Try Plaza Pueblo (Avenida San Martín and Coronel Pérez) for coffee, croissants, sandwiches, and desserts. Cozy, comfortable Abolengo (Avenida San Martín 806, tel. 02972/42-7732) is ideal for rich hot chocolate on a cool night.
Pizzería La Nonna (Capitán Drury 857, tel. 02972/42-2223) serves about 30 varieties of pizza, including wild boar, trout, and venison, plus calzones and empanadas. It gets noisy, though—either take earplugs, go early or late, or consider takeout.
Reservations are advisable for the mom-and-pop Mónica Due (Rivadavia 759, tel. 02972/42-3643), which has only seven tables but authentic Italian pastas, from Bologna by way of Costa Rica, served with genuine warmth. Mediocre pesto may be the main shortcoming of Italo-Argentine cuisine, but here it’s the real thing. Prices are reasonable, around US$7–9 per entrée.
Similarly small and popular, Doña Guille (Mariano Moreno 885, tel. 02972/42-3378) specializes in trout, venison (with a sweet and sour raspberry sauce, US$12), and pastas. The kitchen can be slow, but the results indicate attention to detail.
New in 2008, Dama Juana (Coronel Pérez 860, tel. 02972/41-1941, nightly from 6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) is a combination restaurant–wine bar with a good regional menu and fine service.
Dinner lines form early outside popular parrillas like Mendieta (San Martín 713, tel. 02972/42-9301) and Patagonia Piscis (Villegas 598, tel. 02972/42-3247), which also serves fish and game. The service can be erratic, though.
For a romantic dinner, try the understated La Reserva (Belgrano 940, tel. 02972/42-8734, www.lareservarestaurant.com.ar ), serving moderately priced (from US$10) Patagonian tapas, salads, and entrées like squash panzotti. It also offers Tuesday-night dinners (US$16) where each of three courses is paired with wines from a different bodega.
For ice cream, try Charlot (Avenida San Martín 467, tel. 02972/42-8561), with dozens of imaginative flavors. Abuela Goye (Capitán Drury 812, tel. 02972/42-9409) is also outstanding and has superb chocolate confections.