Learning Spanish in Buenos Aires doesn’t just mean going to classes. Once you achieve a basic level, it’s essential that you start practising your new skills with locals. Clubs might be a bit too noisy to get started, but bars and pubs are definitely a great option.
For you to try a great bar no matter in what neighbourhood in Buenos Aires you are, I’ve selected some of the best in different points of the city: Palermo, Villa Crespo, Recoleta and San Telmo.
These are our Top 6 bars in Buenos Aires:
This late XIX century building, used to be home to a very rich and powerful family of Buenos Aires. At the beginning of the XX century they gave it away, and became the first girl’s school of Latin America: “Liceo de Señoritas Nº 1 – José Figueroa Alcorta” for more than 70 years, until it moved to another building in 1980. The venue was turned into a commercial gallery, but it didn’t end up well: debts, distraints and financial crisis turned the place into the “Ghost Gallery”, as neighbours used to name it. But in 2006 a young lawyer decided to start buying the shops one by one, and soon, thanks to his patience and dedication, the gallery revived.
Nowadays, Patio del Liceo isn’t just another cool place of Buenos Aires: it’s a meeting point for young artists, designers, musicians, books and art lovers… but wait, why is Patio del Liceo in this “Top bars in Buenos Aires” list anyway?! Well, because in its patio, among artists’ and designers’ ateliers and shops, there are two little bars where you can buy pretty good beers or wines, and even a little something to eat. The best part? You can then drink your beer in one of the few tables in that beautiful patio or, even better, in one of the hidden benches the Gallery has in its different floors, among its hundreds of plants.
This one is a great option to meet nice people in a friendly atmosphere, while having drinks and listening to very good indie music.
This is a good example of how bizarre Buenos Aires can get: an old, typical bar in a forgotten neighbourhood turned into a meeting point for ping-pong lovers, “metegol” –table football– enthusiasts, billiards experts and, of course, hypsters.
At this place, the lines between a former Café and a cool bar blur bizarrely. It’s best known for being one of the most popular spots for hipsters and bohemians, but these guys coexist here with old time (male) customers who meet to play billiards or domino, or to discuss about politics and football.
Hypsters / ping-pong lovers have an informal, yet religious meeting every Tuesday evening, starting at 10 pm. Ping pong tables are paid voluntarily among all the players, and they all play with an also informal system: you just go to an occupied table and ask to play with the winner. There are implicit rules: it’s considered rude to stay in the table for more than 3 games in a row, or to play singles when there’re a lot of people waiting for their turn. These ping-pong nights finish late -when the sun is up again-, and it’s common to see local bands or DJs. San Bernardo Café is the perfect place to gather with friends and meet new -very cool- people!
3- FESTIVAL | 5741 Gorriti st. – Palermo
The perfect spot for original meals and cocktail lovers.
FESTIVAL is fully dedicated to exploring new combinations of drinks and food in order to create unique flavours. The atmosphere is very cool: friendly staff, great music and sometimes it’s possible to enjoy incredible art exhibitions by local artists. It has an industrial feel, since big, garage-style doors open on to a long, central bar, lined with recycled iron shutters.
Things may happen a bit late for foreigners here: happy hour starts at 4am.
4- Güll | 5502 Cabrera st. – Palermo
The newest of this selection of great bars in Buenos Aires is a real gem. Founded last year, Güll offers a great selection of draft beers and gin and tonics, and the food -half the menu is totally vegan– is delicious. The music is also carefully selected (but played in a moderate volume), and the waiters, waitresses and barmen offer a super-friendly atention.
Güll offers a laid-back atmosphere, and considering the tables on the quiet street and the wonderful terrace, it’s a special must when the wheather is nice. Finally, located just metres away from some of the top clubs in Palermo, it’s probably the best option for starting the party.
5- Sheldon | 4969, Honduras st. – Palermo
This bar not only stands out because of its beauty: it’s very popular for its musical setting that perfectly combines vintage jazz, rockabilly, tango, rock and 60/70 music.
Sheldon is perfect for those who want to cover different angles in one place: from food and drinks to music and performances.
It also has a beautiful roof, for those who love open spaces. You should definitely check it out when visiting Palermo.
The Beer House Experience is a special option: hidden in a beautiful, antique house in San Telmo, you have to make a reservation in advance and ring the bell to get in. Founded by a “beer sommelier” who creates the beers, cooks and serves the meals, this place offers an original experience: for a fixed price, you can drink all the draft beer you can (spectacular beers of different kinds), and you can choose among several options in a menu that includes an entrance, a main dish and a dessert, all of them amazing author plates prepared with beer. Yep… with beer! Vegetarian options are available.
WARNING! There are SO many awesome bars in Buenos Aires, that it’d be mad to stick to the ones Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor (or even I!) recommend. Porteños know how to have fun, so there’s a great bar for every taste… go find your favourite!