Travel

San Telmo

Establishment neighborhood
La Brigada
Estados Unidos 465, San Telmo
Located on old-time San Telmo, this spot has been serving carnivorous Porteños their steak for two decades. La Brigada provides the nostalgia of old-school restaurants of yesteryear that any traditionalist will love—small tables are packed closely together, the walls are covered in paintings, references to home team the Boca Juniors, and images of notable Argentinians. Beneath the dining room is a cavernous brick wine cellar, home to thousands of bottles with a long wood table set up for subterranean tastings. In case there's any question as to the restaurant’s food focus, the menus are encased in cowhide and contain pages of nose-to-tail options from lamb tongue to every cut of steak imaginable—expertly seared for a dark crust and meat so tender the waiters actually slice it with a spoon. The deserts don’t disappoint either and in keeping with the overall vibe, you’ll find decidedly old-fashioned (but no less delicious) comforting treats like bread pudding, chocolate mousse, and baked apples to finish.
Café Rivas
Estados Unidos 302, San Telmo
Café Rivas serves food and drinks all day in a space about as charming as they come (that happens to be located on one of the more picturesque, cobbled corners of the city). Dining options are of the classically Argentinian variety (steaks, breaded pork cutlets), and the weekend brunch is excellent but, really this is a spot to sit at the bar with a glass of full-bodied wine or creamy coffee and unwind—ideally after a few hours spent browsing the San Telmo flea market.
Bar Plaza Dorrego
Defensa 1098, San Telmo
Bar Plaza Dorrego is one of those super-evocative, classic, old-school spots with the requisite checkered floor, suited-up waiters, and dusty wine bottles. The old wood bar is covered in the scrawled etchings of customers past and present, and some of the waiters have been working the floor for over two decades. Take a seat at the bar and order a few drinks (teetotalers try their famous submarino—hot milk with a little added chocolate), and traditional Argentine snacks to the sound of tango music for the quintessential BA evening.
San Telmo Market
Calle Defensa, San Telmo
This market has served locals since 1897, when it was originally founded as a marketplace for the waves of European immigrants who flocked to the city during that period. Set indoors, take a moment to look up and note the original fixtures, columns, and beams that still adorn the space today. Most of the stalls—selling all manner of knick-knacks, antiques, records, and crafts—are open daily. A separate Sunday flea market happens every weekend in this same quaint plaza, oftentimes with live tango as an accompaniment. Stop by the charming Bar Plaza Dorrego for a post-flea pick-me-up.
Gil Antiguedades
Humberto 1º 412, San Telmo
While San Telmo is known for its incredible Sunday street fair, the bounty of antique stores and quaint restaurants make it a worthy destination any day of the week. Case in point: this impressive boutique specializing in early- and mid-century vintage clothing and homewares. The space feels like an artful labyrinth packed with accessories and clothes—from flapper dresses to lace wedding gowns—all of which is meticulously displayed between rows of beaded necklaces and Bakelite bracelets. The upstairs houses most of the homewares, including rare china, vintage crystal, and gorgeous textiles. A collector's dream.
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Av. San Juan 328, San Telmo
The city’s Museum of Contemporary Art is relatively new, having opened in 2012 in the lively San Telmo neighborhood adjacent to MAMBA. MACBA is primarily dedicated to displaying the art collection of financier Aldo Rubino, which has a heavy focus on geometric abstraction. Other artists exhibited include international names like Le Parc and Vasarely, and Argentine artists like Fabian Burgos and Veronica di Toro. A recent initiative promoted the works of female artists in exhibits curated by women.
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