International cities considered, Buenos Aires tops the list as far as being kid-friendly. Although the city’s economic stability fluctuates, it’s real roots are founded in relationships and family. Therefore, the welcoming and warm spirit of most Porteños (Buenos Aires residents) extend open arms to families with kids of all ages. There’s no need to worry about your kids being noisy or rambunctious in public; they will fit right in!
As you plan out your trip, we have provided the best-of’s for where to eat, shop and explore, based on your family’s onda (style). We recognize that each family has it’s own way of doing things, and that influences the way we travel. So choose the onda that most resembles your family, and start reading about your soon-to-be favorite spots!
For the “live like a local” family:
We know your type. When your family travels, you like to stay off the beaten tourists’ path. Whether it’s to avoid the crowds or to experience something more unique, you want your family to be on “the inside” by trip’s end. If you’d rather go to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant than a Michelin star, then this list is guaranteed to give you a taste of the better life, the Porteño life.
Dining – Club Eros, Hache, Scannapieco
Club Eros (Uriarte 1609) – Guaranteed, you’ll be the only tourists in sight when you visit Club Eros, a true Argentine experience. It’s a no-frills restaurant inside a soccer club, where you’ll find locals with their families and deliciously greasy food. Do yourself a favor and order the Argentine classic, milanesa – breaded, fried meat. They are big enough to split, and you can order it “Napolitana” style, topped with ham and cheese or “a caballo” style, topped with a fried egg. Add a side of fries or salad. Milanesa is great kid-friendly food, and it will definitely be one of your cheapest meals in the city.
Hache (Ángel Justiniano Carranza 1670) – is a wine and picada bar without the pretentiousness, located in Palermo. If your kids like lunchables, they will love picadas. Picadas are an assortment of deli meats, cheeses, olives, and bread. They serve as the perfect Argentine party starter or appetizer. This is a great spot to visit with elementary-age kids and when the weather is nice enough to sit in their sidewalk seating.
Scannapieco (Av. Álvarez Thomas 10) – Traveling with kids is the perfect excuse to stop for ice cream – time, after time, after time – and Buenos Aires gives you ample opportunity. There are so many places to choose from, but Scannapieco is a staple Argentine establishment with an old-school helado shop feel. From its neon sign to its plethora of traditional flavors your kids will love all the local flavors like dulce de leche con banana. And the parents will love trying out some of the more exotic flavors.
Sopa de principes, Fabrica de Munecas
This Palermo shop featuring puppets and other toys, is a great place to buy an Argentine souvenir for your kids. They’ll love looking at the large variety of puppets, dreamed up by Argentine artist/designer, Victoria Longoni.
– Don Silvano Estancia
Nothing gets more Argentine than a trip to an estancia, like Don Silvano, where you’ll get the opportunity to live like a gaucho for a day. Your kids will love the horseback riding, tango show, shuffleboard and bike riding. While the parents will enjoy a day of relaxation in the country, including an authentic Argentine meal complete with steak, wine and flan. The best way to travel to an Estancia is booking a remis, a call-ahead taxi service, or arranging with the estancia of your choosing.
For the granola-toting family
If the first items on your packing list were organic gummies, plant-based diapers and essential oils, then we’ve got the perfect places for you. Our curated, healthy and wholesome list of activities will guarantee that you and your family can get your organic fix in Buenos Aires.
Dining: Ohsawa, Ninina, The Factory, Felix Felices
First on your dining list, visit Ohsawa (Honduras 5900), a bright space with minimal, botanical decor and Japanese elements that will inspire. The food, based on macrobiotic principles, is tasty and the tofu empanadas are on point. You’ll hardly be missing it’s delicious counterpart – the carne empanada.
Another “must-visit” for the healthy eater, is Ninina (Gorriti 4738), another beautiful space with marble and copper elements. Their menu is diverse with salads, quinoa bowls, juices, gluten free cakes and a variety of other less healthy, but equally tempting options.
To grab a quick juice or smoothie, the fast food of the disciplined, visit The Factory Juice Bar in Palermo, or Be Juice Bar in Recoleta, and pack in as many nutrients as possible into one cup.
For a different kind of fuel, get your caffeine fix at Felix Felices (José Antonio Cabrera 5002), one of the rare cafes in the city where you can order a latte with leche de almendra (almond milk). Also, your kids will love the subtle Harry Potter references.
Shopping: Espacio Zorro Rojo
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Spark your children’s imagination by reading with them at Espacio Zorro Rojo, the anchor store of a brilliant children’s publication company based out of Buenos Aires and Barcelona. A few reads that we recommend are “Isla de los Perros” and “Romance,” for spanish reads or “The Old Animal’s Forest Band “ for an English read.
