Design-led Food & Travel
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Buenos Aires – Argentina

BARS / CLUBS:

  • 878 – Everyone seems to rave about this place and it’s easy to see why: it’s well hidden and very cool without being pretentious.  The owner is really friendly, the drinks are excellent and it’s an easy walk from any of the Palermo hotels  (Thames 878, Villa Crespo / t: +54 11 4773 1098).
  • Milion – An expensive treat, it’s worth going for the glamorous OTT setting and fantastic people watching (Parana 1048, Recoleta / t: +54 11 4815 9925).
  • Polite and Club V are good local options for clubs in the Home Hotel vicinity and Club 69’s reputation, also in Palermo, is legendary.

CAR SERVICE:

  • C-Group – Cesar A. Schuh, a wonderful and brilliantly minded white haired smiley Porteno will cheerfully and expertly take care of airport runs, evening trips to La Boca or even drives out to the Pampas (Blanco Encalada 2311 13A, BA / t: +54 11 4780 0912 / m: +54 11 15 5464 1947 / twitter: celtaar / augusto.schuh@gmail.com  / caschuh@invepat.com.ar).

CLOTHES / FASHION:

  • Amor Latino – Chic lingerie shop in Palermo, Recoleta and Martinez districts (El Salvador 4813 / www.amor-latino.com.ar).
  • Ana Mezho – Very cool leather headbands and cute leather purses, bracelets, bags and key rings (Armenia 1465, Palermo Soho / t: +54 11 4831 0221 / ontacto@anamezho.com.ar / www.anamezha.com.ar).
  • Divia – Stunning and original handmade leather shoes, sandals, boots and tango shoes (Armenia 1489, Palermo / t: +54 11 4831 9090 / www.diviashoes.cominfo@diviashoes.com).
  • Gabriela Horvat – Gorgeous, gorgeous and very different jewellery creations set in a space that is almost gallery-like (Honduras 5238, Palermo Hollywood / t : +54 11 4833 5423 / www.gabrielahorvat.com / info@gabrielahorvat.com).
  • Hermanos Estebecorena – Men’s clothes shop that would not look out of place in Shoreditch.  The boxer shorts are (apparently) extraordinary (El Salvador 5960 / t : +54 11 4772 2145 / www.hermanosestebecorena.com / info@hebue.com).
  • Josefina Ferroni – Great shoe shop selling fantastic leather headbands and bags (Armenia 1471 / t : +54 11 4831 4033 / www.josefinaferroni.com.ar / contacto@josefinaferroni.com.ar).
  • Laura Noetinger – If you happen to need a new hat, this chick is one of Buenos Aires’ most in-demand milliners (Potosi 335, Palermo / t: +54 11 15 5949 8605 / lauranoetinger@hotmail.com).
  • Lupe – Very cool Argentinian fashion label selling everything from bikinis and jeans to the perfect soft marl grey jogging bottoms (El Salvador 4657 / t: +54 11 4833 0730 / www.lupeba.com.ar).
  • Maria Cher – A very raw, urban space with concrete floors, metal and lots of glass sets off the designs of one of Argentina’s best-kept fashion secrets.  Maria Cher jeans are a perfect fit, her t-shirts are ‘just-so’ and everything else is beautifully designed and précision cut (El Salvador 4724, Palermo Soho / t: +54 11 4833 4736 / www.maria-cher.com.ar).
  • Maria Martin Facchinelli – Beautiful dresses, evening wear and cocktail outfits (El Salvador 4741 / t: +54 11 4831 8424 / www.facchinelli.com).
  • Pablo Ramirez – Expensive yet beautifully made women’s wear designer specialising in sophisticated evening and work clothing (Peru 587, San Telmo / t: +54 11 4342 7154 / www.pabloramirez.com.ar).
  • Salsipuedes – Both vintage and new fashion (Gral Paunero 1983 / T: +54 11 4793 5651 / www.salsipuedebsas.com.ar).

CONCEPT STORES / HOMEWARES:

