It´s Sunday, and everybody is watching a soccer match. Some people go to the stadium. Some stay at home. Most go to a pizza place. Every Sunday, every pizza place in Buenos Aires gets flooded by people wearing the t-shirt of their favorite fútbol club (in Argentina, the word soccer doesn´t mean a thing, and they´ll even correct you if you use it. Better try the argentine version of football, fútbol), and people cheer for their teams same as if they were in the stadium. Even if you´re not a fúitbol fan, you´ll know when someone scores a goal thanks to the screams and cheers coming from your nearest pizza place. And believe me, in Buenos Aires, there´s always a pizza place near you.
Forget about steaks. If you´re looking for the real porteño culture, it´s not the steak house where you´ll find it. To understand the inhabitants of Buenos Aires, you must catch them at their natural habitat, and that is the pizza place. But wait a minute! Isn´t pizza Italian? Well, so is half of Buenos Aires, and it shows. Like the Italians, the porteños are loud, boastful, cheerful, and they eat a lot of pizza. Spend enough time in Buenos Aires, and everyone will try to convince you that here they have the best pizza in the world. Everyone has their favorite pizza place, and the debate of which is the best in town can be as heated a subject as politics or fútbol. So before you get into an argument with a porteño about how the best pizza is in New York or in Napoli, check out some of the best pizza places in Buenos Aires. Lots of greasy cheese, and the rare chance to see the porteños in their more relaxed, less fancy, natural habitat.
Founded in 1932, this is one of the iconic places in Buenos Aires. Set in Corrientes Avenue, close to the Obelisk and all the major theaters in town, Guerrin is said to have the best mozzarella pizza in the city, or at least that´s what they say those who support it as their pizza place. “A pizza place is as good as their mozzarella pizza”, I heard a porteño say matter-of-factly. If that is the case, then this is definitely one of the big contenders for the big prize. Their thick crusted pizza is an exuberant feast of cheese with olive oil and tomato sauce. The place is huge, and always full. Expect to have to queue in order to get a table on weekends. But if you don´t feel like waiting, you can also eat by the slice, standing on the lobby by the door, an option that many prefer specially during weekdays, when lots of people that work downtown stop for a quick bite. Guerrin, Av. Corrientes 1368
- EL CUARTITO
Noisy, always full, and with a baroque display of old artists and sportsmen pictures, El Cuartito is definitely another contender. Their fugazzetta rellena (a big pizza with onions and cheese, and stuffed with cream cheese) is the star of the place, but their other pizzas don´t fall behind. Try the anchovies pizza if you like fish, and you can´t miss the opportunity to try the Muscat wine. It comes in a ceramic jar, and with a soda siphon. It may not be very fancy, but it is a classic, and you will enjoy the experience.
Here also you may have to wait in order to get a table, but it´s worth it. Otherwise, how are you going to explain to the locals that you missed El Cuartito because you just didn´t have the time? El Cuartito, Talcahuano 937
Por Esteban Lleonart