The Port Market—Disneyland for carnivores—is not to be missed but don’t fall into the tourist traps. At Verónica’s, you’re guaranteed great steak & Uruguayan asado.
Yes, if you have a look at Don’s comment below, he perceptively notes that to the untrained eye, the stands in the Port Market, billowing with smoke and flames, all look the same. But it’s really not the case. Some—as Don found out—are total tourist traps.
That’s why we realised it was really important to be able to recommend you a great place so that you’re left with a great taste in your mouth, not a sour one.
Cabaña Verónica is our top pick in the Port Market for a guaranteed high quality Uruguayan parrilla* adventure done right.
All of the Uruguayan BBQ favourites are on display. So what to ask for?
We’d recommend a Uruguayan asado. Also known as tira de asado, it’s a huge portion of beef short ribs and it’s what the locals order.
Foreign visitors tend to go for the baby beef (ribeye steak), which is well-marbled and positively luscious.
If you’re feeling adventurous consider mollejas (sweetbreads), morcilla (blood sausage) or a pork or chicken pamplona.
The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo goes into lots of details about these dishes and other unique-to-Uruguay delicacies and we interviewed Verónica on how to ask the correct meat ‘doneness’ in Uruguay.
Owner Verónica took over the business years ago from her parents, who established the restaurant in 1987. It continues to be a family affair, with her brother owning the stand next door. La Cabaña de Verónica is the only woman-owned stand in the Port Market. We salute Verónica for her resilience!
What you should know
Definitely choose to sit at the bar and watch the grill meisters at work. The restaurant can get busy on weekends and the team handles it like a well-oiled machine, with time to spare to pose for photos with guests.
Consult your friendly waiter before ordering The staff may look young but they’ve all been around for years and are happy to guide you toward the right dishes and cuts for your preference. Half portions are available.
This is a meat-heavy experience You’re after the best steak experience in Montevideo, right? However there are seafood and vegetarian options available. A side dish not to miss (if you have room enough!) is the baked potato (papa al plomo) topped with roquefort cheese.
*parrilla = barbecue in Uruguay
Mercado del Puerto = Port Market in Spanish
Photos: Cabaña Verónica