Going out in Buenos Aires? We cover Monday through Sunday, Palermo to San Telmo, grub to suds.
Monday – Abasto / Centro
Since many restaurants, bars and boliches take the night off, going out Monday nights in Buenos Aires have become synonymous with La Bomba del Tiempo (Ciudad Cultural Konex, Sarmiento 3131). Grab a half liter of beer served in a massive plastic cup and jam with locals, foreigners, backpackers and hippies to the sounds and rhythms of this impressive 18-piece percussion band.
After all that dancing (and possibly other party-enhancing activities passed to you by the hippies), you won’t want to walk far to get down and dirty with some of the city’s favorite ethnic food joints. Luckily, the Peruvian ‘hood, aka Abasto, is only blocks away, so you can easily get your grub on at some of the best (and cheapest) Peruvian restaurants in the city. Los Trujillanitos (Corrientes 3564) may have that hole-in-the-wall motif, but their giant portions of ceviche mixto are totally fresh and scrumptious. If you are with a bigger group, head over to massive mess hall-esque restaurant, Mamani (Aguero 707), and sink your teeth into pollo a la brasa, Peruvian roasted chicken, extra juicy, served with hefty sides of French fries and salad.
If you don’t want the night to end just yet, Club Severino (Hipolito Yrigoyen 851) is the place to go. The hottest, and one of the only clubs open on Monday nights, kick it with a mix of foreigners and locals until the sun comes up.
Tuesday Almagro – Palermo
Take a break from the meat-based parrilla diet and head out for an early-ish dinner at Los Sabios (Corrientes 3733). This tenedor libre (all you can eat buffet) serves Chinese and Argentine influenced veggie food, complete with a full salad bar. But beware: this healthy haunt only serves water, soft drinks and non-alcoholic beer.
For those going out that are looking for an informal setting to dabble in the exotic art form of Tango, La Catedral (Sarmiento 4001) is the milonga for you. It’s pretty much obligatory to partake in at least one Tango class while in Buenos Aires, so why not try out a modern hipster-bohemianized version? Located in a converted warehouse in Almagro, dating back to the 1880s, take part in their nightly Tango classes (at 9:30pm) for beginner and intermediate dancers. After the class is over, stick around for a vino tinto or fernet y coca at the bar, and watch the experienced new age Tango dancers in their element. If you have major huevos, or enough alcohol in your system, track down an eligible dance partner and join in.
For some extra-late night fun, DJs from around the world pump Indie, Hip Hop, Dubstep and Drum & Bass beats at HYPE (Kika Club, Honduras 5339). This Tuesday night party gets pretty rowdy around 2:30am, just as the scantily dressed chicas start to shake it on the dance floor. If you can get yourself on the list, admission is free before 1:30am.
Wednesday – Palermo Soho
Trendy Palermo bar Magdalena’s Party gets their kitchen taken over by POKE, serving Asian and Latin American fused delights. An outstanding option if you crave spicy food and bold flavors, this street food inspired menu is only available on Wednesday nights, serving up treats that are famous within the BA food lover’s community. Try bomb-ass dishes like sesame noodles, lettuce wraps and tamarind-glazed ribs.
Stick around Magdalena’s Party and get your drinking on, with a killer happy hour that lasts until 12:00am. The English and Spanish speaking crowd makes it easy to strike up a conversation in any language, and make some new friends to keep on going with your night.
Walk a few blocks over to Rio Café (Honduras 4772) for their Wednesday night party Rocking Rio. Too-cool-for-school DJs play a great mix of electro jams overlooking a tiny dance floor while bartenders mix up mind popping strong drinks. Rub elbows and brush butts (the place gets busy) with a crowd of hipsters, wannabe hipsters and those who complain about the hipsters. If you are looking to hook up with the ultra-trendy, this might just be your lucky day.
Thursday – Palermo Hollywood
There are thousands of pizzerías to choose from to eat this ultra-cheesy, porteño food favorite. Siamo nel Forno (Costa Rica 5886) stands out from the rest, cooking up the city’s first true Neapolitan pizza (pizza napoletana), that is baked in a wood-burning pizza oven. The light, airy dough, high quality ingredients, and homey atmosphere make Siamo THE place for an awesome pie.
