We weren’t in Buenos Aires for a booze excursion, but we do like to have good drinks when we travel. Here is a wrap up of what we found in the BA drinking scene.
Ok, let me be up front, I don’t know a whole lot about wine. I lived in the Bay Area for a while and learned some things about wine, but I do find picking out a wine to be overwhelming. In Argentina I didn’t find that at all. Maybe it’s because everyone drinks wine, rich or poor, but the whole snooty stigma that you can get stateside doesn’t exist. You can ask anyone a stupid question and they will respond promptly without condescension, unlike in the states. I honestly think we drank more excellent wine in the span of a month in Argentina than we did in 5 years in California. Really, it was hard to go wrong, especially when taking recommendations. Oh, and did I mention its incredibly cheap? You can get a solid bottle of Malbec for about $5 USD and an even better one for $10. There is no need to spend much more than $15 for a bottle. And don’t overlook the house wines at many restaurants. This stuff is solid (not literally, of course) and sometimes comes in a sweet little penguin pitcher.
Here are some of the wines we tried (that I can remember) that we enjoyed.
Red – Malbec
Cheap House Wine: El Sanjaunino Restaurant
Organic: Alma Negra Animal
Inexpensive: Trapiche Fond de Cave Reserva or De Angeles
Very Fancy: El Gran Enemigo (very expensive in the US, but a great deal in Buenos Aires)
Red – Tempranillo
White – Torrontés
Best Place to Taste in BA
Pain et Vin – Ask for a recommendation, crack the bottle open and drink away while enjoying one of their excellent sandwiches or their cheese board (one of the few places with excellent cheese). Very reasonably priced as well.
As with the artisanal food movement, the craft beer movement is beginning to make its way through Buenos Aires. The core ubiquitous beers in BA are the Quilmes and Stellas. They are everywhere and although they aren’t terrible, much better than Bud, they aren’t great either. Fortunately, there are some good craft beers on the scene available at shops and bars alike.
Bröeders – Unfortunately, at this time Bröeders isn’t bottling their beer, but you can get it on tap at a couple of spots. Our favorite place to grab one is at Nola gastropub. They have a great happy hour and serve up excellent soul food.
Bullers – Yes another brewery starting with a B. This spot is just across from Recoleta Cemetery. They brew everything in the huge restaurant. The beer isn’t amazing, but it is definitely good.
Patagonia Brewing – Not necessarily a craft brewery, but decent beer that is readily available in shops and bars.
Bodega Cervecera – Beer shop and bar in Palermo selling loads of craft beers. A good spot to stock up.
I’m not much of a cocktail drinker and having been in Ecuador prior to Argentina we were under the assumption liquor would be very expensive. We weren’t necessarily wrong. The most expensive booze you can buy is distilled spirits, which means cocktails aren’t cheap. However, if you want to get a nice cocktail, there are a couple places we checked out that are worth a visit.
Florería Atlántico – Outstanding cocktails in a speakeasy style bar below a flower shop (no password required). Apparently the food is excellent here as well. We just saddled up to the bar and had a few drinks. Maya’s favorite was the Old Fashioned.
878 Bar – A little difficult to find (there will probably be someone standing at the nondescript door), but worth a visit for their simple but solid cocktails.
Got other recommendations? Let us know. We’d love to hear them.