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All posts tagged #essentials

Where To Eat: The São Paulo Essentials

By Natasha Greenhouse

Where To Eat Sao Paulo Essentials

With the first-ever Michelin guide to Brazil set to appear in 2015, and more than a handful of restaurants on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best restaurants, São Paulo is one of South America’s most influential cities for both cutting edge and traditional Brazilian cuisine.  Led by giants like Alex Atala, Helena Rizzo, and Alberto Landgraf, a new phase has begun in the cosmopolitan city, ushering in a new focus on locally sourced ingredients, and a return to the Amazon, whose bounty is only slowly being discovered.  For those interested in simpler, more traditional fare, the city also offers a slew of botecos and smaller eateries serving up classic dishes like Feijoada and a whole array of international cuisine.  Below, find our list of essential restaurants that are a must-try on any visit to São Paulo.

The Essentials: Buenos Aires

By Megan Chochla and Martha Mendes

buenos aires essentials

As we continue to scour the continent and look for the best in food and drink that South America’s leading cities have to offer, we’re updating our essentials lists with bars and restaurants that are not to be missed.  We’ve gone ahead and given Buenos Aires the 26 treatment, finding some of the city’s most classic hot spots, as well as some newcomers that both tourists and locals should be hitting up with frequency.  From Latin America’s top bar to pork-centric restaurant in San Telmo, these are the essentials for any trip to the Paris of the south.  Provecho!

Where To Eat Now: The Lima Essentials

By Patrick Hieger


There are those rare occasions when we are forced to open ourselves up to a lot of criticism, complaint, and just straight frustration.  Updating the list of the essential 26 restaurants in Lima is just such an occasion.  With chefs whose restaurants top the World’s 50 Best list to street level cuisine that should be considered world class, creating this list doesn’t come without its share of difficulties.

However, through a process of speaking with both locals and local experts, keeping a keen eye on the restaurants that everyone’s talking about, and doing a whole lot of tasting on our own, we give you the 26 essential Lima restaurants that you should trying, locals and tourists alike.  Remember, there’s a comments section below, and we’d love to hear from you.  Did we flat out miss something, or totally miss the mark on one that we included?  Let us know.  We’re always game for updates.

Where To Eat Now: The Santiago Essentials

By Patrick Hieger

Where To Eat Now Santiago

We’re back with an all-new list of where to eat now in Santiago.  The list features 26 restaurants across the city that aren’t to be missed.  Why 26?  Well, it just so happens that A to Z comprises 26 spots, which we believe makes for a great list of where to dine.  From traditional Chilean dishes to the hottest in Nikkei and other international delights, here’s where you have to eat in Santiago right now, just in case you’re hungry.

Where To Eat Now: Montevideo

By Majo Lois


Far away from the typical image of Montevideo as a city with nothing to offer in terms of gastronomy, today Uruguay’s capital city has become much more sophisticated and has grown at the pace that locals’ and foreigners’ palates demand.  Below, find a list of some of Montevideo’s best and under-the-radar restaurants where you can enjoy and indulge in the best that the city has to offer.

[image: Como Sur]

Where To Eat Now: Lima

By Patrick Hieger

It’s safe to say that, as of now, Lima is by far the hottest culinary destination in South America.  With two restaurants on the list of the World’s 50 Best, seven on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best, and a repertoire of restaurants that ranges from the best in street food to the best in the world, it’s an absolute must-visit for foodies.  But, where to eat when you get there?  With a good deal of press, hype, speculation, and opinions surrounding Lima these days, we wanted to make things a little easier for you.  Here’s our list of 15 absolutely must-try restaurants.  Salud.

Astrid y Gastón Casa Moreyra
Already regarded as the founder of modern Peruvian cuisine and currently holding the #14 spot on the list of the World’s 50 Best restaurants, Astrid y Gastón has already made huge waves once again this year.  With their new space at Casa Moreyra, and the six different dining areas and kitchens that the complex will offer, there’s no telling what the restaurant will be capable of.

