Buenos Aires city and bar guide

Words by Wesley Straton

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When you think of Buenos Aires, most people think of steak, Malbec, and tango - but Argentina’s breathtaking capital offers so much more.

It's a city of opposites: 16th century architecture bleeds into modern skyscrapers, apartment complexes sprout up alongside sprawling gardens. Its population is similarly diverse, thanks to a history of varied and continuous immigration. Locals refer to themselves as porteños, or "people of the port," and the inevitable Spanish influence mingles with the notable contributions from France, Italy, and Germany, among other countries. The summers are hot and humid, the winters are cold, and the country's turbulent history is never far out of mind.

Known as "the Paris of South America," Buenos Aires is home to a thriving theatre community, an internationally renowned fashion scene, and a wide variety of museums and galleries. The food is famously excellent, and the nightlife is storied for being varied, spirited, and long-lasting. Most bars open at 7 or 8, with happy hour going until 9, dinner is eaten at 10 or 11, and the night doesn't really get going until after midnight. Most cocktail bars will stay open until 3 or 5, and clubs go straight through to morning.

Much of the drinking here is confined to cheap beer and mixed drinks, but Buenos Aires is also home to a thriving and innovative cocktail bar scene. The passionate and creative bartenders have embraced the classic cocktail Renaissance with a distinct porteño flair, and the most popular drinks tend to showcase the Argentine love of vermouth and amari. Fernet Branca and Coke is the unofficial national drink of choice, and in the capital the current favorite is the Cynar Julep, a modern classic featuring mint and grapefruit in addition to a generous serve of the eponymous Cynar.

A well-curated selection of spirits and vermouths takes center stage, augmented by fresh seasonal fruit and other locally sourced ingredients.More info
Difford's Guide rating: 5/5

Verne Cocktail Club
Verne Cocktail Club is gorgeous, romantic, and wildly popular. Its namesake, author Jules Verne, inspires the space's general aesthetic as well as the menu...More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4.5/5

Rey de Copas
Part bar, part art gallery, Rey de Copas strikes the perfect balance between classy and laid back. It sits in an airy and white-walled converted Palermo mansion...More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4.5/5

Florería Atlántico
A combination florist and wine shop by day, from 8 pm onward a refrigerator door opens into a large underground bar. Gin is the flavor of choice here...More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4.5/5

The funky, spacious front room provides ample bar seating and an alternative, old-school vibe enhanced by the classic rock and soul blaring from the speakers.More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

Pony Line
The bar caters to swank out-of-towners and trendy locals alike with pristine service and an eclectic, albeit pricy, drinks list that highlights the best of Argentina's national bounty.More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

Prado y Neptuno
Prado y Neptuno takes its name and its design cues from 1950s Havana, with a splash of Italy thrown in. It's a small space, much of which is taken up by a pair of candy-colored Vespas and a walk-in humidor for their impressive selection of cigars.More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

Gran Bar Danzón
Located close to the business district and stumbling distance from the nicest hotels in town, Danzón does most of its business with a mature afterwork crowd and well-informed tourists. More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

Victoria Brown
This hip Palermo spot is a Victorian café by day and a steampunk wonderland by night. A convincing brick wall at the back of the café area opens up into a dimly lit warehouse with funky illustrations on the walls and a huge old-fashioned clock behind the bar..More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

A pleasant respite from busy Avenida Santa Fe, Milión can be found in a gorgeous converted mansion with a beautiful garden terrace. More info
Difford's Guide rating: 4/5

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