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If you are wise, you will have indulged yourself with lots of time to enjoy Buenos Aires. But here we will capture in a single day the taste the Capital Federal. Rise early, but not too early –Porteños (those living in Buenos Aires do not do early starts). Today, don’t breakfast in the hotel, but call a taxi to La Biela in the Recoleta district to take tea or coffee outside in the sunshine beneath the Gomero – a 1791 rubber tree. Order medialunas - the delightful miniature croissant that are ubiquitous here. Breakfast completed, how about a cemetery? Not just any old cemetery but one of the world’s best, designed in 1822 by the French architect, Prosper Catelin. Within the labyrinth you will find Evita Peron; the rich, the famous and the neglected. The tombs are fascinatingly grand - the size of small houses with steps leading down to hidden subterranean chambers, and all are encircled by the cemetery cats. After watching the tango professionals perform in Plaza San Martin de Tours, it is now time for a spot of culture. What better than a book shop? But not one that you will have ever seen before. Stroll via Barrio Norte to Avenida Santa Fé or take a yellow and black radio cab to Ateneo. Once a grand theatre, this space has been transformed into the most stunning bookshop in the world. Enter from the street and take the lift to the 2nd floor gallery under which a million books are to be seen. Once you have caught your breath, descend to the stage to enjoy a glass of wine – and to read a book! It must be approaching the time for lunch – a most serious event here in Buenos Aires. You will need to take a taxi, travelling fourteen blocks to Reconquista in the commercial district. Hidden from all but the few, opposite the Bank of Argentina is a small former monastery set out with pretty tables by mature waiters. Lunch with the city’s lawyers is a choice from a set menu, to be enjoyed in the garden or in cloistered shade. No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without taking tea at Café Tortoni in Avenida de Mayo. Pre-book, or take your chance from the street, here is one of the most special cafés in the city, having seen governments rise and fall, and tracked the intellectual life of Buenos Aires. Seek a centre table – to ‘see and be seen’ – and order cake. Glance up at the stained glass roof and, before leaving, note the Carlos Gardel suite at the back of the café. Culture enough: now is time for the oldest barrio of Buenos Aires – San Telmo. Another cheap taxi is required, and ask for Mercado de San Telmo in Av Bolivar. Beneath the ancient roof is housed the most unusual market in South America. Here fruit, fish, meat, little cafés and myriads of antique booths nestle side-by-side. Visit Coffee Town situated in the centre of the market for the best coffee in Buenos Aires. From the market to Plaza Dorrego, the city’s bohemia, is a two minute stroll, announced by tango music playing for the street performers in the centre of the square. On Sundays, the plaza is covered with stalls, but today there is the chance to enjoy a chilled beer under the canopy. Complete your visit to San Telmo with dinner at La Brigada – the bario’s foremost parilla, where you will taste steak as it is to be cooked. Full of atmosphere and maturity, this restaurant caters for the discerning and the hungry. Take the waiter’s advice to share a bife lomo, and select a captivating high altitude Malbec. The day has been long and full, but after steak, perhaps you have energy, and if it happens to be Wednesday – stroll out to Maldita Milonga, Peru 571 to experience a genuine San Telmo milonga. No, you don’t have to dance – but listening to the Orchestra Tipica El Affronte who play two sets at 11 pm and 11.30 pm may make you wonder why you would ever want to leave Buenos Aires. For more information see my blog Stephen Twist Tango

Good for
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Foodie
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

17 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

17 Places

Nuestra Parrilla

Restaurants

Nuevo Gogy

Restaurants

Chochan

Restaurants

Tango Classes with Lucia & Gerry

Lessons & Workshops

El Desnivel

Restaurants

El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Architectural Buildings, Gift & Speciality Shops

