Buenos Aires, Argentina
Best place to have a leather jacket made without spending a fortune. Shhh… She made them for Keith Richards and Mick Jagger...
- More about your oliver guide: Cynthia Pillsbury
- Trip type: Family, City
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: 4 days
to & from
- Fly direct into Buenos Aires International Airport, about an hour from downtown BA. Hire a car in advance to take you to your hotel. Houston and Dallas are ideal places to embark from for Midwest/West Coast travelers because customs is a much easier process vs. Miami or Atlanta. Cabs are easy and inexpensive for all travel within Buenos Aires.
Where to Stay
- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires: Located in the Recoleta neighborhood. Great location and service, awesome breakfast buffet; comprised of two buildings, an old mansion and a newer tower, connected by a tunnel and a beautiful garden.
- Home: Located in the Palermo neighborhood also came highly recommended although we did not have a chance to check it out for ourselves.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Club de Cocina: Another “closed door” or “private” cooking school and restaurant that is not to be missed. Chef Fernando Mayoral who has traveled all over the Globe perfecting his skills has come home to Buenos Aires to feed tourist and locals alike. Fernando and his two person staff are incredibly fun and charming and refilled our wine glasses with incredible local wines while teaching us how to make delicious empanadas and grill the perfect cut of steak
- Pecora Nera (The Black Sheep): Chic, cozy and neighborhoody-feel in upscale Recoleta. We felt like we were among locals who come here every week for the delicious meat and fish options.
- Casa Cava: Chic place for lunch in Palermo, near the Evita Museum. Lovely to sit outside on the patio or inside under a ceiling of floating books and incredibly delicious salads, something for everyone including the wine list!
- Brandon: For a great lunch in Palermo Hollywood. Amazing salads, burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and chic atmosphere.
- Ninina: Another great lunch option located in Palermo Soho. Great healthy and organic options in a very stylish casual atmosphere. Smoothies, juices, salads and sandwiches. Good bakery too.
- Croque Madame: is located outside the Museum of Decorative Arts—good French café food in pretty setting. You can squeeze in a quick visit to the museum afterwards.
- Basa: Very good “modern cuisine” in a bar-like atmosphere with an industrial feel. Date night or skip it if you prefer old school and traditional.
- Cabana Las Lilas: Located in the Puerto Moreno district, the steak was the best we had but be warned the place feels new and American. Sit outside with a view of the water and watch the people walk by. It is more expensive than other steak restaurants in Buenos Aries.
- Don Julio: We were told by friends and the concierge that we must go to if we have kids. Yes, it was kid friendly and felt old and authentic but it was packed, mostly with tourists. If you go, order the tenderloin.
- La Cabrera: Similar to Don Julio—a very well-known, high quality steak-house but felt rushed and filled with tourists.
- The Temple Bar: Fun bar in Palermo Hollywood, young crowd with lots of beers and gardens surrounding. Our kids were allowed in until 10pm.
- The Faena Hotel & Tango Show: Very cool spot in the Puerto Marino area – amazing décor and great drinks by the pool. Very hip scene. Go early for a drink inside or out and enjoy a really authentic Tango Show—that breaks down the history of Tango in a very interesting, romantic and engaging way.
- Osaka: This is a restaurant I wished we had time to try. A sushi and ceviche menu, new hot restaurant in town, recommended by a friend from Buenos Aires.
- Fervor: Another spot I was sad we did not have time to try. Known for meats and seafood, in Recoleta near the Park Hyatt.
What to Do
- Walk and shop the Palermo Soho: neighborhood. Very fun shops and cobblestone streets with plenty of ice cream shops to keep you fueled. Check out the shop Gato for fun items for the kids and Facon for unique home items with a sweet wine bar.
- Biking Buenos Aires: We did a 3 hour private tour focused on the parks in the Palermo and Recoleta areas with Kay and Rodri as our guides. It was an amazing way to see the city and learn about the history and culture of Buenos Aires. We were very impressed with the knowledge of our guides and the casual but effective way they were able to communicate with our children. Our highlight was a Matte ceremony under a statue of Evita. Make sure to specify bike sizes for children in advance.
- San Telmo Market: If you are lucky enough to be in BA on a Sunday take a stroll through the most historic and charming district, San Telmo where Sundays are filled with local merchants selling everything from silver to polo accessories.
- MALBA: Latin American art fill the modern and ultra-cool walls of the Malba located in the beautiful Palermo Chico. The museum is small and full of visual delight. The on-site restaurant, Café des Artes is a lovely place to sit outside and have lunch and a glass of Malbec. Palermo Chico, full of embassies, Ambassador residences and beautiful homes is a charming area to wonder around after taking in some art.
- Shop Hop BA: If time is short but you want to come home with some Argentinian treasures, Sophie Lloyd will guide you in the right direction. Communicate with her in advance as to what you are looking for and she will make sure she has spots for you to discover... mostly off the beaten path. There is no pressure to buy and she is a joy to be around. Also has good recommendations on where to eat and what to do other than shop in BA and will follow up with you to make sure you got everything you needed.
- Bettina Rizzi: Best place to have a leather jacket made without spending a fortune. Shhh… She made them for Keith Richards and Mick Jagger the last time they were in town. She is located a block from Florida Street, Maipu 929, Buenos Aires.
- Walk and shop the Palermo Soho neighborhood. Very fun shops and cobblestone streets with plenty of ice cream shops to keep you fueled. Check out Gato for fun desk items for the kids (or for you) and Facon for unique home items and a sweet wine bar.
- La Recoleta Cemetery: Take a stroll through this city-like maze containing the graves of some of Argentina's most famous and influential people. The graves themselves are architectural wonders. A tour was recommended to us but we did not take one.
What to Pack