In just three years, chef Virgilio Martínez has taken what he describes as a neighborhood restaurant in Miraflores to levels of success that restaurants four times as old dream of.  Central currently sits at #50 on the World’s 50 Best list, #4 on LatAm’s 50 Best list, and could very well rise on both of those lists this year.  Innovative, stunning, and entirely focused on the best, the weirdest, and the most undiscovered that Peru has to offer, Central is a must-visit when in Lima.

Peru has already seen its local favorites like ceviche, anticuchos, suckling pork dishes and a variety of other local favorites take over the hearts and stomachs of diners literally across the world, but another wave will soon hit everyone in the form of Nikkei.  Where Japanese cuisine meets the Peruvian larder, you’ll find chef Mitsuharu Tsumura leading the wave of this wildly flavorful and completely unexpected cuisine.  Nikkei is Maido, and Maido is 100% Nikkei.

IK was set to be the calling card for chef Ivan Kisic before he tragically lost his life due to an unfortunate car accident back in 2012.  Now the restaurant lives on in his brother’s hands, bringing wildly modern, New Peruvian style cuisine to Lima.  With an impeccable interior and a menu that will leave you in shock, IK was one of the hottest openings in 2013, and is certainly maintaining its reputation.

La Picantería
Where do chefs, foodies, journalists, and even locals go to get their fix on Peruvian classics?  To La Picantería, naturally.  Embodying the spirit of the classic ‘picantería’ or traditional diners of Peru, La Picantería gives off a very laid-back impression, but the food is anything but.  Huge flavors pair with vinyl, picnic-style table cloths for an experience that is entirely local, yet absolutely unforgettable.  Best in Lima?  We didn’t say it.

Hector Solis’ Fiesta is just that–a party that’s not to be missed.  Now with three locations in Lima to choose from, the menu chock full of updated classics like ceviches, ají de gallina, lomo saltado and much, much more is a great way to introduce yourself to the best Peru has to offer.

When you step into Osso, you might think you’d stepped into a meat lover’s dream in Brooklyn.  Simply designed, simply appointed, and entirely focused on the best meat possible (think 100-day aged Wagyu), even Argentines would weep at the sheer quality Renzo Garibaldi is cooking and selling.  And that’s not to mention the desserts he offers with bacon in them, or Eggo, the attached bakery that’s serving up quite possibly the best brunch in town.  Come for the brunch, stay for the meat.

La Lucha Sanguchería
If you can judge a city by the quality of its sandwich shops, you would be hard-pressed to find a more delicious city on the planet than Lima.  While La Lucha does serve up sandwiches other than the ‘Lechón’ (suckling pig), there’s really no point in ordering anything else.  La Lucha’s sandwiches are so moist and juicy that they’ll drip down your arms like a melting ice cream.  Topped off with some ‘zarza criolla,’ you might think you’d died and gone to hog heaven.

Chez Wong
One man, in his house, cooking one menu per day, no substitutions accepted–that’s Chez Wong, and that’s what all the hype is about.  Bourdain and Ripert declared it was some of the best fish they’d ever eaten.  Visitors from far and wide scramble to get the lunch-only reservations that are some times booked for days on end.  And Javier Wong manages this humble diner all by himself, continuing to wow guests with his freshness, quality, and massive flavors.

La 73
Though LA 73 was open long before its owner Juan Armando Lengua-Balbi Espinosa and his wife and daughter died late in 2013 to a tragic car accident, the shock of the loss was a huge blow to Lima.  However, the fan favorite in the hip Barranco neighborhood continues to live on in their memory, serving up new spins on Peruvian classics.

Al Toke Pez
When holes in the wall start to garner as much attention as other larger, more noted restaurants do, you know they’re cooking up something special, which is the case for Al Toke Pez.  With a focus on the freshest seafood available served in a variety of Peruvian styles, from straight-up deep-fried to freshly-marinated ceviches, this unassuming neighborhood spot is a must-visit for seafood fanatics.

To meet chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino in person, you’d never assume he’s the type for crisp linens, expensive plates and the type of class that never goes out of style, but his original ode to all things Amazonian is just that.  From fruits to fish, vegetables and herbs that can only come from Peru’s Amazon, Malabar is a showcase of a very different side of Peru.  If you’re not feeling so classy, head over to Malabar’s sister restaurant Ámaz for a much more casual take on Amazonian dining.