La Biela

Restaurants

Recoleta Cemetery

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Plaza San Martin

Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Cafe Tortoni

Cabarets

Mercado de San Telmo

Flea & Street Markets

Plaza Dorrego

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Coffee Town

Coffee Shops

La Brigada

Restaurants

Maldita Milonga

Performances

The New Brighton

Restaurants

La Confiteria Ideal

Dance Clubs & Discos

stephenjtwist's City Tips

  • Sensible shoes and an open mind.
  • Save
    Nuestra Parrilla
    Restaurants (Latin, Fast food, Barbecue, Argentinian, South American)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Walk to San Telmo Market, turning into Carlos Calvo 471. There, nestling under the side of the market, is Nuestra Parilla (otherwise known after it's owner as 'Lo de Freddy'). For this special gastronomic experience it is necessary to be unconditionally hungry and dressed down for street food. Freddy's is not a restaurant, but simply a small incision in the market wall containing six high stools, a shelf, and some of the best cooked beef, pork steaks, and pork sausages in the capital. Our options, with prices from 25 to 60 pesos, were choripán - chorizo sausage sandwich, morcipán - blood sausage sandwich, bondiola - pork shoulder, or matambre - beef flank steak. We chose the latter, wrapped in crusty white bread, covered in red chimichurri or green garlic and onion sauce, and washed down with a litre of pale Palermo - a light Argentine beer. Sitting at the shelf with our perfectly cooked hunks of meat, it is easy to see why the word 'matambre' derives from the words 'kill hunger'. To our side, the wall is covered with slips of paper, 'postits' and signed photographs of visitors and patrons. It seems that the whole of the national football team have eaten here at some stage. Each message tells the story of a sated moment of complete satisfaction. Accompanying the food is the floor show, with portenos arriving, departing and simply calling by to chat with Freddy. So, should you find yourself at that point of hunger that requires urgent support - forget the restaurants: make for Freddy's, and enjoy one of Buenos Aires' most evocative gastronomic moments.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #558 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best sausage sandwich in BA 07/11/2017
    • Best sandwich ever. 09/10/2017
    • Nuestra Parrilla
    Address:
    Carlos Calvo 471
    San Telmo
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    12:30 - 17:30
    20:00 - 00:00
    Sat
    13:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Nuevo Gogy
    Restaurants
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Whenever I come to Buenos Aires I just have to call in here. Yes, it is a simple parilla, but authentic, unhurried and friendly service with great meat at the right price. After one visit it feels like home.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3,791 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    • Not the Greatest but a Rarity in Buenos Aires as it's Cheap! 24/09/2017
    • My kind of parilla 25/02/2015
    • Nuevo Gogy
    Address:
    Avenida San Juan 1201
    Buenos Aires C1148AAA
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4304-8631
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    18:00 - 22:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 14:00
    Sat
    18:00 - 00:00
  • Save
    Chochan
    Restaurants (Brew Pub, Steakhouse, Pub)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Tonight we ventured to CHOCHÁN (Piedras 672). If you are fed up with steak and pizza, Chochan is the place for you! Clara y Vicky made us so welcome. Try the wonderful pork, peanut butter and carrot burger, with home-made bread and dips, and take a side order of sweet potato chips. Then ask yourself why you haven't been eating at CHOCHÁN before. Truly stupendous!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2,099 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    • Great Food, Great Service, Great Prices 19/01/2017
    • Hands down the best restaurant in San Telmo 07/04/2016
    • Chochan
    Address:
    Thames 1625
    Buenos Aires C1414DDG
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 43073661
    Price range:
    US$7 - US$10
    Hours:
    Wed - Fri
    19:00 - 01:00
    Sat
    13:00 - 01:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Tango Classes with Lucia & Gerry
    Lessons & Workshops
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    So, you are on a short trip to Buenos Aires and would like to learn to dance Argentine tango? Lucia and Gerry are the perfect tango hosts. Fluent in English, honest and charming, with a flair for making the task of learning tango really accessible, Lucia and Gerry are perfect teachers, taking the stress out of tango. Another massive benefit, never to be underestimated, is the way that they take care of you during your visit - milongas, shopping and the little problems that can crop up if you don't speak Castillano. It is like having two special and supportive friends in Buenos Aires. Highly recommended!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 81 Classes & Workshops in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Loved it!!!! 17/11/2017
    • Fantastic Evening!! 16/11/2017
    • Tango Classes with Lucia & Gerry
    Address:
    Peru 571
    Buenos Aires C1064AAO
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 3968-6627
    Other:
  • Save
    El Desnivel
    Restaurants (Steakhouse, Latin, Barbecue, Argentinian)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Parillas abound in San Telmo - we have visited many of them, and. El Desnivel is my favourite. It one of the older and more traditional parillas, serving excellent meat from a scrupulously well run kitchen. We had the fortune to be served bif de lomo followed by pancakes with dulce de leche by Hernan, who always makes eating there an occasion. The restaurant is much bigger than first appears, extending back from the street into several areas on two floors. Clientele is a mix between tourists and locals, many of whom are regulars. If you are seeking a really fun night out with some of the best steak in San Telmo, this is the place for you.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #164 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fantastic, cheap and worth it! 18/11/2017
    • very good beef! 15/11/2017
    • El Desnivel
    Address:
    Calle Defensa 855
    Buenos Aires C1065AAO
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4300-9081
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    20:00 - 01:00
    Tue - Sun
    12:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    El Ateneo Grand Splendid
    Architectural Buildings, Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    No visit to Buenos Aires can be complete without making a visit to the stupendous Ateneo bookshop in Av Santa Fé. For my visits, the books were 'props' rather than purpose, and the café was and excuse for tea rather than a reason. But this space is breathtaking. For this reason, you will need to take a friend. Enter from Ave Santa Fé blindfold and have your escort lead you to the lift immediately before the theatre entrance. Two floors brings you to the upper gallery. From the lift, walk forward to the balcony and remove the blindfold. Suddenly, below, and around you - a view of this exciting space that used to be a theatre. Restored with a combination of public grant and private investment, the theatre has lost little of its former charm, with the exception of the escalators that rise from lower ground level. After feasting on the view, descend the staircase and enter the auditorium, now the main bookshop floor. Pick up a book to read, and walk to the stage to take a table, or better, a sofa. Look to your right where the theatre's former stage control panels are interestingly still in place. It has to be said that café service at Ateneo is not why you are here - allow yourself an hour for a coffee and cake and inflated cheque - and do not think that you will ever catch the waiter's eye without standing on your chair. But your visit will be one of the highlights of your trip - you will forget the service, the cost of tea and even the books, remembering the moment when your first peeped over the upper circle and saw the view.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 206 Shopping in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Though I prefer books in English and with pictures sometimes centrefolds this place was very cool. 18/11/2017
    • Has to be seen to be believed 18/11/2017
    • El Ateneo Grand Splendid
    Address:
    Avenida Santa Fe 1860
    Barrio Recoleta
    Buenos Aires C1123AAN
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4813-6052
    Other:
  • Save
    La Biela
    Restaurants (Bar, Cafe, Argentinian, South American)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    See and be seen in this fashionable café right in the heart of Recoletta