  • Calma Chicha – Brilliant design shop selling everything from cowhide patchwork rugs to leather table placemats (Honduras 4909 / t: +54 11 4831 1818 / www.calmachicha.com).
  • Elementos Argentinos – The only souvenir shop you’ll need in BA!  Beautiful and creative Argentinian textiles, home furnishings, rugs, soft furnishings and accessories.  Gorgeous alpaca blankets and rugs, mini woollen cacti and sheep.  Friendly service and they’ll even arrange for your purchases to be posted home (Godoy Cruz 1720, Palermo Viejo / t: +54 11 4832 6299 / www.elementosargentinos.com.ar / info@elementosargentinos.com.ar).
  • Gepetto – Cool children’s clothes shop selling cartoon classic, Malfada-branded t-shirts alongside pretty dresses and cute shorts (Armenia 1585, Palermo Soho / www.gepettokids.com).
  • Humawaca – Great leather goods, creatively designed and very well made (t: +54 11 4832 2662 / El Salvador 4692, Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires).
  • La Merceria Well known haberdashery selling all sorts from buttons to hair accessories to handmade clothes (corner of Armenia y Honduras, Palermo Soho / info@lamerceiaonline.com / www.lamerceriaonline.com).
  • Net – Very cool furniture showroom selling contemporary and urbanised tables, chairs, shelving etc.  Especially loved the paint-splattered/chipped kitchen tables (Godoy Cruz 1740, Palermo Hollywood / t: +54 11 4833 3901 / www.netmuebles@fibertel.com.ar).
  • Picnic – Fabulous fabrics, wallpaper, soft furnishings and furniture, all very contemporary yet with a retro feel (Nicaragua 6080, Palermo / t: +54 11 5197 5115 / www.picnicdecor.com).
  • Sabater Hermanos – The Marseille de Savon of Argentina.  This little shop dedicated to soap smells glorious and is a great place to pick up small gifts in all shapes, sizes, colours and perfumes (Gurruchaga 1821, Palermo Soho / +54 11 4833 3004 / www.shnos.com.ar).
  • Superpastel – Cool street artists – Francisco & Diaz – with paintings available to purchase (superpastel@gmail.com /www.superpastel.com.ar).

FOOD & GROCERIES:

HAIR & BEAUTY:

  • Roho – Designer ‘hair boutique’ in the middle of Palermo (Malabia 1931 / t: +54 11 4901 3292 / www.roho.com.ar).
  • Ruben Orlando – Good place for a quick bikini wax and blow dry (Malabia 1720, Palermo Soho / t: +54 11 4831 3094 / www.rubenorlando.com).

HOTELS:

  • Home Hotel – Recommended; see separate review. Rooms from $130 (Honduras 5860, Buenos Aires / t: +54 11 4778 1008 / info@homebuenosaires.com / www.homebuenosaires.com).

LANGUAGE COURSES:

  • DWS – Spanish language courses in the heart of Palermo., recommended by Home Hotel  From intensive programmes, group lessons to 1:1 classes (Av. Cordoba 4382, Capital Federal, Palermo Soho / t: +54 11 4777 6515 / 4773 1379 / www.danielawasser.com.ar / info@danielawasser.com.ar).

RESTAURANTS / CAFES:

