A Date with the restaurants at the port

The port is one of the city’s main attractions offering a first-hand experience of sea fishing and its sea product restaurants.

As expected from a city built on the Atlantic coast, Mar del Plata excels at fish and seafood cuisine. The Gastronomic and Commercial Port Center offers a wide range of fish and seafood in a typical setting.

We had planned a visit to the port, with its colourful fishing boats and sea lions. Besides, we wanted to join the huge number of fans who recommend its typical restaurants.

We arrived before lunchtime to walk around the famous banquina de los pescadores, the area between the north and south jetties from which fishing boats go out to sea. When we saw the red and yellow boats, we wondered how they would fare out at sea. Despite seeming small and fragile, even old-fashioned, thanks to the professionalism and industriousness of the crews, the most delicious fresh fish and seafood are harvested.

  • Lovers of fish and seafood cuisine

    Lovers of fish and seafood cuisine

  • Fried calamari, silversides

    Fried calamari, silversides

  • Colourful fishing boats

    Colourful fishing boats

  • Commercial Port Center

    Commercial Port Center

  • Outdoor tables

    Outdoor tables

  • Sale of seafood

    Sale of seafood

  • Typical restaurants

    Typical restaurants

Some of the boats were closed up, while maintenance work was carried out on others. We watched an artisan mending a broken fishing net. Our children were mesmerized by the sea lions diving from the decks in search of food or just for fun while others basked in the sun, their huge bodies spread out as if they owned the place. The seagulls completed the scene by circling over the boats in search of their rations.

We walked away from the wharf towards the restaurants on the corner of Martinez de Hoz and 12 de Octubre Streets. They are next to each other, forming a circle with parking space in the middle. As soon as we got out of the car, we caught a whiff of the appealing smell of sea cuisine.

While we were looking at the menus and price lists outside the restaurants, smiling hostesses told us about the daily specials and offered us fried fish appetizers. Some of the traditional restaurants are famous for their fried calamari, silversides and grilled seafood. Local customers, who know where to get the biggest helpings, the freshest dishes and the best service, recommend Chichilo, Minipez, El Centollón and Puerto de Palos, among others.

Obviously, self-service is cheaper than being served by waiters. However, there are show cooking restaurants everywhere which offer visitors the chance to experience the comings and goings of the cooks and grill cooks.

Once we had chosen the restaurant, we walked round the counters where the enticing smell of the steam and smoke made us really hungry. We took our trays and walked by the different specialties (fried, grilled, steamed) to choose our favourites.

The food was delicious, but we could not help noticing our neighbours had some dishes we had not seen and made a mental note of them for our next visit. And so it was we became part of the many visitors to the port of Mar del Plata.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Pablo Etchevers

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