An Insiders Look at Where to go Tango Dancing in Buenos Aires

Whether you’ve already caught a tango show or not, since you’re in its hometown Buenos Aires, you might be feeling inspired to pick up a bit of the fancy footwork yourself. Whether you’re mal coordinated with two left feet, or you’re a natural on the dance floor, Buenos Aires has plenty of places where you can easily give the dance a go.

While stepping into a milonga  (tango ballroom) could feel intimidating, tango culture in Buenos Aires is actually incredibly friendly and open – beginners needn’t worry.

If you’re looking for a dance partner there’s no shortage of willing accomplices (particularly for women) and one on one classes are readily available at affordable prices.

For those who haven’t yet adjusted to the Argentine clock (it’s nocturnal) be prepared to hang on a little – classes are late in the evening and if you’re looking to see the pros, the action doesn’t tend to get going in milongas until well after midnight.

La Catedral

 

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A bohemian take on the traditional milonga, La Catedral is based in a disused dairy factory. The outside is fairly non-descript – you could easily walk by none the wiser of what’s going on inside. Its walls are adorned with locally created art and draped with red fairy lights. Full of tango dancers of all levels, it attracts a particularly international crowd – perfect for those making their first foray into the dance. If you’re looking to learn the basics head to one of their group classes, on from around 8 PM, (be prepared to wait a little as the place isn’t really known for punctuality). Later on performances and live music kick off from around midnight, leading on into the early hours. The kitchen is also known to be excellent with a vegetarian menu – not so common in this carnivorous capital.

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Queer Tango

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For those who hate the idea of following a stiff gender code, head to San Telmo’s Buenos Ayres Club on a Tuesday night for a LGBTQ milonga night. Turning tango on its head, and shaking up gender roles in this typically male-led dance, the night brings in dancers of all levels who aren’t afraid to challenge tradition and want to leave dated gender roles at the door. A great way to take an alternative look at the changing local scene.

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Bar Los Laureles

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One of the city’s historical bares notables, entering Bar Los Laureles is like taking a trip back in time to the 19th century. Located in Buenos Aires’ southerly Barracas neighbourhood, it’s a little out the way for most of the city, but worth the trip to see a true remaining part of Argentine heritage. Throughout the week it’s a neighbourhood watering hole but come the weekend, it transforms itself into a lively milonga.

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La Viruta

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If you’re not keen on rubbing shoulders with pro dancers and just want to give learning the basics a go, La Viruta, based in the Armenian Cultural Centre is a good place to start. You’ll find a whole mixture of tourists and locals who come here to learn – throw your fears to the side and prepare to dance. Lessons tend to take place a little earlier here, from around 6:30 PM, later on, be prepared to sit back and let those in the know take over the floor.

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Salón Canning

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An iconic Palermo haunt, Salón Canning is well known on the professional tango circuit. Dance lessons are available earlier on in the evening but by midnight the place will be packed out with the city’s finest tango dancers swirling across the venue’s polished wooden floors. If your moves don’t quite cut it, there’s always space for spectators who are welcome to sip at a drink and soak up the atmosphere.

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Spring is Here! New Menu at UCO Restaurant Arrives

As Buenos Aires bursts into shades of purple and pink, we’re quickly reminded why Spring is by far our favourite season at Fierro Hotel. Sunny afternoons and balmy evenings mean it’s the perfect season to be outdoors in Buenos Aires enjoying yourself – preferably with a cocktail or wine glass in hand. 

At UCO, Fierro Hotel’s in-house restaurant, we’ve created a brand new Spring menu to get you in the mood for Buenos Aires’ most picturesque season.

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To be enjoyed inside or in the green surroundings of our newly refurbished garden patio, if you arrive here between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM, you’ll have the bonus of being in time for our new happy hour. With a hugely extensive wine menu covering all regions of Argentina (not just your average Malbec) and a few of our latest cocktail concoctions, there’s likely a tipple for every taste.

We like to make sure our menus are always seasonal and incorporate locally produced food, with this in mind, our head chef, Francisco García, has been busy at work coming up with plenty of new culinary creations ready for you to sample. Highlights include our new spicy Peruvian style rice, made up of yellow hot pepper, coriander, lemon, white fish and prawns, it’ll certainly pack a punch for lovers of spice.

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With a few new editions to our mains menu, perfect for sharing among friends is our T-Bone beef, served with potatoes, and roasted vegetables, weighing in at one kilo it’s an impressive dish to behold!