  • Astrid & Gaston – The Pisco Sours and fresh ceviche at the first international outpost of this acclaimed Lima restaurant will knock your socks off (Lafinur 3222 / t: +54 11 4802 2991 /info@astridygastonarg.com.ar /www.astridygaston.com). 
  • La Cabrera Grillado & Bar – It doesn’t matter that this is full of tourists and there’s a 45-minute queue; this is a Buenos Aires institution and besides, the complimentary prosecco eases the wait.    The steaks are bigger than a grown man’s hand and 3” thick, and the wine is delicious.  A newer sister restaurant on the opposite corner may have a shorter queue so always check. On a second visit in April 2011, the service was extremely poor and the food pretty ropey – the steak arrived cold!  (Cabrera 5099, esq Thames, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires / t: +54 11 4831 7002 / lacabreracatering@yahoo.com.ar / la_cabrera_oficina@yahoo.com.ar).
  • La Maison – Lovely French restaurant, super-convenient for Home Hotel with a pretty garden terrace (Honduras 5774 / +54 15 5669 2454 / www.lamaisonba.com).
  • Las Girasoles – Ask Ceasar to take you out to Las Pampas for the day (Sunday is especially nice) and book a table at this fantastic Jamie Oliver style restaurant.  Almost all the produce is grown or reared on the farm or in the gardens and it’s a delight to eat such delicious food – made by underprivileged kids under the direction of some of Argentina’s best chefs – in the lovely gardens.  Very popular at the weekends so book in advance (Carlos Keen, about a 2hr 30-minute drive from BA; Julio A. Roca entre calles 19 y 20 / t: +54 11 02323- 495041).
  • Malba Café – You might be lucky enough to be cooked a steak by legendary chef and restaurateur Jean Paul Bondoux, but if not, no matter as the Frenchman’s influence runs throughout the menu and takes the local produce to another level making it one of the best places to eat Argentinian beef.  Pastries and salads are excellent and it’s a perfect lunch spot when visiting the gallery (Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415 / t: +54 11 4808 6500 / www.malba.org.ar).
  • Mark’s Deli & Coffee House – Fresh salads, good juices and coffee make this a good stop for breakfast or lunch during a shopping trip to Palermo Soho (El Salvador 4701 / t: +54 11 4832 6244).
  • Mott – Bright, airy and spacious, this is a great lunch spot with a varied menu from the ubiquitous steak to langoustine spaghetti and cheesy onion mash gratin (El Salvador 4685, Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires / t: +54 11 4833 4306 / www.mottcocinademercado.com.ar).
  • Oui Oui Packed with local creatives, designers and TV industry peeps, this is very close to Home Hotel and one of the nicest  places to grab brunch or a light lunch in Palermo Hollywood.  The croissants are as French as can be (Nicaragua 6099 / t: +54 11 4776 4442 / www.ouioui.com.ar).
  • Pierina Tea House – Pretty tea shop serving tasty cakes and pastries with both in-door and outside tables (Gurruchage 1875, Palermo Soho / www.pierinateahouse.com.ar).
  • Pizzeria El Cuartito A real experience: TV screens showing football matches and the news, with flags, football t-shirts and signed photos of celebrities adorn the walls of this simple, local yet very popular and colourful pizza place.  The pizzas themselves aren’t up to much but the empanadas are better and the feeling of being in a truly local restaurant is brilliant (Talcahuano 937, Recoleta / t: +54 11 4816 1758). 
  • Social Paraiso – Excellent petit bistro serving  French food with a Latin twist, with cool deco and foodie vibe in the Palermo district (Honduras 5182 y Uriarte / t: +54 11 4831 4556).
  • Tegui – If you’re a foodie and fancy splashing out a little (around £120 for two with wine), this is the place to go….if you can find it that is!  A black door with the name stencilled on it is the only give away that a top notch restaurant lurks behind the heavily graffitied walls along this stretch of Costa Rica.  As the door slides open, the entrance is at once tropical and urban.  Walking through the lush courtyard filled with banana plants is exciting; the restaurant is stylish and the greeting warm.  But the food is what matters here.  And it’s good.  The beef and veal is out of this world, the aubergine ravioli and eucalyptus ice-cream not to be missed.  In between courses you’ll be plied with several delicious ‘amuse bouches’, the superb bread is fresh from the oven and the wine astonishingly good; worth every penny (Costa Rica 5852, Palermo Hollywood / t: +54 11 5291 3333 / www.tegui.com.ar).
    • Also look out for El Obrero (traditional & famous parrilla in La Boca); Azema (ex-French colonies fusion in Palermo Hollywood); Maat (private dining club in Belgrano); Casa Felix (5-course vegetarian Latin American tour de force in Colegiales, Thurs, Fri & Sat www.diegofelix.com); Tegui (modern Argentinian in Palermo Hollywood); Sucre (fusion hotspot in Palermo).
    • While locals may rave about Palermo Hollywood’s Azema, we found it really disappointing.  A friendly place and if you’re desperate for a curry and spicy food, it’s possibly a nice alternative to steak but nothing seemed freshly prepared and in fact it was all very ‘boil in the bag’.

TANGO:

  • Confiteria La Ideal – You can’t leave BA without watching or partaking in a little Tango and at this place you can do both.  Set within a beautiful, grand old building that harks back to the belle époque, this is perhaps the best spot in town – on Saturday nights at least – to catch some of BA’s older and well practised Tango dancers in action as they spin across the wooden floor dressed in their glad rags and tango shoes (Sulpache 384, Centro / t: +54 11 5265 8078).
  • Virginia Ravenna Y Sandro Nunziata – Not tried but recommended Tango classes in English as well as Spanish (+54 11 4779 96 35 / +54 11 15 5475 9767 / www.virginiatangosandro@gmail.com).

TOURS:

  • Anti-Tour – Magdalena Morales Bustamante is a cool, young tour operator who specialises in tailoring tours to individual needs, in English, Spanish and French (t: +54 9 11 4025 1732 / www.antitour.com.ar / magdalena@antitour.com.ar).
  • Graffitimundo – Taking a graffiti tour might be an unusual way to see a city but given the incredibly high quality and respect for this underground street art, it makes for an interesting afternoon.  The guides are knowledgeable and involved in the graffiti community, and it’s really pleasant to walk around BA with a local (+54 9113 683 3219 / info@graffitimundo.com / www.graffitimundo.com).
  • La Bicicleta Naranja – Cycling tours of Buenos Aires based in Palermo and San Telmo (Pasaje Giuffra 308 & Nicaragua 4825 / t: +54 11 4362 1104 / www.labicicletanaranja.com.ar / info@labicicletanaranja.com.ar).