Buenos Aires is one of the world’s great pizza capitals, at least in the sheer number of pizzerias.
You can’t walk a city block without passing a pizza joint, or at least an eatery that serves pizza among other foods.
Argentina’s Italian food spin-offs are all no surprise considering the large number of Italian immigrants to Argentina.
Most of the pizza in Buenos Aires is pretty good — not only because half of the city has Italian roots, but also because it is actually very hard to make a bad pizza.
While Italians and New Yorkers scoff at a standard Argentine pizza, Argentines maintain that it is the world’s best.
Opinions on pizza in Argentina run the gamut.
Personal pizza tastes aside, today Buenos Aires has more variety of pizzerias than ever.
Whether craving the traditional fugazza, an artful Italian pie, foldable New York Style pizza, sourdough crust or even vegan pizza — there is certainly plenty of pizza choices in Buenos Aires.
Argentines will grill anything, pizza included.
A few places have even tried offering pizza a la parilla — grilled pizza — but it turns out to not be as popular as you’d think.
A culinary shift is occurring in Argentina’s capital city: pizza is overtaking steak as the most popular dish for diners in Argentina according to the BBC.
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Argentine-Style: Deep-Dish Pizza
Standard Argentine pizza has a thicker crust than traditional Italian style pizza, no tomato sauce and an abundance of cheese.
Visitors who don’t like the pizza in Buenos Aires (and there are quite a few) complain about the thick dough and cheesiness, which makes it more similar to Chicago deep-dish pizza than a classic Italian pie.
This characteristic Argentine deep-pan pizza is called pizza de molde.
Pizza in Buenos Aires was originally meant to fed hungry immigrants landing in the La Boca neighborhood.
Those who prefer a thiner pizza pie will want to ask for ‘pizza a la piedra‘ — stone-baked pizza.
This pizza is cooked at high temperature on stone slabs and has a thinner, crispier crust.
The old standby is the classic mozzarella, always topped with at least one olive.
Other popular pies are the Neapolitan (with tomatoes and garlic) and the Calabrese, protagonized by chorizo (course meat sausage).
Typical extra pizza toppings include red pepper, anchovies, eggs, blue cheese, artichoke hearts and onions.
The American pizza topping classic, pepperoni, doesn’t exist in traditional Argentina pizza houses, but can certainly be found in Buenos Aires.
Fugazza & Fugazetta: Buenos Aires Pizza Originals
An original Buenos Aires pizza is ‘fugazza.’
It’s focaccia-like dough topped with an abundance of caramelized onions and sometimes a little parmesan and a few slices of red bell peppers.
It was invented by the son of Genovese immigrant, Agustin Banchero who arrived in the port area of Buenos Aires in 1893 and set up a bakery.
His son, Juan, invented the fugazza (‘fugassa‘ is focaccia in Genovese dialect) while working there.
With a hot-seller for hungry immigrants on his hands, he set up his pizza shop in 1932 in the La Boca neighborhood, where it still stands today.
A fugazza spin-off that is sure to bring out one’s inner Diego Maradona is the fugazetta pizza.
This more gluttonous version of Banchero’s trademark pie contains extra gooey cheese inside the crust and a generous slathering of caramelized onions and sometimes ham and red peppers.
Pizza lover can visit the original Banchero pizzeria on a private neighborhood tour of La Boca or go to one of their two locations on Corrientes Avenue.
Those who can’t wait to visit Buenos Aires can also visit their first international location in Miami Beach.
Fainá: Buenos Aires Pizza Accompaniment
Around Buenos Aires, Genovese style pizza is often accompanied by fainá, a flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Known as ‘farinata’ in Italy, fainá is designed to be doubled up with the pizza for ‘pizza a caballo,‘ or piggyback pizza.
Fancier versions of fainá include Parmesan cheese, rosemary and onion powder.
Argentina’s tiny population of vegetarians and vegans love fainá because it’s a healthy way to get some protein with your meal and is not so bad plain.
Moscato, Pizza & Fainá
Moscato is a sweet, fruity wine that is another common accompaniment to pizza in very traditional Buenos Aires pizzerias.
Although the muscat grape is used to make wine around the world, it is also produced in the Argentine provinces of Mendoza and San Juan.
An Argentine classic with which you can’t go wrong is the universal combination, honored in song, ‘moscato-pizza-y-fainá‘.
Traditional Pizza Places in Buenos Aires
First try traditional Argentine-style pizza at long-running Buenos Aires’ pizzerias downtown such as Güerrín, El Cuartito, El Palacio de la Pizza and the aforementioned Banchero to get a baseline for what is considered good Argentine pizza.
Pizzeria La Mezzetta was lower profile until it was featured on the Netflix series, ‘Street Food Latin America.’ The Chacarita’s neighborhood pizzeria dates to the 1930s.
If in the Abasto neighborhood and looking for cheesy, traditional Argentine pizza try Pin Pun, along Corrientes Avenue.
For a new twist on the old, Güerrin recently added vegan pizza to their menu, after protesters descended on the pizza joint on World Vegan Day.
Vegans and celiacs will also be interested to know that there is also a small Buenos Aires chain called Pizza Vegan, who makes gluten-free vegan pizza, with dough made of potatoes.
Buenos Aires Pizzerias with Fancier Pies
Authenticity separates a really good pizza joint from the rest.
Buenos Aires best pizza is served in the simple style of the Italian peninsular — a thin, wood-fire cooked base, adorned with extra virgin olive oil and a rich tomato sauce is the starting point.
From there it is simply a matter of adding a couple of high quality, fresh ingredients to make the perfect pizza pie.
No overloading of cheese, not too many toppings, flavored with a little garlic, basil or oregano – simple and delicious.
The true pizza connoisseur will want a traditional Neapolitan style-pie made by a real pizzaiolo (pizza chef).
Siamo nel Forno, Costa Rica 5886, is a favorite with the fashionable Palermo crowd.
Another good bet in the same neighborhood is Cosi Mi Piace, El Salvador 4618.
The big winner on the Buenos Aires pizza scene lately is San Paolo Pizzería, which was voted one of the world’s top pizza joints by ‘Italian experts’ this year.
They serve up traditional thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza that is a bit on the pricey side.
They also have a good hard-to-find-in-Buenos-Aires fried calamari appetizer.
The weirdly-named The Pizza Only True Love from the restaurant Hierba Buena has delicious pizzas with sourdough crust.
Better to dine in at the Pizza OTL, although the pizza may even be worth the two-hour wait for delivery.
Those craving New York style pizza-by-the-slice, with toppings such as pepperoni and portobello mushrooms, should head to Hell’s Pizza to try the ‘Obama,’ ‘Jackie Kennedy,’ or the spicy jalapeño-topped ‘Hell’s’ pizza.
Hell’s Pizza also has gluten-free and vegan pizza.
Another option for Big Apple-style pizza is the succinctly New York Style Pizza in Palermo Hollywood.
Those staying in Belgrano have some good options as well: Pizzaria La Fina, Teglia in the Belgrano R sector, or Pony Pizza in Belgrano C.
Also in Belgrano, toward Nuñez is Tognis, a traditional looking spot serving New York style pizza — even with the elusive pepperoni.
Those traveling with a a family or a group may want a range of different pizzas, in which case Los Maestros is a good bet, with three north-side locations and over 50 varieties of pizza.
Buenos Aires’ pizza chain, La Continental, is worth a mention, not because the pizza is that great, but because it is an unusually well-run business.
Those with hungry kids on their hands who need pizza quick can hop into one of La Continental’s 14 franchises spread across the city or get a quick delivery via their website.
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