Looking for the best seafood in Uruguay? The cuisine of Uruguay’s most eastern province, Rocha, is chock full of fresh seafood. It is easy to come by. You can often buy directly from fishermen as they bring their catches to the shore daily. Restaurants and paradores (beach bars with tables and chairs) take full advantage, creating tasty bites.
Here are some of our favorites:
Ask for: mee-nee-ah-TOO-raz
Bite-size pieces of white fish, dipped in batter or covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Served as an appetizer to share.
Buñuelos de algas
Ask for: boo-nweloz day AL-gas
A Rocha classic, seaweed fritters are served everywhere from humble fish stands to the most exclusive restaurants. Seaweed is collected in the morning, added to batter and deep fried.
Croquetas de sirí
Ask for: crow-KEH-taz day see-REE
Another Rocha classic, deep-fried croquettes made with sirí crab caught on the coast.
Milanesa de pescado
Ask for: mee-la-NAY-sa day peh-SKAH-doh
A breaded, deep-fried fish fillet. Most common milanesas are made with beef (carne) or chicken (pollo). Vegetarian version include eggplant (berenjena). But at the beach, it’s gotta be fish. A sandwich version is a milanesa al pan.
Ask for: boo-tee-YA
A bright orange fruit with a sweet and sour flavour which grows on the palm trees in Rocha. Locals use it to make a liqueur (licor de butiá). In Rocha, you might find butiá in everything from ice cream to elegant sauces for seafood to firewater (caña).
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In case you are wondering, Rocha is pronounced RO-cha. RO as in Ronald.
Check out our recommended hotels and restaurants in Rocha.
To get other insider tips about typical Uruguayan cuisine in the countryside and at the beach check out the Guru’Guay Guide to beaches and ranches. Our guidebook to Montevideo focuses on classic bar and street food.
Photos: Guru’Guay (miniaturas and seaweed fritters), CRebholz (butiá fruit)