Restaurants in Mendoza

August 9, 2023

Paul Kay

You need to keep your stamina up when you are a traveler. If you like wine and beef, you will love Mendoza. If you are planning vacations, Mendoza should be one of your destinations.

We stayed at the Park Hyatt Mendoza and we arranged multiple vineyard tasting and wine paired lunch excursions every other day. Madeline and I were so full of food from our lunch that we did not eat dinner on those evenings. We might have a snack or some fruit for dinner. 

Argentine mealtimes are different from what a US Visitor might be expecting. The midday meal is usually eaten at after 1PM in Argentina and is fairly substantial.  Unlike in the United States where in people take a quick lunch break, Argentina workers definitely take a long break and make the most of it by enjoying a hot meal and often share it with co-workers or friends.  Many times, on Fridays, it is common for office workers to go out together for a heavy parrilla or pizza lunch.  Actually, if you walk in front of some construction sites on Friday’s you’ll see the workers preparing a midday asado, sometimes even complete with wine.

Argentines also have a “teatime” snack many days. They call it a Merienda. You will find this meal commonly in Italy and Spain as well. It is a light meal in the late afternoon around 5 or 6 to fill the gap between lunch and dinner.  Commonly it consists of coffee or tea (or mate) and a sweet snack such as cake, pastry or tostados which are toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.

Dinner is generally quite large, heavy and served late.  During the week most Argentines eat at 9 or 9:30 in the evening, but on Fridays and Saturdays it can start as late as 11 pm!  Dinner can be some combination of asado, pasta, pizza, empanadas, or other hearty meals.  If Argentines are dining with friends or family it often goes on until the early hours of the morning.

We wouldn’t want to eat that late, so we found places that were open earlier when we looked for a lighter meal for dinner.

We had our first meal in Mendoza at the Uvas Lounge & Bar.

Uvas Lounge & Bar

25 de Mayo 1115, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Uvas Wine Bar Interior Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza Argentina

The Uvas Lounge & Bar was located next to Grill Q, the Argentine steak house. There may be a separate entrance to Grill Q, but most people we saw simply walked through the bar. We were somewhat ignorant of Argentina mealtimes but dinner for many restaurants did not start until 8:30PM or later. Luckily, the bar was open, and they had tapas offerings as well.

The bar has both an indoor and outdoor covered patio. The selections of local wines were very good, and we enjoyed our wines with some tapas. We tried the house empanadas, and we were impressed immediately. I had a hamburger and Madeline had another order of empanadas – yes – they were that good.

Wine tasting at Uvas Wine Bar at Park Hyatt Mendoza Argentina

The bar also has a wine tasting hosted by the resident sommelier. We arranged that with our hotel concierge and loved the choices she made for us. She asked what types of wines we liked and why. After that, we each had 3 wines to try, and we both liked them. 

Las Terrazas de la Plaza

25 de Mayo 1115, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Argentine local beer at Park Hyatt Mendoza Las Terrazas de la Plaza Mendoza Argentina

Las Terrazas is a very nice indoor and outdoor café. We had afternoon drinks there. It has both a large indoor space and a larger outdoor space. During harvest time when we were here, March, the outdoor weather was beautiful. The cafe interior extended across the length of the hotel's lobby, and the terrace overlooked the Plaza Independencia. 

Bistro M - Restaurant & Terraces

25 de Mayo 1115, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Bistro M Restaurant Seating Park Hyatt Mendoza Argentina

This Bistro M restaurant showcased an open kitchen and was the place we first dined for breakfast. Their breakfast buffet is exceptional. However, we also came back for their 6-course wine paired dinner at 8:30PM. 

Bistro M Restaurant Wine Pair Menu Park Hyatt Mendoza Argentina

Yes, that is late for most tourists, but it’s considered somewhat early for locals. The chef created Mendoza flavors with regional products and seasonings. All dishes were showcased in their exclusive wood burning oven from their open kitchen.

