Adela Smehlik is a student at University of Pittsburgh and an ISA Featured Blogger. Adela is currently studying abroad with ISA in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
During my study abroad experience I have tried many different foods, but here is my list of the top 5 things that you must eat in Buenos Aires!
1. Ice cream. This is no joke. As someone who works at an ice cream shop in the U.S., I like to think of myself as an ice cream aficionado, and the ice cream in Buenos Aires is top of the leader board. There are countless flavors: some common like strawberry and others not so common. Regardless, the first thing you should do upon arrival is hop over to the freddo (an ice cream shop) and treat your taste buds.
2. Empanadas. An empanada is basically a turnover filled with delicious savory food — chicken, beef, onion and cheese, spinach and cheese, etc. Not only are they terrific, they also run relatively cheap. You can find them on pretty much every corner, and always remember to ask for them hot. There is nothing like biting into a steaming, chicken empanada.
3. Steak. I feel like I don’t even need to elaborate on this because of the well-known reputation of Argentine steak, but when people say that the meat in Buenos Aires is incredible, believe them. The other night I went with my roommate Colleen, friend Cass, and her mom to a steakhouse and we each got the most delectable steaks. They were as long as my forearm!
4. Media luna. A media luna is similar to a croissant, but it’s sweeter than most of the croissants that we are used to eating in the U.S. This is a typical breakfast food in Argentina, as well as what Argentines eat during merienda, a mini meal before dinner.
5. Mate. Alright, Yerba Mate is actually a drink, not something to eat, but it’s an essential part of Argentine culture. You drink it out of a mate (the cup) and use a bombilla (a metal spoon with a filter on the end). You pour the herbs into the mate and dilute them with hot water. It has a very grassy flavor, but the health benefits are countless. I love mate, but my friend dislikes it; that seems to be the general consensus. You either love it or hate it! However, it is necessary before leaving Argentina to get your own mate and bombilla, gather some friends, go to the park and enjoy!