The Paris of South America, pulsing with the sounds and movements of the Tango. A magical destination just shy of a 10 hour flight from New York City. Buenos Aires is one of those cities that you can be lost and found all at once. The air really is good, the food is phenomenal and the vibe is extremely Brooklyn. I was lucky enough to travel here during the South American summer months with my husband and our two friends. Our apartment was off the Avenida Paseo Colón in San Telmo, a vibrant, bustling neighborhood. You can find street art on almost every block as well as a decent steak. Our favorite being La Brigada, a Buenos Aires staple and holy grail, in our opinion. While it is viewed as a bit touristy, the service, food and ambiance were unmatched, and we tried a lot of steak.
During our trip, we heard that Don Julio was the place to be as far as "parillas" go, so we squeezed our four giant American selves in a tiny Uber to the hip and trendy neighborhood of Palermo. We arrived at the early dinner time of 10 p.m. only to be told by the hostess that there was a two and a half hour wait. Luckily for us, there was a quaint steakhouse across the street called La Popular De Soho, which was fantastic although it made me sad that this establishment exists in the shadow of a place like Don Julio with their outrageous wait list. So outrageous are they, champagne and empanadas are served outside at the hostess stand to those waiting for a table. That night at La Popular we had steak, seven bottles of wine, and a long debate on whether we were going to attempt to go to Don Julio another night because clearly people are waiting for a reason. We ended up coming back to Don Julio a few days later, it was good.
In addition to all the steak and wine, we did take in the sights and culture. La Boca is one of the most colorful neighborhoods I have ever seen and we learned a few fun facts about it after visiting La Bombonera, the Boca Juniors Stadium. We learned that the original colors of the "estadio" were black and white but since the barrio of La Boca is known for being so colorful, this did not sit well with the "porteños" or a person who is from or lives in a port city. The Boca Juniors colors of yellow and blue are actually inspired by the Swedish flag because that was the first boat to sail into the port of La Boca.
I am usually not a huge fan of tours because I prefer to walk and sight-see at my own pace. However, the ranch experience that we booked was well worth seeing. A one and a half hour bus ride from the Buenos Aires city center is the idyllic Estancia El Ombu de Areco. A beautifully kept ranch, hotel and restaurant with the most delicious empanadas I ever ate in my life and even better Malbec. We spent the day eating, drinking and riding horses with the "gauchos" as well as a folklore show with dancing and live music. The staff were incredibly charming and hospitable as well.
Overall, I can say that Buenos Aires was a one of a kind experience. I personally would not recommend it to everyone I know because there are different types of travelers. For instance, if you like to sit alongside a beach all day and be served frozen drinks until you pass out, Buenos Aires is probably not the place for you. If you like to eat, drink wine and take in vibrant city culture then I suggest you find the time to head down to BA. While there were many amazing things I saw, ate and did in Buenos Aires, these were some of the few worth sharing, the rest I will keep in my heart.