Most Argentines begin the day at a modest sidewalk café, sipping a small coffee and munching on a medialuna – a small, crescent-shaped morning roll. But if you’ve only got 24 hours, you deserve not the routine Argentine breakfast, but the pull-out-all-the-stops Argentine breakfast. This is best had at one of the city’s historic cafés, such as Las Violetas in Almagro, which offers several lavish European-inspired breakfast menus. If, on the other hand, all you’re wanting is some nutrient-rich food and house-baked bread – such things have yet to be considered gourmet across the board in Argentina – you’re better off heading over to Malvón in Villa Crespo. If you could care less about the food and all you want is coffee, take note – high-quality brews in Argentina have to be sought out.
Ah, the golden mid-morning hours, so perfect for strolling through one of the city’s many incredible art museums, galleries, or colorful markets. If organizing all that sounds overwhelming in a foreign city, you can always sign up for a personalized tour and let yourself by led from one dazzling spot to another. Either way, take some time to soak in Buenos Aires as a cultural savant. You won’t regret it.
Ready to eat some meat? Head to a parrilla, or grillhouse, to lunch alongside porteños (people born in Buenos Aires). Try Parrilla Peña or El Pensador Parrilla in Palermo, La Brigada in San Telmo, or El Obrero in La Boca. Among the best parrillas in the city, whichever you choose will leave you satisfied.
All that delicious food may leave you feeling pretty full, so why not take a nice long meandering walk through one of the city’s sprawling parks, such as the Botanical Gardens, the Bosques de Palermo, Parque Centenario or the riverside ecological reserve. If none of those sound appealing, try this self-guided architectural walking tour through a historic part of the city. If it’s raining, take a tour to see the tunnels built by Jesuits under Buenos Aires – more information here.
Ready to eat again? Of course you are. Buenos Aires is famous for its ice cream, thanks largely to the city’s longstanding Italian heritage. Speaking of which, Heladería Scannapieco in Palermo, which was founded by an Italian immigrant in 1938, offers top-notch European-style scoops (definitely try sambayón). Then there’s new generation ice cream places like OCCO, which offers an array of cool flavor combinations like alfajores cookies and cream. Del Viento in Palermo is anther young heladería bringing flavors from the south – try their Patagonian cream, it’s insane. Also popular among locals is Cadore in the city center.
You will need it. Most Argentines eat dinner at 11 PM. Yes, you read that correctly.
Here’s where you give yourself a chance to do something different. Take a tango class, for instance. Maybe try your hand at polo. Go wine tasting and learn about Argentine terroir. Whatever it is, make it culturally enriching. Argentines are big into extracurricular activities, even if they work full-time and have families. Since they eat dinner so late, many of them squeeze in a few extra hours of physical or intellectual enrichment in the early evening hours – here’s your chance to follow suit.
If you got out of your comfort zone a little today, great, now’s the time to sit back and relax. If you didn’t, that’s okay too – dinner awaits, and it will be glorious, pretty much no matter where you end up. And if you aren’t sure about that yet, here’s a handy guide to the city’s best.
How was it? Share your day with your traveling companion, spouse, kids, best friend, or even with us here at Culture Trip in the comments section below. You may find you had such a good time you’ll want to go back and re-live it, again and again. Perfecto!