After dinner, head towards Niceto Vega street where you will have a plethora of liver comatose-ing bar options all within a one block radius: Trendy, somewhat secret speakeasy Ferona (Humboldt 1445), English-Indian style pub Bangalore (Humboldt 1416), and the always busy bars (with infamous terraces) at Carnal (Niceto Vega 5511) and El Tiki Bar (Niceto Vega 5507).
Once the clock strikes 2:00am, hop across the street to Niceto Club for their legendary Thursday night party, known as Club 69. Expect a night filled with electro-hit bumping, amateur break dancing, and burlesque-like erotic bizarre performances.
Friday – Recoleta and Microcentro
Even if you aren’t working in Buenos Aires, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of an After Office (after work drinks). Make your way the pedestrian Reconquista Street in the microcentro for a grand selection of bars offering solid happy hour specials. Probably the most popular out of the bunch, Kilkenny (Marcelo T. Alvear 399) is an Irish Pub and Restaurant that has become an after office staple to start off your night with good ole’ drunken debauchery fun.
With an afternoon of drinking under your belt, you’ll probably need a hefty meal to soak up all that alcohol. Parrilla Peña (Rodriguez Peña 682) is everything you want in a traditional Argentina restaurant: good meat, cheap prices, and excellent service. This no-frills parrilla may be frequented by a more mature local crowd, but it really won’t matter once you start downing massive quantities of bife de lomo, crisp papas fritas and bottles of Malbec wine.
Take a break from a drinking-focused activity and jazz it up at Notorious Club (Callao 966). Disguising itself as a CD/DVD store from the outside, the intimate yet elegant jazz club is known for attracting travelers and locals of all ages to listen to a quality line-up of musicians. Tickets sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to buy ahead of time from the record shop.
Saturday – San Telmo
It’s Saturday night! Start it off right with a fabulous meal at Café San Juan (San Juan 450), one of the most well known restaurants in San Telmo. Café San Juan’s hype is for good reason; skater-boy chef Leandro Cristobol cooks up awesome modern Argentine food, with a heavy Spanish influence and a dash of his Hungarian roots. Don’t be surprised if you catch a film crew, as Café San Juan is also a reality show that airs throughout Latin America.
With a large quantity of bars in close vicinity, going out in San Telmo becomes quite the bar hopping destination. No matter what your crowd may be, San Telmo offers something appealing for all walks of life. Start the crawl by going on an excellent adventure and going back in time to Bar El Federal (Perú & Carlos Calvo), a Buenos Aires classic that has been going strong since 1864. Play a few rounds of pool at the infamous English pub Gibraltar (Peru 895). Find your body double and get a strong drink while you do so at Doppelgänger (Juan de Garay 500), a classic martini bar that commemorates the alcoholic favorites you hold so dear to your heart: gin, vodka and vermouth. To recharge your batteries, pop into La Puerta Roja (Chacabuco 733) and open your throat wide for a Chili Bomb: a chili vodka shot that is bombed into a heart-racing energy drink.
Sunday – Villa Crespo and Palermo
Your liver will thank you if you take the night off, so stay in and take advantage of one of the best things Buenos Aires has to offer: home delivery. You can get pretty much anything delivered right to your door at no extra charge (think sushi, ice cream, condoms, etc) and with websites like Buenos Aires Delivery, you don’t even need to know Spanish to order. Easy to use, you are just a few clicks away to a restful night of food and bootleg, subway purchased DVDs.
For those of you who are always the last to leave at a party, we have some tips for you too on what to do on a Sunday nights in Buenos Aires. Probably the most popular restaurant in Buenos Aires that doesn’t consist of the meat-focused persuasion, Sarkis (Thames 1101, Villa Crespo) makes some of the best Middle Eastern-esque Armenian food in the city. Pretty much always full of local families, groups of friends and a few tourists, order scrumptious plates like ensalada belén (roasted eggplant, peppers and nuts), hummus, lamb shish kebobs and a schlong shaped meat drenched in creamy yogurt sauce.
If you can manage to roll yourself out of Sarkis without toppling over, grab a few drinks at vermouth bar Esperanza de los Ascurra (Aguirre 526) a hot spot in the up-and-coming Villa Crespo neighborhood. It’s only open until 12am, just in time to crunk on over to Makena (Fitz Roy 1519) for their Sunday night Hip Hop party. For those looking to give the end of the week one last mega adios, go for some serious boliche-ing at raver’s paradise Club One (Alsin 940) or Amerika (Gascón 1040) for Gays-only night.