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Bars & Cafes in Buenos Aires

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The highly social nature of Porteños, the people of Buenos Aires, calls for a great number of meeting places; bars and cafes can be found by the hundreds spread all throughout the city.  There are, however, certain pockets of the city where one bar is next to the other giving the appearance of one big party.  Plaza Cortázar (also known as Plaza Serrano) in Palermo, Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, Las Cañitas in Belgrano, and Vicente Lopez Street in Recoleta are the city’s hot spots.

There are many other bars and cafes worth visiting in other parts of town as well:

Antares – Armenia 1447, Palermo
This microbrewery offers seven of its own brews of beer, along with tapas, internacional cuisine, traditional picadas (platter of cheeses and cold meats) and live music.

Café Tortoni – Avenida de Mayo 825, Centro (downtown)
Opened in 1858 it is the oldest and most famous traditional café in Buenos Aires.  The walls of this elegant cafe have echoed the intellectual discussions of famous literati such as Borges, Pirandello, and Lorca.  Today it is home of the Academia Nacional del Tango.  Tango shows and literary events take place regularly in the basement.


El Federal – Corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo, San Telmo
The charm of this cafe-bar is its well-preserved old wooden interior, long wooden bar and antique cash registers, all dating back to 1864.   The cold tap sidra (fermented bubbly apple cider, a beverage used to toast at Christmas and New Year’s) is delicious and most refreshing on a hot summer day.

Gibraltar – Peru 895, San Telmo
This is a true pub which features pint size glasses of beer at a great price, a good selection of whiskies and tasty American and Asian dishes.  Its cozy environment and friendly owners attract locals and travelers alike.

Gran Bar Danzón - Libertad 1161, Recoleta
Modern decor, comfy sofas, soft lighting, pleasant music and a sophisticated crowd set the tone to enjoy fine Argentine wines by the glass, or sip an originally prepared cocktail from among the over 150 alcoholic beverages offered.

La Biela – Avenida Quintana 600, Recoleta
Across the street from Plaza Francia lies this traditional spot in Recoleta famed for attracting racer car drivers and fans of the sport (biela  means piston rod).  It’s a perfect place to enjoy afternoon teatime with cake while watching elegant (and sometimes famous) people stroll by.


La Ideal – Suipacha 384, Centro (downtown)
This classic and elegant café, adorned with original, turn of the 20th century European furnishings, makes an ideal setting to enjoy the tradition of afternoon tea with cakes.  The dance hall on the first floor fills up with experienced dancers, tourists and students on afternoons and evenings for tango lessons and dancing.

Le Bar – Tucuman 422, Centro (downtown)
A relaxing spot in the heart of the downtown area, this bar draws the after office crowd looking for good company in a pleasant atmosphere.  Their original signature cocktails are best enjoyed on its beautiful terrace.

Milión – Parana 1046, Centro (downtown)
The old world charm of this stately family mansion meshes wonderfully with its cutting-edge art displays and projected visuals.  You can enjoy your cocktail or wine in any of its many corners, its terrace or its softly lit garden.

Olsen – Gorritti 5870, Palermo
This Scandanavian restaurant with its simple yet elegant atmosphere is a coveted spot to come and enjoy a relaxing drink.  It features over 70 kinds of vodka from all over the world.

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