For self-confessed red meat lovers, there’s also our Patagonian lamb shoulder to try – cooked for 18 hours and served with baked humita, seasonal vegetables and a flavourful jus, the slow cooking time makes the meat irresistibly succulent.

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If you’re looking for something a little more vegetarian-friendly why not try our latest pasta creation. Made up of burrata cheese, smoked aubergine, roasted tomato, pistachio, and a sprinkling of black olive dust, the filling comes wrapped in a tortellini pasta shell – believe us when we say you’ll be back for more!

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Closing the three-course meal with a bang is our decadent dessert, the Alfa Centauri choco-galaxy. Consisting of hazelnut ice cream, pistachio fudge, and an eclair served with a berry and Cinzano granite, it’s truly out of this world.

For those who fancy something a little lighter, but nevertheless packed full of flavour, give our take on a Galub Jamun a try.  Made up of an Indian style sponge, homemade greek yoghurt, a confit of pear and spiced tea ice cream, the aromatic dessert is not to be missed.

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Don’t forget to take a look inside our next door wineshop and tasting space Cava UCO. With plenty of different labels to choose from, feel free to pop in for a tasting or perhaps to purchase what you most enjoyed drinking with your dinner. All guests who stay with us in the adjacent Fierro Hotel will receive a complimentary tasting.

 

5 Speakeasies in Buenos Aires

Outside of the U.S and Europe, Buenos Aires might just be the capital for speakeasies. Full to the brim of fabulous cocktail bars, they’re often exclusive and are perfect for a more special evening. Known for playing host to the city’s most talented bartenders, and serving up the most creatively mixed cocktails, these watering holes are sure to wow even the most discerning guests. A well-known city of the night, Buenos could offer you a lifetime of exploring hidden gems and trying tantalising tragos, but we know you’re short on time so we’ve chosen a selection of the unmissable one.

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Ph: The Bubble

Set in an old mansion located on the border of Recoleta and Palermo, you could be forgiven for thinking that a lucky someone still lives here. With no outdoor sign or obvious indication that the place is actually a cocktail bar, it’s up to you to trust the address and ring the bell. Inside the decor is grand and speaks of a golden age gone by, think velvet futons, throne-like seats, and gothic style candle lighting. Combining the old with the innovative – expect to see an excellent selection of spirits as well as quirky reinventions. Adventurous drinkers should look out for creative cocktail ingredients like blue cheese, pollen, and eucalyptus bitter on the list.

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Victoria Brown

Ph: TripAdvisor

Curiously themed around legendary British monarch, Queen Victoria and her late supposed affair with her servant James Brown, by day the space is a cafe offering a delicious array of cakes. Come sundown though, a bouncer emerges and the back part is transformed into one of the most well-stocked cocktail bars in the city. Displaying an array of colorful concoctions in each cabinet, you’ll be hard pushed to make a decision and will want to try a bit of everything. Restyling classic cocktails, expect to find alternative reworks of negronis, caipirinhas, and martinis.

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Uptown

Ph: Sauvage Magazine

Take a trip to the New York Subway and forget you’re in Buenos Aires at all. One of the more difficult bars in Buenos Aires to gain access to, make sure you’re dressed in your glad rags and look the part to fit in with some of the city’s most glam and trendy bar-goers. If you make it past the style conscious bouncers, you’ll find yourself in what looks like an old subway car before the doors open and you can walk into the bar itself. If it’s not just cocktails you’re after, make sure to check out their extensive sushi menu too.

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La Calle

Ph: The Bubble

Located behind legendary pizzeria, La Guitarrita, La Calle bar has made a name for itself in its own right. Best to head to this one a little later in the evening, catch the DJ in the converted VW camper van decks who’ll no doubt be playing a variety of house and electronic tunes, La Calle attracts a young hip crowd who will no doubt start dancing once it’s well past midnight. Serving up an eclectic list of specialist house cocktails, one of their iconic classics includes one served up in a mate gourd. La Calle is the speakeasy to go to if you don’t fancy finding out complicated passwords or dressing too glam.

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La Pasionaria

Ph: Savoteur

So not just strictly speaking a cocktail bar but a closed door eating experience too, La Pasionaria is as sophisticated a drinking spot as it gets. Located in a chic and stylish antique shop, by night the Palermo venue transforms into a live music performance space serving up gourmet food, complete with delectable cocktails. All seated around a communal dinner table, expect diners to be a varied bunch and for conversation to be a big part of the experience too. Well stocked with eclectic collectible items, you may just end up getting serious house envy or even walk away with a stash of new purchases ready to kit out your apartment with.

