María Castaña (25 de Mayo 605, tel. 02945/45-1752) serves breakfast, coffee, and good sandwiches. Empanadería Molinari (Molinari 619) bakes a variety of takeaway empanadas.
In attractive new quarters, La Luna (Avenida Fontana 656, tel. 02945/45-3800, www.lalunarestobar.com.ar ) has improved and diversified its menu as well, and now offers patio seating; the midday lunches are a bargain for around US$7. Reliable but unremarkable, the traditional Vascongada (9 de Julio and Mitre, tel. 02945/45-2229) serves Patagonian specialties.
Fitzroya Pizza (Rivadavia 1048, tel. 02945/45-0512, US$10) is a first-rate pizzeria with an enormous variety of toppings; solo diners can order half portions. Irish-style pubs are a staple in Argentina, but Killarney’s Irish Resto Bar (Avenida Alvear and Ameghino, tel. 02945/45-7041) is the first of its kind here.
In new quarters, open for dinner only, the bistro-style Mirasoles (Pellegrini 643, tel. 02945/45-6390) is best for Italo-Argentine entrées like ñoquis and appetizers like mozzarella caprese.
Las Piedras (Avenida Ameghino 1683, tel. 02945/45-5100) is Hostería Altas Cumbre’s upmarket restaurant. It has an abbreviated midday menu of pastas and Argentine standards such as bife de chorizo and a more elaborate dinner menu.
Take a taxi to slightly hard-to-find Mapuche (Las Lengas y Los Cipreses, tel. 02945/45-2440), in quiet Villa Ayelén just south of town on the Trevelin road—it’s worth the effort for their delicately grilled lamb (US$10) or trout, the ensalada caprese (US$5) of tomato, cheese, and basil, and a fine wine list. The high-ceilinged quarters are attractive, and the service is attentive.
Serenata (Rivadavia 939, tel. 02945/45-5999) has Esquel ’s finest ice cream.