A few serious bakeries have popped up across the city, introducing crusty sourdoughs and dense ryes to a city used to pasty white rolls. But if we’re about to break bread, let’s go for the really good stuff. Salvaje Bakery opened in early January and is already supplying bread to some of the city’s favorite restaurants, including Casa Cavia and NOLA. Head baker Germán Torres uses a six-year-old starter for his signature doughs, which you can enjoy in sandwich form in-house, whether with simple turkey or buttery, slow-cooked tenderloin, before you choose a loaf to take home.
Where: Dorrego 1829, Palermo Hollywood
When: Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
More info: +54 11 2086 6943; Facebook
The family-run a’Manger has been dealing cold cuts and cheeses for more than 30 years. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill ham-and-cheese picada, the traditional deli platter served at the beginning of a meal. The delicatessen touts two dozen fixed platters and a counter where you can build your own. The extensive menu includes simple staples like house-made gorgonzola, artichoke hearts and dried prosciutto, as well as house favorites that border on the inventive and bizarre, like tomato chutney and sherry cheddar. True to the neighborhood’s Eastern Mediterranean roots, you can also grab hummus, muhammara and baba ghanoush for the aforementioned bread.
Where: Charcas 4001, Palermo Soho
When: Mon.-Weds., 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 6-10 p.m.
More info: +54 11 4833 3095; amanger.com.ar
Behind a good restaurant is a great butcher. There is a reason why some of the city’s best cooks get their meat from Hernán Mendez. At his Colegiales carniceria PIAF, butchering is treated like art. Mendez and his small crew don’t just choose excellent meat, they know exactly how to carve it to get the most of every single cut. And if you aren’t so confident about your meat-choosing skills, they’ll walk you through the basic cuts or might just convince you to get weird. Here is one of the only places you’ll spot meats from animals like deer, wild boars, llamas and caimans. For similarly high-quality meats in the center of town, locals line up at the butcher stalls at Caballito’s Mercado El Progreso (Av. Rivadavia 5430, Caballito) — don’t forget to grab sweet empanadas at La Carniceria; they are prepared with ground beef and raisins before being brushed with sugar. And for fair-trade organic, El Galpón (Av. Federico Lacroze 4181, Chacarita) is a farmers market open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Where: Dorrego 1605, Colegiales
When: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
More info: +54 11 4778 9677; proveeduriapiaf.com.ar
Mercado Andino de Liniers
In the southwestern depths of the city is the Bolivian neighborhood of Liniers. Although it’s probably a journey that demands two separate buses for most, the pilgrimage is more than worth it. On the 100 block of José León Suárez you'll find dozens of shops specializing in Andean goodies: hot peppers, tropical fruits, rare herbs and aromatics, and endless varieties of beans, corn, flours, grains and spices, sold mostly in bulk and often at a fraction of the price of anywhere else in the city. Before shopping, grab a chair at a street-food stand (a Buenos Aires rarity) and order a passion-fruit juice and Bolivian empanada. They're made with a sweeter dough and they're double the size of their Argentine counterparts, stuffed with beef and potatoes and topped with fresh hot sauce.
Where: José León Suárez, at Rivadavia
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
She’s a sommelier. He’s a beer brewer. Could this husband-and-wife duo be any more lush? Victoria Beleniski and Gustavo Berman revitalized this drab Caballito corner last year, turning the space into a liquor lover’s paradise. Victoria filled the walls with wines from nearly 100 wineries and Gustavo stocked the fridge with a plethora of craft beer, including his own brand, Antílope. If you aren’t sure how to pair your meal, a simple suggestion won’t suffice: the shop offers monthlong wine crash courses to turn the novice sipper into a seasoned connoisseur.
Where: Otamendi 101, Caballito
When: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4-9 p.m.
More info: +54 11 2623 1156; Facebook
Ethnic grocery store
When in doubt, head to Barrio Chino. Need some Sriracha stat? Barrio Chino. A pound of codfish? Barrio Chino. Fresh mangos and Japanese cucumber? Barrio Chino. And if you really aren’t sure where to go, head to Asia Oriental. The massive (by Buenos Aires standards) grocery store doesn’t just have the most popular fish market in the city, it also has aisles full of sauces, spices and other products from all over East Asia that we could spend hours exploring. Lines are notoriously long, but avoid at all costs on the weekends, when the entire city invades the neighborhood to get its Asian food fix. For mostly Japanese fare, check out the quieter Nueva Casa Japonesa (Humberto Primo 2357, San Cristobal). Go on an empty stomach, because you'll want to eat everything on the menu at the ramen and udon shop upstairs.
Where: Mendoza 1661, Belgrano
When: Mon., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m.