Food: Breakfast (desayuno) is often minimal, although in most hotels and restaurants Americano style breakfast is also served. Breakfast can be taken in a cafe, found on most street corners. Standard range includes coffee, cortado (espresso with a drop of hot milk), cafe con leche (latte), cappuccino, Lágrima (a very weak latte) or Submarino (glass of warm milk with a piece of melted chocolate). It is useful to know that sugar is Azucar. In addition, there is tostadas (toast) with manteca (butter) and mermelada (jam) or miel (honey) served and of course medialunas (croissants). Lunch (almuerzo) is always a hot meal, like pizza, you can get this in virtually every restaurant, milanesas (kind of thin Wienerschnitzel) or pasta. At the end of the afternoon (around 17.00 hours) there is time for la merienda, tea or cafe con leche with something sweet. In the evening, between 21.30 and 23.00 (or later) will a hot dinner (cena) be eaten again. It is normal for the Argentines to eat late.
When eating in small restaurants you can choose the best one by choosing those where service is quickest and therefore has the most freshly prepared food. Argentina is the country par excellence of the meat. Tasty pieces of meat are bife bife de lomo or chorizo (something juicier). These are served with bread and salad or papas fritas. You can get them in almost every restaurant. Parilla (BBQ restaurant) is where you have parillada (grilled meat) and can choose from an extensive salad buffet. The kitchens of the world are now represented in Buenos Aires so you can for example taste excellent sushi, but meat broiled above an open flame in all shapes and sizes remains the main dish. For vegetarians it is difficult because the national cuisine is not totally equipped but in Buenos Aires you can find vegetarian dishes. The buses and domestic flights have no separate menus for vegetarians and almost no vegetarians exist in Argentina. The average meat consumption per capita is around 65 kg per year!
Drink: The water supply in most major cities is reasonably good and tap water is safe to drink. Bottles of mineral water are widely available also. Please note that the bottles should have their original seal. ''Agua con gas" is water with gas and "agua sin gas" is water without bubbles. Te is regular tea as we know it and drinking mate is the favourite pastime of the Argentines. It is a kind of very strong tea which is drunk from a gourd with a bombilla, a kind of straw. Drinking the mate is a cultural affair; in Buenos Aires you will see a few people drink it, but in the campo (countryside) even more. The Argentines walk around there with a round, wooden container with their yerba (tea leaves) in it. Onto this they pour hot water from a thermos and drink it neat or with sugar. In Buenos Aires there are two nice tents where they serve mate in the afternoons: Cholita in La Recoleta at the intersection Rodriguez Peña and Santa Fe and in their branch in Las Cañitas on Honduras 5686. Fernet is an Italian alcohol that tastes very bitter and therefore often is mixed with cola. The local beer is Quilmes, Brahma is its Brazilian competitor.
Argentine wine: Argentinean wine regions are located mainly in the west of the country, on the slopes of the Andes. The main wine region is located in the province of Mendoza. This region has three quarters of the Argentine vineyards, at altitudes between 900 and 1500 meters. The climate is hot and dry, and it is highly dependent on irrigation with meltwater from the Andes using an ancient system of canals: the acequias. The country has a great variety and viticulture already existed centuries before the Spaniards came. Many immigrants from the Basque Country and Italy brought their grape varieties with which they are currently using in Argentina today. They are mostly European grape varieties, mainly Spanish, Italian and French. Grapes grown include malbec, sangiovese and tempranillo. The lack of extreme temperatures on the mountain slopes means the grapes have a very strong aroma. With about 210,000 hectares of vineyards, Argentina is the fourth largest wine-producing country in the world. The average yield is 10,000 kg per hectare.