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Old Mansion Hostel in Monserrat: Art Factory

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You can’t go wrong with this unique hostel perfectly located in the heart of Monserrat, near San Telmo and the Plaza de Mayo with the Casa Rosada. The hostel is in an old mansion with a vibrant, colorful interior based on urban street art. But the main reason to chose this hostel is the rooftop bar. They also offer events like tango lessons, Spanish lessons, city tours, asados and trips across the river to Uruguay.

That’s not all!

  • Hot water in all bathrooms all day long.
  • Fresh products delivered daily to prepare our inclusive “all you can eat” breakfast featuring different fruits, breads, cereals, juices and our famous Sunday Brunch.
  • Fully-equipped kitchen
  • Wi-fi and cable TV + movies in DVD
  • Luggage and bike storage room
  • Library and book swap

Book your stay in the Art Factory here
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Hostel Buenos Aires

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March 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm Comment (1)

Sebastián Rivas of Amici Miei

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Incredible Pasta Recipes

One of San Telmo’s most popular spots is Italian restaurant Amici Miei, where tourists and locals congregate in equal numbers to enjoy handmade pasta and a balcony view over Plaza Dorrego. We recently got to meet its owner and top chef, Sebastián Rivas.

Sebastian Rivas Proia

Sebastián perfected the art of Italian cooking while living and working in Parma, and decided to open his own restaurant upon returning to Argentina. He was lucky to find an excellent space in San Telmo. Four years ago, when the restaurant opened, San Telmo wasn’t all that touristy or popular, and Amici Miei has benefited greatly from the neighborhood’s recent resurgence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the restaurant’s classically elaborated pasta, made with imported Italian products and served with a modern flair, is excellent.

The restaurant itself is unpretentious, adorned with a few paintings from local artists, and with perfect light spilling through the windows during the evening hours. An open window into the kitchen permits observation of the cooks stretching, pulling and cutting the pasta. Sebastián invited us inside, so we could watch him throw together some of his signature dishes, such as black truffle risotto with mushroom sauce. We had a few spoonfuls — it was unbelievable, and I kept waiting for him to leave us alone in the kitchen, so I could shovel the entire bowl into my mouth.

The plates he prepared were all classic Italian recipes with unique touches. For example, he serves the rotolo, a traditional rolled-up pasta, with three kinds of basil: fried, dried and liquefied. This fusion of the time-honored and modern is what Sebastián aims for at Amici Miei, along with a friendly atmosphere (the restaurant’s name means “My Friends”). He comes out of the kitchen to visit with guests, and there’s often live music on weekend nights.

Many of the restaurants on Plaza Dorrego are tourist traps, leeching off the popular Sunday flea market, but Amici Miei certainly isn’t one of those. Watching Sebastián at work in his kitchen was a fun experience; with a small staff and a head chef who’s clearly intent on serving high-quality food, this restaurant is worth a look.

Amici Miei’s Website
Defensa 1040
Tel: 11.4362.5562 (Reservations recommended on weekends)
Location on our Buenos Aires Restaurant Map

Amici Miei
Balcony Dining Buenos Aires
High Cuisine Buenos Aires
Restaurant Buenos Aires
Pasta Dough
Ravioli
Buenos Aires Kitchen
Fried Parmesan
Chef San Telmo
Parmasan Flan
Italian Haute Cuisine
Best Pasta Buenos Aires
Redondo Setas
Redondo
Truffle Risotto
Haute Cuisine Dessert

Great Restaurants in Savannah, USA

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March 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm Comments (2)

San Telmo Loft – Central, Stylish and Easy

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Finding an extended-stay accommodation in a city you’ve never visited can be frustrating, scary and dangerous. Without first-hand knowledge of the city, and unable to physically meet landlords or view apartments, putting money down for a security deposit is little more than a leap of faith. So finding people like Angela and John, who run San Telmo Loft, is a relief.

