A city where nobody sleeps, Buenos Aires has always been famous for its bars and nightlife. Whether you’re into trendy cocktail lounges, classic Irish pubs, atmospheric old cafes or serious wine bars, you’ll find them all in Buenos Aires – sometimes all within a few blocks. Today, new and prestigious bars are constantly sprucing up the scene, even gaining international recognition. And in the Argentine capital, unlike anywhere else, the crowds show up at happy hour and stay until early morning. The following is a guide of best cocktail bars to visit on your trip.
1. Nicky Harrison
Nicky Harrison is the coolest speakeasy in Buenos Aires: an exclusive bar hidden at the back of a sushi restaurant. It has the best bartenders, who will prepare your drinks in a sophisticated, relaxing atmosphere. It’s members-only, but if you are not a member – and do not know one – you can enter by making a reservation at the sushi restaurant and later, after you’ve finished eating, they’ll open the doors of heaven to you.
Location: Malabia 1764, Buenos Aires.
2. Verne Club
Inspired by Jules Verne, the hottest cocktail bar, owned by Germán Lacanna and star bartender Fede Cuco, who also whisks up the delicious cocktails of their own monthly happy hour event, offers top quality drinks in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere. Dim lighting, tasteful jazz and chesterfield sofas make for a warm and inviting setting, perfect for the winter season, while the carefully prepared cocktails with inspiring names based on the famed author’s writings are worthy of a poet’s praise. Stop by on your nights out on the town and experience what the Porteño nightlife is all about.
Location: Avenida Medrano 1475, Buenos Aires
One of BA’s classic pubs, the Gibraltar has a cozy atmosphere and good bar counter for those traveling alone. It’s also a great place for fairly authentic foreign cuisine – try the Thai, Indian or English dishes (full English breakfast offered from noon to 5pm). For a little friendly competition, head to the pool table in the back.
Location: Perú 895, Buenos Aires
4. Doppelgänger, San Telmo
San Telmo is the city’s oldest neighbourhood and known for its artsy feel. The bar scene is similarly down-to-earth, with favourites including backpacker-magnet La Puerta Roja and chilled-out La Del Barco. But if you want something more sophisticated, head off the main drag to find this retro, gimmick-free cocktail bar. Low-lit, with racing-green walls and the feel of a youthful gentleman’s club, it specialises in the classics: from negronis and martinis to Latin favourites, including caipirinhas and pisco sours.
Location: San Telmo – Buenos Aires
5. Señor Duncan, Almagro
Ring the bell of this old mansion and you’ll wonder if you have the right place: is this really a bar, or the houseshare of some particularly lucky art students? You might still be asking the same question when you leave, after a night spent wandering its beautiful rooms (all wood panelling and stained glass) and happening upon the open-mic performances, music in the piano bar, some impromptu theatre or a swing-dance session.
Location: C1204AAQ, Av Rivadavia 3832, Buenos Aires
6. Singapur Lounge Bar
Locals and visitors alike deserve to spend a magical night at this place, which has incredible drinks and pleasant music. When you go, make sure you begin with a cocktail… then you will have another, and another, because you will see that once you have one, you will become a fan of this sophisticated space surrounded by red velvet curtains.
Location: Posadas 1029, La Recova, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
7. Florería Atlántico, Recoleta
When wandering the upmarket Recoleta neighbourhood you may be confused to see a florist’s open at 2am. The store is a front. Hidden in the basement is an ultra-stylish bar, co-owned by the city’s leading cocktail expert, Renato “Tato” Giovannoni. Try his gin – Principe de los Apóstoles – which is enhanced by a touch of yerba mate (Argentina’s signature herbal tea).
Location: Arroyo 872, Cdad. Autónoma de Buenos Aires
8. Mundo Bizarro
This red-lit, futuristically retro and stylish lounge bar is open pretty much all through the night on weekends, when everything from old-time American music to hip DJs to jazz stirs up the air waves. If you’re feeling peckish, check out the American-inspired bar food, which ranges from Tex-mex to burgers to hot apple pie with ice cream. Dance on the stripper pole after you’ve had a few drinks.
Location: Serrano 1222, Buenos Aires