Cooking Classes and Foodie Tours in Buenos Aires
The vibrant Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Recoleta has earned the nickname "Little Paris" for its art galleries, romantic architecture, and, above all else, for its passionate love affair with food. Throughout La Recoleta, cafés and restaurants spotlight local cuisine along with upscale European and Asian fare. In the heart of the neighborhood, the elegant Art Hotel will serve as your home base during this seven-day, six-night culinary tour of Buenos Aires. In the century-old hotel, you'll find an art gallery, a library, and original paintings and sculptures. It makes for an attractive rest stop between daily buffet breakfasts, foodie tours, and tastings of authentic Argentine cuisine.
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During the Art of Homestyle Cooking class, you'll learn how to prepare traditional Argentine dishes in a kitchen surrounded by views of tropical gardens. Using ingredients from local growers, chefs will teach you how to make homemade empanadas before doling out samples of Argentine malbec wine.
The next day, you'll head to San Telmo, where you'll find cobblestone streets, colonial-era buildings, impromptu tango performances, and some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires. A local expert leads a three-hour foodie tour, sharing tidbits of the barrio's history as you sample morsels at San Telmo's cafés and coffeehouses.
A stop at the local butcher shop kicks off the next day. Here, butchers help you identify the choicest cuts of meat to barbecue—a form of cooking that plays a big part in Argentine cuisine. With the help of a skilled grill-master, or asador, you'll prepare your own chimichurri and meat dishes.
A boat ride through the Parana River Delta provides a break from all the cooking lessons. Fringed by tropical foliage, the delta spreads into scenic inlets surrounding small islands. Back on land, your crew will visit San Isidro. Don't miss this small barrio's Catedral de San Isidro, an ornate neo-Gothic cathedral built in the late 19th century.
The final day of your visit begins at a local bakery where you might try Argentine croissants, or medialunas, before heading to the busy farmers' market in Adrogue, where a local guide can supply background info on the native vegetables and spices for sale. The evening concludes with a robust meal spotlighting some of the dishes and wines you've learned about during your stay.
Staff Q & A: Buenos Aires
Mollie S. is in merchant services for Groupon Getaways. Below, she shares her thoughts on Buenos Aires.
Describe your perfect day in Buenos Aires. Wake up and head for Palermo Soho/Palermo Hollywood. Grab a café con leche, pastry, and the best scrambled eggs at Bar 6, a stylish neighborhood coffee shop. Wander through blocks and blocks of shops—keep an eye out for fashions by two of my favorite Argentinean designers, Garza Lobos and Jazmin Chebar. Later, head to Puerto Madero for lunch at an Argentine steak house on the water (my pick: Cabana Las Lilas), then walk it all off or take a siesta.
What tourist attraction is overrated, and what should you do instead? You have to see Recoleta Cemetery while in Buenos Aires, but the guided tour is overrated. At the entrance, you can pick up a map that highlights all of the famous tombs, like Eva Peron's. It’s more fun to wander around by yourself—and even get lost!
Where's the best place to go for a 2 a.m. snack? Street empanadas are a must and aplenty in all of the big neighborhoods.
What's the most authentic souvenir you could bring back from Buenos Aires? Leather, leather, and more leather. I also loved the equestrian shops, where you’ll find beautiful riding boots, luggage, and belts.
What's the best thing you ate on your trip, and where did you get it? One of the best parts of Buenos Aires are the “closed-door” restaurants, which are family-owned and operated out of their homes. Six-courses, local ingredients, wine-pairings…perfect.
What should someone read, listen to, or watch to prepare for a visit? Read The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevera (or watch the movie), especially if you're traveling to other parts of South America. I also always pick up a Wallpaper* City Guide when I’m traveling—it’s a great resource for the best in design, art, architecture, and fashion in every major city. And of course Evita is a classic.
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