1. Barbershop La Epoca
Our favourite hidden gem that we came across whilst in the Argentine capital was a small museum/still fully functioning barbershop in Primera Junta, Caballito. As we entered the establishment we were instantly transported back hundreds of years. There was a man sat on a traditional leather barbershop chair dating to the 18th century, getting his beard trimmed with a single blade, surrounded by walls lined with antique combs, brushes, mirrors, and many other artefacts which we weren’t even entirely sure what they were. The best bit about this old barbers is that in the café where the men wait their turn, locals turn up every Thursday and Friday evening dressed to the nines to sing tango together. We sat enjoying the local caña sugar cane liquor watching the elderly tango singers, and it really was something magical.
2. Florería Atlántico
One hidden gem we were lucky enough to stumble across in Buenos Aires was the speakeasy bar Florería Atlántico. This bar is located on 872 Arroyo in Recoleta and is the perfect place for those looking to do something a little different during their time in the city. The bar is disguised as a florist and a wineshop and so on arrival you are unsure about where you are headed. Luckily we were told before where to go when you enter the florist but having not known this we may have been a little lost. Take note: You must enter the flower shop and then make your way to the shops rear door (which looks like a refrigerator). Once opened the place comes to life and you make your way down to the stunning basement bar, buzzing with people and bubbling cocktails. One cocktail we would highly recommend on your visit is La Rose which ties in with the florist above and made by topping a mix of macerated lime, elderberry and gin with a sprinkle of rose petals - DELICIOUS!
3. La Catedral Tango Salon
We experienced lots of tango dancers and shows whilst in Buenos Aires, however our favourite was a small tango salon called La Catedral located in the barrio of Almagro. As you enter this legendary tango salon, a historic building from the 19th century, there are various rooms where locals come together to practise their national dance. It was our favourite because it’s so wildly different to any other tango salon; no two chairs or tables match, abstract artwork is hung all around the walls, there’s even a trendy cafe/restaurant serving veggie food inside. Above the bar hangs the four meter high ‘Corazon del Tango,’ a shrine to their passionate local dance.
4. J.W. Bradley
Another speak easy bar we visited during our time in Buenos Aires was J.W. Bradley. Having heard people speak of this hidden bar in Palermo that has an Orient Express theme, we were intrigued to find out more. On arrival at the bar we made ourselves comfy in the wooden seats of a beautiful looking railway carriage that came complete with a conductor at the front. We then enjoyed a ride back in time and were told all about the Englishman, J.W. Bradley. Once the scene had been set the train doors opened and we entered a spacious railway station which was filled with tables and a bar. The cocktails were all named after key railway references, one of our favourites being King’s Cross which was made with Bombay Sapphire, lemongrass-infused lemon juice, egg white, and Earl Grey syrup. We loved the fact the bar offered a variety of English teas, Scottish Whiskeys, French Liquors and Italian Vermouths all in attempt to take one back to the time of the Orient Express. For those looking for a different kind of excitement we would definitely recommend a visit!
5. El Banco Rojo
For all those foodies out there we found an absolute gem that fits in the category of a ‘cheap eat’. Reminding us of the pop-ups in Shorditch, El Banco Rojo is a quirky “fast-food” joint that we found in San Telmo. El Banco is known for its falafel wraps, traditional burgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and tacos. The bar is very casual and has a buzzing atmosphere; a great place to spend the evening before heading out in Buenos Aires. We spent 300 pesos on a burger, tacos and a bottle of red - this is a HUGE bargain for a meal out in BA!