Special Gardel Exhibit at Casa de la Cultura

(Photo by Walküre.)

El Pibe Carlitos, Hombre y Mito, is the new Gardel exhibit that is being showcased at the Casa de la Cultura until the 30th of April. The exhibition features the largest tango collection in the world and includes new cinematographic material that has never been  screened before, and music by the famous Argentine artist that had never been published.

The exhibition shows Gardel’s life from his early youth to his years as the country’s most renowned tanguero.  It includes film footage, music and records, and a collection of objects such as a guitar, hats and more.

The exhibit is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 8pm until the 30th of April at the Salón Dorado in Casa de la Cultura. Av. De Mayo 575, first floor, downtown.

Top 5 Pan Dulces in the City

(Photo by Frabisa)

Amongst the glories of Argentine Christmas are the panettone in the city bakeries. Know to locals as pan dulce, this bakery specialty are a must on every Argie Christmas table.  Our favorites are from:

Abadía Santa Escolastica: The Benedictine nuns specialize in all things sweet for Christmas and they make fantastic turrones, fruitcakes, chocolate covered dried fruits, alfajores and of course, one of the most respected pan dulces in town.  They offer different varieties including chocolate coated and ice cream stuffed panettone; all worthwhile Christmas indulgences. Libertad 1240, Ground floor, store 19, Recoleta.

El Progreso: This traditional bakery is almost a hundred years old and is one of the city’s hottest pan dulce dealers. They are so popular in fact that they often run out of the seasonal delicacy, so better head there quickly, or otherwise stop by to try some of their other pastries.  Av. Santa Fe 2820, Recoleta.

Nucha:  A more modern option is this popular bakery with stores all around town. They offer both the Italian inspired panettone, which is flatter, and their version of  pan dulce, which is fluffier and higher.  Find a list of all their stores here.

Sugar&Spice: The great thing about Sugar&Spice is not only that their products are fantastic but that they are just a few blocks away from the hotel. Check out their cookies at the Fierro minibars and then stop for some more and one of the best pan dulces or German stollens in town at their nearby store. Guatemala 5419, Palermo.

Patisserie Française: This Palermo centered patisserie offers a great variety of French inspired pastries and for Christmas they make an excellent panettone, which granted is not French in origin, but is delicious just the same. Malabia 2355, Palermo.

Vintage Shopping in Buenos Aires

The vintage scene in Buenos Aires is perfect for quirky finds and retro gems. Although there are hidden vintage stores in almost every neighborhood there are some that have become emblematic for the city’s thrifty and hip opportunity seekers.

 

(Photo by Matthew Tichenor)

Galeria Quinta Avenida is a downtown vintage gallery. Because it is a whole gallery it is a perfect place to browse for hours in all its different stores. They specialize in 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s retro styles. Av. Santa Fe 1270, downtown.

Juan Perez is a place for pure fashion and has been around since the nineties. They have unique vintage, their own line of clothes, recycled pieces, collector’s items, local and international brands and more. Marcelo T. Alvear 1355 and MT Alvear 1439, downtown.

Vintage BA is set in the Galeria Promenade in the posh Recoleta neighborhood. It specializes in renowned international brands offering items from older seasons.  Galeria Promenade, Av. Alvear 1883, Recoleta.

Keak is in Palermo and perfectly represents the neighborhood with its colorful and quirky finds for adventurous and thrifty spirits. Costa Rica 5758, Palermo.

Spanish Cuisine and History at El Imparcial

(Photo by beedieu)

One of the great things about Buenos Aires is the many culinary influences from around Europe due to the city’s unique immigration patterns. Another great thing about the city is that it preserves many of the traditional spots to sample these, mostly Spanish and Italian (and delicious!), dishes.

El Imparcial is the perfect example. This Spanish downtown restaurant is actually considered by historians to be the first restaurant in the country and dates to 1860! Additionally, politicians such as president Arturo Illia and Alfonsin, renowned cultural figures such as Borges and other popular icons like Sandro have visited it.

