After all of the hiking in Patagonia, we decided to spend a lazy weekend in Buenos Aires just eating and wandering around. This was maybe the best idea I’ve had in awhile. Because while there are pickpockets everywhere (seriously, be careful near Retiro station), most of the people are awesome and the food is super delicious. Here’s what we did during our weekend in Buenos Aires. Map of places mentioned at the end of the post.We flew into Aeroparque airport, which is just north of downtown Buenos Aires. We were ravenous when we arrived (having skipped lunch) so we went to get a chorizo sandwich (choripan) at Chori. It’s a casual place but nice to sit in and they serve gin and tonics with local Apostoles gin. Chori is located in Palermo, where we lived for the weekend. There are lots of small coffee shops and bookstores to browse in the neighborhood…
And the best restaurant in Buenos Aires: La carniceria! Seriously, if you have only one meal in Buenos Aires, have it at la carniceria. They do everything extremely well, from our chorizo appetizer to the house wine to our amazing steaks. The service is excellent as well. But remember to make reservations since this place gets full easily but they serve food until like 11pm so it shouldn’t be so hard.
The next day we decided to get some pastries for breakfast and found the wonderful Patisserie Francaise. The bakery is run by a super-nice French lady and she makes delicious eclairs and brioche. After our snack, I really wanted to go to El Ateneo Grand Splendid. For those that don’t read travel magazines, El Ateneo is a bookstore that is housed in a grand old theater. The boxes are actually set up so that you can read books and the stage is used as a cafe. It’s quite grand to see and I recommend a stop if you are looking for a Spanish book to bring home.
And by now it had been an hour since I had eaten anything sweet, so we also decided to stop by Rapa Nui for chocolates and ice cream. You can get great big boxes of chocolates to bring home here but definitely also get yourself an ice cream. Their chocolate ice cream is uber-creamy and their fruit ice creams are also delicious.
After increasing our mass by quite a bit at Rapa Nui, my boyfriend decided this was the perfect time to get a leather jacket. We meandered over to Silvia y Mario where they specialize in leather goods. The Argentineans are known for their facility with all parts of the cow so definitely stop by if you’re in the mood for some leather goods. They have suede and leather jackets as well as a small assortment of bags, wallets, and gloves. The nice thing is that they will alter the jacket you buy for free and it takes less than a day. Definitely a plus if you are only in Buenos Aires for the weekend. Note that they will give you a 10% discount here if you pay in cash.
It was quite warm in Buenos Aires so we took a siesta before continuing our explorations. We were going to take tango lessons in the evening at 9pm so we headed over to San Telmo a bit beforehand. Luckily we had to get off at the Bolivar stop on the SUBte to get there and were able to catch a glimpse of the Casa Rosada in all her pink glory. In San Telmo, we had amazing deep fried empanadas at El Banco Rojo. And then onto our tango lesson with Lucia y Gerry.
Guys, tango is the best. I am not a ballroom dancer by any means but it was super fun to learn some tango steps with Gerry and Lucia. They walk through every step with you and are super helpful if there is something you don’t get. Our group was a fun mix of young and old people. Also as part of the Tango Night Out, Gerry and Lucia take you to a local milonga to experience the local tango scene. It’s really impressive to watch all of the dancers improvise moves. If you do this though, be prepared to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning as some parties get started at 3am.
Our final activity in Buenos Aires was visiting the Sunday Market in San Telmo. This market is huge and basically runs the entire length of Defensa. There are many, many stands selling souvenirs, silver, pottery, art, and antiques. If you still need to get a souvenir before getting out of town, you will definitely find something cool here.
A couple of notes: the public transportation system is great in Buenos Aires but you need a SUBE card, which you can get at kiosks, loterias, or SUBte stations. Our lovely AirBnB host, Emmy, gave us SUBE cards so it was super easy to take public transport between downtown BA and our AirBnB in Palermo. Note that if you take the bus, you have to tell the bus driver the cross streets of your stop so he knows how much to charge you.