Empanadas, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Embracing the Empanada, Buenos Aires' Favourite Snack Food. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Embracing the Empanada, Buenos Aires’ Favourite Snack Food

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After a big slab of charcoal grilled bife (beef), our favourite thing to eat in Buenos Aires is empanadas.

Usually baked, but sometimes fried, these delicious pastries are generally filled with meat or cheese and Porteños don’t need much of an excuse to order a box from their local empanaderia. Friends coming over? Picnic in the park? Big football match on TV? Just peckish? All are occasions for locals to go loco over empanadas. Empanaderias even home-delivers!

Porteños all have a favourite empanaderia and a favourite type of empanada – they know just which one they want to grab when the box opens because each type has a slightly different shape.

Our favourites are carne (minced meat), carne picante (spicy minced meat), cebolla y queso (onion and cheese) and jamón y queso (ham and cheese), but these days they also have dozens of other unusual and exotic flavour combinations that are in fashion at the sleek new breed of upmarket empanaderia. Personally, we prefer the traditional, local, simple places that specialise in just a few types and always have the most delicious pastry – which is not easy to achieve.

We’ve tried them everywhere – from the cute little old ladies who hand-make them in front of you at the Feria de Matadores on the weekends, where they go for around US$1 each, and go brilliantly with a cold beer, to eating them as a starter at the upmarket parilla, La Cabrera where they’re nicely matched with a glass of Malbec.

We can confirm that there’s no such thing as a bad empanada!


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Terence Carter is an editorial food and travel photographer and infrequent travel writer with a love of photographing people, places and plates of food. After living in the Middle East for a dozen years, he settled in South-East Asia a dozen years ago with his wife, travel and food writer and sometime magazine editor Lara Dunston.

11 thoughts on “Embracing the Empanada, Buenos Aires’ Favourite Snack Food”

  1. Nice Article. I love empanadas as well. Actually I love all the Argentinian food. I lived in Córdoba, Argentina last year and there there is a kind of empanada that they called Empanadas Árabes, it is in a tringle form. I looove it! Anyway, nice post! There is an article with useful facts about Buenos Aires nad as well about empanadas and Argentinian food that I love to read http://www.bsas4u.com/bsasquickfactsandcityinfo.php

  2. It would be very interesting to compare and contrast the various versions of the humble empanada throughout South America. After 5 years in La Serena, Chile, I learned about the 3 basic kinds found along the north-central Chilean coast: “empanada de queso”, with cheese and deep-fried; “empanada de mariscos”, mostly seafood, sometimes with cheese and deep-fried; “empanada de pino”, stuffed with ground beef, a peeled boiled egg, an unpitted olive, sometimes raisins, and baked. Often the second version is with one kind of seafood: scallops, crab meat, clams, mussels, etc. Yum!

  3. That project would be a great excuse to travel the length and breadth of South America, wouldn’t it? Exploring the empanada trail. Yum! Only spent a few days in La Serena, but I really loved it. Stayed in a charming B&B owned by a very kind family.

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more! Went to Argentina and I was grabbing themat eevery available opportunity – I don’t eat beef but they were delicious with cheese cheese, chicken, pork and all manner of other flavours! It was a real food highlight for me!

  5. Glad you enjoyed them also. They’re fantastic snacks for travellers. Love the way they usually package them in boxes too, so they don’t crush – handy for long distance bus/train rides. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Good day! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you’ve got here on this post.

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