Restaurants in Montevideo, Uruguay: Gastronomy & Typical Cuisine
During your trip to Montevideo, make sure to try the variety of traditional dishes, starting with Uruguay's famous grilled cuts of meat. The coast of Montevideo also features amazing fish and seafood that have been transformed into delicious delicacies by Uruguayan hands. Here, you'll come across everything from tender meat cuts and fish fillets to authentic gourmet dishes that will make your mouth water.
Uruguayan cuisine is heavily influenced by a combination of Spanish, Italian and French cooking, which have all contributed to the creation of traditional dishes such as "chivito" (small loin cuts) served grilled or on a sandwich, "matambre" (rolled flank steak stuffed with veggies and eggs) and desserts, such as "dulce de leche" (milk caramel) and "dulce de membrillo" (quince jelly), just to name a few. The spicy "chimichurri" sauce, known throughout the world, also comes from Uruguayan cuisine.
Whether at one of the traditional street carts or in the elegant restaurants, you'll have the chance to try Uruguayan "asado" (grilled meats) all around the city. In addition to the typical beef and lamb cuts, you can also try "achuras" (offal), sausages, hams, and "pamplonas" (rolled chicken, beef or pork stuffed with ham and cheese). The taste and tenderness of all these delicacies will have you coming back for seconds.
Uruguay is the country with the largest harvest of mate (pronounced "MAH-teh"), along with the highest consumption of mate infusion per capita in the entire world. In Montevideo, you'll see people drinking mate all over the city throughout the entire day, whether waiting for the bus or walking down the street. This beverage is more than just a drink; it's a social tradition. You can drink it raw and bitter (the traditional way) or washed and sweetened with different flavors, such as milk.
"Torta frita" (fried cake) is a traditional Uruguayan snack that can be prepared sweet or salty, depending on your preference. These cakes are similar to Venezuelan "arepas", Mexican "bunuelos" and German "krapfen", prepared with wheat flour and fried in butter or oil. They're made flat and circular with a small cut in the middle, and can typically be paired with mate or a nice asado. When covered in dulce de leche or dulce de membrillo, they make for the perfect dessert. You can find them in street carts, restaurants and bakeries all throughout the city.
With a majestic colonial style, this market was pre-built with iron in Liverpool, then exported to Montevideo in the early twentieth century. Today, it's considered the city's main gastronomic center. Here, you'll come across everything from classic Uruguayan asado to a variety of other unique specialties, all at convenient prices. Make sure to try the "medio y medio" (half and half), a traditional Uruguayan beverage that mixes sparkling wine with dry wine, the perfect complement to an asado meal.
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