I'm glad I spent it with you.
April 3, 2007 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Describe a perfect Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I will be in Buenos Aires on the 14th of April for approximately four days. One entire day will be free from my work obligations and I would like to have a great memory of the place.

Personally, I prefer to enjoy a place in terms of soaking it in through local touchstones rather than hitting the regular tourist haunts. Big fan of local areas of congregation like parks and/or squares. But go nuts. Any ideas will be helpful.
posted by dobie to Travel & Transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have no specific info, but I can't help but post a link to my favorite bit of food writing ever, by a gigantic margin: Argentina on two steaks a day.
posted by flaterik at 9:36 PM on April 3, 2007 [3 favorites]

i almost lost my mind reading that article.
posted by phaedon at 9:47 PM on April 3, 2007

Response by poster: flaterik, that link is brilliant. thanks!
posted by dobie at 9:53 PM on April 3, 2007

Came in here to post the same link.
posted by emelenjr at 10:00 PM on April 3, 2007

If you like parks and congregation, then you should check Parque Rivadavia, where a permament "flea market/second hand stall shop" thing is always entertaining. Lots of books, handcrafts, stamps, collectibles and *cough* illegal *cough* music and software available. I used to live a few blocks away for a while and it was a favorite walk of mine on weekends even if I didn't buy much at all. There is also the occasional music act and even patriotic ceremonial but you should check once in BA the local papers/entertainment guides/city hall agenda (I know there's a link for that, if your Spanish is lacking I can fish it out for you).

Linky (though in Spanish only it seems?) here, and here.
posted by Iosephus at 10:04 PM on April 3, 2007 [2 favorites]

(If I made it sound a bit too market-y, the local color on a Saturday typically includes: tarot readers, spice sellers, moms selling homebaked cakes, big hairy guys doing rasta braids, dog walkers up to your ears, retired people going crazy over a chess table, panhandlers likewise, picknickers, cuddling young couples, hordes of kiddies, and all manner of food trolley vendors which I advise you to avoid unless you want to risk spending Sunday congregated with yourself in your toilet seat. Enough true BA for you? ;) ).
posted by Iosephus at 10:44 PM on April 3, 2007

I've always enjoyed United Airlines' in-flight magazine, which has a feature called "Three Perfect Days." Here's Hemisphere's take on BA; use their map to pick and choose your own perfect Porteño promenade.
posted by rob511 at 11:00 PM on April 3, 2007

I live 2 blocks away from Parque Rivadavia, Iosephus is right: you should definitely go and check it out. The food isn't that bad, though ;)

~5 blocks north from there, there's Parque Centenario, you might enjoy it as well.
posted by jazzido at 2:48 AM on April 4, 2007

A Metafilter meetup? jazzido, I live two blocks from Parque Centenario.

My ideal day in Buenos Aires would definitely begin around 9.30/10am with a café con leche and one, two or three medialunas de manteca (small, crescent shaped sweet pastries).

I would spend an hour or so in the cafe or at the sidewalk table reading a book or the paper and watching people.

Then I might hit Plaza Francia, Plaza de Mayo, Parque Rivadavia, and/or the Palermo neighborhood to walk around for an hour or two. You might go to the Recoleta cemetery if you really, really must see Evita's tomb, but if you can bear to skip that and instead see a much less touristed, much more interesting cemetery, I would check out Chacarita, right off subte line B at the Federico Lacroze stop.

Let's assume it's 1.30pm now. Time to start thinking about lunch. Without knowing what you're after, it's hard to make recommendations, but a good starting point is the Guía Oleo. If you do decide to eat in Palermo, where there are a lot of beautiful restaurants, it's especially advised to check out the Guía Oleo beforehand as some of those places prefer to get by on their beauty and not their food. Off the top of my head, I like Bar Uriarte and Social Paraíso. Yes, Palermo can be tourist, and you could certainly have lunch beyond Palermo, but this area is pretty thick with restaurants and tends to be bustling on weekends, so it's a pretty good bet.

After lunch it will be, say, 4pm. Ice cream time! I am reluctant to reveal my top picks for ice cream, but none of them are in the Palermo area where the restaurants are. So this might be a good time to head to the Belgrano neighborhood, specifically to Las Cañitas. You'll find Persicco, La Veneciana, Chungo, Saverio and other ice cream shops there and any of them are a good bet. Though if you're only going to have one shot at it, Persicco is probably the best choice.

Well. It's 6pm. It's autumn and the sun is starting to think about setting. Depending on how hard-core you are, you can either use this time to go back to your hotel and have a nap so you can head out at 1am and surive till 7am with the nightlife crew. Or you can have another coffee. Or stroll around Belgrano and look at the embassies and old homes. Or check out BsAs' small Chinatown. Or head to the edge of the city along Avenida Libertador where the rose garden and the Bosques de Palermo. Or some combination of the above.

Somewhere along the line you might want to take a public bus if you're brave. I say that not because there's anything particularly dangerous about them, but because they can be a little intimidating to figure out. Some of the lines can offer a great tour of the neighborhoods, though. And it's definitely good people-watching.

In any case, at 10pm, it will be time for dinner. During your walk through Cañitas, maybe someplace caught your eye. I have recently fallen in love with grilled pizza (pizza a la parrilla) and Morelia does a nice version, with locations in Cañitas and Palermo.

At midnight, you're pushing away from the table and you could either have your first drink in Las Cañitas and figure it out from there or you could head back to your hotel dead tired, depending on how much walking you've done and how ambitious you are.

If you ask me again tomorrow, I might give you a different answer. But that's my dos centavos for today.
posted by veggieboy at 5:08 AM on April 4, 2007

Forgot to say: Take Subte line A. It's like taking the subway back in time. Also, pop your head in at Café Tortoni if you want to, but don't make a point of eating or having coffee there. It's all tourists and the food's pretty miserable. Las Violetas, in Almagro, is a better bet in my book.
posted by veggieboy at 5:52 AM on April 4, 2007

Is futbol usually on Saturday or Sunday? I can't remember but I'm leaning towards Sunday, but if there's a game on Saturday definitely go to La Bombonera and watch Boca Jr play.
posted by youthenrage at 9:21 AM on April 4, 2007

+ Parque Rivadavia Flea Market
+ La Recoleta (not for Evita, for all the other amazing monuments and for the cats)
+ La Boca neighborhood
+ medialunas
+ empanadas
+ lomitos
+ submarinos (a chocolate bar dumped into a mug of steamed milk)
- dulce de leche (too sweet for me, but my wife loves it)
- yerba mate (flaterik's article nailed it, but you may want to try it just for the experience)
posted by Rock Steady at 10:55 AM on April 4, 2007

Well, the Recoleta Cemetery may be a bit touristy, but it's still one of my favorite places to visit in Buenos Aires. You can certainly while away many hours there wandering through the amazing above grounds crypts and mausoleums. It's truly spectacular if you're into that sort of thing, even the parts that have fallen into disrepair are breathtakingly beautiful.
posted by RoseovSharon at 2:46 PM on April 4, 2007

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