Buenos Aires’ Chinatown, or Barrio Chino, is a lively pocket of oriental culture tucked in the heart of the Belgrano residential area. A small four-block area crammed with family-run restaurants, curiosity stores and specialist Asian supermarkets, as well as the Tzong Kuan Buddhist temple, Chinatown has been a popular gathering place for the city’s Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants since the late 1980s. For the majority of portenos (city dwellers), this is the go-to place for authentic Chinese food, with traditional restaurants serving specialties like egg fried rice and steamed dumplings, and a selection of Japanese, Thai and Korean eateries providing a wide range of ethnic cuisine.
The barrio also draws a large crowd during the annual Chinese New Year celebrations, when the central Arribeños street comes alive with a vibrant street market and revelers can enjoy live music and costumed entertainers. Even if you miss out on the main festivities, an evening in Chinatown makes a fun choice, so swap the steak knife for palitos (chopsticks) and the yerba mate for a pot of Jasmine tea and tuck into home-cooked delicacies like pad thai, black bean tofu and duck pancakes.