Nowadays, the restaurant preserves its historic atmosphere and is also a great place to savor potato tortillas, paellas and typical stews (pucheros).

 

Hipolito Yrigoyen 1201, Downtown. 4383-2919.

Top 5 Happy Hours in BA

Doppelganger: This trendy San Telmo bar specializes in cocktails made from top quality spirits and liqueurs placing an emphasis on gins and vodkas. Their happy hour menu consists of 30 different drinks to choose from, their 2*1 promo allows customers to pick two different cocktails from the list! Happy Hour: Tue-Fri 7pm-9pm. Av. Juan de Garay 500, San Telmo. 4300-0201

Gran Bar Danzón: This trendy lounge bar offers a wonderful variety of wines and is usually full of people vouching for its quality and great atmosphere.  Their wine happy hours, Mon-Fri from 7pm-9pm and Sat-Sun from 8pm-10pm present exciting new wines in the market and are a great way to try something new. Libertad 1161, Downtown. 4811-1108.

Hernán Gipponi: Fierro Hotel’s ground floor restaurant has recently incorporated a happy hour on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6pm-8pm featuring Argentine inspired drinks (35 pesos x 2) and a savory selection of tapas (happy hour menu here). An added plus is the lovely garden where guests can sit in to enjoy cocktails and snacks. Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800. info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

Le Bar: Set in an old downtown building, reminiscent of the cities golden years,  and yet with a vibrant modern design, this four floor restaurant-bar with a terrace has become one of the city’s top places to go to.  Their happy hour is held on weekdays from 6pm-10pm,  and brings in a lot of nearby office-ers, and their special Thursday happy hour that runs on to 12pm is perfect for pre-party drinking. Tucuman 422, Downtown. 5219-0858. Open Mon-Sat from midday-2am.

Gibraltar: This popular English pub in the San Telmo area has  great draught beer, delicious curries, and a friendly laid back atmosphere, important assets for  a good happy hour. Their happy hour runs every day from 6pm-10pm and if you wish to stay on, the bar remains open well into the dawn.  Peru 895, San Telmo. 4632-5310. Opening Hours: 6pm-4am.

We All Scream for Ice-cream

(Photo by LWY)

Hot sunny days call for refreshing treats and there’s nothing like ice-cream to indulge in after visiting the city sites. Brought to the city by Italian immigrants, the delightful sweet cream has been made perfect by the quality local dairy and unique regional flavors amongst which, of course, dulce de leche reigns.  As anyone who has walked the streets of Buenos Aires knows, ice cream parlors abound, which is why we have put together a suggested list of places to try the very best the city has to offer.

Persicco–  Probably one of the most respected and well-known ice-cream shops in the city with many branches including one in Palermo, Las Cañitas, Caballito, Downtown, Martinez, Recoleta, and Pilar.   They offer two unique chocolate flavors; Chocolate Goldoni (chocolate mousse ice cream with white chocolate coated cereal) and Chocolate Persicco (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, cognac and nuts) and also serve kosher, light options, and some flavors that are approved for people with celiac disease.

Cadore- This traditional ice cream shop opened first in the late nineteenth century in the Italian region of Cadore. In the 1950´s the Olivotti family that founded it moved to Argentina opening up their shop in the Av. Corrientes theatre district,  where the old family recipes are still prepared today. This is the place to go for a classic dulce de leche ice cream. Corrientes 1695, downtown. Buenos Aires. 4374-3688.

Jauja- This Patagonian ice-cream shop with a branch in Palermo offers top quality ice creams without artificial flavoring or additives. They also make their own chocolate, priding themselves on the quality of their ingredients. Their creative approach to ice cream making has led to an ever changing menu of flavors made from unique combinations and fruits such as quince and rasperry-malbec. Cerviño 3901, Palermo – 4801-8126.

Arkakao- Tea house, restaurant and most of all gourmet gelateria, this extension of the Italian Kakao and the Piemontese Venchi serves some of the best ice cream in town thanks to the imported Italian nuts and chocolates and the quality local milk, all without additives or preservatives and produced daily to ensure a freshness. The detailed care of the ingredients  and process make Arkakao ice cream delectable and perfect. Additionally they offer a variety of serving options for those looking to span out of the traditional “cucurucho”. Quintana 188, Recoleta. 4813-7585.

