Ña Serapia and El Preferido

Ña Serapia and El Preferido are awesome argentine restaurants in very different ways. both are small and both are super established in the community. both contain mostly locals but both are known to tourists. both have great “normal” homecooked food, though different types and with completely different vibes.

the main difference is that they both capture a different and well preserved part of the buenos aires culture. Ña Serapia is from the north and serves awesome comida criolla: empanadas, guisos, soups, tamales, etc. I get the tamale every time. They have an excellant couple of hot sauces that aren’t chimichuri and that’s really great. But this isn’t the reason why it’s great. It’s great because every time I go there the owner comes up to me and looks into my eyes and shakes my hand in a very serious way. Also, even when he’s not smiling, which is rare, he has this lighthearted look about him like he’s doing what he wants to be, like this is his first day of owning a restaurant and he wants to make a good impression on the customers.

El Preferido is completely different. The food is also homespun. My favorite dish is the tortilla de papas (potato omelete) During lunch it has many waiters wandering around and they never speak to you. This is another classic porteño thing. They ignore you perfectly, always finding a distraction elsewhere in the restaurant when you need the check. On the plus side this means you can chill out for hours with your orange juice as they flutter about you obliviously.

Both are intimate in their different ways.

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