Day Trip: Temaiken Zoo
Detox from the hustle of Buenos Aires, and get in tune with nature at the Temaiken Biopark located 30 minutes outside of the city. The zoo has a large selection of animals such as lions, cheetahs, hippos, kangaroos and many more. It’s extremely interactive, with an aquarium, petting area and bird sanctuaries. The lush bird sanctuaries feature the five continents, with birds specific to each region. You and your family can even walk inside the bat cage. (Hold your nose…It smells rank!) Visit their website to find the best route for your family to get to the zoo.
For the in-vogue family
Your beautiful, blog-status family, has an instagram account that looks magazine worthy. Your family makes raising kids look easy and yes, even “cool”. Your last family vacation was probably Berlin, and you’re looking for a Latino Brooklyn. If the words “minimalist,” “stylish,” “Kinfolk,” or “hipster” excite you, then these are the right spots for you and your family.
Dining – Cocu, La Alacena, Chori, Lucciano’s
What is more in-vogue than a french bakery, employed with French workers, who make chocolate croissants filled with almond cream that will make your heart melt? Visit Cocu (Malabia 1510) for a french-feeling, carb-packed morning.
If you are craving something more Italian-chic, the bakery and restaurant combo, La Alacena (Gascón 1401), will fit the bill. It features Italian dishes, homemade dessert tarts, clever appetizers (branch out and try the sardines) and a cozy family environment. Also, visit the hipster bookstore next door, Libros Ref, which offers great hidden titles and a kid’s section of books.
Chori (Thames 1653) is the place to go for a quick-stop meal that is still on-trend. Revolutionizing the traditional sausage sandwich, Chori offers choripanes (sausage sandwiches) in unique variations that will have you and your family coming back for more. After trying them all, our personal favorites are el Cordero, Colorado Picante and Ahumado.
To visit the trendiest ice cream parlor around, stop by Lucciano’s (Honduras 4881) for paletas (ice cream popsicles) that come in an array of flavors, along with the option of being dipped in chocolate and doused in toppings of all sorts. Need we say more?
Shopping: Editor Market
Everything cool and caro (expensive) can be found at Editor Market (Corrientes 503), a nine-story department store that has dedicated it’s top two floors to children’s paraphernalia. Unlike your traditional department store, Editor is a compilation of many individually-owned companies in the city, packed into one compact shopping experience. There are two Editor locations but visit the one by the Obelisco, on Corrientes, for the largest selection.
Day Trip – Art and a Tour on the Tigre Delta
For an art fix and a day out of the city spend a day in Tigre, to experience a very different culture than that of the busy Porteños. Your family can take a boat tour down the delta to see the unique lifestyle of those who live there, traveling to school, church, and market by boat. Another point of intrigue is former-President Sarmiento’s house along the river, preserved by a glass encasing. There is an art museum nearby, and a market on the weekends. The most cost-effective way to travel to Tigre is by hopping on the train via the Mitre line, headed towards Tigre.
Tips for Parents Visiting Buenos Aires for the First Time
-Make sure you fit in a siesta (mid-day nap) for your kids, because most restaurants don’t open until 8 PM for dinner. With the culture’s night-owl mentality, your kids will most likely be out way past their bedtime.
-Parents of picky eaters – rest assured. Argentine food is typically very kid-friendly, with pizza, ice cream and empanada spots on almost every corner. If your kids hate vegetables, they will love Argentine cuisine.
-For quick eats with kids: Dogg, Burger Joint, Kentucky
-For American dinner time: Kansas, Ninina, El Club de la Milanesa
-For cafes with play areas: Fii Fun House, Casa Muamor
We recommend bringing a stroller, some quick snacks for when you’re on the run, and your diaper bag essentials. For babies, although you can easily find wipes and diapers here, it would be helpful to pack for the first few days until you can get to the store to restock.
Although the city is easily accessible with public transportation, the buses, trains and subways can become uncomfortably crowded during rush hours. With kids in tow, we recommend you skip the crowds and hail a taxi or uber. They are very affordable options, if you want to avoid packing the whole family onto the bus.
Also, try to find accommodations in the neighborhood where you plan on spending the majority of your time, because most barrios (neighborhoods) are very walking-friendly.
Enjoy your family’s adventures through Buenos Aires, whether you’re all-natural, fashion-forward, or porteno-minded. Read about more kid-friendly, parent-fun activities while in Buenos Aires here.