Where do you go in Buenos Aires to sink your teeth into that perfect sandwich? With almost every café and restaurant serving up some sanguche of sorts, only few really do it right. The ideal sandwich needs to have at least three important components to survive in the elite world of killer sandwiches:
#1 The Bread: This is key, my friends. It must be fresh, mustn’t be from the local chino, and it’s best if it is made in-house. Fanciness is always an added plus. (Ex: Focaccia and ciabatta are fancy, pan bimbo is not).
#2 The Main Attraction AKA the GOODS: This is the meatiness, what aids to give the sandwich that extra umph: the bacon, the chicken, the grilled vegetables, the beefy goodness. Fatties, vegans, calorie counters, no matter what your sandwichinsides pleasure may be, there will be something for you. Important note: The main attraction must be cooked well, correctly seasoned and dancing with flavors, because you don’t want no rubbery chicken that tastes like dookie.
#3 The Fixins’: Probably what I consider to really make or break the sandwich, the fixinzzz (pronounced with a Southern drawwwl) is what allows all the flavors to marry in an amorous way. Included under this category could be a fancy sauce, a spread, a flavored mayonnaise, caramelized anything, pickled whatever – it’s what makes dat sandwich SHINE.
So without further ado, here are my top choices (and in no particular order because it’s hard for two different sandwiches to compare) of the best sandwiches in Buenos Aires.
1. HOT Pastrami @ La Crespo, Villa Crespo
The Bread: A hybrid rye-pumpernickel bread. Simple yet comforting.
The Goods: HOT pastrami. 170 grams of the good stuff. Homemade, thinly sliced, lean, perfectly cured, pretty in pink color. Pastrami in Argentina is a bit different than the pastrami I’m used to; it’s more of a corned beef-pastrami combo. Nevertheless, it’s the total HOTNESS, HOT always in caps.
The Fixin’s: Spicy dijon mustard on the sandwich, playful pickles and a whopping portion of extra sweet caramelized onions on the side.
Other Good Pastrami Sandwiches in Buenos Aires: Malvón & Ciervo de Oro.
2. Polo Brie (or Polo Tom) @ Marfa, Delivery
The Bread: Marfa’s infamous baguette tries to fool you, looking very similar to chino bread, but it ain’t. Often times delivered warm, I could easily just eat this bread with butter, and call it a day.
The Goods: It’s grilled chicken mother truckers! Crunchy, browned, well seasoned, but still plain enough to go nicely with massive gloobs of Brie.
The Fixin’s: Here we go! There are two versions of this sandwich: first, the traditional with tomato, homemade mayo and caramelized onions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but here is where it gets kicked up a NOTCH – order the Polo TOM and they will throw in bacon and avocado.
If you aren’t into this type of sandwich, try the Machote (ultra tender pulled beef, brie, caramelized onion, arugula and honey mustard) or the Club de Barrio (Grilled chicken breast, bacon, mozzarella, tomato and honey mustard).
3. Roger Sandwich @ Loreto Garden Bar, Colegiales
The Bread: Focaccia (here’s the fancy bread I was talkin’ about). This is homemade, really good, soft but not too soft so that it falls apart. They got it right.
The Goods: Grilled chicken breast, white meat, nicely cooked, no nasty cartilage pieces.
The Fixin’s: Roger is one Lactose-filled fat ass: Brie, Parmesan and cream cheese with a Guacamole-esque mashed avocado, arugula and sun dried tomatoes.
En El Nombre de Postre can cook a helluva pollo-packed sandwich as well.
4. Brie, Goat Cheese & Chutney Sandwich @ A Manger, Palermo SohoThe Bread: Whole wheat or white, take your pick. It’s not the best bread, but it does the trick.
The Goods: A double whammy of cheeses: Creamy goat cheese and creamier Brie. Ask for it toasted and it’s a grilled cheese sensation.
The Fixin’s: Sweet and tangy apple-onion chutney, fancy mustard, tomato and lettuce. Absolute wonder in a bite, the chutney brings a smiling complexity (yes, I am just talking about a sandwich). Chutchutchut, you can even buy a small container of it para llevar.
A Manger boasts a menu of over 20 sandwiches, with prime choices like Smoked Turkey & Cheddar Cheese (it’s fake cheddar, but not as asqueroso as most) and a winning Chorizo and Gruyere sandwich.
