Buenos Aires is indisputably one of the world’s best cities for partying, so here’s a little guide on where I did mine, starting with my favourite bars.
Puerta Roja– Chacabuco 733, San Telmo
Strangely I’m starting with a bar I haven’t been to, but this is on high recommendation from a porteña named Laura (she appeared in the previous article). It’s popular among locals and canny tourists, avoids the pricey cocktails you’ll find in Palermo and also serves great food (go for the Super Nachos). There’s also a pool table.
What to order: Their special, the chili-bomb. They’ll take a bottle of smirnoff, add some chilis and leave it for a while so it begins to taste like jalapeño, then serve it in a ‘bomb’ with red bull.
Cerveza Artesenal Antares– Armenia 1447, Palermo
The premier place to get craft beers and ales in Buenos Aires. Get there pretty early, as queues begin after about 9pm, but even so, it’s worth the wait. The atmosphere is pretty chilled, in a comfortable setting located in Palermo Viejo.
What to order: We had the Honey Beer and Barley Wine, both local creations, both really rich and tasty.
Franks-Arévalo 1445, Palermo
Frank’s is a strange paradox in that it’s a secret bar that has a website, facebook and twitter page, and permanent address, but I guess it’s mainly a secret among tourists. WELL THE SECRET’S OUT PEOPLE.
Getting in: clues are posted twice weekly on the facebook and twitter pages (in Spanish), and they also have a built in facebook password checker so you don’t get turned away at the door. Dress smartly, as there is a dress code, although they let my friend Frances in and she was looking terrible that night (huge joke, she was looking fiiiine- I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans but I charmed the doorman). The address is as above, and you’ll see a small plaque, nothing in neon or anything, above a rather unassuming entrance. Knock 3 times, then wait 5 seconds and knock another 5 times and the doorman will open up and exclaim, “I heard you the first time why the #$”@ did you just knock 8 times?” This is all part of the theatrics of it, so just play along. He’ll ask for the contraseña (password), you provide it, and then you’re ushered inside to a dark, shabby little room with a phonebox in the corner. A woman standing nearby will tell you a sequence of numbers, which you’re expected to key into the numberpad of the now ringing payphone. Once you’ve done this correctly, the wall of the phonebox will open and you’re in. Now this is probably one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to.
It looks, sounds (most of the time) and probably smells like a swing/jazz bar from the twenties, with dolled up bartenders, expensive cocktails and everyone else looking the part to boot. There’s also a sex shop near the entrance if that’s you’re thing (another blog post will be put up on request).
Ok, these aren’t bars, and it’s pretty hard to get inside without a wristband, but if we’re counting bars as places to drink and meet people, Milhouse surely meet the criteria. There’s a party every night at one of them, with drinking games and cheap beer, and then they wisk you off to one of the many clubs nearby. On Sundays they also have intimate live music performances, which are cool.
Any more suggestions welcome