Top 5 Bars (When You’d Rather NOT Go Out to a Boliche)
Article by Rachael Leonie.
“Nothing compares to Buenos Aires nightlife,” they say. “No one parties harder than Argentines,” they say. “BA is the real city that never sleeps,” they say. And yes, all that –and more—is true. But sometimes, the drunk and fuzzy 6 AM-ers, coupled with the pulsing eardrums and fernet-coated throats, are just too much. As a full-time expat that gets to enjoy BA’s nightlife whenever I want, I have found that now I’d rather my weekends consisted of grabbing a drink, catching up with friends, and going to bed at a more reasonable hour (say 3 or 4am) than dancing the night away at a “top” venue. For those like me, looking for a fun-filled night that for once doesn’t involve dancing to El Tekila or daring your friends to take yet another chili bomb, check out these bars for a fun alternative to the viejos verdes waiting to hit on you at PACHA.
Arenales 2932/2922, Recoleta
How is this centrally located bar so often overlooked? Young Argentines and expats living in city center, Balvanera, Almagro, and Palermo are just a short colectivo ride away from JOBS Bar. The 3-story venue is stocked with board games, ping-pong, foosball, and pool tables, all at your disposal. Buy a bar package, and you’ll get a round of games paired with beer and pizza. Sounds like a good deal? It is. And we haven’t even mentioned the archery cages yet. Upstairs on the top floor resides a closed-in section of the bar where you can rent bows and arrows and have a trained archer instruct you on how to shoot. And although arrows and alcohol may not be the best combination, we’ll keep shooting until we get that bull’s eye.
Av Corrientes 5436, Villa Crespo
For the more seasoned ping pong-ing, beer drink-ing, pool play-ing crowd, check out San Bernardo in Villa Crespo. The place reads like a warehouse-cum-playground with a bar slapped along the side. The open, communal feel makes it easy to meet other bar-goers looking to start a pool or ping-pong match. For those who tend to run on Argentina time and don’t get out to the bars until much later, this is the spot for you. While JOBS Bar closes at 2, San Bernardo stays open until the wee hours, allowing you to drink, mingle, and ping pong throughout the night.
Bolivar 491, San Telmo
Step away from the Quilmes and indulge in an Antares for the night. Settle down into this San Telmo pub with a group of friends and start your night by ordering a flight of the bar’s delicious brews with a side of beer’s most perfect accompaniments: fries, picadas, empanaditas, and cheese cuts to name a few. Although the bar isn’t exclusive to the swanky barrio, this location does maintain a distinct swag. Head here early to score a table before the nightly crowd comes.
San Martín 941, Retiro
Do something different and head to Dadá this weekend. Lost in a time warp, Dadá Bar is littered with pop-art, sprinkled with loyal regulars, and seasoned with a too-cool-for-school type of onda. Grab a friend or two and check out this small bar for long discussions over boutique bottles of wine and indulgent dinner courses. It may be a trek (situated in BA’s Retiro barrio), but one lomo mediteraneo and reasonably-priced cocktail later, and you’ll be glad you came.
Jorge Luis Borges 2180, Palermo SoHo
Palermo’s sugar-coated, cupcake-lined streets have you forgetting you’re in Argentina? Pop into Peña Los Cardones for the night. This bar is a beautiful ode to the country’s traditional side; spurting folkloric tunes, showcasing traditional dance, and serving up the “Argentine” bar classics like Fernet Cola, Gancia, and, of course, lots of Quilmes. But patrons aren’t just audience members to the nightly performances at Los Cardones: after swigging a Fernet or two, grab one of the complimentary instruments stashed behind the bar, and join the show by playing your own little tune!
And there you have it: the top five bars for those non-boliche types of nights. Where is your favorite bar to hang out post-work and on the weekends? Share your pick with us in the comments below!