Tag Archives: what to do in buenos aires

Rondinella, traditional Buenos Aires food

Cantina Rondinella is one of the traditional cantinas and bodegones in Buenos Aires to taste Buenos Aires authentic food, the one that dominated the Buenos restaurant scene before the arrival of the sophistication of the 90’s and the world tourists discovery in the early 2000’s.

Rondinella is cantina by the book: an endless menu, extremely professional waiters in their late 50s, traditional wine list, no focus on decoration (to say the least), enormous rations, and no-nonse with prices.

Almost everything is good at Rondinella, but this cantina is especially known for their home made pastas, offered with more than 12 sauces.  Try vermicelli, fussili, ravioli or (my favorites) capeletti.   If you will keep on walking for a while and have no stranger to kiss do not miss the Chivito a la Provenzal, a quarter kid roasted with garlic and parsley.

Rondinella is located in Palermo Hollywood, and is one of the favorite spots of the people (producers and talent) working in Channel 9 (across the street), Endemol and other of the many tv production companies in the area.  Over the weekend it becomes a retreat of local families and old couples that have been sitting at the same table for 30 years.  Try to avoid weekends as it may get to crowded.

Do not expect a fancy place, cantinas are aimed for great food at the best value for money. The decoration (or the lack of it) dates back to the late 80s.

Cantina Rondinella address: Avenida Alvarez Thomas 12 (between Dorrego and Concepción Arenal), across the street from the Mercado de Pulgas (Dorrego flea market).  Phone: 4775-6216. It used to close on Tuesday, so check it out before you go.  They take all credit cards (something not so common with the cantinas).

Roberto Lopez Viajes

What to do 3 days in Buenos Aires

Like many other big cities in the world, my impression is that the minimum stay should be 7 days to get a complete feeling of Buenos Aires.  But as most of the visitors want to also visit other places like Patagonia during their trips, somehow the time dedicated to Buenos Aires is more limited.

So, if you only had 3 days to stay in Buenos Aires, these are my suggestions:

Day 1: Avoid starting by the obvious tourist attractions.  The first impression needs to be an authentic one.  Take a long walk along the busy Avenida Santa Fé, connecting Retiro, Palermo and Barrio Norte.  Stop by the cafés, and sip a “cortado” (local macchiato) watching busy Porteños (people from Buenos Aires) at work.   Keep on walking watching people, french architecture buildings and when you get hungry stop by a traditional pizzeria to have quick lunch, you’ll need space in your stomach for Buenos Aires’ main meal (dinner).

Get some rest, and get ready to head to Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood for a drink, dinner and more drinks.  If you stay for dinner you can have a glimpse of Buenos Aires’s amazing nightlife, if you stay later for drinks you will absorbed by it…

Day 2: Have breakfast at a cafe near your hotel, any of them will offer tasty “medialunas” (croissants), “tostados” (ham and cheese hot sandwich) and good coffee.  Head to the “Microcentro” (city center/financial district).   Start in Plaza San Martín, walk by Florida pedestrian street.  Then take Reconquista (recently become pedestrian also).  See bankers and executives shout, laugh and moan about their daily luck.  Sit down at a coffee. Take Corrientes Avenue down to Puerto Madero.   Walk by the old peers now become restaurants and expensive office space.  Take Sarmiento street and get to San Martín street, turn left and you will be in Plaza de Mayo, sorrounded by the Casa Rosada (presidential building), the Catedral, the Cabildo and other historic buildings.  Take Balcarce street and head to San Telmo, Buenos Aires’ old neighborhood.  Window shop the hundreds of antique shops, visit its food market, have a beer at the terraces of Plaza Dorrego.  Have lunch at one of its traditional parrillas.  Get some rest, and on the evening head to Palermo or other “Milonga” places to see real tango dancing.

Day 3: In the first two days you had an ambitious but kind of generic coverage of the best areas of Buenos Aires.  The third day is to focus on specific places, on your interests and eventually returning to some of the places you discovered.  In the list of recommended places for the third day you may consider:

  • Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires Opera house, now re-open after 5 years refurbishment)
  • La Boca/Caminito (riverside, working class neighborhood, home to the famous football team)
  • MALBA Museum (contemporary art) and Bellas Artes Museum
  • Recoleta: walk around the park, visit the cemetery, have a coffee at La Biela
  • Take a tango lesson
Hurry up and have fun!
Roberto Lopez Viajes