Experience amazing cuisine in Uruguay
Specially selected best Uruguay restaurants —including the infamous Mercado del Puerto for steak, tiny places where staff worked at La Huella—for drinks, a gourmet chivito, Uruguay wine & fresh veggies
It’s not just the beef, stupid… though there are 3.5 cows to every Uruguayan. Until just a few years ago “Uruguayan cuisine” was principally a slab of grass-fed beef accompanied by a simple lettuce, tomato and onion salad. Things have really changed in the capital of Montevideo and along the coast with a boom in gourmet but still affordable eateries.
Back in 2016, I wrote “Uruguayans like their food plain, simple and meaty. Give them a well-cooked piece of beef and a mixta (the preferred salad of lettuce, tomato and sliced onion), and they will be happy.”
My, how things have changed, and how happy you, dear reader, will be. The last 5-6 years have seen a boom in good eating and a focus on local, hand-crafted ingredients—captured in the second edition of The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo . Nowadays (shock horror) it is even relatively easy to be vegan.
Where to eat – Guru’Guay’s Top Picks
- Beef – Cabaña Verónica in the Port Market
- Fish & seafood – Es Mercat
- Seafood tapas bar & restaurant – El Otro Es Mercat
- Uruguayan classics with a twist (and Sunday and Tuesday live music) – Bar El Mingus
- Bistro open noon-midnight with massive wine list – Baco
- Bread club – Pantera
- Wine bar & store – Baltazar
At the beach
- Amazing foodtruck on the coast – Lobo Suelto
- Seafood specialities in Punta del Diablo – Il Tano Cucina
- 100% local and organic fine-dining – Salón No. 3
- Fine-dining just outside the capital – Verne
- Home cooking with spectacular sierra views 360 degrees – Estación Penitente
Our favourite Uruguay restaurants, bars and services
Look no further for the most creative fine-dining in Uruguay—down an urban backstreet or hidden in a leafy suburban park—, to the best food truck & local cuisine, to the juiciest steak in Montevideo.
Guru’Guay only recommends eateries and Uruguay restaurants that we absolutely love, who love what they do and demonstrate consistently excellent quality.
Unfortunately consistent quality is not all that common in Uruguay, which is why a great recommendation from someone who knows is sooo important. We’ve visited every one of our Top Picks multiple times.
El Otro Es Mercat is a new Galician-inspired restaurant and tapas bar for seafood and fish lovers in Montevideo’s Old City....
Outdoor dining in Verne, the star of a new restaurant scene on the coast a short drive from downtown Montevideo, is a feast for the senses....
One of the best seafood restaurants in Punta del Diablo & open all year round. Family-run, it’s minutes from the ocean & specialises in home-made pastas....
The Port Market—Disneyland for carnivores—is not to be missed but avoid tourist traps! At Verónica’s, you’re guaranteed great steak & Uruguayan asado....
A French bistro with probably the longest wine list in the city and multiple by-the-glass choices is one of the best new Montevideo restaurants by far....
Over 100 lesser-known Uruguay wines paired with outstanding local charcuterie & cheese at this Montevideo wine bar open all day all week....
Overlooking Uruguay’s Sierras de Minas, with views reminiscent of Greece. Traditional cooking, Uruguayan BBQ & wild boar. Day trip from Montevideo & Punta....
We wager Es Mercat is the very best fish and seafood restaurant in the whole of Montevideo. Ask the chef to choose what you eat, for the best experience....
El Mingus is a one of the best restaurants in Montevideo—cool, contemporary, with the intimacy of an old-school bar. We love the great food & live music....
A new Montevideo bakehouse selling ‘bread and other stuff’. Bagels to DIE for. Their innovative club sends sourdough (& culture) direct to your door weekly....
The best traditional food in Uruguay between the airport and the beach. Chivito, seafood and salads, all locally sourced — & veggies from their garden....
Gourmet lunches, speciality coffee & pastries, out of an antiques store. Smoked hams, artisanal cheese & local produce from the Expendio....
Do you know a restaurant serving such great food with such dedication that they deserve to be a Guru’Guay Top Pick? Tell us all about it.
What you should know about eating out in Uruguay
With more than 200 wineries, Uruguay is the new world’s undiscovered wine jewel.
- Introduction to Uruguay wine country
- Tannat: 1 out of 3 bottles in Uruguay is a tannat Find out why
- Top tannats of 2020
- 2020 produced some of the best wines in decades
- Best Uruguayan wines (2017)
- 3 Uruguayan white wines you must not miss (2014)
- Uruguay wines vs. Argentina’s, who comes out top? Financial Times’ Jancis Robinson was rating Uruguayan wine highly back in 2014