by Jacqueline Roman
1. Café Cordoba Avenida Cordoba (at Jean Juarés)
This great café has promos that range in price from an affordable 7 to 17 pesos. Both food and drinks are served in large portions. I recommend trying puré (mashed potatoes), bife de chorizo (Argentine sirloin steak), chimichurri (spicy oil and herb sauce), and a licuado de banana (banana milkshake).
2. Konex Calle Sarmiento 3131 10 peso entry
This is the place to be on Monday nights! A very popular spot among university students, Konex gets packed as crowds form to listen to the beats of the professional percussion group, Bomba de Tiempo, which consists of 12 percussionists. The group performs original pieces, which incorporate the syncretism of cumbia and African candombe beats.
3. Azúcar Abasto Corrientes between Agüero and Gallo 15 pesos + 1 free drink
This is a favorite disco club among many porteños who love Latin music, especially salsa. Merengue, bachata and reggaeton are also played here, but the salsa along with rumba, mambo and chachacha are the most popular. The best nights are Saturdays, when salsa classes are offered at 11 p.m. Most people arrive after 2 a.m. to start their nights on the dance floor.
4. La Peña del Colorado Calle Güemes 3657 15 pesos
Located in the Palermo neighborhood, this is a lively venue where folk music can be heard on weekend nights. It’s a casual place to sit and have yerba mate, a traditional Argentine tea, while listening to live performances from local bands.
5. San Telmo
Every Buenos Aires neighborhood, or barrio, has unique characteristics, but San Telmo has a reputation for being the tango neighborhood, with numerous milongas (social dance halls where tango is danced) packed with both locals and tourists. This barrio has a lot of character; its cobblestoned streets, antique architecture, tangueros dancing day and night, and extensive artisan street fairs are what distinguish San Telmo from the other barrios. Sundays are the best days to visit, when Calle Defensa is closed to traffic for la Feria de San Telmo. Paintings, antiques and souvenirs are sold at the fair, which is open until 6 p.m.