With a melting pot of influences and a genuine appreciation for enjoying all things leisurely, Buenos Aires is a city with an intense love for food. One of its best kept secrets is the community of puertas cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, where the city’s top chefs invite small groups of strangers into their homes to indulge in carefully crafted meals. Keep reading for an inside look at our favorite puertas cerradas in Buenos Aires.
Perhaps the biggest success of Buenos Aires’ closed-door restaurant scene is iLatina. Created by Colombian siblings Santiago, Camilo and Laura Macías, their seven course tasting menu takes you on a journey through the best ingredients and flavors of Latin America. Having caught the eye of major publications such as The New York Times, and The Guardian as well as Qantas Airlines’ in-flight magazine, at the end of 2015 iLatina won the ‘One to Watch Award’ at Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants annual award ceremony. Currently 2nd out of 3,203 restaurants in Buenos Aires on TripAdvisor, iLatina is without a doubt a unique and not to be missed gastronomic experience in Buenos Aires.
♦ Colectivo Felix
Down a dim residential street in Chacarita, behind an unassuming front door, through a long, narrow hallway, Diego Felix and Sanra Ritten’s brainchild Colectivo Felix hides. The two moved from San Francisco to Buenos Aires in 2007 to start the closed-door restaurant armed with an appreciation for culinary experimentation and an eagerness to explore South American ingredients. The menu puts a pescatarian twist on classic Latin American dishes using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, and the result is a multi-course dinner that’s impeccably romantic. From pre-dinner drinks in the garden to the hum of acoustic guitar, eating at this Buenos Aires treasure feels like being let in on an incredible secret.
♦ The Argentine Experience
The Argentine Experience started as a closed-door restaurant in an apartment in 2011 and has since grown into a 28-seat restaurant and bar in Buenos Aires’ neighborhood for all things hip: Palermo Hollywood. Instead of a candlelit dinner, think a three-hour immersive course in how to eat like an Argentine. Filled with plenty of food, fun, and homemade cocktails, two English speaking hosts help diners navigate choppy waters as they learn how to make empanadas from scratch, order their steak well-done or rare and, differentiate what it means to snack on a picada versus an alfajor. This no-frills introduction to the art that is eating like an Argentine, is something sure to be educational and hilarious.
♦ Steaks by Luis
Somewhere in between Colectivo Felix’s romantic dinner party and The Argentine Experience’s laughter-filled crash course is Steaks by Luis, a closed-door experience where food lovers flock for an authentic asado or Argentine barbecue. The Palermo Soho loft satisfies all culinary curiosities with its authentic parilla (Argentine grill), carefully chosen wine pairings, and five course dinner where picadas, traditional Argentine grilled vegetables, and the succulent medium rare steaks shine. Classically simple, the refined Buenos Aires puerta cerrada experience centers around the ritual behind the beloved Argentine meal.