Mendoza is a laid-back agricultural province in Argentina where wine flows and outdoor dining is a must. In the surrounding wine region (the most famous in the country), Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort stands by its own lagoon and offers an epic traditional asado—or barbecue—in the vines. Downtown, the recently opened La Central Vermutería imports the classic vermouth-bar tradition (vermouth on tap, small plates, convivial vibe) from Buenos Aires. Nearby, the pared-down and thoughtful Ramos Generales is one of only nine restaurants in the world run by Argentine culinary icon Francis Mallmann. And at Gaia Restaurant, a local chef turns out six-course set meals with ingredients from the restaurant’s organic garden. For a culinary-inspired souvenir, pick up some handcrafted cutlery (found on the tables of many top restaurants) from KDS Knives. —Karen Catchpole

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at