Short Term Rental Buenos Aires

They’re Americans from Louisiana who have been living in Buenos Aires for the past few years. Angela’s spent most of her adult life traveling the world, from Italy to Egypt and now Argentina. They’ve settled down, and begun renting apartments for short or medium-term leases in the burgeoning neighborhood of San Telmo.

Their apartments are stylish, and completely decked out — cozy furniture, high-speed internet, everything you’d need in a kitchen, and pet friendly. For English-speakers looking to rent, the lack of a language barrier is a breath of fresh air, and the minute you speak with them or visit their excellent blog dedicated to the neighborhood, you understand that you can trust them.

If you’re planning on a long stay in Buenos Aires, and are looking for a cool apartment in an awesome area of the city, check out these pictures of one of their places, The Loft, and get in touch with Angela and John. They’re legit.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Loft Rental San Telmo
Rental Buenos Aires
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February 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm Comments (8)

Taking the Bus Home at Night

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91 Days in Savannah, USA

Bus Call

Our favorite mode of transportation in Buenos Aires is the bus. But we already mentioned that. This weekend, we took a late ride home on the #64, after an evening exploring Palermo Soho. I started taking pictures out the window, to make the time pass faster… and man, did that work! BsAs is interesting enough by day, but at night the city gets even stranger and more wonderful. The following pictures were all taken during that one bus ride home.

Buenos Aires Rough Guide

Bus Curtain
Bizarre Buenos Aire
Biking Buenos Aires
Bachelorette Party
Dude
Face of Buenos Aires
Bus
Ice Cream Buenos Aires
Kiosk
Nail Work Buenos Aires
NIght Life Buenos Aires
Taxi Buenos Aires
Pedistrians Buenos Aires
Walking Home
Waiting For The Bus
Trash Picker
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February 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm Comments (2)

The Museum of Modern Art

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Learn about Modern Art

Occupying an old tobacco factory on Avendia San Juan, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA) is an awesome museum with a bright future ahead of it.

Modern Art Museum Buenos Aires

The museum moved to the Piccardo Cigarette Factory in 1986, but has spent the last five years closed for renovations. In late 2010, it partially re-opened to the public, with a couple rooms full of exhibitions. When fully completed, the MAMBA will have over 7000 works and be the largest modern art museum in Latin America. But if you get there early, no bother: even in its reduced state, the MAMBA is worth seeing, especially considering the entry price of $1.

We’re always skeptical of modern art, often finding it pretentious and boring. Upon seeing be-scarved dandies nodding thoughtfully in front of a red square on the wall, I’m known to fly into a violent rage. Thankfully, the works on display in the MAMBA aren’t like that. Though they had just a couple rooms to work with, the museums curators have done a great job of selecting works that are interesting and aesthetically appealing.

The building itself is definitely worth the one-peso entry fee. Inside, a lovely steel staircase dominates the foyer, and the red brick factory truly stands out in the otherwise quaint, historic streets of San Telmo. In the building’s facade, the number 43 is mysteriously repeated over and over again. A little googling revealed that “43” was the name of the cigarette brand produced in the factory.

MAMBA’s Official Website
350 San Juan Ave
Location on our BA Map

Great Hostels in Argentina

Mamba
43 Cigars
Rollercoaster Stairs
San Telmo Art
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February 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm Comment (1)

A Sixteen Course Feast at La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar

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Haute Cuisine Books

Make sure your mind is open and taste buds in fine working order before you sit down at La Vineria de Guaterio Bolivar, on Calle Bolivar in San Telmo. Dinner is a set menu, with sixteen highly creative dishes served over the course of three hours.

Restaurant San Telmo

And I do mean creative. How else to describe lamb tongue pate wrapped in pumpkin slices? Or frozen salmon balls? Or olive oil emulsions and meat topped with foam? We were continuously amazed; each of the sixteen courses set in front of us was a tiny marvel, some tastier than others, some more clever, but all unique. Every time our waiter (who resembled a handsome version of Borat) would approach our table with a new tray, I’d get a little fidgety. Nervously excited about what I was about to consume.

