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It’s not hard to find a great restaurant in Buenos Aires – the city is full of them. But The Argentine Experience is about so much more than eating mouth-watering steak. Rest assured, that is a big part of it. But it’s also a chance to learn more about the history, heritage, and culture of Argentina.
There are so many fun things to do in Buenos Aires – and we’ve heard great things about The Argentine Experience in particular. But before we went, we didn’t know whether it would be an overrated tourist experience or the real deal. So naturally, we had to try it for ourselves.
We ate as much food as possible and tried our hand at making some local staples. After our experience, we now feel qualified to give you our full assessment. So is The Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires worth it? In this blog, we’ll share all our thoughts and deliver our final verdict!
About The Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires
First things first: The Argentine Experience is NOT a cooking class.
It’s an immersive dining experience that teaches you all about Argentina’s culture and heritage. And it easily ranks as one of the top tours in Buenos Aires that we’ve ever done. Throughout the experience, you’ll consume so much food that you’ll leave feeling like you’ll never need to eat again.
Seriously. I practically rolled home.
It takes place in a beautiful and stylish house in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood, which is pretty much the place to be in the city. When you arrive at the address, you have to ring the doorbell and wait to be let in. It might seem a little sketchy, but I promise it’s not! It’s a bit like visiting someone for an exclusive party at their fabulous home.
Once you get inside, you’ll receive a very warm welcome and be taken upstairs to the dining room. Here, you’ll get your chef’s hat and a welcome cocktail. This instantly made us feel at ease and was the perfect way to mingle with the other guests.
Sadly, you can’t keep the chef’s hat. But if you really fall in love with it, you can always buy one after the meal.
You’ll be at a table with 6 or 7 other people. Before the experience truly begins, you’ll have a little bit of time to get to know each other over a drink. We ended up swapping contact details with several people from our table because we all got along so well. As such, The Argentine Experience is definitely a great way to make new friends!
The evening starts with a short presentation on the history of empanadas, which are an Argentinian staple. Then, you get to have a go at making your own! First up, you make a classic empanada, and then you get to freestyle and make one in a totally unique shape. I tried to make mine into a cat, but it came out looking more like a very sad Winnie the Pooh.
After that, picadas are served. These are small bites that you eat as starters, much like tapas or antipasti. We had chorizo, grilled provoleta cheese, pork, and perhaps most notably, morcilla – aka Argentinian blood sausage. I have to confess, I was a little squeamish about trying it at first. But if you don’t think about what you’re eating, then it’s actually pretty good!
We finished the starter course with the empanadas we had made just a little while earlier. Luckily, my Winnie the Pooh empanada tasted much better than it looked!
The main course is steak, which you can have cooked just as you like it. Argentinians don’t tend to eat their steak well done. But if that’s how you prefer it, the staff won’t judge you (or not outwardly, anyway).
While you’re waiting for your meat, the staff will teach you some local slang words and hand gestures. Our table definitely had fun trying to use these. The wine flows throughout the entire evening, so by this point, you probably won’t feel shy about giving it a go either!
The steak was delicious, but the sides really blew me away. There were both fried and new potatoes. But for me, the highlight was the cheesy mushrooms. I’m not normally a huge fan of mushrooms, but these were unlike any I’d ever tried before.
By this point, I was pretty full. But of course, we still had dessert. There’s always room for dessert, right?
We started with cheese cocktail sticks, which featured a mystery ingredient that we had to guess. Don’t worry – I won’t give away any spoilers! Then, we indulged in an incredible dulce de leche mousse. Honestly, this dessert was absolutely sublime, and it featured small bites of tangy fruit that balanced perfectly against the sweet, creamy mousse.
By this point, I felt ready to burst. However, I had to make room for the alfajores.
An alfajor consists of dulce de leche sandwiched between two cookies and covered in chocolate. They’re incredibly popular in Argentina, so I was super excited to get the chance to make my own! I will admit the process was a little messy since it featured melted chocolate. Regardless, it was a lot of fun!
