What could be better than a big, fat, juicy, well done chorizo drenched in chimichurri and salsa criolla? One eaten at 6:30 in the morning off of a skanky, health violating food cart. Unlike Latin American countries like Mexico or Brazil, Argentina does not have a booming street food culture. Sure you can get facturas (pastries) before you enter the subway, or gobble down a pan relleno (stuffed cheesy bread) or giant-sized empanada at the Sunday San Telmo feria, but true food-tourists must flock directly to where the real action is – the mobile parrilla.
What to order?
Quite simple. With only a handful of options, making the right ordering choice is no great task.
Choripan: Chorizo + Pan (Bread) = The best invention ever.
Bondiola: Pork shoulder, also in sandwich form
Vacíopan: Flank steak sandwich, typically with a thick layer of fat on one side
Morcipan: Morcilla (blood sausage) + Pan = Not the best invention ever. I’m not one for eating dried blood, but if you love it, bite into that dried blood condom.
Churrasquito: Grilled steak sandwich
Argenburger: Ever tried an Argentine hamburger? You aren’t missing out on much. It’s just a very thin meat PATY topped with salsa criolla and chimichurri.
Where to go?
Costanera Norte, Costanera Sur, Bosques de Palermo. While you most of the stands probably offer similar quality street meat, a few puestos stand out from the rest.
Probably the most famous one out of the bunch, diverse crowds congregate to taste these sandwiches filled with little beefs of heaven. Try a bondiola for only AR$14 and make sure to top it off with plenty of the homemade salsas.
Some claim that this top-notch establishment serves the best choripan in the city. What makes this chori better than the rest? The slightly toasted bread, chimichurri sauce, and a textbook chorizo to bread ratio.
Av Costanera Sur, puesto 11
Hungry parrilla lovers lineup to taste this bondiola that is flavored with oregano, white wine and ají molido (similar to red pepper flakes).
Carrito Polo *Not the real name
Dorrego y Libertador, Palermo
This carrito, located right behind the polo fields, is well known by taxistas, workers, and those waiting for the 166 colectivo. Open almost all the time, you can grab a choripan for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Avenida De los Italianos (near the Lola Mora fountain), Costanera Sur
For those who are loco for homemade salsas, this is your place. Try the chimichurri (with some actual ají spice), salsa criolla and cucumber; celery and tomato; or a green onion mayo. While this place may not be actually legal, or follow health and sanitation laws, I’d still bathe in the sauces.
Across the street from the Aeroparque, Costanera Norte
Stumble out of a Costanera boliche in the early hours of the morning with no taxi in sight. “I thought this was Palermo,” you squeal, beginning to psych yourself up for the long brutal walk ahead filled with sketchballs, trannies and planes departing. In the near distance, you spot smoke pouring into the sky. As you walk a little closer, a small congregation of people huddle around the carrito, wearing sunglasses (at night) and with chimichurri stains on their deep V neck shirts, scarfing down massive vaciopan sandwiches. Ultimate satisfaction.