The Best Of Buenos Aires

A Buenos Aires Insider Takes Us On A Well-Rounded Tour Of The Argentine Capital

Horacio Losa

Horacio Losa General Manager, Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences

Horacio Losa is proud to help lead Alvear Hotels and Residences into the next generation. What began as a short internship at the esteemed Alvear Palace Hotel more than a decade ago—on the heels of his hospitality studies—turned into a thriving career that included tours in sales, marketing, and business development. Losa’s goal for the brand’s stunning new Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences in Puerto Madero is to uphold longstanding traditions while catering to youthful and trend-savvy guests. “The style of this hotel is different from the others; it has a modern vibe seen in its interior design, food, and music,” says Losa. “Yet we are sticking to the group’s essence, which is good old-fashioned politeness and a dedication to excellent service.”

Horacio Losa, general manager of the Alvear Icon Hotel & Residences in Puerto Madero.

Local Recommendations

Explore Buenos Aires with Alvear Icon’s general manager, Horacio Losa

A native porteño who was born in the traditional neighborhood of Villa Devoto, a leafy residential area often referred to as the “garden of Buenos Aires,” Losa is particularly fond of spending time outdoors. “I really enjoy biking around the city,” he says. “There are new bike lanes connecting the entire tourist zone, and sometimes I feel I’m rediscovering my own town.” Often compared to Paris or Madrid because of its neoclassical buildings, grand boulevards, and landscaped green spaces, B.A. is a joy for urban explorers. And like its European counterparts, the city is filled with restaurants and cafés that spill onto the street in fair weather. “One of my hobbies is going out to eat,” says Losa, who studied gastronomy and considers himself a semi-professional chef. “There’s a real culinary boom going on and I never run out of places to discover.”

Cutting-Edge Culture

Visual And Performing Arts Worth Seeking Out

The Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (350 Avda. San Juan; +54-11-4361-6919), or MAMBA, set in a renovated redbrick warehouse in San Telmo, was created in 1956 to raise public awareness about experimental works of art. It still stands as one of the most important museums in Buenos Aires, with a permanent collection of over 7,000 works by iconoclastic Argentine and international artists. For an intimate look at the city’s avant-garde spirit, head to the smaller Museo Xul Solar (1212 Laprida; +54-11-4824-3302), which displays expressionist paintings alongside fanciful objects like a piano with three rows of rainbow-hued keys created by Xul Solar, a wildly imaginative Argentine painter, sculptor and writer from the early 20th century. In the last few years, the working-class neighborhood of La Boca began to attract cultural institutions like Fundación Proa (1929 Avda. Don Pedro de Mendoza; +54-11-4104-1001), a handsomely designed contemporary art center with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the area’s industrial waterfront. Proa’s exhibitions are top notch, and have included luminaries such as Kazimir Malevich, an important Russian abstract painter, and Ai Weiwei, the famous Chinese activist and artist. Nearby, a century-old power plant was turned into a multidisciplinary center called Usina del Arte (1 Agustín Caffarena; +54-11-4909-2076) where rock concerts and photography exhibits are part of an outstanding lineup.

Outside PROA, a contemporary art center overlooking La Boca's industrial waterfront. Photo courtesy of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board.