La Mar Cebichería
Not just another in a long line of wildly successful Gastón Acurio joints, La Mar is to ceviche what La Cabrera is to steak–an absolute homage.  With an interior that draws on beach vibes and a no-fuss dining room, the ceviches, the causas, the whole fried fish and, of course, the chilcanos, are allowed to take center stage.

Anticuchos Grimanesa
Next to ceviche, and possibly an arroz chaufa or a lomo saltado, anticuchos are one of the must-have elite that no visit to Lima can go without.  And, it’s safe to say that if you’re going to eat anticuchos, you must absolutely visit Grimanesa.  She’s been grilling up her skewered beef heart in special sauce served with a side of potatoes for years, and she is as beloved by average locals as she is by Peru’s best chefs.

Chef Jaime Pesaque definitely takes the cake for being the most understated Peruvian chef who’s slowly building an international network of restaurants to bring Peru to the masses.  Although he has restaurants in the U.S., Spain, and China, his Lima-based Mayta is where he still calls home.  There, Pesaque serves updated Peruvian fare in a hip, relaxed setting, though don’t assume it’s just more of what you can get elsewhere around town.  Innovation remains at the forefront of all of Mayta’s dishes.

[image: Como Sur]

Where To Eat Now: Buenos Aires

By Patrick Hieger / Olivia Amter

After a lot of eating, drinking, walking, and more of all of that, we’ve come up with the essential restaurants where you should definitely be eating right now in Buenos Aires.  From classic to modern, pizza to Porteño, these embody the spirit of the city that just keeps on cranking out hits.  And a large chunk of last year’s first-ever Latin America’s 50 Best list.  Salud!

Astor – manduque porteño
Opened during 2013 by chef Antonio Soriano, Astor could easily be the restaurant to bring fine dining to the masses.  With a menu that’s as inventive as it is approachable, look for Astor to gain a great deal more attention this year. Though Soriano has worked for plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants, Astor is simple enough for an every day meal.  Try their ultra-affordable tasting menu for a taste of just about everything they offer.

El Baqueano
Tucked away in San Telmo, surrounded by touristy cafés, bars, gastropubs and so forth, El Baqueano is quietly creating their own version of New Argentine cuisine.  Modern meets rustic in this wood-clad space, where they also play host to the monthly Cocina Sin Fronteras series that brings chefs from all over South America for special one-night-only dinners.  Don’t expect your typical steak meal here; the kitchen features some of Argentina’s other meats, like jacare, patagonian lamb and king crab, to name a few.

La Cabrera
If you’re looking for a lot of meat, a little kitsch, a classic environment, and a reputation that landed them the #17 spot on last year’s first-ever list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, look no further than La Cabrera.  Just far enough away from the lively main strip of Palermo Soho, La Cabrera continues to wow diners from near and far with their dry-aged meats, great selection of wines, and a seemingly never-ending array of accompaniments for your meal.

Burger Joint
Buenos Aires may be most known for its steak houses, wine, and ample cuts of meat, but burger mania has taken the city over, and Burger Joint is leading the craze.  Though surrounded by tourist hot spot Palermo Soho, Burger Joint is as gritty, local, and delicious as they come.  With housemade buns, a burger selection that would make Ronald McDonald drool and a growing fan base that steak houses might only dream of, this still-new burger joint has already become a Buenos Aires standard.

Although iLatina is probably the most open of the Puertas Cerradas style dining establishments, they still sling their Caribbean-inspired flavors out of an old house.  In a city that is utterly Latin, finding more tropically-influenced Latin Cuisine isn’t the easiest to do.  With Colombia as their starting point, this trio of brothers has been steadily winning over the hearts and stomachs with their playful, spicy, and abundantly flavorful cuisine.

Fukuro Noodle Bar
The brainchild of Matias and Vanessa Camozzi, Fukuro Noodle Bar has become the go-to source for ramen and pork buns in Buenos Aires.  Borne from the couple’s travels and a love for restaurants like Momofuku, Fukuro has a street spirit and an interior to match.  Their kitchen, on full view, is pure professionalism, where they spend up to 12 hours a day, making the ramen broths, noodles, dumpling dough, and pork buns entirely from scratch.

