From secret bars to closed-door restaurants, here’s the best of Buenos Aires’ underground food scene.

The Secret Parrilla

This place is definitely hidden—there isn’t even a sign. Dorrego 2720 is utterly unremarkable but for a large, rather imposing black metal gate. Don’t let that deter you, though. Ring the bell and you’ll be ushered into a delightful parrilla (Spanish for grill) offering the classic Argentine meat-eating experience—steaks, chorizos, blood sausages, beef glands, and so forth.

The Secret Parrilla
Location: Av. Dorrego 2720.
Contact: +54 11 4777-8351

Jueves A La Mesa

When you’ve had your fill of beef, this refreshing vegetarian closed-door restaurant in San Telmo offers a rotating menu of exotic plates like plantain ceviche and West African lentil paté—all with plenty of house-made hot sauce, a rarity in spice-averse Buenos Aires. The shared table for 14 fills up quickly, so book early.

Jueves A La Mesa
Location: Provided upon reservation by email
Contact: juevesalamesa@gmail.com

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Varela Varelita

While not a “secret” per se, this classic Argentine bar-cafe on the corner of Scalabrini Ortiz and Paraguay in Palermo is a vestige of former times. According to one regular, Alan Seabright of BuenosTours, it’s also the best place in the city for the Argentine drink of choice—a Fernet and coke. This is how he takes it: “Tall glass, ice, the waiter fills it with Branca at your table nearly to the brim. Almost no room for the accompanying coke to start with. As it should be.”

Varela Varelita
Location: Av. Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 2102

Floreria Atlantico

Flower shop by day, underground bar serving award-winning cocktails by night, Floreria Atlantico is a hotspot in Buenos Aires nightlife. The cocktail list is organized by the countries that have influenced Argentina through immigration—so expect cocktail ingredients from Cynar to London dry gin and Earl Grey tea. The bar is only accessible at night through a door leading to the basement.

Floreria Atlantico
Location: Arroyo 872.
Contact: (+54) 9 11 4313-6093

Pulperia Ña Serapia

Not particularly underground but off the beaten track, Ña Serapia in Recoleta offers indigenous-inspired foods as well as Argentine classics giving you a taste of the country’s rich culinary history in a traditional, modest setting. Try the empanada salteña.

Pulperia Ña Serapia
Location: Avenida Las Heras 3357.
Contact: (+54) 11 4801-5307

Frank’s Bar

A secret speakeasy, Frank’s Bar is only accessible with a password that changes weekly. They post hints about it on Mondays and Thursdays on their Facebook page, and on Twitter on Thursdays. You can make reservations here.

Frank’s Bar
Location: Arevalo 1445.
Contact: (+54) 11 4777-6541