Our eternal chase for summer landed us in the colorful capital city of Argentina this year. It was our first time in South America and we couldn’t have thought of a better start than Buenos Aires.
We stayed at Tango de mayo hotel, a fabulous property with an equally stunning rooftop.
Buenos Aires is a big city and divided into several barrios (neighborhoods) each offering a unique experience.
Our favorite part of this city with tree lined avenues and sidewalk cafe bars and street art all around. Palermo is a huge barrio with sub barrios like Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood that run adjacent. This hip neighborhood has the best nightlife too!
La Panera Rosa: Brunching at this pretty pink cafe was the perfect start to our day. We had a vegetarian sandwich with Andean potatoes and Chocorosa waffle (not to be missed). Well the chic layout of the cafe had me sold but the food was so good, we went there twice!
Salvaje Bakery: Strolling around the colorful streets of Palermo we came across this striking Frida Kahlo mural on Av. Dorrego close to Salvaje Bakery. A trendy spot with buttery medialunas and morning buns. We settled in with cappuccino and a delicious orange bun Porteño style and throughly enjoyed it.
Paul Deco: There is no dearth of exciting places in this hip neighborhood. While exploring, our next stop was this little gem with a cozy cafe, a teahouse and a chic home goods store. I mean just look at the pics ❤️
The after hours scene in the Argentine capital city is electric as Porteños like to live it up till the wee hours of morning. The bars start to get crowded around 11pm but some clubs don’t even open before 1am. Exhausted from day wandering we decided to skip the club and hit a bunch of cool bars and speakeasies.
La Malbequeria: Our search for good Malbec brought us to this beautiful wine bar. After tasting a couple of glasses of wine we decided on one that we liked the most and got it to go. Wine is the unofficial national argentine drink and with over 6000 wineries around the country you’ll be spoilt for choice. Its a great souvenir to bring back home with you. We managed to get back a total of 3 bottles (ran out of space 😉).
Casa Cavia: Still early to hit the bar scene, we decided to enjoy our dinner at this elegant restaurant. We sat in the courtyard sipping on our sophisticated cocktails and snacking on appetizers.
Parque Bar: The decor and vibe of this place resembled a botanical garden. The swing seats next to the bar and an open courtyard at the back completed the illusion. The cocktails tasted amazing and were presented beautifully. We didn’t have any food here so can’t comment on that but highly recommend it for drinks.
La Calle Bar: A classic speakeasy with a pizzeria as its front. They usually have a DJ on weekends but we reached at about 11pm which was early and the crowd was slim. The place has a cool street vibe(La Calle means “The Street”) with a bike and van parked inside. We had a drink each and left soon after.
La Fábrica del Taco: Bar hopping made us really hungry and to satisfy our midnight hunger pangs we headed to this taco place. We ordered vegetable tacos and mushroom burrito that turned out to be super delicious. Special mention to the variety of salsas here.
Recoleta is the reason why Buenos Aires is called “Paris of South America”. This barrio is full of classic Parisian style buildings including the illustrious La Recoleta Cemetery. We wandered through this labyrinth of gothic and elaborate tombs admiring the beauty around us.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid: Another landmark spot is this theatre turned library/bookstore. By far the best bookshop we’ve ever visited with ceiling frescoes and a cute cafe right in the middle of the stage.
Cumana: In search of empanadas, we landed at this traditional argentine restaurant and ordered a variety of vegetarian empanadas : Cheese & Onion, Spinach and Tomato basil mozzarella with some Malbec to go along. The spinach one was my favorite.
This barrio exudes a bohemian vibe with cobblestone streets lined with old colonial buildings, faded shop facades and street food vendors offering delectable local cuisine. Our second favorite part of the city, San Telmo is full of character and feels timeless.
Feria de San Telmo: Every Sunday tourists and locals throng to Plaza Dorrego looking to find interesting souvenirs and crafts being sold at this antique street fair. After admiring the beautifully pink presidential mansion Casa Rosada, we made our way through the local market beginning at Calle Defensa and going all the way to Plaza Dorrego.
El Banco Rojo: Hungry after bargaining with street vendors, we reached this cool eatery. After salivating over the menu, we decided to go for the vegetarian burger and falafel tacos. San Telmo is full of such hip places oozing character.
Mercado de San Telmo: A huge indoor market with stalls selling an eclectic mix of products ranging from antiques to fruits and vegetables. We strolled through the market stopping by bakeries and fruit stalls enjoying the tasty fruits and coffee from Coffee Town.
Hierbabuena: A food heaven for vegetarians. This charming restaurant has a vintage romantic vibe with food crafted to perfection. This was another place we visited twice. We tried the eggplant risotto, mushroom burger and wok stir fry, each one so flavorful and portions that are value for money too. They serve up a delicious brunch as well.
Definitely the most vibrant and colorful barrio of the city. The area has a reputation of being sketchy and we were warned not to stray off the narrow touristy alley, El Caminito and its neighboring streets. This barrio is known for brightly painted houses, soccer stadium and tango artists. We were here on a game day and witnessed the sports enthusiasts gearing up for game watching which meant empty streets once the game started. We stuck around Caminito but if you wish to explore the area, I would suggest signing up for a bike tour instead of doing it on your own.
- People don’t really understand English very well here but learning a few key phrases and Google translate should get you through.
- A lot of the places are cash only, so be prepared. We got the currency exchanged at the airport instead of the street side cambio.
- Cabs in the city are pretty inexpensive. Uber works here too but usually takes longer to arrive.
- As in any other big city, be aware of pickpockets.
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