After setting down each carefully arranged plate, the waiter explained the ingredients, a bit about the preparation and concept, and how to go about eating the dish, which was not always as straightforward as put-fork-in-mouth. He also served wines; the menu allows you to sample Argentine wines appropriate to the food you’re eating. We had delicious whites with the appetizers, dry reds with the meatier dishes and sweet wines with dessert.

This wasn’t so much “dinner” as a cultural experience. Jürgen and I are in no way gourmets, closer to McDonald’s than Michelin, but we really loved our meal at La Vineria de Gualterio Bolívar. Though each of the plates was tiny, we left full and satisfied. The set menu is pricey, but definitely fair given the extraordinary amount of creativity in the food and the attention of the staff.

The restaurant is small and well-known, so make reservations if you want to go, and show up promptly at 9pm. All the guests are served at the same, so that the cooks can fully concentrate on one dish at a time.

La Vineria de Gulaterio Bolívar
Bolívar 865
Location on our BA Map
Tel: 11 4361 4709

Spoon Buenos Aires
vineria-de-gualterio-boliva
Waiter Buenos Aires
San Telmo Salad
Little Food Treasure
Delicatessen
Pulpo Buenos Aires
Pate
Haute Cuisine
Beef San Telmo
Haute Cuisine Dessert
High End Dessert

Restaurant Recommendations in Oviedo, Spain

Hotels Buenos Aires
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February 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm Comments (5)

Buenos Aires’ Notable Bars – El Federal

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Coffee Culture

One of the best parts of moving to a new city is deciding upon your favorite new bar, the place you plan on haunting with a disturbingly constant presence. Buenos Aires has assisted newcomers on this all-important quest by honoring 60 bars and cafés with the distinction of Bar Notable.

Bar Federal

These places have been chosen for their long years of service, architectural flair, or famous patrons, and can officially advertise themselves as “Notable”. Most of them are found near the center of the sprawling city, and we’ve yet to visit one we haven’t been impressed by. That goes particularly for El Federal, on the corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo in San Telmo, which immediately established itself as a front-runner for the glorious title of my favorite bar.

Stepping inside El Federal is like stepping into back into the early 20th century, when Buenos Aires was in its golden age. The decoration is ornate, and well-stocked shelves hold antique soda bottles. The gorgeous wooden bar is over a hundred years old, and supports a large, fluidly carved arch, in which a defunct clock and stained glass are encased.

For being such a famous establishment in prime touristic real estate like San Telmo, the prices are amazingly reasonable. El Federal has a full menu, and we enjoyed everything we’ve tried; the plate of picadas (slices of meats and cheese) is an especially good choice. There’s both a smoking room and outdoor seating, but I always choose a table close to the bar, so that I can spend my time thirstily admiring the bottles of whiskey.

El Federal is the kind of place in which you’ll want to spend hours, and they don’t mind if you do. In fact, a small shelf of reading material is available in the corner. Digging into a well-worn copy of Borges’ Ficciones, with a strong cup of coffee on the wooden table in front of you, while the bustle of city life passes by in the window… that’s about as “bonarense” as you can get.

Location on our BA Map
List of Hostels in San Telmo

Entrada Bar Notable
Bar Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Cafe
Bar Notable San Telmo
Jugendstil Bar Notable
Alcohol
Soda Buenos Aires
Soda Bar
Peanut Basket
Medialunas
Breakfast Buenos Aires
Bar Notable Mirror
Bar Notable Lamp
Bares Notables
Bar Notable
San Telmo Bar Notable
Bar Notable Moderno
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February 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm Comments (7)

Pedro Telmo – Good Cooking in San Telmo

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Great Pizza Recipes

We’ve been eating out a lot since we arrived, mainly at places which have come highly recommended by guidebooks or locals. Great parrillas, Peruvian cuisine, famous pizzerias. But that doesn’t mean we’re skipping the less well-known places entirely! This past week, after a long day of exploring the city, we sat down inside Pedro Telmo, on the western side of the San Telmo Market.

