Although Post Street Bar never set out to be a concept bar, it could be considered one of the original conceptual joints in the city. Operating as part bar, part street-art gallery, Post is the city’s graffiti headquarters, and the entire bar, gallery and terrace are covered in artworks, adorning every corner of the walls. While not officially graffiti themed, it certainly couldn’t claim to be anything other than conceptually artistic, with a definite punk mentality. Head there the first Wednesday of every month for art openings, and on Thursdays for free pizza. What more could you want?
The latest in a long line of New York-themed bars, Uptown has really gone all out. Complete with a grimy, graffitied entrance in the style of the New York subway, Uptown’s front door also contains a subway turnstile and a complete subway carriage, which you have to enter before you are introduced, in over-the-top fashion, to the incredible 1920s speakeasy hall beyond. You will feel like a glamorous gutter rat.
Viking fans, behold the holy grail of Valhalla. This beer hall in San Telmo harks back to the olden days when beards were long and journeys were treacherous. This Viking-inspired bar even goes so far as to serve food and drink in horns, and has a selection of Nordic food on offer, perfect for filling the belly after a long day of slaying and pillaging.
These heritage bars aren’t so much themed as they are just incredibly emblematic of Buenos Aires; you could say that their theme is the city itself. These old-school, wood-panelled cafes are listed as National Heritage Sites, and as such are protected, making them a part of the living history of the city. Go and get a medialuna or a tostada with a coffee and be transported back to the day of Gardel’s tango or Borges’ literary musings. Avoid the touristy ones and head for the barrio, or neighbourhood, joints to get a real sense of Buenos Aires old and new.
This Lord of the Rings-themed bar in Boedo is also perfect for Game of Thrones fans, so it’s a great place to have a drink, whether you pledge allegiance to the lords of Westeros or those of Middle Earth. The bar staff wear leather armour, the walls are adorned with painted shields and the TV screens show re-runs of Outlander and Vikings. Beer is the order of the day, and you can stave the hunger away with endless peanuts, or order food from the bar menu. The place is dark and recalls a fantasy land that the nerds among us can only fantasise about getting lost in.
This corner cafe in Chacarita is an homage to all things photographic. With so many glass cases displaying ancient cameras and camera parts from different eras, it’s a wonder that there’s even anywhere for patrons to sit. One of the most charming bars in the city, it gets packed on Tuesday nights, when a local jazz band comes in to sing standards and enjoy themselves midweek. The fare on offer is traditional Argentine, so settle in with a steak and a glass of Malbec and enjoy the quirky surroundings.
This restaurant and bar is practically a shrine to all things Peron and Peronism, whether it be Evita and Juan, or their more recent incarnations Christina and Nestor Kirchner. The menu serves all of former president Juan Peron’s favourite dishes, and young Peronists routinely occupy the tables and spontaneously break into Peronist song. The place is dripping with memorabilia and the queues to get in are often long, so get there early, put your name on the list and go for a drink, because the experience is worth the wait.