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Things to Do in Buenos Aires in August 2018

Independent Tango Festival FACAFF (3 – 31st) will be taking over the legendary Almagro milonga, CAFF (Sanchez de Bustamante 772). With 60 tango artists, both musicians and dancers, taking part in the 21 day festival, it’s unmissable for both seasoned tango fans and total newbies alike. Day tickets are priced at AR $100, making it an absolute steal to see some world class tango. The full program can be viewed here.

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PH: Mi Buenos Aires Querido

Centro Cultural San Martín (Sarmiento 1551)  is well known for its high profile selection of jazz artists who come to perform every Tuesday. This August is no different, with performances by Argentine composer and double bassist Jorge Lopez Ruiz Cuarteto (August 14th)  as well as singer Ludmila Fernández (August 14th), a full program of talented jazz artists are expected to take to the stage. Even better, entrance is free! See the full schedule here.

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PH: Perfil

Art

El Mundo Entero es un Bauhaus is the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo’s latest exhibition exploring the short life (14 years) of the controversial and avant-garde art school as well as the lasting impact the foundation has had on worldwide design. Consisting of photographs, documents and some of the objects themselves it’s not one to miss. Set in one of Buenos Aires’ most beautiful and historic museums, the interior alone warrants a visit. Entrance is free.

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PH: barter-paris

Malba is currently showing a monumental retrospective detailing the works of legendary north American artists Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince. Famed for their controversial use of appropriation, whichever side of the debate you side with, their work is considered to be pillars of North American modern art and should be seen in the flesh. Entrance is AR $140.

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PH: Vuenoz

The exciting reopening of a brand new MAMBA museum (Av. San Juan350), is marked by a new exhibition examining the links between U.S, European art, and Latin American art between the years of 1955 and 1986. With much of the collection on loan from the MMK museum in Frankfurt, it’s a chance to see how each region’s art world has at times run in parallel or merged with one another. Entrance is AR $30. 

 

 

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PH: Indie Hoy

Also be sure to check out Cava Uco, our new wine tasting space and shop next door to Fierro Hotel. Hotel guests receive one complimentary wine tasting!

Cava Uco Opens Next Door to Fierro Hotel

Thinking of heading to Buenos Aires? Are you a wine lover? We have just the place for you… New kid on the wine block, Cava UCO, our recently opened wine tasting space and shop located next door to the Fierro hotel is offering every guest at the hotel a complimentary wine tasting. Designed for both seasoned wine lovers and tasting novices, each personal session consists of a sample of at least one sparkling, a white and red wine. We like to make each tasting bespoke so if visitors are keen to explore a particular bodega or type of wine, requests are more than welcome.

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We all know we like Malbec (particularly Argentine) but there’s so much more to the Argentine world of wine that’s begging to be discovered. It can become far too easy to order that favorite, but safe glass of Malbec with your steak and never try anything else. You may not even know what you’re missing out on. That’s why Cava UCO is here to broaden your wine horizons and let you in on some of the bodegas’ best-kept secrets.

uco-bottlesManuel one of our three sommeliers explains that the idea is to show visitors, the variety on offer from all regions all over the country, and try something a little out of the ordinary. Individually chosen from independent wine bodegas from less obvious wine regions like Patagonia, Cafayate and even the province of Buenos Aires, you can forget about tasting an obvious Malbec. This is about being a little more adventurous and discovering a wine you may not have thought of otherwise. Homemade tapas from the UCO restaurant including bruschetta served with a specially selected Zuccardi olive oil from Mendoza will also be on hand to stop any tasters from feeling too tipsy.

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Around 45 minutes in length, with a maximum number of around 10 people, tastings are relaxed but also informative. Expect to get a good grounding in what makes Argentine wine unique and more to the point how the wine varies from province to province. With an included voucher worth AR $200 to spend on any wine of your choice, you’ll likely come away with a new favorite wine and perhaps a few bottles too.

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Although free for Fierro Hotel guests, members of the public can easily reserve via email restaurant@fierrohotel.com or in person at the shop (Soler 5858). The price is AR $500 per person with an included wine voucher redeemable to the value of AR $200. Feel free to pop into the shop any time from now and check out our vast selection of wines and temperature controlled wine cellar. Cava Uco is open from midday until 8PM, Tuesday through to Sunday. Follow us on Facebook for wine-related updates

Buenos Aires Agenda May/Mayo 2018

EVENTS/ EVENTOS

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PH Peter Forret

Annual International Book Fair- Buenos Aires is a literary city and its international book fair is a great opportunity to find books, readers and writers all in one place. This year it is from the 26th of April to the 14th of May at La Rural in Palermo.

Feria del Libro- Buenos Aires es una ciudad literaria y la Feria Internacional del Libro es el lugar ideal para encontrar libros, lectores y escritores, todos en un mismo espacio. Este año se lleva a cabo del 26 al 14 de mayo en La Rural en Palermo.

City Tango Dance Championship- from the 9th to the 20th of May some of the best tango dancers shine their shoes and show what they know at the Tango Dance Championship. Find the full program here.

TangoBA- Del 9 al 20 de mayo se lleva a cabo el campeonato de tango de la ciudad en el que se presentan los mejores bailarines del género para mostrar su habilidad. El programa completo se encuentra disponible aquí. 

25 de Mayo celebrations- Every 25th of May, the Argentine people celebrate the May revolution which marked a turning point in the country’s independence process. Stop by Feria de Mataderos to catch some typical dances and try the locro and pastelitos.

Festejos del 25 de mayo- El 25 de mayo se festeja la revolución de mayo, uno de los pasos hacia la independencia nacional. En Feria de Mataderos se festeja con danzas típicas, locro y pastelitos.

SPECIAL UCO PROMO FOR OUR READERS: Stop by  UCO Restaurant and get a free taste of our homemade preserves, compliments of insidebuenosaires.com. Hotel Fierro, Soler 5862, Palermo. 011 3220-6820.

PROMO ESPECIAL UCO PARA NUESTROS LECTORES: Los invitamos a pasar por UCO Restaurant para probar algunas de nuestras conservas caseras.  Hotel Fierro, Soler 5862, Palermo. 011 3220-6820.

ART/ARTE

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PH: lili chin

The MALBA is showcasing a photography exhibit on the topic of peronism as seen through the lens of artist Sara Facio. Also, discover David Lamelas conceptual art, and Irene Kopelman’s artistic take on science. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo.

El MALBA tiene en exhibición una muestra de fotografía que retrata el peronismo a través del lente de la artista Sara Facio. También se puede apreciar el arte conceptual de David Lamelas, y el cruce entre ciencia y arte de Irene Kopelman. Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo.

The MNBA fine arts museum is spotlighting an exhibit that showcases works from the Renaissance to Romantic period. Av. Libertador 1473, Recoleta.

El MNBA invita a recorrer los periodos del Renacimiento hasta el Romanticismo en una muestra especial que reúne importantes obras de la historia del arte. Av. Libertador 1473, Recoleta. 

FUNDACIÓN PROA is showcasing the works of Argentine photographers spanning from 1850 to 2010. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca.

FUNDACIÓN PROA tiene en exposición una muestra que compila la obra de renombrados fotógrafos argentinos, y que traza una línea histórica que abarca desde 1850 a 2010. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca.

BAFICI 2018

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The Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, best known as BAFICI was created 19 year ago.  As a “B Side” of the more traditional “A” Mar del Plata Film Fest, BAFICI emerged as a beacon for the independent film scene worldwide. Back then, it
showcased an ample spectrum of films including the works of a young Pablo Trapero (Crane World, 1999), Samira Makhmalbaf (The Apple, 1998) and Laurent Cantet (Human Resources, 1999), amongst others. This eclectic influence has always been the heart of BAFICI, and in its present edition we are happy to recommend three interesting options for this rainy weekend.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954). Friday 20th 19:00hs, Parque Centenario Amphitheatre. Following the success of Guillermo del Toro “The Shape of Water”, we invite you to enjoy the cult horror masterpiece that inspired it.

Contrapelota (Diego Crespo, 2018). Saturday 21st 15.45hs, Village Recoleta. A passionate debut film for local screenwriter Diego Crespo, Contrapelota explores the incredible world of an amateur soccer league through a 4 story approach. Asado and Malbec isn’t enough. To really know Argentina, you must experience its love for this beautiful sport.

Cartoon Saloon Short Films (Various, 2009/17). Sunday 22nd. 18.30hs, Village Recoleta. If you think animation is just for kids, you’re missing on a whole lot of art! From the Irish studio responsible for the heartfelt, beautifully crafted stories such as Song of the Sea (2014) and The Secret of Kells (2009), here’s a chance to enjoy Cartoon Saloon’s short films on the big screen.

Find the full program and information about tickets here.