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #208 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    • Nice lunch... 18/11/2017
    • Tourist trap 18/11/2017
    • La Biela
    Address:
    Avenida Pte Manuel Quintana 600
    Recoleta
    Buenos Aires C1129ABO
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4804-0449
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 02:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Recoleta Cemetery
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Historic and fascinating. You're in for a big surprise!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Look out for the cats.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 795 things to do in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing 18/11/2017
    • Interesting and ornate tombs 17/11/2017
    • Recoleta Cemetery
    Address:
    Junin 1790
    Buenos Aires 1116
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4804-7040
    Other:
  • Save
    Plaza San Martin
    Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Good starting point for a trip - giving easy access to Calle Florida and lots of shopping!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 795 things to do in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice park and statue 17/10/2017
    • So Much to See 02/09/2017
    • Plaza San Martin
  • Save
    Cafe Tortoni
    Cabarets
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Before parting, after an afternoon taking in the late sunshine, walking with tourists, talking in Castillano and shopping in San Telmo, on our way home my Argentine friend and I stopped by at Cafe Tortoni in Avenida de Mayo 825. She was keen to show me the cafe, one of the most famous landmarks here in Buenos Aires, and was amazed that I had survived for four months here without visiting this place. The small queue outside is nothing remarkable. In the Capital Federal, people will form an orderly queue for any excuse...waiting for a bus, at the supermarket, waiting to go into a shop where the door has been closed due to the numbers inside, waiting outside a cinema or theatre. Within moments the doorman ushers us inside. A table for two. This is a marble table in the centre of a very large saloon. The walls are panelled with dark wood and mirrors. All around are pictures and photographs of the glitterati who had dined there, including of course Carlos Gardel and Jorges Borges. This is a place for artists, intellectuals, writers, thinkers, talkers, people with money, people with aspirations and people with dreams. We are amongst the latter category, aspiring to be all of the former. Around us are seated many others taking tea and eating delicious cakes topped high with cream and fruit. They look at us casually, but carefully. To enter this place you have to have a purpose. Is he a celebrity? A famous writer? Maybe a politician? He is wearing a suit. He is helping her with her coat. He must be English and very tall for Buenos Aires - over 6'2" and she is Argentine, elegant and at least 5'10". My friend leans towards me, teasingly whispering as if addressing the group of women at a nearby table "Stop looking, he's mine!" The waiter is splendid and arrives unnecessarily with a menu. I know my friend's choice. Obvious from the moment we met when she asked hopefully "Are either of your parents Swiss or Belgian"? We order two submarinos and chocolate mouse to share. Submarinos are exactly what they sound. A tall glass of hot milk on a decorative saucer. Alongside an oblong object wrapped in cellophane. I follow her lead and unzip the envelope. Inside is a wonderful chocolate...it is, of course, in the shape of a submarine; it sinks slowly into the milk and diffuses. Five stirs later and a glass of hot chocolate is born. But the cake? Chocolate cake, topped with chocolate mouse, topped with chocolate, topped with cream. Two spoons. Two small glasses of sparkling water. Six minutes. Somewhere either above or beyond is the sound of a piano. Here, the sound of voices from every continent. Elegance, tea, pastries, glances, her fingers at the nape of his neck, their laughter, his newspaper, her book, and wafting between, the waiters carrying high above their heads trays with more delicacies to delight the afternoon. It is almost impossible not to get intoxicated by the atmosphere which has secured Cafe Tortoni's distinction since 1852. It is one of those unchanging places, neither changing from day to day nor year to year. Only the waiters and the portraits on the walls age. The rest drifts on a lost moment of elegance and sophistication which survived the economic crisis as it did numerous dictatorships and civic oppression. And for a moment, I am a part of it. Playing out a role as part of other's dreams, and dreaming myself.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #62 of 795 things to do in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Pretty place but too crowded and abit overrated 14/11/2017
    • Don't be fooled by the queues 09/11/2017
    • Cafe Tortoni
    Address:
    Avenida de Mayo, 825
    Buenos Aires 1084
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4342-4328
    Hours:
    Sun
    09:00 - 01:00
    Mon - Sat
    08:00 - 01:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Mercado de San Telmo
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    A place of massive interest - food, antiques, people ....and coffee at Coffee Town

