Dan and I found ourselves in Buenos Aries, Argentina for 24 hours in November en route to our wine-cation in Uruguay and Chile! Pro tip – its easier to get to Western Uruguay (Carmelo and Colonia) by flying into Buenos Aires and taking the ferry across the Río de la Plata than flying into Montevideo and driving (who knew?!). Since we had been to Buenos Aires on a previous visit and were short on time, we got right to down hitting our very favorite spots!
Our flight landed around 10 AM direct from New York and we were at our hotel by noon. For ease of catching the ferry, we stayed very close to the BuqueBus Terminal at the Holiday Inn Puerto Madero (for free on points!). After checking in and changing clothes, we set off for San Telmo for lunch at one of our very favorite restaurants every – El Banco Rojo!! But, due to general craziness related to the UN being in Buenos Aires, including a number of roads being closed between Puerto Madero and San Telmo, we ended up walking from our hotel to San Telmo (about an hour), passing lots of great sites on our way, including the Casa Roja, lots and lots of Jacaranda trees (MY FAVORITE), and some good old fashioned protests.
We finally made in to El Banco Rojo – our FAVORITE restaurant in BA – for a late lunch. To our relief, El Banco Rojo was still there and had actually expanded and a little more than doubled its size! Per usual, we ordered the spicy lamb empanadas and they were totally amazing and just as tasty as I remembered. My only regret is having just one… We also tried a local raspberry stout at El Banco Rojo and falafel tacos with homemade chips.
After lunch, we decided that we would walk from San Telmo to Recoleta to visit a cigar bar that Dan really enjoys. En route, we stopped at Bettina Rizzi to see if they could make me a custom leather jacket for the road. And, luckily, they could! Seriously, I went in, explained what I wanted, and the jacket maker took measurements and a roll of leather and went to work. Spoiler alert – it was perfect and delivered to my hotel the next morning before I left. Bettina Rizzi is highly recommended in my opinion and makes beautiful jackets!
Recoleta is FAR from San Telmo, both geographically and culturally. Recoleta is a very posh and upscale neighborhood in Buenos Aires, and you can definitely tell. Lots of fancy stores, pricey hotels, and tasty restaurants. I would love to live in Recoleta if I lived in BA permanently (or had an apartment here!).
We finally made it to Dan’s cigar bar, Prado y Neptuno, after walking for what seemed like forever (I know, dramatic haha). Dan had a Cuban and I had a glass of wine.
After, we had planned to cab back to our hotel before dinner, but, in the spirit of being healthy, we walked BACK to San Telmo, where we had an earlyish dinner at another of our favorite restaurants, La Brigada! La Brigada is a famous steak restaurant – a parrilla – in San Telmo and its super old school. Definitely make a reservation. We enjoyed steak, fries a la Provencale and a Milanesa before head back to our hotel. A perfect 24 hours in Buenos Aires!!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Holiday Inn Puerto Madero: Av. Leandro N. Alem 770, 1001 CABA, Argentina. Within walking distance to the BuqueBus Terminal. The area is home to a lot of businesses and it can be a bit empty after hours and on weekends. However, it is safe and I would stay here agin.
El Banco Rojo: Bolívar 866, C1066 AAR, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Closed Monday, open every other day 12h00 – 00h30, closing at 00 on Saturday and 23h00 on Sunday. No reservations. Do not visit BA without eating at El Banco Rojo!
Bettina Rizzi: Maipú 929, C1006ACM CABA, Argentina. Closed Sunday. Open every other day 9h30 – 19h30, 17h on Saturday. Made to order custom leather jackets, which can be made in as quick as 24 hours. She actually made and delivered mine to my hotel in about 12 hours. Preferred to pay in USD. Leather jackets start at about $250 US and go up from there.
Prado y Neptuno: Ayacucho 2134, C1112 AAN, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Open daily 9h – 2h. No reservations. Small snacks, coffee, and hard drinks served.
La Brigada: Estados Unidos 465, C1101AAJ CABA, Argentina. Open daily 12h – 15h and 8h – 00h. Reservations recommended.
Buquebus Ferry Terminal: English information regarding the BuqueBus Ferry Terminal, with links to purchase tickets. If you are coming via car, its kind of complicated to get to the drop off point. I recommend leaving extra time.