Best of: Hamburgers, Buffalo Wings, Tacos


A weird mashup, I know – but every now and again I get these urges to go on a spree of sampling one particular type of food and seeing who does it best – originally this page was “Expat Snacks that we miss”. I try to put together a small group of people, or at least go with one other person and rotate who that is at different places, to come up with some viewpoints besides my own. Some of these, when originally posted, have been met with quite a bit of contention – often by devotees of one spot or another. So be it – these are my/our assessments from best to worst, and, of course, subject to change if we re-sample somewhere and find that it’s improved or deterioriated. If you have a suggestion for a category, let me know – right now it’s hamburgers, tacos, and buffalo wings. The question is, how to rate these… stars, moons, hearts, clovers…?


Until recently, burgers in Argentina, or in BA, sucked. There were very few burgers that were much more than edible in town until the last couple of years. Mostly it was an issue of burgers being made from beef that was high quality, but really, really lean, because of all that pasture raised, free range, grass fed stuff. You need fat for a good burger. Now that instead of 0% feedlot, grain fed beef is the norm, some 65-70% is, burgers have taken off, while the quality of steaks has gone down at many places. I love a good burger, but I’m not sure that was a great trade-off, especially when all those ranch lands have been torn up to plant GMO soy. Alphabetical within each ranking.

“5 Buns Clapping” – you’ve climbed the burger zen mountain and found burger enlightenment
Burger Mood, Viamonte 359, Centro – great burger, great fries, casual, fun atmosphere
Home Burguer, Bonpland 1580, Palermo – excellent, beautifully seasoned and perfectly cooked burger, great toppings, good onion rings, mostly for takeout, with communal sidewalk seating at two picnic tables
Illegal Burger, Talcahuano 959, Tribunales – great burger, great onion rings, casual
Mi Barrio Hamburgeseria, Arenales 2609, Recoleta – great burger, excellent fries, casual
180 Burger, Suipacha 749, Microcentro – great burger, great fries, casual hangout atmosphere
Nanina Bakery, Gorriti 4738, Palermo – great burgers, excellent sides (though skimpy portions), modern coffee shop atmosphere
The Pony Line, Posadas 1086 (Four Seasons Hotel), Recoleta – great burger, great fries, sophisticated lounge atmosphere
Tierra de Nadie, Avellaneda 588, Caballito – great burger, amazing fries, fun atmosphere – and the nod for the only “smashed patty” style burger I think I’ve ever loved, which says a lot
UCO, Soler 5862, Palermo – great burger, interesting polenta fries, hotel restaurant atmosphere

“4 Buns Clapping” – In the zen of burgers, these are on the true path to burger enlightenment
Algodon Wine Bar, Montevideo 1647, Recoleta – very good burger, excellent fries, upscale hotel lounge
Burger Joint, J.L. Borges 1766, Palermo – really good burger though overcooked, very good fries, casual, funky setting
La Carbonera, El Salvador 4401, Palermo – very good burger though overcooked, great coleslaw, casual atmosphere
La Cresta, Bülnes 829, Palermo – really good burger, great combos, pretty much takeout only
Dellepiane Bar, Pasaje Luis Dellepiane 685, San Nicolas – quite good burger, okay fries, laid back dive bar atmosphere
DelToro Burgers, Bernardo de Irigoyen 366, Monserrat – quite good burger if slightly overcooked, good fries, slick atmosphere
Grand Cafe/BASA, Basavilbaso 1340/1328, Retiro – very good burger and fries, the former overcooked, choice of casual or elegant atmosphere
Kon Kon, Ramirez de Velasco 942, Villa Crespo – very good burger and fries, a little overcooked on the former, casual sandwich shop atmosphere
Paris Burger, Suipacha 180, Centro – very good burger, great bun, great fries, takeout/lunch counter
Perez H., Defensa 435, Monserrat – really good burger though consistently overcooked, good fries (though over-salted), casual, almost take-out setting
El Puesto de Fabio, Roque Saenz Peña 1159, San Isidro – really good burger though overcooked, great fries, food truck, outdoor, fun atmosphere
Sugar Bar, Costa Rica 4619, Palermo – great burger, okay fries, good service, sports bar atmosphere
Sweet Pepper, Los Mimbres 1220, Tigre – really good burger, good fries though not my style, food truck, casual, outdoor cafe