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #73 of 795 things to do in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Covered indoor market that opened in 1897 and sells an eclectic mix of goods from fresh produce to antiques. 05/11/2017
    • Colorful place 03/10/2017
    • Mercado de San Telmo
    Address:
    Defensa 963
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    Other:
  • Save
    Plaza Dorrego
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Coffee, a glass of wine or a beer and tango. Sit and soak up the atmosphere.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #72 of 795 things to do in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Historic Plaza where you can watch couples tango dancing for the cost of a donation. 05/11/2017
    • Go on Sunday when the market is there 23/10/2017
    • Plaza Dorrego
    Other:
  • Save
    Coffee Town
    Coffee Shops
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Simply the best coffee in Buenos Aires; served by friendly staff in an architectural delight.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 176 Nightlife in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • OK 02/05/2017
    • Break in the Markets. 28/01/2017
    • Coffee Town
    Address:
    Calle Gral Simon Bolivar 976
    San Telmo
    Buenos Aires C1066AAT
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4300-7333
    Other:
  • Save
    La Brigada
    Restaurants (Steakhouse, Latin, Barbecue, Argentinian, South American)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    Great parilla - enjoy your steak in this superb, traditional restaurant

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Family
    Tips
    • Bif de lomo
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #75 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The Place for Beef 14/11/2017
    • BA parilla staple 08/11/2017
    • La Brigada
    Address:
    Calle Estados Unidos 465
    San Telmo
    Buenos Aires C1101AAI
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4361-5557
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 - 15:00
    20:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Maldita Milonga
    Performances
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    With the excitement of El Affronte - a ten musician band, this has to be the place to see authentic tango.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 153 Concerts & Shows in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great band, variable service 17/11/2017
    • Great night! 08/06/2017
    • Maldita Milonga
    Address:
    Peru 571
    San Telmo
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 2189-7747
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Wed
    21:00 - 02:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The New Brighton
    Restaurants (Steakhouse, European, Argentinian, South American)
    See more photos
    stephenjtwist Says:

