Exploring ExpatOwned Restaurants

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Montevideo, Uruguay, South America, has a rich culinary landscape that extends beyond the standard tourist fare. Product of centuries of blending African, European, and indigenous influences, Montevidean cuisine showcases the creativity and cultural heritage of its people. Yet, for many expats, the challenge lies in finding culinary experiences that feel like home. That's where expat-owned restaurants come in.

Discover Hidden Culinary Treasures

Expat-owned restaurants offer a unique opportunity to explore lesser-known culinary establishments in Montevideo. These off-the-beaten-path gems have a backstory that is often more interesting than the standard tourist hotspots. From cozy bistros to lively hole-in-the-wall eateries, each restaurant has a story to tell and a taste to share.

The Piazza Bella Crocheted Potato Salad

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the El Centro neighborhood, Piazza Bella offers the perfect blend of Italian charm and Montevidean flavors. A crowd favorite for many years, Piazza Bella's homemade potato salad made with a secret family recipe has become a local favorite. Expats, in particular, appreciate the warm, intimate atmosphere and the sense of community it fosters.

The Braai Brothers' Montevidean BBQ

For expats craving the quintessential South African braai experience, Braai Brothers is a must-visit. Owned and operated by a couple with roots in both South Africa and Uruguay, Braai Brothers offers an authentic taste of home in the heart of Montevideo. The menus feature traditional barbecued meats, fresh salads, and an array of sides that will transport you to a South African summer.

Bodega de Cerveza and the Magic 3

Montevideo's craft beer culture is burgeoning, with several craft breweries providing a unique twist on traditional Montevidean flavors. Tucked away in a warehouse district below the city's central hills, Bodega de Cerveza is a hub for quality craft beers and hearty pub grub. The menu features delicious sandwiches, pizzas, and sides, all crafted with locally sourced ingredients. A true hideaway, Bodega de Cerveza offers expats a taste of Montevideo's thriving brewing scene.

Personal Experiences

For many expats, discovering these hidden culinary gems becomes a defining part of their expat experience. They share these experiences with others, creating a sense of community that transcends cultural barriers. For example, Mateja, a Czech expat, discovered Piazza Bella while scouring the neighborhood for a place to enjoy a cozy evening with friends. Her first visit was a revelation, and how she's since been a loyal patron.

Similarly, Nashima, a Indian expat, found Braai Brothers when attending a networking event for South African expats. The rich flavors and welcoming atmosphere resonated with her and her family, and they soon became regulars at the restaurant.

From Appetizers to Desserts

Expat-owned restaurants in Montevideo offer a diverse array of cuisines and dishes that showcase their culinary expertise and creativity. From traditional favorites to innovative fusion creations, there's something for every palate.

Tostada Partida

A Montevidean institution since 1919, Tostada Partida is considered a must-visit for some expats.

With three locations throughout Montevideo, Tostada Partida offers the perfect complement to a late-night beer and empanada crawl. The restaurant is famous for its tostadas, with various toppings and sauces that cater to different tastes. For many expats, Tostada Partida symbolizes their ability to embrace the vibrant, accessible culinary scene in Montevideo.

El Hueso and Chimichanga Challenge

A retake on traditional Italian pasta, El Hueso's tagliatelli alla bolognesa features a heartychunk of braised veal shank and an assortment of cheeses that leave a lasting impression. However, for those bold and adventurous souls, the restaurant offers a truly epic challenge: The El Hueso Chimichanga Challenge.

This monster burrito challenge is all about setting your taste buds free and celebrating the culinary diversity that defines Montevideo. For $20, you'll receive a burrito stuffed with a pound of ground beef, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and sour cream - all wrapped in a soft, warm tortilla. It's a challenge that requires dedication, and if you successfully conquer, you'll also receive a free pitcher of sangria.

Join the Culinary Conversation

Expats are at the heart of Montevideo's gastronomic scene. By exploring these hidden culinary treasures, expats foster a sense of community and cultural exchange that enriches the Montevidean dining experience. Join the culinary conversation and share your favorites with other expats. Discover the unique flavors and culinary traditions that define the expat dining scene in Montevideo.

By sharing stories and recommendations, expats can develop deeper relationships with local communities, learn about the history and origins of Montevidean cuisine, and build a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience.


Expat-owned restaurants play a crucial role in the Montevidean culinary landscape. They provide a glimpse into the diverse cultural influences and traditions that define the city, as well as a sense of home for expats. By embracing these hidden culinary treasures, expats can enhance their Montevidean experience and create a lasting connection with the city and its people. So, go ahead and explore the pulse of Montevidean cuisine. Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite restaurant without even realizing it.