The Paris of South America
Trip Start May 12, 2009
41Trip End Dec 16, 2009
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Where I stayed
Based in Recoleta, (a sort of Knightsbridge..) we were a 10 mins in a taxi from Palermo Viejo - where the majority of fashion boutiques, bars and restaurants resided. Head to Plaza Serrano and all the shopping/''going out'' streets radiate out from this centre. Which meant within 5 mins I was lost but happy to be wandering and window shopping. Well it was alot of window shopping until I realised they lock all the doors (due to thiefs) and you have to ring a bell to enter... Some of the store designs are amazing and you think the prices will be sky high but be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Within 2 days of being here you'll wonder where in your house you can cram a nice bit of cow hide.
We of course arrived with hardly any Spanish so there was much waving of the address at the cabbies, but all were helpful, on a meter and cost peanuts (a nice change from Rio). I learnt the hard way there's is an enormous shortage of small notes in Argentina, (was in the guide but who reads the "tips" page??) so enter a cab with 100 pesos (16 quid) and forget it..they smile to the gods and you either call by a supermarket or scrabble for loose change and walk 8 blocks : )
Our recommendations are Congo, Omm, Gran Danzon for bars (also Jack the Ripper - huge Mansion house run by someone who fancies himself as Clash lead singer..only British B sides were played in this dim, vault like bar...), La Cabrera - where steak, in their eyes, needs no accompaniment..you'd probably get slapped for ordering chips. But this is the land of STEAKS so we're not arguing. And Brasserie Petanque for classic French dishes - anywhere that greets you with a free Kir Royal gets my vote. In South America it seems that people with small children don't go out with the rest of society, here dinner starts at 10pm and you start at the first club at 2am, subsequently we've seen no clubs but afew quiet bars. I love the place though it's sort of a mix of Parisien streets, Soho retail and bars with great, great food. We also hit the markets of San Telmo and Recoleta (where they tango for the tourists) and headed to port area of La Boca, where yes a lookalike Maradona makes a healthy living posing for a picture and the buildings are multi coloured, using left over paint from the Port itself. Get here at some point!