Via Flaminia- Another of Buenos Aires’ renowned classic ice cream stores is this elegant downtown parlor, which was founded in1965 in Florida street. Their ice creams are known for their creamy perfection with traditional tastes such as sambayon, and chocolate flavors being their specialty. Florida 121, downtown. 5032-9911.

Religious BA

(Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral at the begining of the XX century- photo courtesy of la hipatia)

The influx of cultures brought upon Buenos Aires by the strong migratory currents colored the city with a variety of religious practices and places of worship.  At each of the churches and temples, communities of immigrants gathered to celebrate their beliefs in their own languages and songs,  before altars built in the architectural style of each tradition. Religion was not only a place to worship God, but also, a place of congregation and belonging.

Now a days, as the descendants of the immigrants become distanced from their ancestral customs, many of the services are in Spanish. Nevertheless the style and cultural tradition is maintained, making for interesting places to visit and understand the history and multicultural background of the city.

Some temples worth visiting are:

Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral

This historic landmark was founded in 1580 as the first Catholic church of Buenos Aires. After undergoing various transformations due to the effects of time and the quality of building materials, it stands today overlooking Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada with a mix of architectural styles combining a Neo-Classic facade and Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decoration. It is also where San Martin’s remains lie in a mausoleum guarded by statues that represent Argentina, Peru and Chile, the countries the General liberated.

Open Mon-Fri- 7am-7pm,  Sat-Sun – 9 am- 7.30pm

Iglesia de San Ignacio

Close to the Cathedral is the San Ignacio church built in 1675 by the Jesuits. It is one of the oldest churches in Buenos Aires and is part of the Manzana de las Luces, a network of mysterious underground tunnels and buildings built in the XVII-XVIII centuries.

Tours in English of the tunnels and church are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons with prior booking.  Tours in Spanish are available daily.

The church is also open to the public every day from  9am-8pm

Calle Bolivar Nº 225, Monserrat

4331-2458

Templo Libertad

The story tells that on one Yom Kippur in 1861, two Jewish men gathered at the Recoleta park to read their book of prayers and decided to summon a permanent minyán, that is a group of minimum ten Jewish men who together could ensure that God would hear their prayers.  A year later the group was formed and they joined to celebrate Pesaj. This was to be the first version of the National Israeli Congregation.

In 1837 the founding rock was placed and following with a mix of Roman and Byzantine architectural styles, the first synagogue of the city finally found its place.

Now a days it can be visited as part of the  tours offered by the Jewish Museum (which is right next door)  from Tuesday to Thursday 3pm-6pm and Fridays 3pm-5pm.

*Due to religious festivities the Museum will remain closed on the 13th-14th-20th and 21st of October.

Libertad 769, Downtown

4123-0832

Russian Orthodox Church

This ornate church with eye-catching cupolas in XVIIth century Russian style,  stands in San Telmo in front of Parque Lezama and the Historic National Museum.

Its structure includes five blue cupolas with golden stars crowned by orthodox crosses, which are fastened with chains that face east. Inside are two murals and elaborate symbolic icons amongst which the holy trinity stands out.

Open Saturdays  5pm-8pm and Sundays 10am-midday. The church also opens occasionally on weekdays. This week it will be open on Thursday from 9am-11am.

Brasil 315 – San Telmo

4361-427

Danish Lutheran Church

Also in San Telmo is the Danish Lutheran Church, which was founded as an institution in 1924, and the neo-gothic style Temple in 1931. The congregation found a common cultural place in the Danish Church where to this day many Danish traditions are still celebrated. Additionally they have a library with extensive Scandinavian literature.

The city also offers religious tours that take you to different temples on the first and third Friday of every month starting at 10AM. Book your place at cultos@buenosaires.gob.ar or visitasguiadasdgcul@yahoo.com.ar, or by phone: 4323-9410 / 4323-8000 int. 2855/2797