Dollar Up


I disagree that dinner in NYC is more expensive than in Buenos Aires. That's not true anymore, unless you compare strictly going out to something like a high end steakhouse, then yes, it is cheaper here. But aside from that, an average dish here now is over $10 and usually close to $20 also when you figure in you pay for water, cubierto, etc., so it's always at least $30-$40 a dinner here. In NYC you can eat well for $25. The quality is also much lower here.

Also the time frame isn't right. I'm not talking about 1975, in 2010 I was paying $10 here for a better dinner than I'm paying $40 now. This isn't just casual inflation. The govt. is doing something to keep the dollar low. I'd like to know why and how.
Most recently, I lived in NYC for 2 years until 2017, large blocks of time in Bs As since 2004 (bought an apt in 2008 and married to a Portena) and now also live part-time in Miami. If you think dining out in Bs As is more expensive than NYC or Miami, IMO you are not well informed. Eating for $25 including tax and tip will not get you much of a meal in in Miami nowadays and much less so in NYC. In my neighborhood Bs As bistros, I can get a steak, salad, and table red for about that (see Bar Norte on Talcahuano). Forget about it in NYC or Miami.

Yes, a meal that cost $10 in Bs As 2010 may now cost a lot more, but I think $40 is an exaggeration. Moreover, if I am paying $40 for a meal in Bs As (with 3 courses and wine I may do so at some of my favorite places, i.e., El Burladero, Rosa Negra, Vasco Francais, Marcelo in the InterSur hotel) then I am having a meal that would cost me almost twice as much at comparably nice places in NYC/Miami. When was the last time you dined out in those cities? You can not eat very well for $25 , all in.

As for the cause of the rapid loss of purchasing power of the USD, see the pieces linked above re managed float. I'm not sufficiently wise to have insight into whether the managed float is good economic policy by the Macri admin. For sure, the government is well within its rights to intervene so as to keep the lid on the USD. If you look through the other end of the telescope, a cheaper USD allows Argentines to travel outside the country (not many could before). However, unless there is a realistic and sustainable economic policy, then as in the past, the peso may reach a level of over-evaluation where it drops precipitously.
Bottom line is that I would love for one USD to buy me lunch and dinner (and a movie ,too), however, that is not very realistic. Nor can I empathize with those complaining that it is "not fair" or "wrong" that Bs As prices are approaching international norms. I can understand and do empathize with those whose life styles have spiraled down to the point where making ends meet is "tough", but that doesn't make varying currency exchange rates wrong or unfair. If you don't like your life style in Bs As, try to find a better place.
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The trend concerns me. How much more will things cost before prices stabilize (if ever)? Everyone has an opinion but no one really knows.
Well, I am only 62, so I only have six decades of experience to draw upon, but, based on my lifetime, my answer would be, NEVER.
Nothing costs as little as it did in 1960 when I was five. In pretty much every country I have visited, prices have not "stabilized". They just keep climbing.

And I have to agree with Julian- prices in BA are still very reasonable by global standards.
Yes, imports are very high.
But to eat in a good restaurant is half what it costs in Seattle, and probably 1/3 of NYC.
I subscribe to the New Yorker, and, every week, in the front, they feature a mini-review of a restaurant and a bar in NYC.
fer instance, heres a recent review of a neighborhood thai restaurant-
and, if you google the menu, you see the entrees are fifteen to twenty five dollars. add in sides, drinks, tax and tip (IVA is not included in NYC prices) and you easily get to 50 bucks a head. Thats a 1000 pesos a person.

An equivalent BA restaurant would be Sunae, in Palermo. And their prices are right around half of what the NYC prices are, IVA is included, and tip is half as well- I have eaten at Sunae, and pretty much pigged out, for half what it costs to eat in a neighborhood thai place in Brooklyn.
If you went to a Gourmet Thai place in Manhattan, it would be double that.

Assuming you skip the 1500 peso Kobe beef at Las Lilas, you can still eat amazing gourmet food in BA for a lot less than brooklyn.
There are no 60 peso choripans in NYC, either- you can get a crappy super pancho from a cart, for easily 80 pesos (4 dollars) I can go to my closest kiosko and get a pancho just as good for a third that.
And it goes on like that down the line.

