A Neighborhood Guide to Gay Buenos Aires

by Our Editors

Buenos Aires takes some energy to explore, but you'll fine plenty of places to relax and take it easy.

by Rich Rubin

HOTELS

Alvear Palace, Alvear 1891 (Recoleta). Tel: 4808- 2100 or US toll-free 800-745-8883. Doubles $322-$550. A luxury leader in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood, redolent with time-honored glamour. www.alvearpalace.com

Be Hotel Buenos Aires, Venezuela 645 (San Telmo). Tel: 4136-9392. Doubles $50-$109. Simple rooms, great prices, friendly staff, and a nice breakfast buffet. www.behotel.com.ar

Four Seasons Buenos Aires, Posadas 1066-88 (Recoleta). Tel: 4321-1200 or US toll-free 800-819-5053. Doubles $388-$625. Four Seasons style in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood. www.fourseasons.com/buenosaires

Vitrum Hotel, Gorriti 5641 (Palermo). Tel: 4776-5030. Doubles $384-$504. An upscale design hotel with well-appointed suites and a perfect Palermo location. www.vitrumhotel.com

RESTAURANTS

Bartola Corner, Gurruchaga 1975 (Palermo). Tel: 4833-6522. A laid-back and fun spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, right at the heart of Palermo Soho. Don’t miss their many flavors of lemonade. www.bartolaba.com.ar

Café San Juan, San Juan 450 (San Telmo). Tel: 4300-1112. A homey and delicious Italian restaurant, with daily changing specials and amiable service.

Crizia, Gorriti 5143 (Palermo). Tel: 4831-4979. Seafood is the specialty, from oysters to main courses, at this modern, airy spot. www.crizia.com.ar

El Baqueano, Chile 495 (San Telmo). Tel: 4342-0802. Contemporary spins on local classics, with a deft touch from the chef. www.restoelbaqueano.com

Freud & Fahler, Cabrera 5300 (Palermo). Tel: 4771-3652. Hands down my favorite in the city, with food that’s achingly good and service that’s as friendly as it is efficient. On a somewhat off-the-beaten-track Palermo Soho street, it’s well worth searching out. www.freudandfahler.com

La Brigada, Estados Unidos 465 (San Telmo). Tel: 4361-5557. Meat, meat, and more meat at this popular spot, a tribute to Argentinian beef where they don’t skimp on portion size. www.parillalabrigada.com.ar

Ølsen, Gorriti 5870 (Palermo). Tel: 4776-7677. High-level and inventive Scandinavian cuisine is served in a gorgeously redesigned warehouse. One of the city’s best.

Origen, Umberto Primo 599 (San Telmo). Tel: 4362-7979. Organic food with a creative twist—a nice break from all the Argentine beef! www.facebook.com/origencafé

Tegui, Costa Rica 5852 (Palermo). Tel: 5291-3333. A stylish and top-notch restaurant in Palermo, with a creative contemporary cuisine. www.tegui.com.ar

La Boca Photo by Yevgenia Gorbulsky

La Boca Photo by Yevgenia Gorbulsky

COFFEE/LIGHT MEALS

Café Tortoni, Avenida de Mayo 825 (Microcentro). Tel: 4342-4328. A grand old-style coffeehouse at the heart of downtown (light meals, too). www.caffetortoni.com

Café La Poesía, Chile 502 (San Telmo). Tel: 4300-7340. A leading gathering place for the bohemian set in the 1980s and 1990s, Café La Poesía is once again (since 2008) dishing up its unique combination of coffee, drinks, food, and artsiness. www.cafelapoesia.com.ar

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Santa Fe 1860 (Recoleta). Tel: 4813-6052. A restaurant/coffeehouse in one of the world’s most spectacular bookstores, housed in the former National Theater. www.elateneocentenario.com

Pride Café, Balcarce 396 (San Telmo). Tel: 4300-6435. Gay café in San Telmo with indoor/outdoor seating, a variety of meals and pastries, and a friendly environment.

Coffee Town, Bolivar 976 (in Mercado de San Telmo). The best coffee in Buenos Aires is served at this tiny set of stalls in the San Telmo market. These people really know their coffee! www.coffeetownargentina.com

Pain et Vin, Gorriti 5132 (Palermo). Tel: 4832-5654. Wine shop, light meals, coffee, and friendliness in this lovely little shop with a courtyard out back that’s perfect for sipping or noshing. www.pain-et-vin.com

ACTIVITIES

Casa Rosada, Balcarce 50 (Microcentro). Tel: 4344-3600. Anchoring one end of Plaza de Mayo, this presidential office thrills with its bright pink hue and Evita connections.

Evita Museum, Lafinur 2988 (Palermo). Tel: 4807-0306. Evita devotees won’t want to miss this small but fascinating museum devoted to her life and works. www.museoevita.org

Lo de Joaquin Alberdi, Jorge Luis Borges 1772 (Palermo). Tel: 4832-5329. A vinoteca/tasting room that’s a great place to uncover the rich world of Argentine wines. www.lodejoaquinalberdi.com

Museum of Decorative Arts, Avenida del Libertador 1902 (Palermo). Tel: 4801-8248. An early 20th century mansion turned into a museum of gracious living. www.mnad.org

Museum of Fine Arts, Avenida del Libertador 1473 (Recoleta). Tel: 5288-9900. Argentine and international artists share space in this stunning collection. www.mnba.gob.ar

Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA), Figueroa Alcorta 3415 (Palermo). Tel: 4808-6500. A stunning display of 20th-century Latin American art, one of the city’s top museums. www.malba.org.ar/en

NIGHTLIFE

Amerika, Gascon 1040 (Almagro). Tel: 4865-4416. The city’s biggest dance club, with three floors of fun. www.ameri-k.com.ar

Bach Bar, Cabrera 4390 (Palermo). Tel: 5184-0137. Lesbian-popular but all-welcoming, with live music, drag shows, and karaoke. www.bach-bar.com.ar

Casa Brandon, Luis Maria Drago 36 (Villa Crespo). Tel: 4858-0610. An alternative cultural space offering a variety of queer arts and performances, as well as parties and dance events. www.brandongayday.com.ar

Contramano, Rodríguez Peña 1082 (Recoleta). Tel: 4299-3882. Popular with a slightly older crowd, especially on their Sunday Bear Nights. www.contramano.com

Flux, Marcelo T. Alvear 980 (Retiro). Tel: 5252-0258. A friendly bar, a bit off the beaten track, but open early evenings—a rare Buenos Aires pleasure. www.fluxbar.com.ar

Sitges, Cordoba 4119 (Palermo). Tel: 4861-3673. Popular as a pre-dance spot, this large and kaleidoscopically illuminated bar draws a youngish crowd. www.sitgesonline.com.ar

INFORMATION

Argentina.travel/en will give you some information about the city (though it’s hardly exhaustive). For GLBT-specific info, try www.thegayguide.com.ar. Their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/buenosairegaysguide, is a good place to check for information about weekly and one-time parties.

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