This parrilla in the heart of San Telmo has good food, and the value is great.  It’s family-owned, and all kinds of classic, from the checkered floor to the prices.  Also, the wait staff are really nice.

parrilla cheap buenos aires

parrilla buenos aires cheap

My opinion: If you are looking for a really nice meal on the cheap, this is the spot.

Location: Chile 594 at Peru, in San Telmo.

Price: Two people can split one meat, it is more than enough.  It should run you about $50 ARP (13 USD) per person, including drinks.


Buenos Aires has a huge Italian-Argentine population, evident in the quality of all kinds of Italian food, but most happily in the Italian-style gelato.  There’s a heladeria (ice cream parlor) on every other corner in this town, and they’re mostly all amazing, but this one is really standout.  I highly recommend the dulce de leche granizado (caramel ice cream with chocolate chips).  The coffee is damn fine as well, and comes with delicious mini brownies.

gelato buenos airesgelato buenos airesgelato buenos aires

For reference, the difference between gelato and ice cream is basically that there are more eggs, whole milk instead of cream, and no air whipped in to gelato.  More on that here.

My opinion: Will change your life.  Or your pant size.  Worth it.
Location: There are several. The one pictured is at Migueletes 868, where it intersects with Maure.
Price: Depends on the size you want, but I wouldn’t call it cheap.  The smallest cone is 12 ARP, about 3 USD.

Bar El Federal is located close to Plaza Dorrego, but far enough that it’s nice and quiet. It’s a favorite among tourists and Porteños alike. The picadas platters are fantastic. It’s a nice place to stop for a late lunch or an early dinner and drinks.

My opinion: It’s a definite tourist must-do. Old, really Porteño, and with good food.
Location: On the corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo, San Telmo
Price: Inexpensive.

Argentine suburban rock, owes a lot to the Rolling Stones. Really popular in the 90’s. Love this song, which translates as ‘bug of the city.’

Expect a long wait, dotted with at least five different languages, platters of chorizo to calma the crowd, and gratis champagne. If you don’t have a reservation, go at 8 PM, when they open, put your name on the list, and do not expect to be seated quickly. If you go at 9, expect at least an hour and a half wait.

The decor, with whimsical touches like miniature hot air balloons set against white tablecloths and candlelight, is nice without being stuffy. The huge portions of meat are probably the best I have ever tasted, and come with platters of sides/sauces, so no need to order vegetables! Split one meat between two people, it will be more than enough. Bonus: the night is sure to end sweetly, with a Chupa Chup tree at your table!
My rating: 9, because it’s expensive by BA standards. If you don’t plan, you’ll end up eating at 11:30 and calling it a 6, though. Do not make this mistake!
Price *including wine*: 150 ARP (40 USD)
Location: José Antonio Cabrera 5099, at Thames

Jardín Japonés, Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, Rosedal de Palermo, and the Jardín Zoológico

Palermo is a an upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires, and has, among other attractions, the best parks in the city.  Los bosques (forests) de Palermo are huge, beautiful, and very popular with tourists and residents alike.  The most manicured parts are the gardens, all of which surround the intersection of Avenida del Libertador and Avenida Sarmiento.    I decided to just throw them all in one post, since they’re so close to one another, and could be visited on the same day.

Japanese Gardens: If you want to walk around in a very serene space for 15 minutes or so and then have a tea service, this is the place.  The tea is included in the entrance fee, just remember to check the times.  It’s nothing special.  As far as Japanese gardens outside of Japan go, I think Portland did it better.  Price: 5 pesos (1.25 gringo)

Botanical Gardens: These are nice.  Nothing remarkably special,though a lot of effort has been put in to housing a number of different plant species from all over the world.  There are also some nice statues.  Would be a great make out spot, were it not for the gangs of feral cats occupying the place.  Price: free

Rose Gardens: These are really beautiful.  They’re located right next to a lake where you can rent a paddle boat, and will see loads of geese.  The rose gardens themselves are large, and on a sunny afternoon, it is a very pleasant place to be.  I am not sure how often they host events, but I went to a couple of public jazz concerts there that were very enjoyable, more tango music than jazz, but very nice all the same. Price: free

Zoological Gardens:  Different species share the same space.  Animal food is for sale.  They apparently all eat the same thing, and it is in pellets.  Once inside, the only human food is some variation of McDonalds.  Most shocking of all the little differences is that there are smaller animals just wandering around the place.   Price: 12.50 (USD 3.25)  I have heard that there is an amazing zoo about an hour outside of the city called Temaiken Park.  In truth, though, I’m not really a zoo fan.  I don’t like seeing all of the animals in their artificially created habitats.

And a few more pictures of the park around the gardens, because it’s just so pretty there:

There was once a band called Sumo.  They were good, and the people loved them, and especially loved their bad boy, drug addicted lead singer, Luca Prodan, who died very young and became a legendary figure in Argentine rock.  According to Wikipedia: “After Luca Prodan’s death, two bands were formed from former Sumo members: Divididos and Las Pelotas. These names were taken from Luca’s comments about Sumo’s dissolution, when he said ‘Divididos, las pelotas’.”  Las Pelotas were formed in 1998, and are still active, but without their lead singer, Alejandro Sokol, who died in 2009.

Me encanta esta cancion (I love this song):