It’s no surprise that New York City’s ethnic food scene is among the world’s most diverse. From the array of Asian eateries on Flushing’s main street to the mélange of restaurants serving global dishes on the Lower East Side, you can travel around the world and savor some of the finest international plates without ever stepping beyond the five boroughs. Here are some of the city’s best for Argentinian cuisine.
Though “El Almacen” translates to “general store,” there’s nothing general about this rustic Williamsburg spot. The vintage décor and chalkboard menus reflect the eatery’s name, but the flavor profiles prove the chef’s cooking chops. Expect cozy mood lighting to accompany authentic Argentinian menu items such as pulpo y rusa (grilled octopus with potato salad) and churrasco (rib eye) with truffle fries. There’s also a sizeable ceviche bar, and sangria, beer, and a modest (Mendoza-focused) wine selection to pair with your food.
557 Driggs Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, L train to Bedford Ave or G train to Metropolitan Ave, (718) 218-7284
El Gauchito II
Casual and unassuming, this Argentinian steakhouse delivers authentic dishes such as entraña (skirt steak) with chimichurri sauce, chorizo, and the always decadent dulce de leche. In business since 1979, the Queens restaurant continues to attract locals in droves for the paradilla completa (a mixed grill of short rib, sausages, sweetbreads, and more.) If you’d rather cook at home, purchase meats and imported foodstuffs at El Gauchito’s on-site butcher and market.
94-60 Corona Ave, Elmhurst, 7 train to Junction Blvd, or E or R to Grand Ave/Newtown, (718) 271-1917
Jet off to Buenos Aires, if only for dinner, at this Lower East Side favorite where Chef Fernando Navas prepares classic Argentinian recipes. Empanadas, papas rotas (crispy potatoes), and loco for locro (pork belly confit) are enough to stimulate your taste buds before moving on to a main course. Named after an arty area of Buenos Aires, Balvanera serves certified natural grass-fed Angus beef from Pando, Uruguay. If you’re dining with a group, pass small plates around the table, or feast family-style if you prefer. Don’t forget to quaff a glass (or bottle) of Malbec with your meal.
152 Stanton St, J, M or A subway to Delancey St, or B/D subway to Grand St, (212) 533- 3348
Located on the northwestern edge of the Chelsea neighborhood beneath the High Line, this “of or from Buenos Aires” stand-out does a fine job marrying top-notch wines with traditional Argentinian dishes. Expect grilled vegetables, seafood, and meats, hearty pastas such as risotto con hongos de bosque y caracú (risotta with wild mushrooms, bone marrow, and sage), milanesa de carne (pan-fried sirloin) and espinaca (spinach and manchego cheese). An intimate interior of exposed brick, wood, and dim lighting only enhances the dining experience at Porteño.
299 10th Ave, A/C/E subway to 23rd St, (212) 695-9694
Sink your teeth into the 32-ounce prime T-bone or the tender 10-ounce grilled filet mignon, but not before you graze on some of the city’s best empanadas – specifically the carne cortada a cuchillo (special hand-cut meat). Portions are substantial and wine pours are generous at this East Village gem named after Argentina’s capital city. Buenos Aires is the brainchild of NYC restauranteur Karina De Marco, who brilliantly captures the spirit and versatile flavors of her hometown. When the weather cooperates, opt for dinner outdoors on the garden patio.
513 E 6th St, F subway to 2nd Ave, or L to 1st Ave, (212) 228-2775