    We have just returned from a celebratory dinner at 'The New Brighton', just 40 metres from Calle Florida, the restaurant looking opulently into Calle Sarmiento. Attentive staff meet you at the door to take you to your chosen table. This was a Monday night, so the restaurant was fairly quiet. Dressed in mahogany and stained glass, formerly a haberdashery, along the long wall are the original cabinets formerly used to display fashions and silks. The mature male waiters in white coats compliment the period feel. Menus are in Castellano or English, mirroring a predominant English/American speaking clientele -especially those from visiting airlines. Whilst there are more 'exotic' dishes like goat, suckling pig and rabbit, you may wish to stay with the tried and tested parrilla. The lomo is perfect (210 pesos) with papas fritas (80 pesos) and Trumpeter Malbec (205 pesos). We avoided the starters, but indulged in postres, ending with a bill of 1770 pesos for four diners, (to include two bottles of Malbec). An aspect of the evening is quintessentially English, yet laminated to an essentially Porteño experience. It works in an 'old world' way within the new world of Buenos Aires. For quality of food and service, The New Brighton is excellent. Yes, it is a Buenos Aires experience, but maybe I am not quite ready for fine dining, preferring the vernacular corner parrilla - such as Rodriguez Peña Parrilla. However, you will certainly not be disappointed; if a special meal is what you seek, you will find that The New Brighton deserves its currently 12th place in TripAdvisor rated restaurants in the city.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 4,568 restaurants in Buenos Aires
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing service, ambiance and lovely drinks 13/11/2017
    • Great service in an impressive restaurant 03/11/2017
    • The New Brighton
    Address:
    Sarmiento 645
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 4322-1515
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$100
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    08:00 - 00:00
  • Save
    La Confiteria Ideal
    Dance Clubs & Discos
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    stephenjtwist Says:

    Today it has rained. The huge clap of thunder this morning signalled a gorgeous downpour that cleaned the air and washed the streets. Only afterwards did the pair of blackbirds start to sing, and steam rose from the evaporating pavements. After a light lunch of avocado, bread and soft cheese - with home made chimichurri vinaigrette, I strolled out through San Telmo, crossing Av de Mayo at the centre of the city and turning right into Suipacha. There at 380 is Confiteria Ideal. The entrance is imposing in a lost century way. The cafe dates back to 1912 and is in the Parisian fashion of 'glittering splendour'. Manuel Rosendo Fernandez was its founder and his beautiful French wife was its inspiration. The tea room is on the ground floor, with marble, mirrors, wrought iron and dark wood panels. Between the tables, set with white starched cloths, is a sense of space - as if at any moment this place could evaporate in time like the earlier rain. It is faded elegance at its best. I do not linger at the ground level, but follow the turned marble staircase and music. Above is a large, airy salon, the floor again marble, surrounded by tables set with red cloths. The first impression for the Argentine tango dancer is that one has either come home or gone to heaven. There is a quality to the atmosphere which says, "You will leave this place but it will always be within you". My hosts are Rudi and Linde who have arrived early to dance and secured the best table with the support of the best waiter at the head of the room, where I join them. We embrace and sit together sipping chilled sparkling water. It is 3,00 pm and small handful of elegant dancers grace the floor for Diego Alvaro y Zoraida Fontclara’s afternoon milonga. I prepare to test my new dance shoes. For the cynical tangueros amongst you who may read this blog, I have to correct one thing. Despite the presence of tourists (now the life-blood of tango here in Buenos Aires), Confiteria Ideal is still unsurpassed as a venue for dancing. The floor is large, the room cooled by fans rather than chilled by air conditioning, and the music soft and lyrical. Here are exquisite dancers of all ages who take joy in dance. If your experience of Ideal is not of the best, visit on a Friday afternoon before mid April each year, and accept my cabeceo. Together we will weave the dream afresh to restore your faith in dancing in this place.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 176 Nightlife in Buenos Aires
    • For a romantic heart 29/06/2017
    • Walking back through time... 12/12/2016
    • La Confiteria Ideal
    Address:
    Suipacha 384
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    Phone:
    +54 11 5265-8069
    Other:
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