Rich One

Julian.. thanks again for you insights.

Read thoroughly your remarks, as you mention above its obvious that you are not condemning expats with declining purchasing power . Comments were not directed at you.

Guess we all have varying viewpoints on the subject.


"the prices are $15-25 for main course"

yes that's exactly what it is in Buenos Aires now, but you have to add WATER, cubierto, etc., so it ends up being higher

disagree about "choripan" too in NYC you can get great street food for like $7 and it's at least $10 in Buenos Aires now.

I ate recently at Buenos Aires Grill. This is a normal parrilla imo. A steak, mashed potato, salad and water cost me 600 pesos, no wine. Given that we don't get the commercial rate, that's like over $30 for a regular meal. The steak was also smaller than in 2010 (that's another thing, they're cutting all kinds of corners now). To pay $30 for a meal without tip and without drinks in Argentina is absurd. Guys, you can get a better meal for less in Tokyo, Paris, and yes, NYC.

Coffee regularly runs me $3-$4; $4 for a latte in Palermo. Costs you $10 for a coffee and an ice cream, more than in NYC and other places.

$25 for eggs, pancakes and a water "breakfast"

gtfo prices are way out of control in this city

I was making the same arguments you guys are in 2010 or whatever because back then it really was cheaper than other cities in the world, but now it's definitely not.

The reason has to do with the fact that somehow they're keeping the dollar artificially low. Can anyone explain in a sentence or two why they're doing it?


Also, does the way Macri is keeping the dollar low differ from the way Cristina was keeping the dollar low? If so, why is it ok now? Thanks.

Rich One

Any increase of the Dollar rate goes immediately to prices especially to fuels/gas, that makes inflation spiral, the price of transportation raises the prices of ALL goods. Complaining will not bring down the prices. Just watch your dollars...o_O

When in Rome.... breakfast cafe and a medialuna, lunch a choripan with cerveza tirada, a milanesa Suprema with french fries... Only eat lunch specials , dinner prices are outrageous . Salad Specials in a Bowl can run more than a steak...! :mad:

Chino take out food is the best buy for a Single Person... :cool: Bon Appetit :p


Things were so much easier when I got here and it was AR$3.10 : U$D1 ... and Ugi's pizza was only 4 pesos, Marlboro $1.20 and a Pepsi 500ml 80 centavos!
Hi liz, Welcome to a new thread. A chance for a fresh start to share your legal scholarship.

When I first arrived in May 1975, I met up with a local businessman at a nice bar fronting Plaza Vincente Lopez. He was complaining about the high prices of everything. As proof of his complaint, he held up his glass of domestic whiskey and proclaimed with chagrin that the drink cost 20 pesos! I was somewhat bewildered because the cost in USD was about 25 cents. At that time, an apple cost a penny, a kilo of bife de chorizo at the local butcher was 25 cents and the hourly wage I offered my bilingual maid (she worked at the US embassy as well) was 25 cents /hour. That wage actually angered my neighbors because it was above the going rate. I regularly ate in neighborhood restaurants for a buck and that included a couple of courses with wine.

Then things got cheaper. I had a furnished one bedroom apt in a modern building fronting the plaza with a lease that gave me an option to stay for up to 6 months. My rent was 6000 pesos/mo. For my first month I had to convert $80 to get 6000 pesos (75 pesos per USD). For the second month I had to convert $60 (the peso dropped to 100 per USD). The rent for the 3rd month was about $45 (peso now going for 150 per USD). I left after 3 months, Had I stayed for the entire 6 months, the rent for the 6th month would have been $15 (400 pesos to the USD). Then Videla ousted Isabelita.
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In no way shape or form, dining here may be compared to anywhere in NA (from the Waldorf Astoria to a Waffle house).

"LOTS of things money can`t buy in Argentina" .... to re-quote MasterCard.

Let us be clear, ... no choice but to put up with Argentine atrocious taste (among other things), because of your other interests, e.g. if you love the sunshine, art, and architecture, ... or something like that.
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