Louise Carr de Olmedo
Eating in a wholesome, sustainable way in this urban metropolis is a challenge. But persist because the rewards are rich – for your health, and your taste buds. Rest assured you can find a thriving, fresh organic food movement in Buenos Aires. You’ve just got to know where to look.
Can You Find Organic Food in Argentina?
The organic food movement in Argentina has a relatively short history. In 1985 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates only five farmers were producing organically. During the 90s, the organic sector became more professional and organised.¡ and Argentina was certified fit to export organic produce to the EC. Now Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of certified organic apples and pears and a number of organizations inspect produce for organic standards.
Thanks to physical conditions like naturally fertile soil, low use of chemicals in conventional farming, low pest levels, and plenty of virgin land, the conversion to organic production is easier in Argentina than other countries. But organic food has not been wildly popular in the general market, where people are disinclined to pay more for something they don’t see as being “better”. If you’re looking for organic food in Argentina, you do have to dig deep sometimes. But Buenos Aires is the best place to find it.
Supermarkets sell organic food but intermittently, and you are most likely to find it in speciality stores as well as direct from farms and through home delivery companies.
Take a quick trip through the Buenos Aires neighbourhoods to find the places where organic food is definitely on the menu.
Buenos Aires Verde
This warm, friendly little restaurant has one of the most extensive menus in the city for organic, wholesome food. Buenos Aires Verde works exclusively with organic produce, and products free from agrochemicals. Your body and soul will thank you for a few meals here: raw, cooked, celiac, vegan, tofu, activated….. with all your most-craved ingredients, in plenty of exciting combinations. Every big dish comes with a mountain of green leaves, seasonal veg, grains, and special extras depending on your selection.
And dessert…. it’s absolutely good for you, right? Take a look at this smooth, fat slice of raw chocolate cake lusciousness with fresh passion fruit helado. It’s worth trying to find room for dessert after your main.
The tiny and well-formed almacen of organic and natural ingredients is also worth a visit. Pick up raw mini truffles, vegan apple cake, maca, activated nuts and seeds, local olive oils, fine wines, herbs, and condiments.
Costa Rica 5893
A bright, sunny haven for organic, fresh and wholesome food, Artemísia serves an ever-changing menu of healthy products, plus a tempting array of baked goods, made using organic produce where possible.
Menu of the day when I visited was a choice between wholegrain mini pizza with carrot dip and grilled vegetables followed by falafels with a bountiful green salad including Yamani rice and red onions, ginger panna cotta, or salmon teriyaki with roast potatoes and salad.
Proud to be the first organic restaurant in Buenos Aires, Bio is a stalwart in the city for green, clean, live and organic delicacies.
With a rich and varied menu full of seasonal surprises, you are unlikely to eat the same way twice at Bio. highlights include green curry with spicy seasonal vegetables, whole-wheat pizza with arugula, olive paste and parmesan cheese (or Yamani rice pizza without the flour), huge and well-presented salads suitable for vegans, celiacs, and those hankering after something clean and green, raw soups, tofu milanesas, nuts and vegetables burgers, and mouth-watering desserts.
The restaurant also runs regular organic cooking classes and there is a small deli selling organic produce so you can recreate your Bio favourites at home.
Ohsawa moved from Belgrano to its Palermo location in 2015 and now occupies a sunny corner on Honduras, serving a special selection of macrobiotic dishes. Get your fix of healthy favourites like tofu, miso, seitan, and alga – Ohsawa uses organic vegetables as well as marine salts, organic tofu, pollo del campo, organic soy sauce, and whole-wheat pastas in its wholesome recipes.
Mercado de Economía Solidaria Bonpland
Open from 10am to 8pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, this community market showcases a number of small producers selling their fresh organic produce. Look out for organic chicken, organic dairy, fresh produce, herbs, dried produce, and drinks. The feel of the place is definitely grassroots, and there are regular sales of handmade clothes, cultural events, fundraising drives, and community social activities.
Esquina de las Flores
Beautifully cheery and packed with organic foodie goodness, La Esquina de las Flores is a healthy-eating institution in the city. Take a seat on the pavement for a quick meal of tasty tarts and salads, or relax in the airy, high-ceilinged dining room. Shop for bread, biscuits, pulses, flours, and more in the mini deli. You can also find its self-branded products on sale in other health food stores (featured image).
This atmospheric and cosy local deli/ café in San Telmo uses mainly organic fruit and vegetables for its tasty, natural dishes. The menu highlights some filling salads, grilled meats and fish, soups, smoothies, wraps, and more. A cool place to hang out when you’re in the area.
San Telmo Verde Feria Orgánica
Don’t miss this little organic gem when you’re in San Telmo. The Verde Feria takes place every Tuesday and Friday from 10am to 8pm. Fill up your shopping bag with organic milk, yogurt, fresh veggies and fruit, chocolate, pastries, and more. The market is small but always offers an interesting selection of organic products from small producers.
El Rincón Orgánico
El Rincón Orgánico is 100% organic, has a small bar, and offers delivery on organic products. The BioBar is a spacious, welcoming place serving fresh, light dishes. Delivery options include everything from fruit and vegetables to fresh chicken, olive oil, puddings, cakes, and wine.
For the widest selection of tempting, hard-to-find products from around the world, head to Chinatown (Barrio Chino) in Belgrano. As well as that all-important Sriracha sauce and fresh sushi, you’ll find a wide variety of organic produce – head to Casa China on Arribeños 2173, a one-stop store for all your healthy, delicious organic needs. And then walk around the corner to Tina & Co on Mendoza 1678 for a more upmarket, gourmet organic shopping experience. There are also a couple of New Garden stores in Belgrano – this chain is found throughout the city and sells a selection of organic produce.
Organic Food Markets
El Galpon, Chacarita
Federico Lacroze 4171
Find El Galpon where many visitors fear to tread…. at the end of a winding alley, next to the Federico Lacroze station in the barrio of Chacarita. And you’ll encounter a beautiful organic garden, sweet market and a parrilla restaurant serving good, wholesome food to excellent standards. Plus, you’ll be able to pick up everything you need in terms of organic dairy products, dry goods, eggs, goats milk, and chest. And it’s not really that hard to reach.
Buenos Aires Market, Various Locations
eat your way through a truly sumptuous display of food and drink at the traveling Buenos Aires Market. This gastronomic feria is fast becoming a porteño favourite. Not everything is organic but there is a huge amount to choose from, as well as vegan and vegetarian foods, all-natural cosmetics, and healthy drinks. Check out where the market is traveling to this weekend on their Facebook page.
Or don’t trek to a market, simply fill out a form online or pick up the phone, and wait for the doorbell to ring. Since Buenos Aires loves a good delivery, you can assume organic produce is well-covered. The food is not cheap, but it’s worth it for the convenience alone.
Among others, Tallo Verde is a 100% certified organic delivery firm supplying practically all of the city and many locations in Gran Buenos Aires, Jardin Organico has a large selection and a range of discounts and organic boxes (also delivers all over the place), Verdes Sabores is a smaller operation, and Pachamama offers a friendly service and a diverse selection of products.