One of our favorite side trips from Buenos Aires is Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. Only 90 minutes by plane from Buenos Aires, Mendoza has a flourishing food scene, one of the reasons we decided to create a food tour in Mendoza. Many wineries offer lavish gourmet wine paired lunches, but downtown Mendoza City has some great dining options as well that are convenient to major hotels such as the Park Hyatt.
Maria Antonieta – This is a restaurant I wish we had in Buenos Aires! Just a few blocks from the main square in Mendoza, Maria Antonieta offers gourmet comfort food breakfast, lunch and dinner in their beautiful dining room. The breakfast is by far the best in Mendoza, and the dinner menu has wonderful pasta and meat dishes. What we love about this restaurant is that the dishes are carefully prepared, but are fairly simple and focus on high quality ingredients, rather than trying to get overly creative.
Zampa – New for 2017, Zampa is an upbeat and refreshingly relaxed addition to the Mendoza dining scene. Well known chef Pablo del Río closed his former restaurant Siete Cocinas and reopened the space as Zampa, with a menu of flavorful small plates, cocktails and and local wine and beer.
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El Ceibo – Located in an old dentist office just off Plaza Italia, El Ceibo offers upscale versions of local Mendoza specialties. The empanadas are incredible, and the lamb cooked al disco is a must try. One of the owners is a sommelier, so the wine list is carefully selected.
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Don Mario – If you didn’t get enough steak in Buenos Aires, Don Mario is the best parrilla in Mendoza. The bife de chorizo and bife de lomo are incredibly flavorful and tender, and the provoleta is one of the best we’ve ever tried.
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El Mercadito – Eating heavy wine paired gourmet meals can start to get tiring after a few days in Mendoza, so the fresh and healthy food at El Mercadito is a nice change. The salads and entrees are very international and abundant. Located on the busy nightlife street Arístides.
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Don Claudio – A little off the beaten track, Don Claudio offers a wonderfully authentic, and very casual, dining experience. Pretty much the only thing on the menu is the lomito sandwich, a baguette with a thin piece of steak, vegetables and homemade mayonnaise. Talk to any local and they will recommend Don Claudio!
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Bröd – An unexpected find during a recent trip to Mendoza, Bröd offers the best baked goods and juices in Mendoza. The gorgeous courtyard behind the bakery is a great place for breakfast or an afternoon coffee.