Argentine beef is a legend, and rightly so. Carnivores satisfy their hunger with some of the best and largest cuts on wooden boards in restaurants like La Cabrera
in bohemian Palermo Viejo
. Upmarket Recoleta
is the place to head for fine dining. Buenos Aires’ Italian immigrants brought with them thin crispy pizzas and homemade pasta. Sumptuous Italian-style gelato is piled high in ice-cream parlours like Freddo
and upmarket Volta
, dotted across the city. Dinner starts late in Buenos Aires – if you’re sitting down before 10pm you might be dining alone. For a stopgap, try a laidback bar or café like downtown writers’ haunt Café Tortoni
Recoleta’s exclusive Patio Bullrich
shopping mall houses major international and Argentinian designers. Both male and female fashion lovers can find original clothes in Palermo Viejo
’s maze of boutiques. Leather is a particularly good bargain in Argentina – specialists line the long Avenida Santa Fe
. Crowds jostle through San Telmo Market
in Plaza Dorrego on Sundays to buy colourful tango memorabilia and charming old trinkets. Turn off into the side streets to find dusty chandeliers and marble busts in the many antique shops.
Opera rings out of the imposing Teatro Colón
whose stage is also graced by the National Ballet. See major Latin American art inside the bright, minimalist MALBA
art gallery and catch contemporary exhibitions in La Boca’s sleek Fundación Proa
. The Evita Museum
charts the rise of Argentina’s beloved politician and the Carlos Gardel Museum
its famed crooner. Slip into the elegant Confitería Ideal
downtown as it fills up with evening tango dancers moving to the orchestra.
Explore the quieter side of city life with a trip from your Buenos Aires hotel to some of Palermo’s green spaces. The Rosedal
rose garden is the place for a peaceful boat ride, or you could wander around the 19th-century Buenos Aires Botanical Garden
. Both are free. Hidden away among the bustling streets of Recoleta is the 18th-century cobbled street of Pasaje Bollini
– dinner in one of its restaurants is a real secretive treat.