ingredient, this might just be the place. Examples – Hot English Mustard, Whole Chestnuts (not sweetened), an array of different types of olives, Ahmad and Twinings looseleaf teas, both from London.
El Gato Negro, Corrientes 1669, Centro – Arguably the best spice market in the city, certainly in the central areas and surrounds. More than the usuals suspects of herbs and spices – an excellent selection of Middle Eastern offerings like sumac, za’atar, and saffron. Also a decent range of coffees and teas. The shop is located inside a cafe of the same name that serves up simple fare.
Exquisiteces Arabe Orientales – Av. Córdoba 2495 (corner of Larrea), Recoleta/Balvanera – Small, but well thought out selection of Middle Eastern products, primarily packaged goods and prepared foods. An interesting selection of kosher wines is also offered.
Mercado Belgrano – Juramento 2527, Belgrano – A large indoor market with multiple shops. The largest shop is Valenti, a cheese and cured meats purveyor with an outstanding selection of imported varieties of both (see note below). There are close to a dozen small butcher shops with various specialties, including one that stocks difficult to find meats like vizcuna, cuy, and armadillo; and a couple of poultry suppliers with a wide variety of birds. There are also some excellent fruit and vegetable stands
Ichiban, Arribeños 2233, Belgrano – New (early 2009) supermarket in Barrio Chino. In terms of packaged goods, sauces, etc., nothing different from the other major neighborhood markets, and at a higher price, however, their in-house butcher shop has a far broader selection of meats available (the only place I’ve ever seen goose for sale in BA). Clean and well lit, heavily monitored by security to the point where it sometimes feels a little uncomfortable.
La Fiambrería – Benjamin Matienzo 1698, Las Cañitas – One of the finest selections of cheeses, sausages, and cured meats I’ve seen in the city; not necessarily the largest array, but well selected and of impeccable quality. Also spices and other condiments, and a nice selection of housemade breads.
La Tasca (La Casa del Queso) – Av. Corrientes 3587, Balvanera/Almagro – Very good cheese selection, both domestic and imported. Also a quite good selection of preserved meats, prepared foods, olives, and shellfish. There’s even a small cafeteria area where you sample from a variety of the prepared goods, as well as platters of cheese and meat selections.
Medio Oriente – J.A. Cabrera 4702 (corner of Malabia), Palermo Viejo – A small corner shop with a pretty wide range of Middle Eastern products including spices and spice mixtures, various packaged goods, and even Arak (anise flavored liqueur). Also quite a selection of prepared foods both savory and sweet available to go or to eat standing at the counter.
Mercado del Progreso – Rivadavia 5430, Caballito – Huge indoor market with a large number of purveyors. Fish, meat, chicken, specialty meats like rabbit and various birds, sausages and other cured meats, multiple vegetable and fruit stands, wine shop, spice shops, bakeries. Many of the stands are actively making things like sausages, matambres, etc. during the day, so it can be fun to watch if you catch the timing right. Everyone is ready to share their recipe for whatever you bought.
Mercado San Nicolás – Córdoba 1747, San Nicolas (Centro) – Moderate sized multi-stall food market including several good vegetable stands, butcher shops, and spice shops. Also a few shops for repair of furniture and clothing. Not nearly as big as Mercado del Progreso or Feria Modelo Belgrano, but more convenient for folks living in the central areas.
Mercado San Telmo – Carlos Calvo & Bolivar, San Telmo – Moderate sized market that is a mix of food stands, with vegetable and fruit purveyors and butchers predominating. There are an equal number of junk and antique purveyors alongside. During the week, the focus is more on the food markets, on the weekends, the others definitely take over.
Nuevo Casa China – Arribeños 2257, Barrio Chino – Very large supermarket focused on a wide variety of foodstuffs from various Asian cultures. Everything from packaged goods and sauces to prepared foods to fresh meats and vegetables that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Productos de Soja – Arribeños 2212, Barrio Chino – Small store that offers a wide range of soy products, everything from soy milks of various types to tofu to, well, you name it. Most of what they offer are items they make in-house rather than packaged goods.
Sabores y Secretos de la India – Ciudad de la Paz 1739, Belgrano, 4783-3424 – More or less a typical porteña dietetica, or natural foods shop, but with the addition of a good number of Indian spices and packaged goods.
Sugar & Spice, Guatemala 5419 corner of Juan B. Justo, Palermo, 4777-5423 – Specialty cookies
Valenti, multiple locations – easily the best purveyor of high quality domestic and imported cheeses and cured meats in the city. High prices, but when you’re looking for something special, they can’t be beat.
Specialty Wine Shops
Armesto – Pacheco de Melo 2101, Recoleta (and Rosario 201, Caballito) – Well stocked and well run small store in my neighborhood. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Discounts on quantity purchases. Also a good selection of cheeses, cured meats, and various imported products.
El Pireo – Av. Córdoba 844, Centro – Amazing selection of not only domestic wines, but one of the best arrays of imported wines I’ve seen here. Marks from all over Argentina and Chile, plus Spain, France, and Italy are decently represented, and here and there, offbeat selections like Croatian and Hungarian wines. Nice selection of large format bottles of Argentine wines. There’s also a large imported foodstuffs shop in front with sauces, spices, and packaged goods from all over Europe. My one concern – a lot of older bottles that have clearly been standing upright on the shelves for years, making for relatively poor storage conditions.
Terroir, Buschiazzo 3040, Palermo Chico – Impressive selection of more than 600 wines, specializing in multi-vintage selections of some of Argentina’s most sought after and expensive wines. A good selection of off-beat producers of modestly priced wine as well. Also specializing in overseas shipping. Both owners speak English.