In a country famed for its succulent steaks, cracking pork chops and greasy panchos, who needs seafood in Buenos Aires? Contrary to popular thought the city is overrun with tasty dishes sourced from the sea. If you are looking for a lighter and more refreshing meal in the heat of the summer then here are a few delicious seafood restaurants that are a must-see.
1. Chan Chan, Monserrat
Authentically Peruvian, Chan Chan is the place to come if you are looking for a spicy and refreshing meal. Decorated wall to wall with eccentric murals of mountain landscapes and shelves adorned with religious idols, the restaurant has a vibrant atmosphere, everyone shouting to be heard over one another.
Serving up generous and inexpensive portions, the one-room restaurant has become incredibly popular, so you may have to wait for up to half an hour for a table. Offering only a modest range of beers and wines, the pisco sours are a winning alternative. The white fish is light and tasty but above all else the mixed ceviche is the key dish of the restaurant: flavoursome, fresh, and delicious. Try not to be too tempted by the baskets of bread, fried corn and spicy salsas while you wait for your food and save room for the ceviche. Highly recommended.
Open Tues-Sun, midday and at night. Prices from $20 for a main and $69 for a big ceviche to share. Do not accept cards. For more information, click here.
2. Cafe San Juan, San Telmo
Not typically known as a seafood restaurant, Cafe San Juan has a surprising amount of delicious fish dishes. Simply designed, the restaurant is laid out with an open kitchen where the diners can watch Chef Leandro Cristóbal at work. “The fish is as fresh and seasonable as we can get it,” he states, holding up a huge bright salmon to demonstrate the quality.
The menu changes frequently, depending on what Leandro can get hold of, and the staff are extremely knowledgeable, going into minute detail about each meal. On one visit the salmon was light and fragrant and the spicy fish curry was a welcome surprise, both portions being large enough to share. They hold a wide selection of wines, mainly stocking Argentine but with some French bottles in among them. With a laid back and warm atmosphere the restaurant has everything, and is not to be missed.
Open Tues-Sun, midday and night. Mains cost around $70. Do not accept cards. For more information click here.
3. Sipan, Centro
Celebrated as one of the best fusion restaurants in the city, Sipan combines traditional Peruvian and Japanese dishes. The menu successfully merges the two distinct styles of food offering both sushi and ceviche using exotic and unusual combinations. Elegantly designed, the restaurant reflects the food it serves: stylish, refreshing, and innovative, particularly the octopus and the shellfish.
The service is helpful and the atmosphere welcoming and energetic. The price range is a little steeper than others at around $130 for a meal, but the wine list is good along with the Pisco sours it is renowned for.
Open Mon-Sat, 12-4pm/8pm-midnight. Do not accept cards. For more information, click here.
4. Nemo, Palermo
In a cosy and atmospheric building, Nemo is tucked away in amongst the surrounding stylish and modern establishments. As a seafood restaurant, Nemo is to be taken more seriously than its name suggests: it provides a wide range of seafood including trout and shellfish risotto. Each of the fish can be served with a varied choice of dishes, for example potatoes, salad or stir-fried vegetables, and is prepared with whichever sauce takes your fancy.
The staff are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and the prices start at a very reasonable $35. All in all Nemos is a hit, even if it may take you a while to find it.
Open Mon-Sun, all day. For more information, click here.
5. Azul Profundo, Retiro
Renowned in the city for its Sushi, Azul Profundo does not disappoint. Offering a range of traditional niguiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, the restaurant is a pleasant reminder that traditional sushi still exists in the city. The chain offers a range of either single style dishes or combination plates with enough variety to satisfy a big party.
The restaurant itself is modern, simple, and stylish, with surrounding fish tanks and blue walls decorated with fitting shark murals to give the sensation that you are submerged in amongst sealife. Although perhaps a little too dark, the atmosphere is cheerful and friendly. The staff are not well known for being attentive but the refreshing sushi makes up for what lacks in other areas. Prices range from between $13 for six typical maki rolls to $288 for a huge platter to share, so the food can be as reasonable or as extravagant as you choose. Azul Profundo also helpfully offers traditional meat dishes for those avoiding raw fish.
Open Mon-Fri, 12pm-4pm / 8pm-midnight, Sat and Sun 8pm-midnight. For more information click here