The six-course wine dinner was wonderful. Six courses seemed like quite a lot of food, and it was. The portions were a bit smaller but still the quantity was somewhat overwhelming. Luckily, the pacing was equal to the meal, so we did not feel rushed ever.

The first course included a Sauvignon Blanc with soup. Our second course was smoked salmon with a Chardonnay. The third course was a ravioli served with a Malbec. Our fourth course was a beef tenderloin with a Cabernet Franc. The fifth course was a dessert soup served with sparkling Chardonnay. Our final course was roasted fruit and ice cream served with a blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling.

Have you had enough food and wine?  We were stuffed but felt very pampered overall. There was no driving after this dinner, we simply navigated our way back to our room and soon were considering going to bed! 

Grill Q – Parrilla Argentina

25 de Mayo 1115, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Grill Q is a meat lovers paradise. They specialized in the classic Parrilla Argentina, but they had all the major classes of classic Argentine beef steaks ready for grilling. We did not go to this restaurant because we were regularly having either ribeye steak or filet mignon on our wine tours for lunch. When you are in Argentina, the vineyards feature beef as their main course and the only option is how you want it prepared: medium rare for us.

Maria Antonietta

Av. Belgrano 1069, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Maria Antonieta Italian Restaurant Street view with outdoor diners Mendoza Argentina

What a fun place this was. Amanda, our sommelier in Santiago, ate at this restaurant in Mendoza, Argentina. She knew it was close to the Park Hyatt, Mendoza. Maria Antoinetta was not an overnight success I am sure. The head chef and owner, Vanina Chimeno, had plenty of prior experience which allowed her to create a place where the common language was excellent food that was marked by simplicity and quality.

We loved the play on a famous name. Marie Antoinette. She is famous in France but somehow, she has converted to Italian. Vanina learned by traveling around the world, always thinking about the details of her dreams. Her restaurant is defined certainly by her cuisine, romance and its service.

We both had salads first and then our main course was pasta. I had the lasagna Bolognese which was prepared in a unique way. The chef first cut the fresh lasagna noodle into a ribbon rather than the large rectangle you always see. Then she twirled the fresh lasagna noodle around her Bolognese meat sauce with fresh cheese. It was then pampered with a lot of fresh tomato sauce and put in the broiler with more cheese. It was delivered as a bubbly delight.

Maria Antonieta Italian Restaurant Gnudis Pasta Dish Mendoza Argentina

Madeline had gratin ricotta gnudis with pomodoro sauce. I thought it would be good to look this one up and gnudis are like gnocchi. They are gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato with a coating of semolina. The result was a lighter, "pillow" dish. I thought gnudi meant pillow, but it really means nudes or short for nude ravioli. Madeline had quite a few of these gnudis in a similar bowl of pomodoro sauces with extra cheese and broiled so that the cheese melted. She did a very good job since the portion size was gigantic. I had to try a few myself and pronounced them wonderful as well.

Maria Antonieta Italian Restaurant Caelum white Wine Mendoza Argentina

We had a nice Torrontes white wine to complement the meal. The dessert menu looked exquisite, but it was simply too much food for us.  It was only a short walk back to the Park Hyatt from the restaurant.

If you read our other posts about Mendoza, you’ll see the four wine tours we went on. Each of those tours included a wine paired lunch, with filet mignon as the main course. We simply had no room for dinner regularly. However, one of the places is about 20 minutes away from our hotel. It’s a longish cab ride but it is certainly worth it.

Bodega Ruca Malen

Ruta Nacional 7 Km. 1059, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Lunch table reservation card for Kay at Ruca Malen Vineyard Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza Argentina

The restaurant has been open since 2004 and the simple goal is to offer the best pairings for the wines. However, wine isn’t the only featured player. All the ingredients used in their kitchen are produced in Mendoza. Ruca Malen was one of the wineries that pioneered the concept of tasting menu. Nowadays, they are known as one of the most successful winery restaurants in Argentina.

We loved this place for lunch and if you don’t mind the long cab ride back and forth, we know you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!

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