Exploring Gourmet Buenos Aires: One Food Tour, and One “Anti-Tour”
Perhaps you’ve heard: Buenos Aires’ culinary scene has been undergoing a metamorphosis. In the not very distant past, if you weren’t in the mood for grilled meat, pasta, or tapas – the latter two a throwback to the city’s Italian and Spanish heritage – you were out of luck at dinnertime. Today, a growing number of innovative chefs bring much-needed diversity to the city’s dining sphere, while others focus on perfecting traditional recipes for an increasingly discerning clientele. Of course, the foodie scene isn’t necessarily easy to access: as any traveler who’s ever visited a large city can attest, it’s easy to overspend on a mediocre meal. Enter the professional epicures. Though the following two services are quite different – the first a socially-minded food tour, the second a personalized ‘anti-tour’ through the city’s lesser – known food highlights – both provide invaluable entry into gourmet Buenos Aires.
Fuudis: The Social Dining Tour
Call it ‘food-hopping,’ or liken it to a progressive dinner party. The socially oriented gourmet tours run by Fuudis are a hit with foodie tourists and local connoisseurs alike. Started by Australian Anne Reynolds and Argentinian Marina Ponzi, a pair of culinary enthusiasts who also founded the first Buenos Aires Food Week in April, the company creates eclectic eating and drinking “experiences”.
Fuudis tours are a hit with foodie tourists – photo courtesy of Santiago Brusa
The standard gourmet tour, held in rotating barrios from Palermo Soho to San Telmo, leads groups of 25-30 people through several bars and restaurants in a single evening. In addition to sampling well-chosen wines paired with a food course at each venue, guests have the chance to interact with chefs, sommeliers, and, perhaps most importantly, other like-minded diners. These days, with most standard tours fully booked, the company is branching out: the foodie duo now offers ice cream tastings, cooking classes and ‘Art + Gourmet’ pop-ups in collaboration with local chefs and visual artists, and they’re about to debut Lunch Tours, set to take place every Friday.
Pick Up the Fork: The Foodie’s ‘Anti-Tour’
The storied food writer behind Pick Up the Fork – a thoroughly witty and wise food blog covering the Buenos Aires food scene – loves to eat well. But she doesn’t love going on tours. That’s why restaurateurs and culinary travelers seeking highly curated food experiences turn to Allie Lazar, a Chicago native who’s been dining and drinking her way through the Argentinian capital for more than seven years.
Pick Up the Fork “anti-tour” – photo courtesy of Allie Lazar
Lazar specializes in creating fully customizable, off-the-beaten-path itineraries that take foodies on tasting tours through traditional marketplaces and hidden cafes, to hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries and to the open windows of street food trucks. Though the gourmet ‘anti-tour’ is privately arranged at present, look for more a more standardized weekly version of the excursion, forthcoming later in 2013.
Customizable, off-the-beaten-path food itineraries – photo courtesy of Allie Lazar
Taste the best Buenos Aires has to offer with LAN Airlines and its affiliates, offering daily nonstop flights from Miami to Buenos Aires, plus daily connecting flights from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.