24 October 2012

5 Better than Average Eats in Buenos Aires

I couldn’t possibly review every tiny café, almacén, bar, tienda, etc. that I experience in my daily routine, living and working in Buenos Aires. Not because I go out constantly, but because just walking through the city, they are everywhere and they all start to look the same. In my short time here, I have, however, come across a few spectacular spots that are worth checking out.

1. Lo de Roberto
A friend said, “There’s this tiny place where this old guy sings…” and I was sold. Lo de Roberto, or El Boliche de Roberto, truly is a hidden gem. At the corner of Bulnes and Juan Domingo Perón, you could easily miss the unassuming store front if you weren’t looking for it. But look for it! Because the old timey bottles that adorn the walls are enough to make you feel cinematic. After a cheap fernet y cola and two hours past your bedtime, expect a duo of strapping young Argentines to take front and center, to crack mild mannered jokes between traditionally appreciated tango songs. No mic, just an acoustic guitar and a classic voice. It’s as romantic as it sounds in a dingy old place with 100 years of family history telling the stories. And if you’re lucky, the old guy will come out and sing.
Image via Jared Johnson

2. D’accordo
The next morning head over to D’accordo at Paraguay and Bonpland in Palermo Hollywood. It looks a lot like all the other cafes with chalkboard promociones and decent outside seating. But the great thing about it is that the high ceilings, the enormous windows, and the ample tables for two and four make it a quiet and lovely place to enjoy a café in the morning or afternoon. What’s better is a café con leche y dos AMAZING medialunas will only set you back $14 pesos, which is lower than most places, particularly in that area. And the medialunas really are that good. I’m talking huge, and perfectly airy with a light, crispy outside covered in that sweet, sticky whatever-it-is. A shot of jugo de naranja and one of agua con gas and I’m good.
Image via Lost Girls

3. El Nono Amigo
In the same ‘hood (and every ten steps of every block ever) you’ll find another one of Argentina’s prized possessions: empanadas. At El Nono Amigo, you may find the typical varieties like carne and jamón y queso. But you will also find some delicious and (gasp!) vegetarian delights at $6 pesos a pop. The Amigo uses herbed artichoke hearts and eggplant to stuff their little hot pockets and they are as delicious as they sound. Grab a couple fresh out of the oven for lunch or stock up on a dozen for $60 ARS.
Image via Laylita

4. Sugar
If you’ve had enough Argentine specialties and need a little expat flavor, Sugar bar at Armenia and Costa Rica will deliver. This dark, no frills spot offers 2 pintas de Quilmes for $35 pesos between 7pm and midnight every day of the week. For me, the real star of their menu is the chicken burrito. All I want in life is black beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, and some grilled chicken in a big, fat tortilla. It’s hard to come by around here, but Sugar does it right at $45 pesos. It is huge so devour half and save the other half for tomorrow’s lunch. Stick around for fútbol or breaking US news on one of their giant flatscreens for more reminders of why you came here in the first place.
Image via Kekanto

5. Cossab
If legit beer is what you want and what you need, Cossab at José Mármol and Carlos Calvo in Boedo make their own. From blonde to red to brunette, Cossab crafts what have been called the city’s “finest brews.” They also offer drafts from local pub Antares as well as a large bottle selection from around the world. Slighty divey but honestly charming, Cossab also provides a decent menu including all the usuals; pizza, picada, y parilla. At $25-27 pesos a pint, try the Rubia and the Scotch for two totally different but totally perfect beers.
Image via Yours Truly

Got a place to add to my list? Let me know!

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