On our way in from the airport, our Huentata guide, Victor, marked up a small map of Mendoza for us. On it, he showed where our hotel was located as well as the main shopping, eating and nightlife areas. We decided to check out his tips after our first full day in the city, taking an early evening walk on a Friday night. The beautiful plazas in the city were busy as we meandered over to Sarmiento Avenue by way of the main Plaza Independencia. However, when we reached the restaurant area at about 8 PM, the sidewalk seating was still quite empty of customers.
We liked the looks of the sidewalk seating at the Fagundo, and one of their outside waiters was very helpful, showing us their English menu and gesturing for us to take a seat.
Favorite Dish: We started off with their excellent salad bar (A$5 or US$1.70 each) which had a whole slew of great veggies such as tomatoes, cukes, carrots, potatoe salad, eggplant, olives, etc. For a main course, Sue had their '1/4 lemon chicken breast' which turned out to be simply a breast with a wedge of lemon. I figured it was time to try some beef, so I ordered the Mixed Beef/Chicken Brouchette with a side dish of Garlic-Fried Potatoes. It also came with a wedge of lemon but the chunks of meat were huge with nicely BBQed portions of onions, tomatoes, red and green peppers between them. I had a regular bottle of local Quilmes beer to start off the meal and then switched to the local 'Malbec' red wine later on to match Sue and her white wine. We both thoroughly enjoyed the meal and, by the time we finished, the place was full. It was very enjoyable taking our time over the meal in the warm evening breezes.
The total cost of the meal came to A$56 (US$19) and I left a good tip too for the great service.
This 'parrillada' restaurant became our favourite 'hang-out' in Mendoza, starting from our first night in town after the long flights from Iguazu to Buenos Aires and then onward. I walked the couple of blocks from our hotel to simply pick up a few quick 'empanada' snacks that night, fresh out of the oven.
We returned here for lunch the next day and even for a relaxing sit-down to simply enjoy some drinks on our final day in Mendoza. It is not fancy, but it serves good food and is very popular with the locals. They have a young man and a lady who hustle around very quickly seeing to all the customers with no fuss!
Favorite Dish: For our lunch here we ordered two nice sandwichs consisting of slices of meat, tomatos, lettuce and condiments. This was washed down by a 1-litre bottle of Andes beer and 2-glasses of white wine, all for the price of A$20 (US$7)!
Being a 'parrillada' restaurant, they had a big BBQ fire pit inside their front window, so if you want some meat cooked up on the spot, they know how to do that too!
It was 2 PM by the time our tour bus had completed the descent from the mountain peaks at Cristo Redentor and made it the short distance back to Las Cuevas.
We were well ready for a meal by then, having left Mendoza at 8 AM that morning. The Nido de Condores (Condor's Nest) was set up to receive large groups of tourists, so our small compliment of 15 people did not cause them any grief. After entering the door in the middle of the building, we were ushered away from the restaurant area to the left, with all the windows, and instead into the room on the right.
Long tables were set up here, with a food area on one side that you filed past with your plate. You could pick out an assortment of salads, etc. and a server ladled out your choice of hot meats to go with the meal. A long table across the end of the room held various bottles of wine (3/8 or full size) as well as other drinks which you simply picked up and took to your seat.
We both had salads and chicken with the customary lemon wedges. While I opted for rice, Sue went with mashed potatoes with what looked like hunks of hot-dogs in a sauce (buffet cost was A$11 or US$3.60 each). From the drinks table, we selected a small 375-ml bottle of Trappiche 'Malbec' 2004 red wine to share - good quality Argentine stuff! A dessert also came with the meal but, I passed on that. Altogether, our meal cost us A$32 (US$11).
It was fun sitting face-to-face with the other passengers on our tour bus since it gave us a chance to get to know them a little better and to kid around a bit. The group seemed to be in a good mood as we continued our trip back to Mendoza!
If you are looking for good, big portions at really fair prices, don't go for the parilladas at night but rather look for the family and workers restaurants that offer really good price-value meals all over the town except the main ped zone.
This restaurant is placed at the base of Jupiter and Marte trails. If you're a good skier you'll be skiing this area most of the time.
Santa Fe is nothing special but a nice place to eat, stretch your legs and relax for a while. Good food, expensive prices (for locals) and a great view of the mountains. After trying the other food places in the resort we stuck to this place for all our lunchs.
Favorite Dish: Try the Lomito Santa Fe (huge sandwich with tender beef, tomate, lettuce, cheese and egg).
It's not easy to find a nice place to eat at Las Lenas. Most of the places we tried had either poor service, unattractive menus or were too expensive (at least for locals). UFO Point turned out to be the nicest, coolest place we tried. Great food, excellent service and reasonable prices. The decoration is great too with dim coloured lights in a modern resto setting.
Favorite Dish: Try the Ojo de Bife with Rosti potatoes if you are for the meats or the Sorrentinos filled with Ham and Mozzarella cheese if you prefer pastas. If you're a pizza lover, ask for a Napolitana "a la parrilla".
This is a new restaurant with excellent food in Mendoza. Again, you can eat for 20€ what it would cost you 60€ in Europe, easily. It is sort of modern, author's stuff, but I asked for the 'lomito' (small tenderloin) and I got the usual Argentinean huge ration. The entry -camarones sobre taboule- was very very good, as well as the wine. There is live music (and you pay a supplement for it)
This is a good hotel, clean, friendly and well located. Staff are helpful.more
Hipolito Yrigoyen 774, San Rafael, 5600, Argentina
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Ruta 7 Km 1141 / 1142, Uspallata, 5545, Argentina
Good for: Families