European Tastes

A Delectable Bounty Of Old-World Recipes

Argentines are serious about pizza and pasta. Follow their lead and head to El Cuartito (937 Talcahuano; +54-11-4816-1758), a no-frills pizzeria in upscale Barrio Norte that has been doling out some of the best deep-dish pies in the country since 1934. There’s often a line outside this bustling spot, decorated with a jumble of vintage soccer posters and assorted sports memorabilia. In San Telmo, Napoles (449 Avda. Caseros; +54-11-5417-1802) offers tasty renditions of classic Italian cocktails and dishes. But what truly sets this trendy restaurant apart is a transporting atmosphere filled with repurposed antiques like old barber chairs, vintage Vespas, and marble busts. While Italy had the greatest influence on Argentine cuisine, Spain also left a significant mark that lives on in neighborhood taverns known as bodegones. Miramar (1999 Avda. San Juan; +54-11-4304-4261), in the off-the-beaten-path Boedo area, is an emblematic bodegón (with ham legs hanging above the bar and tall wooden shelves chock-full of preserves and wine bottles) with a daily menu that includes Spanish tortilla, garlic gambas and other Iberian staples. For a more contemporary take on the city’s European-influenced food, head to Florería Atlántico (882 Arroyo; +54-11-4313-6093), an award-winning cocktail lounge and restaurant that pays tribute to the multiplicity of immigrants that shaped Buenos Aires with creations like Lusitano, a Portuguese version of the negroni made with artisanal gin, port, campari, and orange peel.

Patrons of Florería Atlántico gather over cocktails and contemporary, European-inspired dishes. Photo courtesy of Florería Atlántico.

Fashion Forward

Global And Homegrown Trends Converge In B.A.

Galerías Pacífico (550 Avda. Córdoba; +54-11-5555-5110), in the downtown area, is a standout among the city’s excellent shopping centers. While checking out the collection of chic men’s and women’s wear by local labels like Maria Cher, Jazmin Chebar and Etiqueta Negra, make sure to take note of the surroundings: this late 1800’s building features a magnificent domed cupola decorated with allegorical murals by distinguished Argentine painters. Expert craftsmanship is the calling card at Casa Fagliano (1449 Tambo Nuevo; +54-11-4665-0128), a family-owned shop in Hurlingham that specializes in bespoke polo boots sought out by boldface names from around the world (Prince Harry is said to be a customer). Their meticulous attention to detail extends to leather belts, watch straps, and a line of ready-to-wear loafers, oxfords, and derbys. Serious fashionistas are making their way to Villa Crespo, an up-and-coming neighborhood where Jessica Trosman (291 Humboldt; +54-11-4857-6009) opened her latest atelier and boutique under the brand JT. The fashion designer’s clothes, known for their deconstructed geometric lines, are gorgeously displayed inside a former factory converted into a minimalist gallery-like space.

Underneath the domed cupola of Galerías Pacífico, a standout shopping center in downtown Buenos Aires. Photo courtesy of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board.

Outdoor Indulgences

Parks, Plazas And Take-Home Treasures

Nestled between Puerto Madero and the Río de la Plata is a natural oasis called Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur ( +54-11-4893-1853). This 900-acre park, home to forested riverside paths teeming with regional birds like the Southern Screamer and Chimango Caracara, can be explored on foot or using the city’s Ecobici bike share program, which has stations right outside the preserve. For a more urban excursion, visit Palermo’s Plaza Armenia, a small square that fills with artisans selling leather accessories, handmade knits and miscellaneous bric-a-brac every weekend. The tree-lined streets around it, filled with stylish boutiques, pastry shops, and art galleries, are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Antiques lovers—and almost everyone else—will fall for the Mercado de las Pulgas (1650 Avda. Dorrego; >(+54-11-4779-2915), a longstanding flea market packed with everything from collector’s items to home décor finds like weathered travel trunks and vintage seltzer siphons.

A hummingbird hovers over Argentina's national ceibo flower in the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur. Photo courtesy of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board.

Two To Tango

Step Into A Sensual World Of Dance

Born in the immigrant tenements of Buenos Aires in the late 1800’s, tango originated among men who wanted to woo women on the dance floor with their seductive movements. The early versions of the genre were so risqué that Pope Pius X declared it immoral. But while tango remains unflappably provocative, its reputation has shifted considerably: in 2009, UNESCO declared tango part of the world's cultural heritage. For a memorable performance, head to Esquina Carlos Gardel (3200 Carlos Gardel; +54-11-4867-6363), an elegant café concert-style theatre were choreography, costumes, and live music come together skillfully.

A couple dances the tango on the streets of Buenos Aires. Photo courtesy of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board.
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