BsAs is a place for foodies, creatives and the night owls. Welcome to an unpretentious city, alternative street fashion and happy ‘portenos’ (that’s what they are called) leading a bohemian lifestyle.
Argentina has its economics so favorable for the rest of the countries to just pack and pitch tents there. Especially Buenos Aires, the largest city in S. America after Sao Paulo, is a haven for expats who would like to live a dream life in a hip city. Well, who wouldn’t, with a city full of artistic territory and a wallet full of moolah, I would just move there as well.
An overnight flight from DC took us there and with no time difference, there was no jet lag and we were able to use our 6 days to the fullest. We stayed in Palermo, a fashionable barrio full of design shops, urban bars and street culture.
A hotel for the gourmand — the famous chef Hernan Gipponi’s restaurant was right on the ground floor and a wine cellar that has stocked all the premiums from the Andes mountains.
Fun fact: Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world and 90% of their wines are consumed by their own country.
The hotel has all the goods: Heated pool, check. Jacuzzi, Sauna, check check. Order an iPad through room service, check.
With an area like Palermo, you can hop into a Jazz bar and hop out of an electronic music venue. The area is also filled with boutiques and with a dollar giving you more than 4 pesos, you can go to town!
Oh and I shouldn’t forget their breakfast, a table full of yummy spread..
Pani – Ok, if you are a girl and if you don’t like this bakery, we may never become friends. And for the masculine in you, meals are brought out on plates supported with iron legs.
Oui Oui – for the Parisian in you. Breakfast in a cute bakery.
Nucha – A cafe on the main shopping streets of Palermo, with a hi-tech button on every table to call your hostess.
Olsen – Scandinavian-styled café/bar treat that’s best enjoyed in summer, when its outdoor patio and garden really comes into its own. More than the food, its the atmosphere and the vodka flights. Bring it on!
Miranda – Let’s get down to business and see the Argentine best- steaks and meats. This contemporary parrilla (a steakhouse) has the authentic cooking but in a urban industrial setting.
The meat was so juicy and the blood sausage was extremely flavorful.
Cumana – A traditional empanada restaurant in Recoleta. Empanadas are cooked in coal oven, the smoky flavor and crispy edges make these divine!
We also tried the traditional tea, an infusion of dried leaves and yerba mate plant – called Mate, turned out to be bitter. But I loved the antique pot it came in.
Roadside Hotdogs and Quilmes, the national beer.
Chan Chan – The best Peruvian in Buenos Aires apparently, well we tried to go there twice but they were closed.
Tip: Most restaurants are closed on Mondays so call and check before you go
Kensho – Veg out! For the raw foodie, a vegetarian restaurant in Buenos Aires is an oxymoron, but the beautifully crafted, tastefully slow cooked food really makes you forget that there was no killing involved.
One more Miniature zen mushroom ceviche please~
Astrid y Gaston – One of the World’s 50 Best – A Peruvian gastronomic paradise. Criollos, Cebiches, Tiraditos, I drool as I type. It was definitely worth the money and the wait.
Ferona Social Club – A secret bar, a private house party feeling as you enter the house with Portenos hosting the night. A little townhome with 3 levels and rooftop patio, with a mixologists making Caipiroskas.
Door-ajar social club serves food, attracts the recently relocated with its members-only feel and foxy French DJ.
ocho7ocho – This is the oldest speakeasy and it is famous for their mixologists and careful creations.
Franks – A speakeasy where you enter the code in the phone booth outside the bar, but lets say if you are nicely dressed, they just give you the code at the entrance.
Niceto – A huge dancebar for electronic music. This is the place where you go when you don’t care about nutty bouncers and high heels.
Bar6 – A restaurant, bakery and a bar all in one. Another place that had very good Caipiroskas – its like a Caipirinha, but instead of the Cachaca, the liquor mixed in is vodka.
La Cigale – For the best mojito in town!
Juana de Arco – Colorful and artistic clothing and accessories.
Bolivia – For the guy who’s looking to be a little creative and likes to have fun with what he wears, Bolivia is unquestionably the place to go.
Nolineal – A store that produces patterns for leggings, tank tops etc. The concept of the store is film and theatre so each of the product is patterned after a movie/director. I got a pair of Hitchcock!
Old Bridge – An Argentinean brand for Men, the shop is inspired by UK fashion.
And then there are many many shops that you will love in Palermo.
San Telmo is bit of a hike from Palermo but we almost went there every day, its the city’s oldest neighborhood with all the charm of cobble stoned streets and European colonial mansions.
Plaza Dorrego, is where the weekend flea market is.
Small bakeries that line up the street with 25 cent empanadas.
Open plazas with Tango dancers and markets with antique collectibles.
San Telmo is also very gay-friendly and sights like this one isn’t very uncommon.
La Boca is another neighborhood that is interesting and mostly seen in BA’s postcards. The colorful barrio is filled with brightly painted houses.
Plan to spend couple of hours here, this area almost exists for tourists now and each restaurant here try all the gimmicks to get you, skip all these and go to this traditional parrilla at the end of Caminito by the railway tracks.
To spend a chilled afternoon, head to Puerto Madero, an upscale neighborhood by the waters. Sip mate or wine in one of the cafes with a view of the port.
They gave us a new lens to see Buenos Aires through~