Siamo nel Forno
Throw a stick in Buenos Aires and you’re likely to hit two things:  a pasta joint and a pizza joint.  Step into eat, however, and you might be less than happy with your selection process.  What separates Siamo nel Forno from the hordes of other pizza joints around town is their selection of high quality (and mostly imported) Italian ingredients and authentic Italian-style pies.  Located in the heart of Palermo Hollywood and surrounded by other pizza joints, this is the singular diamond in the rough.

Modern (molecular, if you must) gastronomy is alive and well in Buenos Aires, and Aramburu remains as the leader in the movement.  At the #31 spot on the Latin America’s 50 Best list, they continue to wow diners with their eccentric presentations, custom-made serving ware, as well as their explosive flavors.  For those not so interested in big, complicated dining experiences, check out their new sister restaurant, Aramburu Bis, which serves up a much homier side of Gonzalo Aramburu’s culinary talents.

Liza Puglia may not be the only New Orleans native in Buenos Aires, but she is the one that’s giving Porteños the best taste of her home town in the form of fried chicken, pork and grits, gumbo, biscuits, fruit pie, and a whole slew of other Southern U.S. classics.  When her new gastropub NOLA opens its doors later this year, guests will be able to get the classics from her Puertas Cerradas menu all day long along with the Broeders craft beers as made by her partner and boyfriend, Francisco, along with his brother.

Cocina Sunae
Christina Sunae’s Philippine background takes center stage at this Puerta Cerrada-style restaurant where she, along with her Argentine husband Franco, and their small team of cooks knock out six-course Pan-Asian menus four days of the week.  Everything from Phô to Pad Thai and a lot more in between is fair game, leaving diners saying it’s some of the best Asian cuisine they’ve had outside of the East.

Big, luxurious elegance, and a menu that is drool-inducing are what await diners at Tarquino.  With one of the nicest dining rooms in Buenos Aires, as well as chef Dante Liporace whose pedigree speaks for itself (el Bullí, Las Margas), Tarquino is bringing classic Italian and French together with a renewed focus on fresh Argentine ingredients.  Probably best reserved for date night, the wow factor is high in this one.

Don Julio
Lest ye forget, there isn’t just one steak house in Buenos Aires worth trying.  Though not quite as big, fancy, or renowned as some of the others (on this list), Don Julio remains a classic representation of the steakhouses that Argentina has come to be known for.  With an impressive wine list, an antique interior and a selection of meats as good as any around town, Don Julio is a must for true steakhouse fanatics.

Oui Oui
Did someone say brunch?  Roast beef sandwiches?  Herb-crusted pan fries?  And one of the most laid back, easy-going restaurant vibes in Buenos Aires?  The name means “Yes” in French, and that’s exactly what you’ll be saying when you try just about anything on the French-inspired, bistro style menu.  Their Eggs Benedict are nearly unparalleled and, now with two locations within half a block of each other, you have twice the reasons to head out for a solid breakfast or a wildly affordable, delicious lunch.

Pizzeria Güerrin
As with steak houses, there is room for pizza to have more than its fair share of heroes in Buenos Aires.  Known for their “pizza a la piedra” since opening in 1932, Güerrin is consistently referred as one of (if not the) top Argentine-style pizzerias in the city.  Head downtown for the obelisk, and stay downtown for the mozzarella. 

[image: Como Sur]

Where To Eat Now: Santiago

By Patrick Hieger

School is back in session.  Vacations are basically over.  Fall is coming, and there’s nothing you can do to change any of that.  Don’t be sad, though, because it simply means that high season for restaurant dining is nigh, and the getting in Santiago has never been better.  Below, check out our list of a baker’s dozen worth of Santiago restaurants that are not to be missed.  Across the city and across cuisines, these are the restaurants that are making it happen right now.

Peruvian Ciro Watanabe brings his Nikkei touch to the W Hotel’s flagship restaurant.  With a combination of Peruvian flare and Japanese technique, you’ll be hard-pressed to believe that you’re in a hotel restaurant.  Oh, and did we mention that Osaka is currently ranked #48 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants?