And finally, we finished the evening with a cup of mate (a local beverage that’s a bit like green tea). I thought that this was a great way to finish the night because, in Argentina, mate is much more than just a beverage.
There’s actually a whole mate ritual that is all about bonding and socialization. Plus, you have to drink it from a special kind of cup. We got to learn all about this ritual before preparing our own cups of mate and drinking it through a bombilla (a special metal straw that filters the leaves).
From my detailed, firsthand account, you can probably see why people rave about this dinner event. So if you’re already sold, you can easily book The Argentine Experience online here.
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
Check out the Viator website here!
Is The Argentine Experience a cooking class?
No, The Argentine Experience isn’t a cooking class. This seems to be a common point of confusion, but it’s actually an interactive dining experience.
You do get to make your own empanadas and alfajores. But other than that, everything is cooked for you. It’s more like a dinner party!
Is The Argentine Experience suitable for solo travelers?
Yes! It’s a great opportunity to meet new people – and the flowing wine certainly helps to get the conversation going.
It’s all about sharing and trying new things together. And since you’re placed at tables of 7 or 8 people, everyone is super friendly and chatty.
Overall, I think that The Argentine Experience is the perfect way to spend an evening in Buenos Aires as a solo traveler.
Related Read: Whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, I highly recommend visiting Bariloche as well! You can read about the best things to do and places to stay in Bariloche, Argentina here.
How much does The Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires cost?
The Argentine Experience costs $95 USD per person (for an English experience). You can also add a mixology class before dinner for an additional $25 USD.
At first, I thought $95 USD was a little bit expensive compared to the typical cost of eating out in Buenos Aires. However, given the sheer volume of food we ate and the insight we received into the Argentine culture, I can safely say that it was worth every penny.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, there’s also the option to enjoy the experience in Portuguese. This is a little bit cheaper at $85 USD.
The staff do put a tip jar out at the end, but there’s really no pressure to tip. However, we had such a fantastic evening that we were more than happy to leave a little extra cash. We felt like it was really well deserved.
Related Read: Those that love wining and dining will also enjoy Mendoza, Argentina! Click here to read about the best things to do in Mendoza.
What time does the Argentine Experience start and finish?
The Argentine Experience starts at 7:30 pm every night, so make sure to arrive at the venue on time. It lasts for about 2.5 hours, so you’ll leave around 10 pm (although I think we left closer to 10:30 pm). If you’re doing the mixology class as well, you’ll need to be there by 6:15 pm.
It’s really well-paced, so you don’t feel rushed, but you’re not waiting around either. And if you want to go for more drinks afterward, all of the bars in Palermo Hollywood will still be open! Plus, your newfound friends will probably want to join you.
What is included in The Argentine Experience Buenos Aires?
More food than you can shake a stick at!
Basically, you get two courses of starters (empanadas and picadas), a very hearty main meal of steak and three different sides, and then two full desserts. Trust me, I wouldn’t wear tight pants to The Argentine Experience!
You’ll also enjoy a few small bites along the way, like ceviche and cocktail sticks (which feature a mystery ingredient that you have to guess). I won’t reveal what it is here because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But don’t worry – it’s nothing that could make you squeamish.
As well as the food, you get a welcome Malbec cocktail and 3 different wines over the course of the evening. But when I say this, I mean 3 different types of wine, not just 3 glasses! The wine flows throughout the evening. Every time my glass was close to empty, the staff came around and topped me up without having to ask.
You also get a few short presentations on different aspects of Argentine culture. From the art of empanada making to the gestures people use when they’re angry, our host had everyone laughing.
The only things that aren’t included in this experience are transportation and optional gratuity. However, the venue is conveniently located in Palermo Hollywood (one of the top areas to stay in Buenos Aires).
Who is The Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires for?
