Easter in Buenos Aires

(Photo by erix!)

Easter weekend is coming up and should prove to be an eventful festivity given the enthusiasm that the naming of the new pope brought about the Argentine people. Also, since Monday and Tuesday have been added as national holidays in memory of the soldiers in the Malvinas war, the long weekend should prove to be extra long and many a porteño will leave the city for a few days of rest.

On Good Friday expect very little to be open except restaurants, museums and cinemas. We recommend double-checking beforehand.

For those who wish to participate in the religious festivities, the Buenos Aires Via Crucis, in which the fourteen stages of the cross are reenacted, will kick off at 8.30pm at Plaza Lorea on Av. de Mayo and Luis Saenz Peña and will end at Plaza de Mayo.

On Sunday the Catedral Metropolitana will be offering a special Easter mass, and otherwise the Parroquia Madre Admirable in Retiro offers Catholic mass in English at 10am.  Afterwards, the fun part is of course hunting for Easter eggs, breaking lent, and feasting on chocolates and rosca de pascua, a traditional pastry that is prepared for the occasion. Expect restaurants (specially parrillas) to be packed so book your places in advance.

For an alternative Easter celebration, head to the city of Tandil towards the south of the Buenos Aires province, where the locals go every year to gather around the sculptures of the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Don’t forget to shop for the best Easter eggs at these tempting chocolateries!

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!

Easter Weekend in Buenos Aires

(Photo by antitezo)

Thursday

At 1pm and at 3pm there will be two Polo matches at the Catedral de Polo in Palermo. The entry is free. Av. Libertador 4350, Palermo

Don’t miss the new MALBA exhibit, Bye Bye American Pie, which showcases some of the most influential works in contemporary art by artists such as Basquiat and Nan Goldin, amongst others. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

A special tour of seven historic churches of the city will be held as part of the Easter weekend starting at 5pm at the Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Merced at the corner of Reconquista and Presidente Peron, downtown.

Fierro Hotel hosts it´s Thursday wine tasting where you can 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.

At 10pm Fritz Lang’s Metropolis will be screened with a live orchestra at the MALBA. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 4808-6500.

Sign up for the Easter Egg Hunt Pub Crawl and get to know the one and only Easter bunny, plus hunt for eggs in different bars and trade them for free drinks! More information here.

Friday

A Japanese tea ceremony will be demonstrated at 4pm at the Japanese Gardens in Palermo.  Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Casares, Palermo.

Don’t miss the new MALBA exhibit, Bye Bye American Pie, which showcases some of the most influential works in contemporary art by artists such as Basquiat and Nan Goldin, amongst others. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

The Jewish community will be celebrating the first night of Pesach at the historic Templo de Libertad where Passover celebrations will kick off at 7.30pm. Libertad 769.  4814-3637.

The Buenos Aires Via Crucis is held every year on Good Friday at Avenida de Mayo where a procession, including a choir and a multitude of lit candles,  will be transiting the historic avenue starting 8.30pm and finishing at 10pm at the Buenos Aires Cathedral.

Bjork will be playing the first of five shows where her album Biophilia Residency  will be presented to the public. On the 6th ,9th , 12th , and 15th of April she will play intimate concerts at the centro de exposiciones and on the  21st she will be staging a larger concert at GEBA. Tickets here.

The 2012 Ultra Music Festival Buenos Aires will be taking place in Costanera Sur with a big DJ line-up including Justice, John Digweed, and Chris Liebing amongst others.  Tickets here.

Saturday

At 1pm and at 3pm there will be two Polo matches at the Catedral de Polo in Palermo. The entry is free. Av. Libertador 4350, Palermo

Don’t miss the new MALBA exhibit, Bye Bye American Pie, which showcases some of the most influential works in contemporary art by artists such as Basquiat and Nan Goldin, amongst others. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

The Jewish community will be celebrating Seder at the Gran Templo Paso, a synagogue on Paso 423, Downtown. 4951-2306/5329. info@grantemplopaso.org.ar

The Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro will be playing a lively tango show at CAFF in Abasto starting at 11.30pm. Sanchez de Bustamante 764, Abasto.

The Colón Theatre will be presenting the ballet Carmen. Music by Georges Bizet, Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin Turina with arrangements by Luis Gorelik, Colón orchestra director. Choreography by Mauricio Wainrot.

Sunday

If you would like to attend Catholic Easter mass in English you can go to the Parroquia Madre Admirable near Retiro at 10am. Otherwise, the Christian United Community Church in Acassuso, in the suburbs of the city, offers services in English.

Don’t miss the new MALBA exhibit, Bye Bye American Pie, which showcases some of the most influential works in contemporary art by artists such as Basquiat and Nan Goldin, amongst others. Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

La Oreja Negra in Palermo will be hosting a folklore and tango peña starting at 8pm. Uriarte 1271, Palermo.

The Colón Theatre will be presenting the ballet Carmen. Music by Georges Bizet, Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin Turina with arrangements by Luis Gorelik, Colón orchestra director. Choreography by Mauricio Wainrot.

Top 5 Chocolateries in Buenos Aires

(photo by Shelly & Dave)

Chocolate seems to be everywhere lately, as the city prepares for Easter. If the sweet aroma of cacao tempts you, you will surely want to stop by one of the following places:

El Viejo Oso: This traditional chocolaterie had its origins in the early forties when Gustav Hermann landed in Argentina after studying patisserie in Switzerland. He began a small marzipan business that evolved into a chocolaterie. His son Claudio then went to study chocolate making in Germany. In the nineties, armed with new knowledge, Claudio turned the chocolaterie into what is now El Viejo Oso, specializing in truffles. The shop has since expanded and has six stores. For Easter they make spectacular eggs from top quality chocolate and since Pesaj is also around the corner they are offering chocolate covered matzá. More information on their facebook page.

Vasalissa: Although newer to the scene than El Viejo Oso, Vasalissa was born from a long tradition of Russian candy and chocolate makers. Founded by mother and daughter Dadi and Federica Marinucci, the chocolaterie combines a chocolate making legacy left behind by Abrascha Benski (Dadi´s father), a careful selection of top quality ingredients and an esthetic element from Dadi and Federica’s artistic backgrounds. The result; smooth, delicious chocolates presented in delicate wrappings that make delightful gifts.

Tikal: This unique chocolaterie combines artisanal processes with carefully selected ingredients from all over the world. Their unique procedure includes a 50-hour method using machines from the 19th century. Since they don’t use additives, they have a rotating menu where top quality seasonal ingredients are featured including cacao from Ghana, Ecuador, Venezuela and Trinidad.

Compañia de Chocolates: Chef Daniel Uria is behind this gourmet chocolaterie. His culinary formation in patisserie and later on his chocolate studies in Germany, New York and Valrhona, were a first step towards what would later be this chocolate lovers heaven. The Palermo and Recoleta stores feature a wide variety of chocolates of course, and also ice creams and baked goods.

Mamuschka:  This typical Bariloche chocolaterie is the favorite of many an Argentine from the south and has a branch in Buenos Aires for Porteños to delight in. Their marzipan is well known as is their “chocolate en rama” (chocolate branches), a typical local format that resembles tree bark.