There are 45 replies in this Thread which was already clicked 461 times. The last Post () by UK Man.

Buenos Aires restaurants’ standard of cleanliness

  • I’ve been reluctant to bring this up, but I’m genuinely appalled at the accepted level of filth in even highly-respected restaurants. Dubious-looking rags are used to “clean” tables between guests, after which the cutlery is often placed directly on the same rag-swept placemats. Salt shakers, olive oil bottles, menus, etc seem to be de-greased very seldom, if ever.

    The bathrooms - don’t get me started on those open containers of used papel hygienico - seem NEVER to be hit with a mop or disinfectant.

    Do cooks and servers wash their hands? Does the Health Department conduct random inspections? And if so, is a restaurant ever closed for hygiene reasons? Or is this just another, potentially deadly, example of money changing hands to avoid regulation and inspection?

    Or perhaps inspections are not even considered necessary? :shoot-me:

    As one who loves Argentina, I object to casual “third world” references. But this extremely low standard of hygiene is strictly third world, and it should be unacceptable to all.

  • I prefer to eat out in cheaper 'choripan' places and while Argentina is not top of the tree when it comes to health and safety, I pretty much accept that standards in such places are not up to par.

    Frankly, I'd rather pay half of what they charge in so many of these poncey restaurants with dismissive service and spend my money in a shack.

  • We love neighborhood dives as well, but that’s a bit beside the point, isn’t it? Either there is a baseline standard or there isn’t, surely? Are there inspections? Ever?

    GlasgowJohn , are you saying that none of the restaurants and cafes where you live have open-topped containers requesting that used papel hygienico be thrown there? (Where flies can land before landing on the food being prepared…)

    We went to a vile restaurant in Las Cañitas earlier this week. So much worse than the bad-enough normal, especially the bathrooms, which sported these signs:

  • I've posted on here before we have a food serving cafe called Dickens where street dogs are welcome. That tells you H&S standards aren't taken that seriously. We do go in for a coffee every year just to see how the now famous Corchito is getting on.

  • Some bathrooms in the interior insist that you place used toilet roll in the bin provided presumably because the have a septic tank.



  • I ate out nearly every night for 11 weeks earlier this year. Only 2 of those weeks in the city more or less. 6 weeks in Olivos and the rest in Salta and Bariloche. I don’t recall encountering anything that bothered me in the ways you say though toilets can be an issue here and there but even then not that often.

  • It’s been a few years since we’ve been in either Salta or Bariloche, so I simply don’t remember the bathrooms. But here in BsAs, the open cesta seems to be more the rule than the exception. Even in very highly respected restaurants. Unbelievable.

    The Paris of the South seems not have followed the Actual Paris in its post-WWII modernization. While the countryside and the outskirts of Paris still had some appalling bathroom setups (including what was euphemistically called “Asian style”) as late as the 1990’s, in the city itself they were in the distant past 30-40 years ago. Why not in Buenos Aires, which was still in its heyday then? It’s crazy.

  • I think that's one of those holes in the chinaware with two areas for your feet and you squat over the black hole.

    Holding on while you do your business is another task altogether!

    Ropes, shackles and pulleys may be required.

    My fault! I was thinking tacho but wrote cesta; no idea why. What you’re describing, Splinter , is the Asian style. The open tacho is just a non-lidded trash container.

  • Oh so you mean a bin for tissue and sanitary items?

    Well, to be honest, whilst we don't have such things in His Majesty's United Kingdom, I think you still find them in some corners of Europe.

    I don't bat an eyelid about such things when I travel. I expect things to be different in other countries.

  • In several buildings, plumbing issues mean no paper in the toilet. I found it appalling, but apparently is very common... in Africa.

    Even in my school we have to throw the toilet paper in a bin, instead of flushing it down the toilet. And it is not from 1800, Id' say from the '50s. Ewwwwws!

  • Pretty much Cave Man era. But it bothers me only in restaurants, where I can’t help wondering what other hygiene standards are ignored.

    And yes, Bombonera , it doesn’t really bother me that much in eastern Turkey or Zimbabwe, where there are health hazards all around. But in an International city, I just feel there is no excuse.

  • Bangkok, no clue. Kuala Lumpur? Have never been there, but in Malaysia, we spent some time in the ethereal natural beauty of Penang. Waited outside a ladies’ room in a downtown restaurant for a LONG time on a rainy day. When I got in, there was a pair of muddy footprints on the seat. Asian style. It’s just a funny travel moment I remembered, but I don’t remember being urged to toss all paper in the bin. Mostly just here.