Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA – for our first venture into South America, we chose B.A. to indulge in the world famous steak and Malbec wine.
Recoleta – It is often said B.A. is the Paris of South America, so we stayed in this famous neighborhood to experience the European influence first hand. It’s a residential area, home to some of the most affluent families, but that doesn’t mean everything is expensive in Recoleta. We stayed in an studio apartment Airbnb with rooftop pool and spacious balcony for $40 per night.
Palermo – if you’re like us, we experience cities until the early morning hours. Stay here to be close to nightlife, boutiques, street art and cafes.
Don Julio Parrilla – the ultimate Argentine experience = steak + wine. Come hungry and stay late. Reservations recommended, but if you do wait, they supply you with bottomless champagne on the house – talk about service! We ordered the rib eye, mashed potatoes, and smoked peppers – one rib eye is enough for two! The meal was tasty, but living in Texas, we’ve spoiled by great (in our opinion, better) steaks. Overall, worth the experience!
Pro Tip: Ask for the meat to be cooked “jugoso” or juicy. Argentines are known for cooking their meat well done.
Restaurante El Federal – the best dinner in B.A for traditional cuisine. We ordered the Patagonian Lamb, Tierra del Fuego tomato soup, and fresh fish fillet. Reservations recommended. If there is one restaurant to visit in B.A, it’s here.
Amici Mei – delicious Italian food in San Telmo. We made reservations at 10pm and were one of the first guests to arrive. Argentines are similar to Spaniards when it comes to late night dining. The shrimp and potato squid ink ravioli was an excellent choice.
La Cocina – authentic empanadas in Recoleta (carne was our favorite)! We stopped here on the way to Recoleta Cemetary for a quick lunch. Cash only!
Tip: Porrón is a small glass of draft beer.
Check out Havanna & Cafe La Poesia for alfajores and medialunas, buttery sugary croissants.
More notable restaurants that we didn’t get a chance to try include: Las Pizarras Bistro and i Latina (reservations only!).
When in Argentina, you must try Fernet con Cola. If you are new to fernet, it may be an acquired taste, but give it a chance.
Pony Line – located inside the Four Seasons in Retiro. We rarely stay at hotels, much less visit the bar, but this one is worth the stop. Sadly, they’ve stopped serving the Yerba Mate Cocktail, but the Fernet drink was a great Argentine alternative.
Dobbleganger Bar – cocktail bar just a 5 minute walk from Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo.
Floreria Atlantico – enter flower shop, find speakeasy. Just ring the bell to get buzzed in! The menu is categorized by country: England, Spain, Italy, France, etc so your pallet can find a cocktail quickly. For another speakeasy experience, try Frank’s Bar where you can find Pistas Frank (clues) for the contraseña or password each week on their Facebook page.
Vinosfera – where an excellent bottle of wine will only run you $30. Sadly, they do not ship to the states. Enjoy an afternoon or evening wine tasting where the sommelier will teach you about the different wine regions in Argentina. After two tastings and a bottle of Malbec, the bill was only $75. Wish we found this place sooner! It’s safe to say Mendoza is next on our list.
Las Canitas – hipster area with three full blocks of bars and clubs. Look for the center of the action where Báez St. meets Arevalo. It gives more of a relaxed vibe compared to bustling Palermo. Antares is a great choice for craft beer.
Plaza Serrano – market by day, bars by night in Palermo. When we heard reggaeton at Santa Eva Bar, we did a double take and joined the dance party.
Recoleta Cemetary – one of the most famous sites in B.A! Explore over 6,400 monuments that honor some of Argentina’s most celebrated individuals such as Evita Peron and former President Sarmiento. Free tours in English are available at 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Free Walks Buenos Aires– set your bearings with a walking tour around B.A. The Recoleta tour starts at 10:30 am while the City Center tour starts at 3 pm. Each tour lasts 3.5 hours, so wear comfortable shoes! Bring cash for tips.
San Telmo Market – mark your calendar for Sunday because this fair only happens once a week near Plaza Dorrego. Booths wrap around several blocks mainly selling antiques. We came to get a glimpse of tango dancers in the street and food, of course! San Telmo Market is not to be missed. It’s a great place to grab a beer, enjoy a few empanadas, and people watch.
El Rosedal – Palermo’s rose garden in the center of the city! It reminded me of the rose garden in Madrid’s Parque del Retiro.
La Boca – Viva Colores! We headed straight to El Caminito to catch impromptu tango performances and stroll the colorful streets. This vibrant neighborhood is where tango meets soccer, so if you’re lucky you may catch a match at La Bombonera Stadium.
Casa Rosada – this famous “Pink House” houses the office of the President and is the location from where Eva Peron’s addressed the crowd in Plaza de Mayo. Free hour-long guided tours are given on weekends and must be booked online in advance.
Now, off to catch an early flight to Iguazu Falls! Adios!