Establishment neighborhood
Barrio Cafetero
Florida 833, Retiro
This tiny, hole-in-the-wall café brews up all the caffeinated classics—macchiato, ristretto, cortado, and so on—with a souped-up cappuccino menu on the side (spike the frothy milk and espresso mix with caramel, vanilla, or chocolate to satisfy a mid-afternoon sugar craving). The space is bright, cheerful, and feels a little rebellious thanks in large part to the loud red shelving, stark against the white subway tile walls and black finish. Stand by the bar, down a few espressos, and grab a tasty cookie or toasted sandwich to go.
Florería Atlántico
Arroyo 872, Retiro
This bar—submerged beneath a pretty flower shop—is helmed by the city’s most revered bartender, Tato Giovannoni. The cocktail list is a celebration of the immigrant-led cultural fusion that is the backbone of this Latin city. Tato makes his own homemade gin (a pretty novel endeavor in Argentina), unusually—and patriotically—flavored with eucalyptus, yerba mate, and grapefruit. The basement bar itself is minimalist and urban with whitewashed walls, a chalkboard menu, and a long bar brightened up with yellow stools. Small plates are available, but be sure to book well in advance for table service.
Basavilbaso 1328, Retiro
Set in a subterranean space, the décor at Basa is contemporary and minimal. Everything is dark—the furniture, the lighting, even the walls, which contributes to the moody, sexy atmosphere. The menu is Mediterranean-inflected, but in classic Buenos Aires fashion, also meat-heavy, spanning everything from rich pastas and grilled lobster to tapas-style dishes like croquetas and calamari. We suggest stopping in for a cocktail or two and some small bites to start off an evening, which, in this city, is likely to last into the early hours.
Posadas 1086, Retiro
Housed within The Four Seasons Hotel, Elena is inspired by the storied life led by Elena Peña Unzué, the lady of the mansion on the hotel grounds (where many of the suites are located). It’s a chic, split-level space with monochromatic, marble chevron floors, leather walls, and sculptural light fixtures that cast a soft glow. In direct contrast with many of the city’s mom-and-pop old-school operations, Elena feels truly modern. Expect dry-aged steaks, Argentinian Kobe beef, rotisserie chicken, and perfectly cooked vegetable sides—paired with a stellar wine list, of course.
Henrique Faria Art Gallery
Libertad 1630, Retiro
With a second location in New York, the Buenos Aires flagship of Henrique Faria concentrates on geometric abstraction and the more conceptual Latin American art. Faria gives a platform to new and established artists as well regularly hosting cutting-edge exhibits—recent examples include Mirtha Dermisache, and Carlos Ginzberg’s New Capitalism show, a meditation on modern commercialism and exploitation through the lens of photographs and placards. Faria keeps his finger on the pulse and his gallery is a must-visit for creatives and art-lovers curious about Argentina's domestic art scene.
Rodríguez Peña 1973, Retiro
Tramando designer Martin Churba is so fixated on the quality and innovative elements of his textiles that he has his own lab specifically for experimenting. Churba produces ready-to-wear pieces that are hyper-modern in both silhouette and fabrication (think of him as the Argentinian Rick Owens). Shirts are either wildly patterned or unexpectedly sheer, the cocktail pieces, meanwhile, are chic and modern. The are four stores in the city, so you can't miss it.
Paraguay 1257, Retiro
Argentina is known for exceptional leather craftsmanship, which is on full display in this family-owned shop. Originating in the mid-1980s, Arandú started out making bespoke leather saddles and bridles, eventually expanding to bags, boots, wallets, and other handmade items, including silver, wood, and ceramic accessories. Detailing is the focal point of every piece, down to the pristine stitching on the jackets and shoes. Leave ample time to explore the entire shop (which smells, of course, like gorgeous leather), as you're likely to find something truly special—say, a traditional steak knife made by their in-house silversmith?