Eating in Uruguay

Eating in Uruguay

What do the people of Uruguay like?

There are many dishes in Uruguay that originally come from Europe. That’s because so many Europeans immigrated here and of course brought their food preferences with them. Pizza and pasta from Italy and stews and rice dishes from Spain are popular dishes. Meat is also particularly important.

Bread and bizcochos

Many warm dishes also include fresh bread, including pasta. People even like to eat pizza combined with a piece of Fainá, a kind of pancake that is packed under the pizza. The whole thing is called “pizza on horseback” (pizza al caballo).

For breakfast, people like to eat cruasanes, the Uruguayan version of croissants, also known as medialunas. The croissants are part of the bizcochos, pastries that are also available in filled versions and are also known as Danish pastries. Yeast and butter are important ingredients.


In Uruguay, people love barbecuing together. It’s called Asado here and the grill is the Parrilla. Most of the grilling is done with wood and not with charcoal. There are then several types of meat and sausages, and salads are served. Barbecue sauces are also included. Chimichurri is green and consists of herbs, pepper, oil and vinegar. Golf sauce (salsa golf) is a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup. Salsa criolla is made from tomatoes, onions, vinegar and oil.

Chivito – the little goat

Chivito is a popular fast food in Uruguay. It is similar to a hamburger but contains a piece of beef tenderloin. Other ingredients include cheese, tomato slices, boiled ham, hard boiled eggs and lettuce. Mostly you eat fries with it. There can also be a Russian salad (ensalada rusa), which is potato salad with peas and carrots and mayonnaise. Make yourself a chivito too! You can find the recipe in our tip !

If you order the Chivito ” al plato “, all the ingredients are on the plate, but without bread. The dish arose when a traveler asked for a meal late at night in a restaurant in 1946. The kitchen was already closed and so they put a chivito in front of him, which had been assembled from the leftovers. The word actually means “little goat”.

Street food: Choripán, empanadas and panchos

A sausage in a bun, on the other hand, is called choripán (chorizo is the sausage, pan means bread). There is usually the green chimichurri sauce. Choripán is sold on the street like empanadas. Empanadas are filled dumplings that are popular across Latin America. They are usually filled with meat, but they are also available sweet, with quince jam, for example. Hot dogs are called Pancho in Uruguay.

Pizza and pasta – the Italian heritage

Because many Uruguayans have ancestors from Italy, typical Italian dishes have also spread. In many places you can get pizza and pasta, the latter in all varieties such as spaghetti, tortellini, ravioli or even gnocchi.

As in Argentina, gnocchi is traditionally on the 29th of the month. It used to be payday and you put a coin under the gnocchi plate. This was to evoke happiness for the next month.

In addition to all kinds of sauces, there is also Caruso sauce in Uruguay. It is made from double cream, onions, ham and mushrooms. The Milanese cutlet is also popular, a type of schnitzel. It’s called Milanesa here. This is also available in the bun.


A puchero is a stew. In addition to meat, potatoes, onions and pumpkin come in. Sweet potatoes, corn, carrots, and cabbage can also be included. Traditionally, puchero is eaten in several courses, with soup served first and then vegetables and meat from the stew.

Drinks: Mate tea

Mate tea is one of the most popular drinks in Uruguay. It is made from the dried leaves of the mate bush. By the way, mate was originally just the name for the drinking vessel. A pumpkin that becomes dried and hard like wood serves as the basis. This is called calabash. Mate is drunk anytime and anywhere, in the park, on the bus or at work. Traditionally it is drunk with a bombilla (a drinking straw) from the drinking vessel and passed on. There are also bizcochos.


Something sweet at the end always tastes good in Uruguay. Dulce de Leche, a caramel cream that is used for cakes, puddings or biscuits, is particularly popular. People also like to eat alfajores, double biscuits with filling that can be bought ready-made. Frankfurter Kranz or Black Forest cake brought German immigrants to Uruguay.

Eating in Uruguay