Fun is really the best word for Buenos Aires. It's a city that comes alive at 3am. Performance art is incredible. Delicious restaurants are on every corner for your gluttonous endeavors. Estancias are an hour away, if the nightlife and cuisine are getting to be a little bit much.
Where I stayed
Syrah Aparthotel, in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood. Our accommodations were a highlight of the month for me - not just because the hotel is super nice (it is), but because I lived with an amazing group. We'd cook "family dinners" and breakfasts together, chat on Whatsapp, play games on the roof. The dynamic of living with your friends (but having your own space) was so special. Like college, but better.
I loved this little neighborhood as a place to live. Palermo is full of cafes and restaurants and shops. It has tree-lined cobblestone streets, beautiful street art, and lively musicians on the corner. Everything you need is right nearby.
But here's a caveat: Buenos Aires (Palermo in particular) didn't really feel like traveling. It was a wonderful experience, but I kinda felt like I was living with a bunch of friends in a very familiar city. It wasn't far off from a North American experience. Not a complaint, but I am glad to be in La Paz next month (a place that will feel very culturally different).
My favorite spots in Palermo
There are quite a few of them, so I'll break them up by category.
- Ninina: a true Remote Year obsession, on Gorriti just down from Malabia. Awesome salads and sandwiches. My favorites were the pear salad (amazing blue cheese) and the grilled chicken sandwich with avocado. The cakes were incredible, too. Ninina wins my "favorite spot" award. PLUS they have non-dairy milk, which is insanely difficult to find in Argentina.
- Dulce Charlotte: on Costa Rica, just a few blocks up (away from the train tracks) from Syrah. I got Desayuno Numero 4 + una medialuna several times. Yummy food, reliable wifi, nice staff, adorable place.
- Cocu: On Gorriti and Malabia. Wifi was OK (fine for everything except Skype), but the food was AWESOME. Order a croque monsieur, pan au chocolate, and a limonada.
- Steaks by Luis: on Niceto Vega and Malabia. Read this and go immediately.
- Green Bamboo: excellent Vietnamese food on Costa Rica and Angel Justiniano Carranza. Order the seafood curry and a Vietnamese coffee (hot or cold - they're both great).
- Fukuro Noodle Bar: a ramen place just up Costa Rica from Humbolt. Get the bao (any bao) and the spicy ramen with pork belly. This is an awesome place to go if you're feeling under the weather. Note: it's cash only.
- Osaka: expensive, but excellent Japanese food on Soler and Fitz Roy. We ordered nigiri and some other stuff I can't remember. Skip the cocktails (they're only okay) but go hard on the food if you're in the mood for sushi.
Places to Skip
- Sushi Pop, across from Osaka. Just say no. The sushi is weird, and not in a good way. Think fritos, mustard, and passionfruit puree. Together.
- Mooi, right next to Syrah. We sat for 20 minutes with no waiter acknowledgement. I tried to get their attention multiple times. They just ignored us. Whatever. Go to Dulce Charlotte instead. They're super nice.
Note: you'll have to ask others for bar recommendations. I am not a night owl and didn't go out much. Most of the bars I went to were kinda ehhhh and I wouldn't recommend them. I know my fraaands loved Frank's, 878, and Jobs Bar (they have games and archery and stuff).
As stated above, Buenos Aires doesn't really feel like a "travel" city. I had a wonderful month of great food, great hotel, great friends, great experiences... but I hardly felt like I left the comforts of home in search of cultural adventures.
The internet was spotty (and often unusable) in our hotel. The workspace was generally fine, but I grew to dislike the necessity of a 30-minute walk every day.
I also got super sick. Twice. One baaaaaad stomach bug, one nasty cold. That was a major downside.
Buenos Aires is great. Go see the art, go eat the food, go hug the horseys.