On the luxury end, try Cabana Las Lilas (Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 550; +54-11-4315-1010; LasLilas.com; $15-30), one of Buenos Aires's most famous restaurants. Lunchtime tends to be full of business people at this Puerto Madero eatery.
Explore the Argentine identity further by sampling food with native Indian and Incan influences, such as Palermo Viejo's Lo De Pueyrredon (Armenia 1378; +54-11-4773-7790; $4-25). A parilla owned by a descendant of one of the country's most important families, a meal in this restored gem of a villa will be memorable. A vegetarian haven where the Incan grain quinoa stars and the set menu offers visitors a truly unique taste of quality Argentinean meats.
Grab a pastry and espresso at the historical and beautiful Cafe Tortoni (Avenida de Mayo 825; +54-11-4342-4328; CafeTortoni.com.ar; $6-20). While now somewhat touristy, this was the hangout of the intellectual elite during Buenos Aires's heyday. Argentine cinema fans will recognize it immediately as the setting for numerous films.
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Nearby and abounding in beef is the moderately priced all-you-can-eat buffet-style La Bistecca (Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 1888; +54-11-4514-4999; $9-14). Despite its casual atmosphere, the seating and lighting make for intimate places for friends or newfound loves. And they really do mean all you can eat -- from meat to the overwhelming salad bar.
Another moderate choice with a view to all of Argentina's history is Gran Victoria (Hipolito Yrigoyen 500; +54-11-4342-3725; $5-12), overlooking the Plaza de Mayo. The staff is friendly and the views of Argentinean politicos are best enjoyed with something sweet from the exquisite dessert selection.
El Trapiche (Paraguay 5599, +54-11-4772-7343; $15+) is a Palermo classic. The busy parilla offers huge portions that you might want to order to share with a coworker. Jovial waiters and an easy approach to food in this family-style restaurant will have you relaxed in no time.
The gayest dinner spot, though the food is nothing special, is Chueca (Alsina 975; +54-11-4331-1702; Chueca-Restobar.com.ar; $8-12). You're really here to check out the table manners of the eye candy you plan on dancing with later.
Gay-popular Milion (Parana 1048; +54-11-4815-9925; MilionArgentina.com.ar), in Recoleta, is an amazing space. Housed in a building from 1913 and showcasing contemporary art throughout, this restaurant-lounge is a perfect place to drop in for a decadent dinner, some tantalizing tapas, or just for a drink and to soak up the atmosphere.