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Bar (Notable) Hopping

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The city tourism board’s initiative to honor a set of sixty bars and cafés as bares notables provided us with a cheat sheet of places to hit up. Buenos Aires has a historically strong café scene, so the competition to end up on the list must have been fierce, and those who won a spot should be the crême de la crême. Every once in awhile, we would just randomly pick out a few and go “bar notable” hopping.

Clásica y Moderna, Recoleta
Clasica y Moderna

Argentinians love reading almost as much as coffee, and the restaurant/bar Clásica y Moderna has decided to capitalize on both. Past the main salon, patrons of the bar can visit a small but well-stocked bookshop. Sounds weird, but somehow it fits perfectly. With its huge glass windows, the book store blends in seamlessly with the rest of the bar’s decor.
Clásica y Moderna
Av. Callao 892
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

La Giralda, San Nicolás
La Giralda

More a chocolatería than a bar, La Giralda is heralded for having the best churros in the city. Found between bookshops on Calle Corrientes, this relaxed, brightly lit café has been a favorite hangout of intellectuals since it opened in 1970. We loved its tiled floors and marble tables, and the fact that six waiters were running around taking care of guests, where one would have done quite nicely. We were on our way to dinner, and weren’t in the mood for churros and chocolate, but we did try one of their heavenly alfajors. A neat place.

La Giralda
Av. Corrientes 1453
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Bar Oviedo, Mataderos
Bar Oviedo

Of course we were gonna go to Bar Oviedo! After all, we initiated our For 91 Days travel project in Oviedo, Spain. We were there on a rainy Sunday when the Feria de Mataderos had been cancelled, so no one was in the best spirits. I asked the waitress about the connection to the Spanish city. “I don’t know. It’s just the bar’s name”. And when it came time to order, I tried about twenty things on the menu. “Out of that. Sorry. Nope, none of that either”. I settled on a sandwich of dry bread with a single piece of cured ham inside. Oviedo has some charm, but you really have to search for it.

Bar Oviedo
Av. Lisandro de la Torre 2407
Location on our Buenos Aires Map

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Notable Buenos Aires
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Alfajores
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May 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm Comments (0)

La Poesía – A Great Place to Read, Drink and Relax

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Classic: Read some Borges at La Poesía

With its shelves stacked with books, soda bottles and photographs from years past, La Poesía is a bar beautiful enough to truly deserve its name.

La Poesia

The café was originally opened in 1982, to celebrate the end of the military dictatorship and provide a place for Buenos Aires’ intellectuals, authors and poets to congregate and discuss their renascent democracy. It was immediately popular, especially known for its sessions of Poesía Lunfarda, but the bar was closed after just six years. In 2008, the same couple who own Bar Federal restored the Poseía to life and helped reestablish it as a staple of the San Telmo scene.

I was in the place all the time, usually with a book. It has an atmosphere conducive to reading, with tango music playing softly in the background and a good selection of drinks. Unfortunately, the wait staff isn’t always the friendliest. One girl in particular always greeted my arrival with a frown and an attitude; I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done to her. And once, a waitress directed me to a table with a power outlet, watched me set up my computer, provided me with the Wifi code, then took my order. The internet didn’t work and when I pointed that out, she was like, “Yeah. It’s been out all day”. But, couldn’t you tell I wanted to use it? I even asked you for the access key! “Yeah. Well, you never asked me if the internet worked“.

Regardless of the occasionally brusque service, there’s plenty to enjoy at La Poesía. Leave your computer at home, and take a book. A book of poetry, if you must.

La Poesía
Chile 502
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Coffee Culture

Bar Notable
Books Poesia
Cans
Cooking Cook
Facturas Buenos Aires
Salami Buenos Aires
Side Eye
Malinesa Sandwich Poesia
Cafe Con Leche
Hotels San Telmo
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May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm Comments (2)

El Gato Negro

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Coffee Culture Books

Found on Calle Corrientes, El Gato Negro is one of Buenos Aires’ sixty Bar Notables, and an institution in the city. It was founded in 1926 by Victoriano López Robredo, a Spaniard who’d spent much of his life in Sri Lanka and wanted to bring his knowledge of teas to Buenos Aires.

Cafe Gato Negro

Today’s “Black Cat” is a bar, a restaurant, a café and, most noticeably, one of the city’s best places to buy spices from all over the world. The counter and bar area resemble a pharmacy, with hundreds of jars sporting labels like tomillo (thyme) or romero (rosemary). A huge range of loose teas and ground coffee supplement the lineup. Nasal Sensory Overload.

We sat down for a coffee before catching a show at the nearby Teatro Premier, and watched the immaculately dressed waiters tend to their clients. An older woman at the counter wanted some sort of yellowish powder from a jar gathering dust on the top shelf. Next to us, a nicely dressed gentleman sat in silence, absorbed in his newspaper, only occasionally raising his head to glance the shop around suspiciously. While setting down the cake and coffee, our waiter addressed us deferentially as “los señores”. I loved it.

The second floor is a dining area which occasionally hosts concerts, but we kept to the beautiful main floor. With its location smack in the middle of the Theater District and air of easy sophistication, the Gato Negro is the perfect place to sit down with your friends, adopt highfalutin accents, order an obscure Sri Lankan tea, and engage in pompous pseudo-intellectual discourse about whatever play you’ve just seen. “Really, old chum! The existentialist indulgences of the protagonist’s soliloquy were frankly overwrought. Garcon, [clap clap] a touch more ceylon, please!”

Corrientes, Av. 1669
Tel: 4374-1730
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
Valencia Blog

Bar Notable
Waiting
El Gato Negro
Blue Kitchen
Gato Negro
Old Scale
Praising the Cakes
Spices
Coffee
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March 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm Comment (1)

A Slice of Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires Youth Hostels

Moped Buenos Aires

I have the feeling that I’ll be publishing more pure picture posts for Buenos Aires than I did for our previous locations in Savannah and Oviedo. Every time I step outdoors, I return with another 100 pictures clogging my memory card. Too many things catch my attention.

Hope you enjoy them!

Buenos Aires Hotels

Buenos Aires Aquarius
Paris South America
CCT Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Photography
Happy Tree
Electricity Buenos Aires
Modern Buenos Aires
Bar Notable
Buenos Aires Launry
Tree On House Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Architecture
Beunos Aires
Buenos Aires Blog
Buenos Aires Art
Old Meets New
PH Electronica
San Telmo Calle
Bar Federal San Telmo
Bar Notable Federal
San Telmo Music
Evita Balcony
Butcher San Telmo
San Telmo Night
San Telmo Photograph
Good Night Bunoes Aires
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February 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm Comments (8)
Bar (Notable) Hopping
For 91 Days