Porteños dress to impress. Looking good is as important as feeling good in Buenos Aires. The finest restaurants in the city employ an "elegant sport" rule, but few require men to wear a tie and jacket. A sport coat and slacks will suffice, even in most upscale eateries. Jeans are fine just about anywhere, provided they are paired with a smart shirt or blouse.
Getting a reservation in most Buenos Aires restaurants is easy. Most porteños make dinner reservations a day or two ahead of time instead of weeks in advance.
Smoking is no longer allowed in any indoor public spaces in Buenos Aires. If you're a smoker, be prepared to head outside for a cigarette.
In most restaurants in Buenos Aires a 10% tip is the norm. If the service was superb, 15% is appreciated. In bars you can tip a peso or two per drink, but it's not expected. Bills for parties of six or more sometimes include the tip; look at the check. Many restaurants also charge a servicio de mesa (table service) or cubierto, which typically runs anywhere from 10 to 50 pesos per person, and covers the cost of "breakage and replacement." It is the source of much local contention—those who don’t charge it often make it a selling point. If there is a table charge, many locals tip less, though it should be noted that the cubierto does not go to the waiters but to the restaurant’s owner.
What It Costs
Credit cards are often accepted, but many restaurants accept cash only. If you plan to use a card, it's a good idea when making reservations to check whether it is accepted.