Cordoba Region is not the typical destination when visiting Argentina. But it actually is a well known destination for Porteños, inhabitants of the port and capital, Buenos Aires. It is not far, a couple hours by plane or an overnight bus trip from Buenos Aires. It is the second largest city of Argentina, but Porteños actually like to spend their holiday out of the city of Cordoba, in the beautiful mountains surrounding the city.
I went to Cordoba a couple months ago on my way back to Argentina from Chile. Cordoba is located close to the border between the 2 countries. I decided to stop there because I was curious of this region and also because a friend was celebrating her birthday there that weekend, 2 very good reasons to go!
The first few days, I stayed in the city to explore it and I worked in a few very nice cafés with good wifi. I particularly recommend the Club de Café (in the street Duarte Quiros). I always look for good places to spend a few hours with my computer and a nice coffee, wherever I go. I felt comfortable and safe wandering around in Cordoba, it actually looks a little bit like Buenos Aires, but more relaxed!
As a coincidence, I had received a message from Mati a few days before the trip. Mati got in touch with me because he heard about Take Me Cooking and he loved the idea! He had traveled a lot himself and was now based in the Cordoba region with his family. Since I was planning to go to Cordoba, we planned to meet. Mati has studied cooking and he’s recently opened a restaurant, so he told me he would love to host a cooking experience himself and it sounded amazing.
The following day, he offered to take us to visit an interesting spot near his restaurant and show us around, it was so kind of him! Mati was born in the region and he knows it well, so it was an absolute treat to have him as a guide for a day. We began that day by a 2-hours drive to La Cumbrecita. This village is beautiful but surreal, it’s actually a Swiss-German village that was meticulously recreated by a German family from Berlin who bought the land in the 1930s. It’s true that the vegetation reminded me of the Swiss mountains, but we were also bluffed by the wooden cabins, the street signs in German and the restaurants that served schnitzel and goulash and Bavarian-style beer! You can read more about the origin of La Cumbrecita in this interesting article by The Telegraph.
So we wandered around the tracks and stopped to have a German lunch in one of the many wooden cabins (there are many hotels and restaurants since the spot is unique and a great nature getaway).
After lunch, time to hit the road again, next stop: Tertulia Bar. Mati and his mother run this bar/restaurant in a small village between Cordoba and La Cumbrecita. It’s located in a beautiful green neighborhood and they make you feel at home! Literally, the bar used to be a house and the kitchen is at the center of it, completely open so you can see Mati at work. In the back garden, the traditional barbecue is ready for some yummy cooking as well!
We had some delicious craft been and a beautiful platter of picadas, a typical food similar to finger food. Cordoba region is famous in Argentina to have some of the best fresh dry sausages, cured meat and cheese.
Although Cordoba region is not in most touristy itineraries, I absolutely recommend to stop there, at least for a couple days, to explore this amazing region off the beaten path and taste delicious local food!
If you stop in Cordoba, don’t miss the occasion to meet Mati and learn more about the Argentine plow disc cooking style! It looks like a wok, but it’s actually much more, learn more about this barbecue cooking technique in this Los Angeles Times article.