For straight-up Argentine beef and pasta dishes in La Boca, El Obrero (‘the working man’) is a classic cantina with a grimy charm. This place hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1954, aside from photos of the numerous celebrities who have dined here through the years, including Susan Sarandon, Francis Ford Coppola, Manu Chau, Bono and El Obrero regular, Diego Maradona.
Wine comes in traditional Argentine penguin pitchers. Although the two brothers that run the place hail from Spain, typical Argentine food is served up in generous portions. The provoleta, fried calamari, puchero (a vegetable and meat stew, normally served in winter) and pastas with four cheese sauce are all recommended. The menu at this parilla is varied but most come here for the beef, which is top quality and half the price of fancier steak destinations such as La Cabrera.
Look for the daily menu options written on the chalkboard. This is a place to go with a group of friends, especially since the cantina can get lively and La Boca isn’t one of Buenos Aires safest neighborhoods.
Bogodón El Obrero—$$
Agustín Caffarena 64
• Hours: Mon-Sat, 12pm-4pm and 8 pm-1 am
• Closed Sundays and holidays
• Cash only
• Reservations recommended after 9:30 p.m.
• Extra Tip: Don’t wear a ‘River’ tee-shirt