Thanks to the boom in oenotourism in the Province of Mendoza, the demand for top quality dining from tourists from all over the world is soaring and Mendoza is meeting these expectations brilliantly. In addition to the restaurants located at wineries, there are many more that hit the gastronomic heights. Here, we share six restaurants in Mendoza and beyond that are worth keeping in mind.
Non-winery restaurants in Mendoza
Brindillas, Luján de Cuyo
Brindillas has been a leading light on the gastronomic scene for more than ten years. Founded by the experienced chefs Mariano Gallego and Florencia D’Amico, it was the first restaurant in Mendoza to serve a tasting menu. The seven or ten course options are constantly changing – depending on the quality ingredients available – making it an obligatory gastronomic stop. Some of the dishes are Chef’s classics, like the paté bonbon with sweet wine and the lemon sorbet with yerba mate, others are unmissable, like the goat’s cheese tart with honey jelly or the sweetmeats with carrots. They are paired with different glasses of wine from across the country, or one can choose a bottle from the dozens on the list.
Azafrán, City of Mendoza
Another of the outstanding non-winery restaurants in Mendoza is run by Sebastián Weigandt and showcases a range of expertise, techniques and aesthetics with its dishes and wines. The chef recommends the 7-era menu: 14 dishes that take you on a tour of Mendoza, its culture, products and the chef’s vision of cooking. Some are reinterpretations of local classics such as the tomaticán or iconic produce like algarroba, goat’s cheese, goat, and local vegetables. There are also three and four era options. The wines are sourced from local terroirs and others from across Argentina with every region represented. Reserving in advance on their web site is highly recommended.
Ruda, Gualtallary, Tupungato
Two years ago, six young entrepreneurs decided to open up a different kind of establishment in Gualtallary surrounded by nature with the Cordón del Plata range in the background. Headed up by Gastón Trama and Camila Cerezo Pawlak and backed by the Grupo Alfoz (who are also responsible for the restaurants found at Achaval Ferrer and Antigal), they produce, as they put it: “liberated but committed cooking.”
Although the cuisine isn’t exclusively plant-based or vegetarian, Gastón’s concept does focus on the use of vegetables without overlooking proteins. The dishes are enhanced by preserves, fermented products, jellies, jams and vinegars with a versatile menu that changes throughout the year. The wines are chosen by Camila, and establish a dialogue between the food and local producers – one of the most interesting in recent times – as well as a range of wineries from across the country, with the list featuring over 110 labels.
Criolla, Godoy Cruz
Located in Planta Uno, a market run inside a former factory, Criolla is the third and most informal of the Lagarde winery’s gastronomic projects and the only one not linked to a winery. It offers a range of dynamic, top-class cuisine with a packed calendar of activities and a range of excellent regional products. Criolla is a winery parrilla in which the emphasis is on wine. The most popular pairing among regular diners is the Criolla, a rosé designed by Lagarde especially for the project that proved so successful the winery added it to its portfolio.
Here you’ll find the classic cuts of Argentine beef cooked on a wood-fired barbecue, with pasta and sandwiches, as well as produce and flavor-focused small plates. One can choose wine by the glass or bottles to go with them. One of the greatest restaurants in Mendoza.
The Nook, City of Mendoza and Maipú
Inspired by the culinary passion of Victoria and Carolina Colombi, The Nook was founded seven years ago and serves relaxed, fresh food at its two branches. Run according to a street food concept, the sisters bring all their experience and extensive travels to bear under the motto “eat well and have a good time!” One of the most requested classics is the lasagna in its different incarnations (eggplant, ham and cheese or moussaka), and the wraps. The cornflower alfajores are favorites among the 15 unmissable desserts.
Reservations can be made here.
Centauro, City of Mendoza
The winner of a Golden Award for Restaurant Excellence at the Best Of Wines Tourism, Mendoza 2024, since it opened in 2023 Centaurohas made a name for itself among the restaurants in Mendoza. Under Chef Diego Tapia, it takes you on a tour of the province via different ingredients and flavors. In addition to pairings with wines from all over the country, they focus on the overall culinary experience, complemented by the oenology. The pairing menu is highly recommended and reflects Centauro’s true identity. A stand-out dish is “La Flor del Desierto”, which features zucchini, cheese and celery gazpacho.