Although Uruguay might not yet be as internationally renowned for its cuisine as other countries, the food here is undeniably delicious. Montevideo’s best restaurants serve up classic South American dishes, such as tasty asado – barbecued meat – and fresh empanadas – savoury turnovers. As well as traditional foods, there are also plenty of fine establishments serving international cuisine, including Japanese sushi.
This name of this family-run restaurant means unpretentious and the food here is just that. Featuring wholesome recipes passed down through generations, this is authentic Uruguayan cooking at its very best. Don’t mistake the eatery’s humble name for a lack of flair, however, and dishes such as Black River sturgeon with pumpkin purée put this old town restaurant at the top of our must-visit list.
Sin Pretensiones, Sarandí 366, 11000 Montevideo, +598 2916 9972
Sushi True by Danny Sadi
Bringing a taste of Japan to Uruguay, this sushi bar only seats a maximum of 20 diners so booking is essential. The food here is worth the forward planning, however, as, from gyoza to nigiri and maki, every dish is simply divine. The 30-piece sharing platters are ideal if you’re with a group and a cup of sake to accompany your meal is a must.
Sushi True by Danny Sadi, Obligado 1076, 11300 Montevideo, +598 2709 1388
Opened in 2002, this restaurant originally specialised in seafood before expanding its menu to include steaks and sushi. Renowned for its gourmet traditional Uruguayan parrilla grill, this eatery serves some of the highest quality beef, lamb and pork dishes in the city, as well as a range of other options including soups and salads. Top tip: to finish, opt for the crema catalana custard dessert – you won’t be disappointed.
Francis, Luis de la Torre 502, 11300 Montevideo, +598 2711 8603
Located in the Ciudad Vieja district, next to the famous Teatro Solís theatre, this restaurant has a distinctive theatrical aesthetic. Why not recline in one of the red velvet armchairs and listen to the lounge’s grand piano, while the chefs here create some of the best risottos and fish dishes you have ever tasted?
Rara Avis, Buenos Aires 652, 11000 Montevideo, +598 2915 0330
This cosy restaurant in the residential area of Carrasco has been serving up sushi dishes and traditional comfort food since 1993. We suggest starting with one of the eatery’s cocktails before moving on to the main menu that offers a great choice of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, made using local Montevideo produce. If you have a sweet tooth, one bite of the dulce de leche cheesecake is sure make this your new favourite dessert.
Café Misterio, Costa Rica 1700, 11500 Montevideo, +598 2601 8765