Fuente Mardoqueo
Long live the German influence on Chile and the massive sandwiches and beer that we have to reap because of it.  Nestled into the heart of Santiago’s Barrio Brasil / Yungay, Fuente Mardoqueo is an antique-collecting, sandwich-eating fanatic’s dream.  Get the lomo with palta and a cold brew and you won’t need to eat for two days.  Salud!

As Bellavista tries to shake off its party all the time vibe and become a neighborhood for quality wining and dining, Peumayen brings a modern approach to ancestral Chilean food, and a dining room that is hard to be topped in the city.  The bread offering along–included in the meal–takes diners on a ride from the north to the far south of Chile, exploring all the ancient food customs the country has to offer.

The White Rabbit
Lovingly dubbed as the best place to get gringo food in Santiago, The White Rabbit fuses traditions of the U.S. with the best in meats and produce that Chile has to offer.  The Brooklyn vibe, the L.A. soundtrack, the Animal Fries that pay oh so much homage to In ‘N’ Out and the Wagyu burger that will have you saying ‘Amen!‘ all come together in what could be the new leader in fancy meets casual dining in Santiago.

Chicken Story
Korean fried chicken.  Jugo de pimentón.  Arugula salad with mango and red onion.  That’s all they serve and that’s all you need to worry about.  Long known for its ethnic cuisine, Barrio Recoleta just got a whole lot cooler with the opening of this happy little hole in the wall that has won the hearts and minds of fried chicken fanatics across the city.

Classic Santiago meets the din of a night out in New York City.  Easily the most well-known restaurant in Santiago, Liguria has been serving up classic fare on classy plates since the early 90’s.  With their fourth location planned for later this year, it’s safe to say that Liguria is a standard when it comes to Santiago dining.

Salvador Cocina y Café
Buried in downtown where a quick coffee and a plate of rice and meat are more readily found than a restaurant whose market-driven menu changes daily, Salvador is the answer to, “Where should we eat?” for downtown Santiago.

Expect the unexpected upon any visit to Boragó.  This world-class restaurant currently holding the #8 spot on the list of Lat Am’s 50 Best could earn itself a spot on this year’s World’s 50, if the gods will have it.  With a menu sourced more from the ground than the back of a truck, and a dining experience that relies on your hands more than your cutlery, Boragó is leading the modern culinary regime in Chile.

Luckily for visitors, some of Santiago’s best restaurants are located in hotels.  Estro, located at the Ritz, combines the freshest that the Chilean larder has to offer with a modern flare that leaves diners Tweeting “wow” on a daily basis.

In a country where the hot dog is considered to be a national food, why not go somewhere that’s taking that game to the next level.  Choose from beef, lamb, pork or turkey dogs, as well as an impressive array of toppings.  And the fresh lemonades are out of sight.

How can you make the already hip Lastarria neighborhood even better, tastier, and hipper?  Open a well-designed, kitschy location with the best wine list in the menu, tapas-style dining (including raw oysters!) and a street-level view of all the beautiful people.  It’s that simple.

Recently opened to a flood of fan fare, Naoki combines Japanese spirit with Chilean ingredients, for dishes that include cochayuyo (bull kelp) gyoza, hand rolls made with the best the Chilean coast can offer, and a dessert menu developed by local pastry chef Camila Fiol Stephens.  Could Nikkei have a run for its money?

HBH Cervecería
As much an institution in Santiago as Liguria, HBH is the go-to spot in Ñuñoa for cheap, house-made (and highly alcoholic) beers and pizza that, while not the best in town, is the best friend to the beers that go down all too easily.  Add to it a view of the brewery, a rambunctious crowd on the weekends, and a vibe that can only come from 20+ years of beer-drinking fun, and you’ve got yourself one of the best nights out in Santiago.

Ozaki (Re-opening soon)
There isn’t just one Nikkei game in town, and when Ozaki reopens in the two brand-new locations they have planned, there will, in fact, be three.  Ozaki is the mid-town answer to Osaka, serving up crispy quinoa and huancaina doused hand-rolls, lomo saltado, and a whole slew of other Peruvian-inspired Japanese dishes that aren’t to be missed.