Cocktail bars and speakeasies are all the rage in Buenos Aires (and elsewhere). Never were retro drinks served in glasses from grandma so cool. Here’s a hit list of places to stop in for a stiff après-work libation.
Victoria Brown (Palermo): Hardly hidden anymore, this secret bar is well known – just enter through the doorway in the streetside bakery. Standing room only after 10, and trying a little too hard, like the rest of Palermo.
Nicky Harrison Speakeasy (Palermo): Making all attempts at exclusivity, you either need to dine at the sushi restaurant in front first to enter, or “know a guy”. The dramatic entrance includes an explanation of the speakeasy concept and the history of the famous Nicky Harrison. Drinks are strong and pricey, and the atmosphere is very cool.
JW Bradley Bar (Palermo): A copycat of Nicky Harrison, hidden behind an imposing black door with an imposing doorman.
Doppelganger Bar (San Telmo): Outrageously retro in the best way, with a killer happy hour – an extensive list of options a 2 drinks for 200 pesos. The cocktail masters here really care about their craft, and the drinks show it.
Gran Bar Danzon (Recoleta): Also with a great happy hour, and a very good Negroni. Always full after 10 pm.
878 Bar (Palermo): Very good drinks, and very very good food considering it’s known for drinks. The grilled beef with chimichurri was outstanding (below), and they make good work of my favorite cocktail (the classic Manhattan).
Milion (Recoleta): Considered by many to be too posh and stuffy. But I like this place – it’s housed in a refurbished French mansion, meaning it’s a beautiful place to start with, and in the summer you can sit outside on the patio, and almost pretend it’s your own house.