Madres Argenina

We ordered a couple empanadas, which were delicious, and also enjoyed their heartier meals, such as home-cooked lasagna and pizzas. With posters of Carlos Gardel and soccer teams on the walls, and wonderfully sweet ladies working both behind and in front of the bar, Pedro Telmo is the down-to-earth kind of establishment that abounds in Buenos Aires.

What’s your favorite neighborhood joint to get a quick bite, or take a short break?

Pedro Telmo on our Buenos Aires Map
Short Term Loft Rental in Buenos Aires

Pedro San Telmo
Cute Restaurant Buenos Aires
Charilie Chaplin Buenos Aires
Barrio San Telmo
San Telmo Kitchen
Medialunas
Horno San Telmo
Empanadas Fresca
Empanadas Pedro San Telmo
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February 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm Comments (3)

Parrilla Desnivel

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The Parilla Name in History

No type of restaurant is more characteristic of Buenos Aires than the parrilla. Just around our neighborhood, there are at least six hundred thousand parrillas. Six thousand million restaurants with open barbecue pits where steaks, sausages and offal are grilled to perfection and served to the bloodthirsty meat-eaters of the city.

Desnivel

You might think one parrilla can’t all that different from the others. It’s grilled meat. How can a particular restaurant excel at that? But the quality actually varies widely, and so we wanted to chose correctly for our introduction to the art. And upon seeing the crowds packed inside Restaurante Desnivel, we made our choice. No surprise that Desnivel is so popular: the prices are low, the meat is high quality, and the service is quick, if a little brusque. No frills.

The steak I ordered was incredible. This was my first true Argentine slab of meat, and it was thick and delicious. Faultless. The rest of our food was great too, but paled in comparison to that steak. So juicy, I wanted dump the wine out of my glass, wring out my steak into it, and drink the bloody grease with my pinkie finger stuck out like a fancy caveman. So juicy, I wanted to use it as the world’s most delicious pillow, and lick it while I slept.

Because Desnivel is so popular, you might have to exhibit some patience before getting a table. It’s chaotic and loud, but if you’re looking for a perfectly grilled steak that won’t set you back too much cash, you can’t go wrong here.

Restaurante Desnivel
Defensa 855
Tel: 11 4300 9081
Location on our BA Map

Parilla Master
BBQ Sausage
Parilla San Telmo
Wine Penruine
Argentenian Steak
Parilla
Perfect Steak
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February 17, 2011 at 10:51 pm Comments (3)

Buenos Aires from Day to Night

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Tango

If your schedule allows it, spend a whole day without any plans wandering around the streets of Buenos Aires. Put the guidebook and map away, and just take in the city in all its insane glory. And when you get tired, grab a window seat in the nearest Bar Notable, and watch the people and traffic of one of the world’s most entertaining cities pass by.

Here are some photographs I took during one of my recent wanderings:

Tango Couple
Dog Walker Buenos Aires
Cutest Dog
Airplane Playground
Bombereos Buenos Aires
Bomberos La Boca
Bomberos Antiques
Bar Notable
Buenos Aires Art
Buenos Aires Hotels
Deco Buenos Aires
Lion Head Buenos Aires
Romans Buenos Aires
Nature House Argentina
Modern Art
San Telmo Art
San Telmo Shopping
San Telmo Sights
San Telmo Blog
Smallest House San Telmo
Subte Maria
Unique Architecture
Water Delivery
Travel Blog
San Telmo
Buenos Aires at Night
Argentinian Lovers

Buenos Aires Travel Guides

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February 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm Comments (4)

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Old Mansion Hostel in Monserrat: Art Factory
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