The artists' neighborhood of La Boca is a great place to find street art.

You can find original street art in the artists’ neighborhood of La Boca.

WT Trip Leader Rob Noonan first visited Buenos Aires in 1993, and he loved it so much that he’s been back every year since. We asked him to reveal some of his favorite places in the “Paris of the South.”

WT: Where’s a good spot to experience the vibrant energy of Buenos Aires?

Rob Noonan: I’m rarely up for the “night club” scene, but BA’s happy hour (called “after-office” in Argentina) is lively and runs from 5 p.m. till… A great place to take part in the action is Le Bar on Tucuman 422. It’s stylish and modern, with multiple levels and lots of low-slung couches where you can sit and relax, chat, and people-watch. The music can vary from tango to techno. Grab a mojito (their mixed drinks are excellent) and sit on one of the outside patios on the roof—a delight early in the night. Another nearby hotspot for local professionals is Dada at San Martin 941. Dada has some tasty eats, including seafood pasta, and it’s also a fine place for a vino tinto and ojo de bife (ribeye cut).

WT: Speaking of food, what’s one local dish that travelers should be sure to try while they’re in the city?

RN: Empanadas—kinda like mini-calzones with a variety of fillings. I love those made with corn humitas, lamb, and cheese and onion, too. Also try provoleta grillada, which is basically a grilled yummy chunk of provolone cheese! And everyone knows of the great Argentine meats, but please don’t neglect the amazing Italian food in Buenos Aires, which has a large Italian population. Filo, on San Martin 975, has tasty Italian dishes, especially the thin-crust pizza. Also D’Oro, at Peru 159, has classic risottos. For “health food,” try Pura Vida at Reconquista 516.

WT: How about one sight in the city that many travelers don’t know about, but that you think is worth seeing?

RN: One important-yet-sad part of Argentine history is the Dirty War [waged from 1976 to 1983 when Argentina‘s military dictatorship led a campaign of detention and torture against suspected left-wing political opponents]. Instituto Espacio para la Memoria offers informative English-language tours of Dirty War sites at 11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

WT: Where is the best place in BA for travelers to find special souvenirs?

RN: I love street art! Visit the neighborhoods of La Boca and San Telmo, and keep your eyes open for original oils, waters colors, and pencil pieces. While you’re in San Telmo, take time to poke into all of the antique stores. On Sunday morning, San Telmo also has an amazing street fair that runs for about 20 blocks. And every evening on Calle Florida, a pedestrian mall in downtown BA, many local artists paint and vend in the street. I have returned home many a time with a painting rolled up in a tube in my bag, and it has arrived in fine condition. Framing often costs more than the original piece!

WT: You’ve visited BA for so many years, what keeps you coming back?

RN: Friends, food, art, and the amazing human energy in the city will keep a part of my heart in BA forever!

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail