Must Try in BA: Hot Chocolate with Churros

(Photo by bittermelon)

Nothing screams for warm sweet hot chocolate with crunchy comforting churros like a rainy Buenos Aires day in autumn. The pair is a classic for locals seeking refuge from humid cold streets and is a must try for sightseeing visitors. But what are churros? They are crunchy fried pastries covered in sugar, sometimes filled with dulce de leche, and occasionally coated in chocolate. Try them at any of the following places:

La Giralda is an understated cafe on Corrientes Avenue that specializes in chocolate with churros. It is the place to go for this local delicacy and their hot chocolate is one of the best in town, made with top quality Fenix chocolate. Av. Corrientes 1453.

Nearby to La Giralda is El Gato Negro, often overlooked but well worth knowing not only for its traditional chocolate and churros but also for its spices and coffee varieties. Av Corrientes 1669.

Another place to go for superb “chocolate espejo” (dark hot chocolate) and churros is Cafe de Los Angelitos. Plus, the traditional cafe, popular with tourists because of its tango shows and history, is beautiful and worth visiting. Av. Rivadavia 2100.

Cafe Tortoni is another classic city cafe that most travelers will end up in at one point or the other. Not only is the cafe gorgeous and historically relevant but also their churro-chocolate combination is one of the best in the city. Av. Mayo 825.

Finally, for those who want churros delivered, try El Topo. They only start making the churros once the order has been placed so they’re as fresh as they come. Plus, they make varieties filled with lemon custard and also salty versions!

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Courtesy of arteBA Fundación)

The city’s most important art fair, ArteBA, which will be open until Tuesday, is a great opportunity for art enthusiasts and collectors to see the latest Argentine art on the market.  Open from 1pm-9pm. More information here.

In the evening the renowned Cuban orchestra Buena Vista Social Club will be presenting a live show next to Omara Portuondo at the Teatro Colegiales. Tickets here. Av. Federico Lacroze 3455, Colegiales.

Tuesday

(Photo by this is emily)

Book your place at the stunning Duhau Palace Restaurante and Vinoteca for the special Salta Cuisine menu paired with Colome wines that will be specially prepared throughout the week. Lunch: 300 pesos, Dinner: 400 pesos. Reservations at 5171 1340.

If you’re looking for a laugh don’t miss the Grin Go! Stand Up comedy Show starting at 9pm at the Absinth Resto Bar. Bartolomé Mitre 1695, Downtown. 4371-6486. Be sure to make a reservation by emailing gringo@comicosdepie.com.ar.

Wednesday

(Photo by ::d::)

Throughout the week the Buenos Aires artisan pastry week will be celebrated around the city in cafes and cake houses. Check out the special offers and discounts and go on an indulgent quest to find the best medialunas in town!

In the evening the Tango Championship semifinals will be held at 11.30pm in La Viruta. Armenia 1366, Palermo.

Thursday

(Photo by irargerich)

Stop by the Buenos Aires Planetarium to experience the immersive show “Journey to the Stars” which traces stars through time. The experience was created in collaboration with the NASA, the American Museum on Natural Science in New York and a group of renowned scientists. Tue-Fri 1pm, 4pm, 5pm. Sat-Sun 2pm, 3pm. 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Av. Sarmiento and Belisario Roldan, Palermo.

For a unique evening, book your place at Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno. Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

Later on explore the city’s art galleries and museums with the rest of the crowd on the monthly Gallery Nights.

Friday

Friday is a national holiday as the May revolution is celebrated. Festivities will take place at Plaza San Martin starting 10am. Details will be updated on Thursday.

In the evening stop by La Peña del Colorado for some live guitar folklore and tango music by the talented trio Gorosito/Cataldi/de la Vega starting at 10pm.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Peter Forret)

Throughout the long weekend the Japanese Gardens will be celebrating different culinary customs of the Japanese culture. Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Casares, Palermo.

On Saturday don’t miss  the City Tango Dance Finals, which will be held in the afternoon at La Usina de las Ideas. Tickets must be picked up on Friday at Casa de la Cultura ( Av. De Mayo 575) from midday to 5pm.

On Saturday at 8.30pm Chinese pianist Lang Lang presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s: Partita No.1 in E-flat major,  Franz Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960 and Frederic Chopin’s twelve studios, Op. 25. at the Colón Theatre.

arteBA

(Courtesy of arteBA Fundación)

The local artistic community will be abuzz throughout the weekend, as the most important contemporary art fair of the year, arteBA, has kicked off at La Rural until the 22nd of May.

The fair, which is the largest of its kind in Latin America, will showcase the artwork from 68 different galleries, and also promote newcomers to the scene, award prizes, and stage conferences for collectors and 3 art talks with renowned local artists Marta Minujín, Julio Le Parc and Pablo Reinoso.  Additionally, this year the fair will be offering free iPhone and iPad apps, and free audio guides.

Tickets to the fair cost 50 pesos and can be bought online here. Opening hours are form 1pm-9pm. La Rural. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo.

Off the Beaten Path: Rural Towns in the Buenos Aires Province

(Photo by Facundo Prámparo)

Argentina is a vast country with many very different places to visit. Traveling to Buenos Aires usually means staying in Capital Federal, undoubtedly, the city has a unique magnetic pull; it is after all the country’s stunning capital. However, the province of Buenos Aires has charming towns that are well worth visiting to get the feel of the rural aspect of Argentine living. Many of these places are close to the city so they make great quick getaways. Below are some of our picks:

San Antonio de Areco:  This gaucho town, just 113 Km’s away North West from the city centre, is the perfect place to find typical customs, native silverwork and to enjoy nature. Some of the recommended places to visit include the Museo Gauchesco y Parque Criollo Ricardo Guiraldes, the Museo Taller Draghi, and La Olla de Cobre for fantastic homemade chocolate and alfajores. Getting there takes two hours approximately by bus to Retiro.

Where to stay: There are various estancias, inns and Bed & Breakfasts to choose from. Some of the more known options are Estancia La Porteña de Areco, and El Ombu de Areco.

San Pedro: A little further up North, on the banks of the Paraná river is this small town that was founded in 1907, surrounding a Franciscan convent. Now a day it is a one of the most important fruit ports in the country. Places to visit include La Campiña, a fragrant orange farm open to the public, the Plazoleta Fray Cayetano, and the Fernando Garcia Curten art museum. It is also a great place for fishing and other aquatic activities.

Where to stay: Hotel San Pedro Palace, the oldest hotel in the town which dates back to 1898 and is spick and span due to recent renovations.

Lobos: This small town just 100km to the south west of Capital Federal is famous for its estancias, lake and outdoor life. It is also a historical town where both gaucho and indigenous culture clashed and where General Peron was born. Attractions include the Laguna de Lobos, the Peron museum, a museum of natural sciences and various estancias.

Where to stay: Estancia la Candelaria-A top-notch estancia offering everything from gaucho shows to parachuting and massages in a gorgeous French style chateau surrounded by fragrant nature.

Tandil: Further down south, the town of Tandil sits on the edge of the Sierras de Tandil providing a rugged terrain, perfect for rock climbing and trekking. It is also an important historical landmark as it was a big military fort where important battles were fought. The biggest attractions are natural landmarks such as the Cerro Centinela, Monte Calvario and Piedra Movediza amongst others. Tandil is also a special place for cured meats and cheeses.

Where to stay: Posada de los Pajaros is set in the middle of the sierras providing for a tranquil atmosphere surrounded by nature. Otherwise stay at the Altos Avenida in the town center.

Top 5 Dulce de Leches

(Photo by sunday driver)

Dulce de leche is a part of the local identity, and many a visitor has become a fan of its delicious sweet taste.  Not every dulce de leche is the same however (find a recipe here).  Some are darker with an intense sugary flavor, others more milky and smooth. Keep in mind that there are three types for different uses: the classic dulce de leche, the respostero (to make cakes and other baked goods), and a special kind for making ice cream.

Below is our pick of the top 5 classic dulce de leches for you sample and pick up on the way home!

Chimbote: This creamy dulce de leche is one of the most well known, especially amongst D.d.L fans from abroad that stock up on the milky caramel at the Duty Free shop on the way back home.  A top quality spread with just the right balance of sweetness.

Havanna: The famous Mar del Plata alfajor company has made its fans happy with this dark and thick dulce de leche. Its grainy texture and deep sweet flavor is a perfect pair for desserts such as crepes and flan.

 La Salamandra: This top quality dulce de leche became famous internationally after winning a prize at The Fancy Food Show in New York and exporting to over 25 countries. It’s easily found in supermarkets and perfect to enjoy by the spoonful.

Estancia el Rosario: These dulce de leche producers are in Cordoba and they stand out for their variety of dulce de leches, including solid dulce de leche bars and goat milk dulce de leche. They also offer a 450g pot that comes in a milk jug that makes a great gift. Find the addresses of stores in Buenos Aires that sell their products here.

El Monacal: The monks from Abadía del Niño de Dios in Entre Rios are responsible for this creamy homemade delicacy that they produce with milk from their own dairy farm. They also make cheese, beer and honey, providing jobs to the community. Their dulce de leches are available in health stores around the city and in big churches such as the Abadía de San Benito in Belgrano.

French-Argentine Culinary Workshop in Buenos Aires

(Photo by ReneS)

Throughout May, the “La Cuisine des Chefs, Atelier de cocina” culinary workshops will explore Autumnal flavors at different city hotspots.  The event, which seeks to explore French-Argentine cuisine, will feature eight different workshops by renowned chefs. Each will deal with a different theme ranging from patisserie, to spices to mushrooms.

 The workshops cost 190 pesos each, and places must be reserved in advance at Lucullus 4703-3177. Below are the Atelier schedules:

-Sunday 13th of May at 10am: Bruno Gillot & Oliver Hanocq from L’Epi Boulangerie: “Croissant and Viennoiserie.”

-Monday 14th of May at 8pm: Toufic Reda and Emiliano Di Nisi from TO Buenos Aires: “Champiñones en la cocina Frapanese” (Button mushrooms in Frapanese cuisine).

-Tuesday 15th of May at 7pm: Sebastien Fouillade from Brasserie Petanque: “Otoño en el Sud Oeste de Francia” (Autumn in the South West of France).

-Wednesday the 16th of May at 7.30pm: Wine tasting at La Cave a Vin in Unik.

-Thursday the 17th of May at 8pm: Elsa Manelphe from La Cuisine Secrete: “Especias de otoño, currys y sopas exóticas” (Autumn spices, curries and exotic soups).

-Friday the 18th of May at 8.30pm: Jean-Paul Bondoux from La Bourgogne and Jerome Mathe from Cafe des Arts: “La cocina de caza” (The hunter’s kitchen).

-Saturday the 19th of May at midday: Fernando Hara from Unik: “Ultimo tango en Paris” (Last Tango in Paris).

-Monday 21st of May at 8pm: Antontio Soriano from Chez Nous at Algodon Mansion: “La cocina del té” (Tea time cuisine).

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by jontyjago)

If you´re planning to visit the city center to see the Obelisco, or to take a tour of the Colón Theatre, head to the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes (palace of running waters) on Cordoba Avenue and Riobamba first.  Originally built as a disguise for a water tower meant to provide clean drinking water to the people after the 1877 outbreak of yellow fever, the stunning palace now works as Aguas Argentinas’s headquarters (the local water company) and also as a museum. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm. Riobamba 750 – 1° Piso. 6319-1104.

Popular British Indie band The Kooks will be presenting their new record “Junk of the Heart” at the Luna Park.  Tickets here.

 

Tuesday

(Photo by Pickersgill Reef)

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Recoleta is presenting a new exhibit ¨Claridad, la vanguardia en lucha¨, showcasing Argentine art from the 20´s-40´s depicting different social and political aspects that the country was going through at the time. Av. Del Libertador 1473, Recoleta.

If you’re looking for a laugh don’t miss the Grin Go! Stand Up comedy Show starting at 9pm at the Absinth Resto Bar. Bartolomé Mitre 1695, Downtown. 4371-6486. Be sure to make a reservation by emailing gringo@comicosdepie.com.ar.

 

Wednesday

(Photo by Paco CT)

The international circus festival, Polo Circo will be taking place until the 14th of May, and is a great opportunity to check out some of the most talented acrobats and circus shows around the world! Find the full program here.

Don’t miss Mora Godoy: Chantecler Tango, a tango musical directed by the British Stephen Rayne, that is being staged at the Teatro Alvear from Wednesday’s-Sunday’s. Avda. Corrientes 1659, Downtown. 4373-4245.

 

Thursday

(Photo by tkamenick)

The Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta is hosting a special exhibit on renowned Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik. The museum is open from 1pm-7pm. Juramento 2291, Belgrano.

For a unique evening, book your place at Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno. Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

 

Friday

(Photo by mikilgenio80)

The city’s most important art fair Arte BA kicks off on Friday providing for a great opportunity for art enthusiasts and collectors to see the latest Argentine art on the market.  Open from 1pm-9pm. More information here.

In the evening, don’t miss the Tango Championship where the country’s best dancers will show the best of their abilities.  Find the full program here. 

 

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Dominic Meissner)

On Saturday, starting at 2pm TedxJovenes@RiodeLaPlata will be showcasing inspiring proposals, artwork and music by Argentine youth from 16-21 years of age at Ciudad Cultural Konex. Sarmiento 3131, Abasto.

Don’t miss the new MALBA exhibit, Bye Bye American Pie, which showcases some of the most influential American contemporary art by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Cady Noland, and Paul Mc Carthy. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 

On Sunday at 11am the Colón Theatre will be presenting a tribute to George Enescu free of charge. Tickets must be picked up at the city in advance. Cerrito 628, Downtown. 4378 7100

On Sunday between2pm-4pm there will be a special origami demonstration at the Japanese Gardens in Palermo. Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av.Casares.