“3 Buns Clapping” – For burger enlightenment one must start on the true path, but most just muddle along, never setting foot on it
El Banco Rojo, Bolivar 914, San Telmo – good chicken burger if a bit salty, odd fries, great condiments (regular burger to be tried at some point)
Bar MAD, Libertador 6002, Belgrano – really good burger, albeit rather small and quite expensive, variable quality onion rings, causal, diner style cum lounge style spot
BeFrika, Juní and French, Recoleta – good burger, lots of interesting combo choices, very good fries, casual coffee shop atmosphere
Buller Pub & Brewery, R.M. Ortíz 1827, Village Recoleta – good burger, great toppings, good onion rings, casual pub atmosphere
Carlitos LNG, Guido 1962, Recoleta – good burger, okay onion rings, neighborhood casual spot
Chochán, Piedras 672, San Telmo – good chicken burger, but really small and overpriced (regular burger to be tried at some point)
Delicious Cafe, Laprida 2015, Recoleta – good burger, no bun, good toppings, casual coffee shop atmosphere
The Embers, Libertador 14638, Acassuso – good burger and excellent onion rings, the option for a chili burger is a big plus, old-fashioned soda fountain atmosphere
Hard Rock Cafe, Buenos Aires Design Center, Pueyrredon 2501, Recoleta – great burger (if that was the only factor, this would likely be near the top), mediocre fries and just okay onion rings, ear-splittingly noisy chain restaurant – weekday lunches tend to be less loud and softer rock music, and fewer people
Home, Honduras 5860, Palermo – good, “interesting” burger, great fries, nice casual ambiance
Janio, Malabia 1805, Palermo – good burger, great toppings, great fries, laid-back, neighborhood atmosphere
Kansas, Libertador 4625, Palermo – really good burger, okay fries, nice atmosphere for a large restaurant (Houston’s chain knockoff)
Muu lecheria, Armenia 1810, Palermo – good burger, really good onion rings, soda fountain atmosphere
Pani, Village Recoleta Mall – good, solid, wagyu beef burger, overcooked, decent toppings, selection of sides, upscale cafe
Soul Cafe, Baez 246, Las Cañitas – good burger, decent fries, weird ambiance
Temple Bar, Las Heras 1822, Recoleta – good burger, great crushed potatoes, nice beer selection
Tucson, Salguero 2741, Palermo (and several other spots) – really good burger, great fries, nice, casual atmosphere (more or less an Outback Steakhouse knock-off; also tried the new Buenos Aires Design Center location and was less impressed – still good, but not as good as the Palermo spot)
Wayback Burgers, Armenia 1231, Palermo – good burger, awful onion rings, decent milkshakes, old-time soda fountain atmosphere

“2 Buns Clapping” – When you are in darkness, it’s hard to even imagine there’s a path to burger zen
Barbacoa, Abasto Shopping Mall food court – okay burger, okay fries
Brand’s, Gurruchaga 1776, Palermo – okay burger, iffy fries, coffeeshop atmosphere
Burger Club, Fitz Roy 1747, Palermo – overcooked, dry burger, mediocre toppings, good fries, casual atmosphere, only saving grace, one of the best buns around
Dean & Denny’s, Malabia 1591, Palermo – okay burger, soggy fries, weird, high tech atmosphere
Johnny B. Good, Alicia Moreau de Justo 740, Puerto Madero – overcooked, underseasoned burger, meager, uninteresting toppings, okay fries, loud, chain atmosphere
Malvón, Lafinur 3275, Palermo – dry, overcooked burger, albeit huge, great fries, casual cafe atmosphere
Novecento, Baéz 199, Las Cañitas – overseasoned, dry burger, greasy fries, nice atmosphere
The Oldest, Av. Elcano 3410, Colegiales – okay burger (but issues), squishy fries, abrupt service, modern bar atmosphere
Pit Deli, Soldado de la Independencia, Las Cañitas – okay burger, decent oven fries, poor service
Shoeless Joe’s “Remember El Alamo” (downstairs bar), Uruguay 1175, Recoleta – good burger, lousy fries, skeevy atmosphere
Sucre, Sucre 676, Belgrano – okay burger, iffy salad, nice atmosphere (disappointing given how much I like the place for its other food)