5. Pollo Parrillero @ El Peruanito Ray, Palermo Hollywood
The Bread: So the bread is just aighhht; it needs to be toasted otherwise it tends to get mushy.
The Goods: A generous portion of marinated chicken breast, lightly covered in their own version of BBQ sauce.
The Fixin’s: Lettuce, tomato, cheese and panceta. Make sure to also smother it with salsa rocoto (spicy), mayonesa de apio and regular mayonesa (all made in-house, all incredibly delicious).
**I get this sandwich delivered at least once per week, but I make some changes: I immediately dissemble to avoid sandwichfallingapart syndrome (aka soggy tomato-lettucewater bread). I toast the bread, throw the chicken, panceta and cheese onto the cast iron to get it all toasty and crispy (because burnt cheese and well done panceta really make a sandwich special), and then reassemble. A bit of effort? Yes. But it makes a difference, I promise. Then, order it with fries, sweet potato fries, or my personal favorite, mandioca fries. BAM, delivery of champions.
6. Bondiola Sandwich @ Porota, Palermo Hollywood
The Bread: Rosemary ciabatta – that’s EXTRA fancy!
The Goods: Pick up the pork! Slow roasted pork shoulder, incredibly tender, forkfalling apart.
The Fixin’s: Thinly shaved cheese, fresh tomatoes, pesto and here’s the kicker: grilled calabaza. The sandwich might be a little wimpy for a growing boy or girl, but the sweetness of the calabaza is a dopeass bondiola-fied bite.
7. Grilled Vegetable Sandwich @ Baraka, Palermo Mofo
The Bread: You can choose your bread: white, whole wheat or rosemary and olive focaccia. Obvio I went with the olive focaccia, light and fluffy, I’d like to buy it, bring home, and give it kisses. Added bonus: Baraka makes all their own breads fresh, daily.
The Goods: Grilled Veggies! Eggplant, zucchini, red peppers – a generous helping vegetables that are grilled and charred to add bit of a smokey flavor.
The Fixin’s: QUESO GRATINADO aka burnt cheese goodness, basil and tomato. Simple yet incredibly tasty.
Baraka also makes a bad ass lamb burger.
8. Chicharrón Peruano @ Peru Express, Centro CLOSED!
The Bread: It’s like a crusty French baguette in bun form. Soft, chewy, doughy and sturdy – burly enough to hold a lot of the good and all of the fixinz.
The Goods: Oven roasted pork shoulder marinated in their “own secret recipe.”
The Fixinz: Semi-crunchy sweet potatoes, red onion, special Peruvian criolla sauce and yellow ají. It’s like the flavors of Peru meet in a happy Wilbur sandwich.
(Photo from Peru Express FB)
9. Vietnamese-Style Po’ Boy @ NOLAchef, Poppin’ Up
The Bread: One of Argentina’s best panaderías, La Argentina bakery provides the fresh baguettes.
The Goods: PORK ME. Seasoned and cooked to perfection, these little shredded pieces of oinkers are mighty sexy.
The Fixinz: How can a sandwich not be bomb if it contains Sriracha mayonnaise? It’s also packed with fresh vegetable crispness, carrots, cucumbers and cilantro. Yes, cilantro, a despicable herb, aka green death, but the sandwich is still so good I can make a cilantroexception.
Here’s the trouble with NOLAchef Po’ Boys, they ain’t easy to find. While my Po’ Boy friend would make a killing being sold in kiosco, carrito style, or for a lunch delivery, these sandwiches (that also come in shrimp, fish and other delectable variations) are only available at random pop-up events in the city.
The Bread: This is what really makes or breaks a good choripan: the bread needs to be fresh, soft inside with a chewy crust and lightly toasted on a dirty grill.
The Goods: This also makes or breaks a good choripan: plump, juicy, thick well done chorizo. Insert your own penile joke.
The Fixin’s: No drama here, just add a good chimichurri (preferably with a bit of spicy kick) and vinegary salsa criolla.
It’s not really fair for to the other sandwiches that the choripan is included in this list because it’s the ultimate A-list celeb in the sandwich world.
Where do you go to eat the best sandwich in Buenos Aires?