It’s the unmistakable smell of beef empanadas baking that floats through from your neighbor’s window, or your suegra’s (mother-in-law’s) mouthwatering milanesas that you find yourself day-dreaming about weeks later. Or, perhaps, it’s the golden, flaky facturas served alongside warm mate on a peaceful afternoon. Whatever the craving may be, any native or tourist in Argentina will agree that carbohydrates historically play an indisputable role in local Argentina food. In spite of this, a recent cultural shift towards healthy-living and a renewed awareness of Celiac disease throughout Argentina has opened doors for those that choose, or require, gluten-free diets. Consequently, eating gluten-free in Buenos Aires may no longer be the hassle it once was. The current slew of options extends well beyond restaurants, with various stores now open for those looking to prepare their own Celiac meals while still appreciating Argentina food on their trip. Check out our guide below to prepare for your very own gluten-free shopping-spree in Buenos Aires.
Rojas Gluten Free (Rojas 42)
In Buenos Aires, Celiacs flock to Rojas Gluten Free, which claims to be the first and largest gluten-free supermarket in Latin America. Located in Caballito, Rojas Gluten Free is our insider’s tip to worry-free shopping for items that are gluten-free in Buenos Aires, as it’s fully stocked with entirely Celiac-friendly items. Apart from offering a diverse selection of Argentina food within their supermarket, the store also provides a smaller snack/café bar for grabbing a quick bite to eat. Note: their fully-functional online store allows customers to browse all their items, place orders, and request deliveries as well. This is ideal four tourists: you can take care of your shopping needs without taking extra time away from your Buenos Aires travel time.
CeliGourmet (Various Locations)
Those eating gluten-free in Buenos Aires are sure to know that CeliGourmet is a large and accessible chain offering celiac products throughout the entire city. This brand sells a wide array of exclusively gluten-free products alongside a variety of fresh-baked Argentina food favorites, such as empanadas, pizza, tartas, and more. While their website offers the chance to find locations near you and browse their diverse selection, you’ll have to visit a store to pick up your own order.
Barrio Chino (aka Chinatown)
In terms of places to visit, Buenos Aires’ Chinatown may prove underwhelming for tourists expecting the grandiosity of New York City or San Francisco’s Chinatowns. However, locals agree that although our Barrio Chino spans across only a few blocks, the neighborhood is known for having a vast variety of imported snacks and peculiar household ingredients. For a diverse selection of seeds and grains, head to ‘Casa China’ which also typically sells alternative flour options among other Celiac items.
Buenos Aires Market (Location Changes Weekly)
Food-aficionados in Buenos Aires know to mark their calendars for the nomadic Bueno Aires Market, which gallivants across town each month leaving no hungry shoppers in its path. Though the market does in fact sponsor a variety of booths that are by no means gluten-free (shwarma, sandwiches, muffins; the list only goes on) you’ll be sure to find some gluten-free items as well. Some of their more permanent gluten-free vendors sell organic legumes, cereals, seeds, and speciality goods, making the market the perfect shopping spot for tourists looking to eat gluten-free in Buenos Aires.
Any Dietética (Multiple Locations)
If you’re weary of a trek to a Celiac-friendly store, or unwilling to follow the traveling Buenos Aires Market, you can always visit your local dietética to stock your pantry with celiac-friendly items. Twenty-first century Buenos Aires is home to hundreds of dietéticas, with multiple available in each neighborhood, although prices and stock varies from location to location. Almost any dietética will have various gluten-free products, alongside a wide selection of seeds, nuts, grains, and other Argentina food staples. Combined with a quick trip to your neighborhood verdulería (vegetable stand), these dietéticas are a foolproof way to prepare a meal that is fresh, nutritious, and gluten-free in Buenos Aires.
Now that you know where to go to eat gluten-free in Buenos Aires, don’t forget to contact Say Hueque to plan the rest of your adventure in Argentina!
By Daniel Whelden