“1 Bun Clapping” – If the burger falls in the forest, kick some dead leaves over it and continue on your way
La Biela, Quintana 596, Recoleta – skimpy, flavorless burger, good fries, coffeeshop atmosphere
Heisenburger burger lab, Baéz 252, Las Cañitas – overcooked, over-salted burger, burnt onion rings and fries, funky atmosphere
Pepino, Libertador 14475, Acassuso – skimpy, uninteresting burger, cold, lousy fries, noisy, teeming, family hangout
Períca, corner of Libertador and Sanchez de Bustamante, Recoleta – skimpy, frozen burger, frozen fries, coffeeshop with a nice view
T.G.I. Friday’s, Alto Palermo mall, Arenales 3360, Palermo and Village Recoleta mall, Uriburu & Vicente Lopez, Recoleta – lousy burger, lousy fries, kitschy atmosphere


It doesn’t matter if they’re corn or wheat tortillas, hard or soft shell, we love our tacos. But let’s face it, a taco isn’t the same thing as “a wrap” (which also isn’t, in turn, the same thing as a burrito). We want some flavor, some heat, some Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Cal-Mex flair.

“5 Tortillas” – “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Yeehaw!”
Che Taco, Balcarce 873, San Telmo – excellent tacos, great hot sauces, fun atmosphere

“4 Tortillas” – “Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”
La Fabrica del Taco, Gorriti 5062, Palermo – generally good tacos though inconsistent, good service, funky, fun atmosphere. best thing are their housemade hot sauces

“3 Tortillas” – “Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?”
The Taco Box, Soler 5581 and Cerviño 3768, Palermo – good tacos though a bit oily, okay service, noisy bar
Xalapa, El Salvador 4800, Palermo – decent tacos with good filling, though the tortillas could be improved, okay service, cute spot

“2 Tortillas” – “Tacos? We don’t need no stinkin’ tacos!”
Cielito Lindo, El Salvador 4999, Palermo – okay tacos, casual but fun service, fun atmosphere

“1 Tortilla” – “You want me to shoot the cook?” “No. I’ll shoot the cook. My car’s parked out back, anyway.”
California Burrito Co, Lavalle 441, Centro and other locations – used to be recommended but gone downhill since the original owners sold the stores to a fast food chain operator who has cut every corner he can in quality and service
Lupita, Baéz 227, Las Cañitas – dripping in oil, poor quality meat, borderline inedible, decent service and an interesting room are the only redeeming factors
Mole Tacos Fonda Mexicana, Cabildo 1372, Belgrano – bland, uninteresting tacos, poor service

snackswingsthumbHot/Buffalo Wings

There are rules. Well no, there aren’t. But, there are ideals – a buffalo or hot wing should be hot, as in spicy (also temperature, though cold, the next day, out of the fridge, is just fine, assuming there were leftovers). And they should have enough sauce on them that you need, and want, to lick your fingers.

“5 Finger Licks” – Seriously, five finger licks, you can’t do better
Casa Bar, Rodriguez Peña 1150, Recoleta – with their own homemade hot sauces and dressings, they’re classic style, pack plenty of heat, and the atmosphere is a really cool lounge and sports bar
Hard Rock Cafe, Buenos Aires Design Center – great classic Buffalo wings, you know the atmosphere

“4 Finger Licks” – Damn these are good
Atlanta Wing Factory, Bonpland 1914, Palermo – good wings, a multitude of sauce choices
Sugar Bar, Costa Rica 4619, Palermo – good wings, good service, sports bar atmosphere

“3 Finger Licks” – Yawn. Meh. You wanted finger licking good, remember?
Cilantro, Anchorena 1122, Recoleta – Asian style, not particularly hot wings but good, Okay service, somewhere between bar and cafe atmosphere

“2 Finger Licks” – Come on, are you starving or something?
El Alamo, Uruguay 1175, Recoleta – tough call, classic Buffalo wings, though clearly frozen and reheated, really skeevy atmosphere, especially at night – and that kills it for me, but it’s up to you… (They used to be better, but have clearly gone wayyyy downhill.)

“1 Finger Lick” – The only reason to lick your finger here is before you raise it to hail a cab to elsewhere
Hooters, Alicia Moreau de Justo 840, Puerto Madero – most disgusting excuse for hot wings ever put on a plate, I won’t even discuss the atmopshere
King’s Town, Jufre 102, Villa Crespo – bland, poor quality wings, neighborhood hangout
NYC Bistrotheque, Nicaragua 6002, Palermo – bland, mediocre wings, hot sauce isn’t hot, yawn (but great sandwiches)
Portezuelo, Vicente López 2160, Village Recoleta – bland, uninteresting wings, but a great bar
T.G.I. Friday’s, Alto Palermo Mall and Puerto Madero – bland, overcooked, poor quality wings – but what would you expect here?