For a Good Time in Buenos Aires: Christine’s Travel Tips

(Or, what I did and I had a great time)

For $15 a night, the price is a steal. But don’t be put off, it approaches hospital-clean; has brand new mattresses, sheets, towels; and is in the middle of a hip neighborhood. Oh, and it’s got a wireless network.

Tour Guide: Bitch Tours.
Yes, I actually, of my own volition, allowed someone else to lead me around for a few hours. The Diva tailored the tour to my interests (history, art, and culture… not the touristy beaten-path). We went to several art projects involved in recycling stuff from the street and making it into beautiful stuff (including books! I violated my no-more-book-buying rule) and to a factory that had been taken over by its employees when the owners faked a bankruptcy. A factory that makes ingredients for ice-cream.

Asado: local friends.
This isn’t quite the thing you can find on the web. Well, maybe it is. Anyway, the chorizo was kick-ass and made by the butcher down the street.

Ice-Cream: Volta or Freddo.
I can’t decide which one is better. They both have a few low calorie options which are fantastic. I tried a bunch of combinations of dulce de leche and chocolate.

Pizza: El Cuartito.
Talcahuano 937. I strayed and went to another pizza place close to Plaza Italia. Later on that day, I returned, repentant and mollified. Follow Danny’s suggestion, get a slice of the fuggazetta.

I’d look for the free stuff, like the chance to see the world’s best competing for the title, rather than shelling out $100 (US) for something overly glitzy. Also, I prefer salon tango rather than tango de escena, which is more of the stuff you’d see performed on a stage with the women doing flips all around the guy. The Buenos Aires city tourist site will have details on such things.

Beer and Burger: El Almacén (aka Hermanos Cao).
Those of us who frequent O’Reilly’s on Fridays (some of us twice on Fridays) would feel perfectly content to make the switch.

Folksy Gaucho Festival: Feria de Mataderos.
Every third Sunday of the month, people gather to buy wooden accoutrements for their asado, hand-worked mate stuff, and to dance while wearing traditional gaucho wear. One guy even had a blade shoved in the back of his pants for all to see.

Wine: Yes.
Felipe Rutini from the private stash of local friends. This bottle was at an entirely different level from the quite drinkable bottles that can be found at reasonable prices throughout the city.

Pane e Vino at The Village in Recoleta. My only regret is that I haven’t made it back because the bartenders were super helpful and recommended an amazing tempranillo with a complex and delightful bouquet.

Vampire Hangout: Recoleta Cemetery.
It’s open during the day and you can peak over some of the walls at night.

Craft Market: Plaza Francia.
This is next to the aforementioned vampire hangout and takes place on Sundays.

Contemporary Art: Appetite.
Chacabuco 551. The latest and most cutting-edge (and edgiest) stuff can be found here. They’re opening up in Brooklyn, too, I hear.

Danza Arabe: Nora Farah.
Um… yeah.

Tourist Traps/Worth Walking Through Once: La Boca, Avenida Florida.
Pretty brightly colored houses, but why buy anything here? The only thing Avenida Florida has that’s actually good is the tangueros on the street, otherwise it’s Times Square. They even forced the artisans off the street because they were adding too much color.

Important in the Past, Pretty in the Present: Café Tortoni.
This an obligatory stop on any literary pilgrimage of Argentina. All the greats spent time here (kinda like Chomley’s except that, unlike NYC, it never had a life as a speak-easy because Argentines wouldn’t even pretend to accept a farce like prohibition).

Book store, cafe, gem: El Ateneo.
Avenida Santa Fe. It really is as beautiful as the pictures look. And with free wireless and a solid cafe, why not spend hours here?

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One Response to For a Good Time in Buenos Aires: Christine’s Travel Tips

Rachel said...

When say ice-cream in Argentina is Volta or Freddo, I think you are missing an important one: Persicco. This is the most exclusive though, but it has one gooh hell of an ice-cream. I heard it was to be a meeting point for walthy people from Palermo, so you may find a suitable candidate there too, besides dessert. All of the apartments in buenos aires I rented in my visits to Argentina included one night at Persicco. The Dulce de Leche flavour ice-cream is something you will not find anywhere else.
Oh, and you are right, El Ateneo is a great place to chill out, read and eat something, but there is a great place to do that also in Recoleta, near the Village Cinema. Try it if you have the chance!


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