Anyone and everyone! We were sitting with a grandmother and granddaughter who were taking a bonding trip together and a retired couple from Canada. There were also two newlyweds on their honeymoon, who were treated to their own box of heart-shaped cookies to make alfajores with.
This experience does feature quite a lot of meat. However, they do cater to vegetarians, too, and are super happy to provide alternatives. And for pescatarians, you can request salmon instead of steak. Just make sure to let your hosts know when you book your experience.
They’re also very careful to ask about dietary requirements beforehand too, so there’s really no need to worry if you have allergies or intolerances. I think that The Argentine Experience could still be really fun if you don’t eat meat. It’s not just about the food itself – it’s also about culture and meeting new people.
Basically, if you like food, you like wine, and you want to learn more about Argentine culture and one of the best cities in Latin America, then this experience is for you!
Related Read: Another awesome thing to do while in Argentina is visit Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires. To learn more about this beautiful destination, read my blog about planning your trip to Iguazu Falls here.
Why did I book the Argentine Experience Buenos Aires on Viator?
Mainly because it was super easy! Booking The Argentine Experience took less than 2 minutes from start to finish. Once booked, I immediately received an email with all of the necessary information.
One thing I also really like about booking with Viator is that you can communicate with the host using their platform, so it’s great if you have any questions.
Another big advantage of booking with Viator is that you can cancel your experience up to 24 hours beforehand and receive a full refund. You can also reschedule free of charge, too. I find this helpful as I often like to plan my outdoor activities around the weather. Since I had the opportunity to change the booking, I ended up rescheduling so I could go on this wine and vineyard picnic tour instead!
So if you’re looking for a stress-free way to reserve your spot, you can book The Argentine Experience online here.
Is the Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires worth it?
For me, The Argentine Experience was actually my favorite thing that I did in Buenos Aires. It was a really lovely evening filled with good people, good food, and good wine. Not only did I laugh a lot, but I also learned a ton about Argentine culture in just a few hours (which is super important to me when I travel).
Although the Argentine experience is designed for tourists, it’s all about sharing an authentic slice of culture. It’s absolutely perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the country’s food and culture. For example, before this experience, I didn’t realize there was such a big Italian heritage present in Argentina.
To me, making empanadas and alfajores was a big highlight of The Argentine Experience. You see these treats all over Buenos Aires, so it was really cool to actually make them.
I feel as though every detail of this experience was planned and timed to perfection. The staff make you feel so welcome, and the food really is amazing.
You’ll drink wine, make empanadas, and try new dishes with fellow guests at your table. This all works to break the ice really quickly so you can share a really cool experience together. When you’re in a big city (especially solo), meeting new people in this kind of environment is really nice.
Basically, I came away with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my tummy (as well as a lot of food!).
Other Activities to do While You’re in Buenos Aires
- Wander around La Boca – This is our favorite neighborhood in Buenos Aires! La Boca is famous for being so colorful and you’ll often hear tango music while you’re walking around here. There are some great bars and art museums or just walk around on a sightseeing tour or on your own and see what you find!
- See a tango show – Since Buenos Aires is the tango’s birthplace, you just know the tango shows in Buenos Aires are next level. But seriously we were blown away by the dancers and the incredible meal (more steak!) as part of this House of Tango Show.
- Gran Café Tortoni – Gran Café Tortoni is an iconic Buenos Aires coffeehouse. it’s one of the oldest cafes in the city and has even been named one of the most beautiful cafes in the world! This is the perfect place to grab a late-morning coffee or medialunas (Argentina’s mini croissants). You can also buy tickets to their evening tango show here!
- Shop at the San Telmo Market – Located in one of the most historic and atmospheric neighborhoods, the San Telmo Market is a huge indoor market with fresh produce, amazing street food stalls, and antique stores. The market is open daily from roughly 9 am – 8 pm, although some restaurants close around 4 pm, and other stalls and shops are only open on weekends.
