The Empanada Quest: El Banco Rojo

I’m going on another empanada quest, a search across the country to find the best empanadas Argentina has to offer. Even though empanadas are everywhere, it’s not easy to find that perfect empanada. I’m talking flavorful dough, folded thoughtfully with a respectable repulgue, and baked or fried until golden brown. It’s the kind of empanada crammed with such delicious insides that you’ll want to spoonful the fillings directly from its tupperware in the fridge to your face. To start this series, I’m highlighting one of my non-traditional empanada favorites in Buenos Aires.

Spicy LambThe Place: El Banco RojoBolívar 866, San Telmo, Buenos Aires

The Flavor to Order: Cordero picante (spicy lamb). Honorable mention goes to the empanada de morcilla (blood sausage) and cerdo (pork), which some say tastes just like a Totino’s pizza roll. Plus, BR makes weekly empanada specials, cheto-ing it up with flavors like asparagus, pancetta and fontina cheese.

The Awesome Factor: The spicy lamb empanada from Banco Rojo reigns supreme for several reasons. It’s one of those marriage-material empanadas, the kind you’d want to take down to Tribunales and apply for a unión convivencial. First of all, it’s stuffed with a stew-like braised lamb that packs tons of flavor. Second of all, it’s actually really damn spicy. And lastly, it’s deep fried… because doesn’t everything taste better when it’s beautifully deep fried to a non-greasy crunchy consistency?

The Recommended Pairing: CERVEZA! Craft beer (rubia) for the aficionados, or Quilmes for ya’ll who don’t give a F.

Price: AR$23 pesos each

Also, shoutout to El Banco Rojo’s dump trump garbage can for being TRASHTASTIC.


El Banco Rojo
Bolivar 866, San Telmo
Tel. 4362-3177
Hours: Tues – Sunday, 12pm-12am




  1. Jodi A Grossman says

    Ah, thanks for bringing back the lovely memory of going to El Banco Rojo with you! I yearn for the spicy lamb empanada in my dreams. If you hadn’t told me the other empanada was blood sausage, I would have devoured it, too. ;-) Missing Buenos Aires and its delicious food . . .

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