If you like beef, you’ll love the Mercado Del Puerto in Montevideo’s Ciudad Viejo near the Port and Ferry Terminal. Open daily for lunch, you’re guaranteed an excellent beef Asado eating experience here.
This is Uruguay’s palace of Asado, or grilled meat, with a huge variety of beef, port, lamb and poultry and a multitude of experts grilling on the Parrilla (Uruguay’s grill).
Mercado del Puerto is a lunch thing. It is open every day from around 11:30am to 5pm, and it is popular! Walk through mid-day and there are very few empty seats. The quantity of beef being grilled, being served, and being eaten is overwhelming. All that meat and not so much veg. If you’re craving non-meat, you can order the grilled red peppers (marrow), potatoes sweet or white, or a salad.
Asado usually consists of beef alongside various other meats, which are cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or an open fire. The grill starts with timber from native trees, the charcoal and embers are raked under the grill which is at an angle and the meat is placed over it in strategically hotter or warmer spots.
Best advise for apre beef fest? Walk it off…take a long slow stride along the Rambla and enjoy the sunset.
The Mercado del Puerto was built across the street from the Port in 1868 using plans from Britain and metal work from Liverpool. It does resemble Victorian era natural light markets like Borough Market in London. For a time, it was considered the most beautiful market in South America. In the past it was the heart of Montevideo serving as a food market each morning with fresh vegetables, fruits and meat with it’s proximity to the Port.
Today Mercado del Puerto contains a huge amount of restaurants that specialize in parrilla, and serve up lunch daily to a full crowd of locals and tourists. Located in the edgy and nostalgic Ciudad Vieja, it is still at the core of Montevideo.
Mercado del Puerto: http://www.mercadodelpuerto.com.uy/