- Experience the Gaucho lifestyle – Gauchos are Argentina’s cowboys and an integral part of the culture. To experience this firsthand, head to the countryside on this Estancia Tour, which includes horseback riding, a barbecue feast, and stories from the gauchos themselves.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you’re heading to Buenos Aires soon, you might want to figure out where you’re staying! Luckily, there are many great options in the city. As you’re narrowing it down, you can take a peek at our guide to the best areas to stay in Buenos Aires.
You don’t need to break the bank to stay here, but if you are searching for a luxurious getaway, you can find that too. Here are my top picks for various price ranges!
Hilton Buenos Aires – $$$
You can’t beat the location with the riverside Hilton Buenos Aires. You’ll be within walking distance to downtown and about a 30-minute drive from The Argentine Experience (without traffic). There’s a rooftop pool to relax in or sit down for a meal or drink at the hotel’s restaurant or bar.
The service is exceptional, and the rooms are spacious. It’s a more expensive place to stay at $250-350 USD per night, but worth it if you’re looking for a five-star experience. So for the ultimate luxury in Buenos Aires, book your stay at the Hilton online here.
Broadway Hotel & Suites – $$
Located in the heart of Buenos Aires, the Broadway Hotel & Suites offers really spacious rooms at a great price. The swimming pool on the roof has amazing panoramic city views and a sun deck to soak up some rays. The rooms feature large windows, minimalistic art deco-type décor, and bathrooms with marble fittings. You’ll also have plenty of choices for shopping and restaurants nearby, and The Argentine Experience is a 30-minute drive.
Plus, a junior suite here can be under $70 USD! To snag this awesome deal, I highly recommend you check availability and book online in advance.
Selina Palermo – $
Stay in one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires on a budget! Selina Palermo puts you close to the best bars and nightclubs – and in walking distance from The Argentine Experience. The place feels really modern, and there are nice extras like a rooftop bar, breakfast, and bike rentals available.
Shared dorm rooms with bunk beds are around $20 USD per night. If sharing isn’t your style, there are affordable private rooms with nice balconies overlooking the city starting at around $90 USD. You can book your stay on Booking.com or HostelWorld.com to secure your room!
Planning your Trip to Argentina
Accommodation in Argentina
Booking accommodation is one of the biggest aspects of your trip, and we should know as we stay in a new hotel up to 40 times per year! Funny enough, we make 99% of these bookings on one website and that’s Booking.com – and there are a few reasons why we use this site!
Number one is the website is easy to use and sorts accommodation options. That takes the stress out of planning, which honestly still affects us, and we do it more than not.
Second is the price guarantee. We have literally booked a hotel months before and then 1 week out found it cheaper (we always do a quick search), and they’ll match that price from anyone’s website, including the hotels!
And third is the Genius loyalty program. If you make a certain amount of bookings per year, you get a Genius discount. We are level-two geniuses because we make more than 5 a year. At participating hotels, we get things like free breakfast included, early check-in, and up to 15% off.
You can check out all their accommodation options throughout Argentina!
Renting a car in Argentina
We enjoyed a rental car for our second trip to Argentina when we traveled in Patagonia – and wow, what a way to travel! But the best part was that we only paid $40 USD per day for a 5-person sedan!
But how? Well, if you’re renting a car, the cheapest company is Discover Cars. We often get questions from readers asking us if the website is fake because it seems too cheap! It’s a great website and the one we used for our rental.
If you do want to compare prices (and you should), do a quick search on Airport Car Rentals too. They’re another big competitor, and each company often has its own deals to offer!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
In our opinion, The Argentine Experience is so worth it! It was my favorite activity we did in Buenos Aires. Not only did we eat heaps of amazing food, but we bonded with others and learned about Argentine culture. If that sounds like your cup of mate, I highly recommend adding it to your Buenos Aires itinerary!
And if you found this information useful, read my other blogs about Argentina here. This is such a beautiful country, and I really hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. Thanks for reading!