The best of Buenos Aires!

Mauro, structural engineer – Roomorama blog

City guide: Buenos Aires

Mauro was a structural engineer for about 10 years in different parts of the world until the end of 2013. He moved to Buenos Aires in 2014, and started his own company, Leendii, in the Paris of South America. We ask him to share his favourite hang-outs of his newly adopted city.

You live in Buenos Aires now - what brought you there and what do you love and hate about it?

I had never been to South America before, although I wanted to visit it for a long time. My grandmother lived in Argentina when she was young before returning to Italy in the 1940s. But part of her family came back again and so some of my relatives live here now. There is really nothing I hate about Buenos Aires. I love the friendly people, the elegant streets, the climate, the multitude of bars and restaurants and more :)

What are your favourite neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires?

Palermo is my favorite and it’s an area where many expats live. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and trendy shops, also big parks where I like to go jogging (by the way, Buenos Aires is a very active city and you are likely to see runners almost any time of the day). Recoleta comes second. It’s a less active “barrio” but with very elegant streets and buildings and nice cafes.

Where to eat in Palermo

  • Las Cabras (El Salvador y Fitz Roy). Casual, indoor-outdoor place.
  • Mott (El Salvador y Armenia). A bit more elegant.
  • Fifi Almacen (Gorriti y Armenia). Lunch. A bit hipster but not too much :)
  • La Dorita (Bulnes y Cabello). Parrilla!

Mott Fifi

Pictured above: Mott (credit: Mott), Fifi (credit: Planetajoy)

Best bars in Palermo

  • Festival (Gorriti y Bonpland). Good crowd. Busy from 10pm till 5am.
  • Soria (Gorriti y Uriarte). Similar concept to Festival, good crowd, maybe slightly quieter.
  • Jerome (Cabrera y Malabia). BrewPub/Cerveceria. A nice place to enjoy their specially brewed beers.
  • Victoria Brown (Costa Rica y Borges). A small cafe during the day, a cool, hidden bar at night.
  • Frank’s (Arevalo y Niceto Vega). A speak-easy with an elegant atmosphere.
  • Sheldon (Honduras y Serrano). A nice bar/restaurant with a old record shop inside

Victoria Brown Bar and Restaurant Sheldon Bar

Pictured above: Victoria Brown Bar and Restaurant (credit: Architizer), Sheldon Bar (credit: Baresyboliches)

Shopping in Palermo

  • For men, Apuesto (El Salvador y Carranza), a small shop with hand-made shoes.
  • Paul French Gallery (Gorriti y Gurruchaga), a home decor shop and cafe.

Things to do in Palermo

  • Visit the MALBA (av. Alcorta), The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires

Paul French Gallery MALBA

Pictured above: Paul French Gallery (credit: Eze Rohr), MALBA (credit: Hello Empatia)

Where to eat in Recoleta

  • Anima Cakes (Pena y Aguero) is a small, trendy place for breakfast
  • Rapa Nui (Arenales y Azcuenaga) for the best ice-cream in Buenos Aires!

Where to go for a drink in Recoleta

  • My favourite stop is Milion (Parana’ y Santa Fe), an old, aristocratic building made into a bar.

What is there to do in Recoleta?

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Anima Cakes

Pictured above: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (credit: Enviajes), Anima Cakes (credit: Malu Diez)

What are some local things a visitor to Buenos Aires should do?

After a long day exploring the city, have a relaxing mate at home with some nibbles if you are hungry. Portenos have their dinner pretty late in the evening.

Most cities have a certain orientation. Is there a certain way Buenos Aires is organised and how do you get around the city?

Buenos Aires is mostly organized as a grid with larger avenues every 4 blocks (quadras). However, this doesn’t apply everywhere and the grid is irregular.

What is typical Argentinean food and where is your favourite place to go for it?

Meat is very typical and parrillas are the place where to eat it! La Dorita is one of my favorites. Empanadas and tartas are also very common.

What are your favourite bars in Buenos Aires, and why?

Besides those I previously mentioned, another nice one is Floreria Atlantico (Arroyo y Suipacha) in the barrio of Retiro. A flower shop with a long bar hidden in the basement.

What are your favourite cafes in Buenos Aires and why?

I really like Dandy (av. del Libertador y Bulnes) busy anytime of the day and Confiteria Malvon (Lafinur y Segui).

Dandy Anima Cakes

Pictured above: Dandy (credit: Dandy), Anima Cakes (credit: Malu Diez)

If someone was visiting for 3 days, what's an itinerary you would recommend for them?

I would say,

  • Day 1: walk in the microcentro (Casa rosada, Obelisco, Teatro Colon, avenida de Mayo, calle Florida) and san Telmo (calle Defensa, plaza Dorrego).

  • Day 2: explore Palermo Soho with all the cafes, shops, bars and restaurant.

  • Day 3: relax in Recoleta, look at the nice buildings and the elegant avenida Alvear. Later in the day/evening go to Palermo Hollywood for dinner and drinks.

What are some fun things to do on the weekend in Buenos Aires?

Apart from going out on Friday and Saturday nights, people like to spend a day at the parks in Palermo or have an asado with their families. Also, Argentinians are mad about football, so generally some time during the weekend is dedicated to it.

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