If you’re familiar with ALIGN, you know our affinity for Paris has never been understated. Huge fans of the cultural landscape that is France’s capital city, we’ve always been just as interested in experiencing the city that has been crowned “The Paris of South America”: Buenos Aires.
This year we decided to ditch January in Colorado to visit Argentina. After spending a week in Buenos Aires in stylish digs, enjoying the innovative food and beverage scene, and immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture, we are delighted to report back on our favorite pieces of Buenos Aires.
While the city’s top hotels are located in the affluent districts of Recoleta and Puerto Madero, we opted for a rental property in the stylish Palermo neighborhood, which served as an incredible homebase to explore Buenos Aires by foot. We spent warm mornings in our rooftop pool leisurely drinking espresso, and dedicated afternoons to exploring the nearby trendy boutiques, inviting cafes and fantastic restaurants.
For our first experience of the Argentine parilla, we visited one of Palermo’s famous restaurants, the uniquely styled La Cabrera. Stick to the ojo de bife, or ribeye, that comes with an impressive array of accoutrements. We haven’t stopped talking about their renowned starter dish of Provoleta, a provolone-style cheese grilled to dreamy perfection and served with chimichurri.
While visiting Palermo, be sure to check out Ninina. We frequented this minimalist yet delicious bakery for their green juices and outstanding alfajores, a traditional South American shortbread cookie with dulce de leche in its center. Be sure to order the burrata and, if you’re feeling bold, pair it with the “Hey Rose!”
On a particularly adventurous night, we tried out a new restaurant, Proper. Specializing in small plates, this was one of our more unique dining experiences in Buenos Aires. The pork chop was one of the best things we’ve tasted on our travels. A special thanks to the January 2018 issue of Food + Wine for pointing us in the “Proper” direction!
La Alacena was an unsuspected gem. This charming restaurant and bakery in Palermo serves up delicate dishes, including handmade pastas and inventive small plates. The stracciatella starter plate and the ricotta + pea ravioli were our personal favorites.
No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without the mandatory visit to Don Julio. This Palermo hot-spot is the most renowned steakhouse for tourists and locals alike. Though their steaks are definitely worth the hype, the beef empanadas coming out of Don Julio's kitchen might be the best-kept secret in the country.
Though not the boldest in Bordeaux, Buenos Aires’ beverage scene was diverse, rich and inviting. Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world, offering a variety of high quality libations. Classic Argentine innovation is setting the stage for their blossoming mixology and craft beer scene, which is taking off and gradually finding a place in the country’s nightlife culture.
A visit to La Malbequeria is perfect for a rainy day, or any day for that matter. This quaint wine bar and restaurant boasts a beautiful patio that made indulging in their exquisite Malbecs that much more enjoyable.
Casa Cavia, a chic concept store and restaurant, was a perfect place to take refuge for a cool cocktail. Their unique drink list is inspired by literary works of past, resulting in a fun and quirky range of drinks to choose from. We suggest the Tennessee Williams, one of The Monocle’s Top Choices.
Our last night in Buenos Aires, we strayed from wine to check out the emerging craft beer scene in the city with a visit to Patagoina Brewing, which has multiple bars throughout South America. Their Pale Ale almost had us missing Denver.
We explored Buenos Aires via cruiser bicycles with Biking Buenos Aires. Highlights of the “Heart of The City Tour” included exploring the diverse neighborhood of La Boca, learning more about Argentina’s controversial history, and trying Argentine’s beloved street food, lomito and choripan.
Buenos Aires has fostered a unique art scene, which is rooted primarily in the city’s tumultuous history. Street art is widely popular, with expressive graffiti and politically fueled murals scattered across the city. The city also hosts a plethora of museums and galleries suited to every taste. We took an afternoon to visit The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (better know as the MALBA), which specifically focuses on Latin American art from the 20th and 21st century. We caught the remarkable exhibition showcasing the Mexican Revolution.
We stumbled upon our favorite boutique, Patrón, just blocks away from our AirBnB. The shop showcases artisan jewelry, accessories, art, and decor from over 50 Argentine artists and designers. If you’re looking for a gift (for a friend or for yourself), this is the place to go— specifically for leather bags.
Culture, Design, Art and Food were the cornerstones of this truly unparalleled travel experience. We’re so happy to be able share our travels with you. Please feel free to share this list with anyone you know planning a trip to South America. And, if planning your international excursion seems like a daunting task, ALIGN can plan your trip to make sure you are making the best use of your time abroad.