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Meals in Argentina

The Argentine Breakfast

Generally, Argentine breakfasts are small meals of medialunas (croissants,) jam and coffee. A cortado is coffee with a little bit of milk; cafe con leche, as the name suggests, has more milk in it; and a cafe chico is usually a small cup of thick coffee.

The Argentine Lunch

Midday lunch is a considerably larger meal, often with pastas or meats as main courses. Just about every restaurant prepares fresh juices, licuados, blended with water or milk. Businesses in many cities across the country close for lunch, as people go home to eat a long meal with their families. Popular sandwiches include:

  • El Sanwich de Miga: a double-layered sandwich made from thin white bread, no crust, and filled with eggs, cheese, ham, sometimes vegetables, and mayonnaise
  • El Lomito: sliced steak in a bun
  • El Choripan: sausage on bread.

The Argentine Mid-Afternoon Snack (merienda)

In the late afternoon, Argentines have a snack or sandwich to keep their hunger at bay until dinner, which is typically not eaten before 9 or 10 p.m., especially during the hotter months. This tea time tradition, known as merienda, can be traced back to the 1800s, when British immigrants arrived in Argentina. Often merienda consists of the same medialunas that are eaten for breakfast, with either tea, maté, or coffee.

The Argentine Dinner

Dinner takes place quite late, and many restaurants in Argentina stay open and are packed past midnight. Cuisine of Argentine stems from mainly Italian and German culinary traditions, so pastas or meat and potatoes are the most common Argentine food items. Argentines in general and Porteños in particular (residents of Buenos Aires) are night owls, and it’s common to eat late and go out even later, only to wake up a couple of hours later for a small breakfast and a long day of work.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Argentina: Food in Buenos Aires, Tips For Taking Tea In Gaiman, Argentina Food and Drink, An Argentine Meat Feast, Bodega La Caroyense, Vegetarian Survival in Argentina and Patagonian Food.

By Nili Larish
I'm a reader, a writer, and a traveler, the kind of gal who likes to get as filthy as possibly on a camping trip, and then spend hours in the bathtub...
09 Nov 2009

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