*I originally wrote this article in Spanish for Buenos Aires Connect*
Perhaps not as sophisticated as the French, less exotic than the Peruvian, and maybe less cultural/historical than the Italian; but the truth remains that American food has an addictive power that makes it almost a naughty vice, a vice that is widely shared by humanity. We all crave and welcome that comforting feeling that only comes from eating a big fat-ass burger, crispy french fries or a fluffy tower of hot pancakes.
However, the rapid expansion of fast food chains has given it a bad reputation and promotes the misconception that there’s nothing more to it. These places in Buenos Aires are educating and spoiling local pleasure-seekers:
Way before the burger boom in Buenos Aires, Burger Joint was conquering the heart of the south. Their urban-kitsch joint is inspired by the Paker Meridien Hotel, in New York. For the whole experience, order the “American” (cheddar, bacon and BBQ) – although I strongly advise to try their other burgers too. Today, Burger Joint faces fierce competition, but they have earned this spot for leading the way.
New York style pizza
Pizza in New York is sold by the slice, with a thin crust, significant size, tomato sauce and dripping cheese. Quite different from Argentinian-style Pizza. In Buenos Aires, you can get NY-ish pizza in Hell’s and NY Style Pizza.
Now, is there a human on Earth who can resist to hot pancakes covered in maple syrup? Argentinians can now take a rest from the local dulce de leche pancake and have an American breakfast at Jay’s, that by the way, serves breakfast all day long. Another place to taste American breakfasts is The Market Burger in San Telmo.
Yes, others are trying. But at the time of publication (October 2018), the only authentic bagel in Buenos Aires is the one by Sheikob (yes, with the chewy dough, the home-made cream cheese and all that). Jake started his “career” selling bagels at the entrance of several local cafés, conquering the city with his bagel-bike (you can read this interview with him in 2016). Now he has his own shop, adored by Yankees and non-Yankees equally.
Cajun food is, by nature, unique; and that is why NOLA is also a place like no other in Buenos Aires. Their specialty is Cajun fried chicken (possibly best fried chicken in the country) but PLEASE don’t hesitate to try their gumbo, rice and beans or Chicken and waffles.
Locals were used to relate chicken wings with KFC. No more. Chicken Bros makes real alitas with several toppings to choose from (I choose spicy. Obviously). You can also try their “American Brunch” with open bar for Bloody Mary.
Try Dogg, the next-level street pancho. Their sausages are decent quality and have Brooklyn-style seasoning. They also have many toppings to choose from and customize your own hot-dog, from bacon and cheddar to guacamole and chili.
The “diner” experience
If you’re looking for a diner experience, you can check Muu Lechería (maybe have a milkshake), The Embers (one of the first in using the diner concept) and Trixie (zona norte). Booths, checkered floors and jukeboxes will make you smile, although I would’n not so recommend them on the gourmet side.
I ❤ NY
Last, you can ride the NYC subway at Uptown, almost literally. If you take a picture there you can fool your friends with a fake trip to the Big Apple. Their menu also include luxury bites from the city.
Got any tips? Let me know!