Buenos Aires. The “Paris of South America” and a city that will whisk your heart away with its incredible corners filled with design, culture, art, food, architecture, ice cream and warm people. I’m biased, of course. This is where I fell in love with my Argentinian hubby and I have always felt like this city would be in my bloodline for the rest of my life! Rodrigo is from Palermo and that’s where we stay when we come to visit our family and friends, so this is your live-it-like-a-local guide. I thought — why not put together my perfect day in Palermo, Buenos Aires? I absolutely love discovering all the cute and beautiful places to visit, photographing, eating and strolling around so I hope you guys enjoy my travel guide: A Perfect Day In Palermo, Buenos Aires.
+ Breakfast at Casa Cavia
This 1927-built house hides an oh-so-chic setting for treating yourself to an excellent breakfast! Casa Cavia was restored to it’s original beauty, complete with a library room, editorial gallery, flower shop, central patio fountain and gorgeous bar area. Stop by for delicious food and sit in the enclosed peaceful patio filled with nature. If you’re visiting in Winter, then indoors also has incredible decor on offer with vintage mirror walls, gold trim and wood floors. Prepare yourself for a slightly higher price tag – it’s a super bougie spot that draws an artsy, hipster with money & fashionista but low-key crowd (and you’re going to pay a little more for that setting). We ordered coffee, smoked salmon on brioche bread, a blueberry muffin, raspberry coated almonds, croissant and cheese and ham toast, which all came out to around $20USD, which was a steal for a place like this because of the exchange rate at the time. The patio area is more laid back and surprisingly, was super baby-friendly because of the large door that blocks off the entry way. Zoe was free to roam around happily in her world!
+ Botanical Garden
After breakfast, take a short taxi ride (or walk too!) up to the beautiful Buenos Aires Botanical Garden. This is such a peaceful and scenic location in the heart of Palermo to walk through and enjoy the harmony of city and nature! Soak in the many sculptures, monuments, landscape gardens and fountains as you wander past the butterfly and cacti gardens as well as the unique Art Nouveau winter-house containing over 2500 tropical plants. The main building of the gardens, built in 1881, was the mansion that the architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays (the Botanical Garden is actually named after him) lived in. Definitely don’t wear your best evening shoes here because the red earth on the pathways, beautiful as it is, doesn’t scrub off very easily. Visit this place, it’s so beautiful!
+ Lunch At Grappa Cantina
Once you’re in the mood for lunch, grab a Cabify** (see end of post for important info on Uber vs. Cabify in Argentina) or a taxi over to the Palermo Soho area where my favorite pizzeria, Grappa Cantina, is located! Argentinians have a strong connection to Italy and they really know how to do wonderful Italian cuisine. Grappa Cantina is also a magical dinner option (I actually prefer this place at night, shhh) and is open until really late! They have incredible, super thin crust, wood-fired, fresh ingredient-topped pizzas which come in sizes Individual, Medium and Large, depending on how many are in the group. Between 2 people (who eat well but moderately) a Medium is perfect and you can customize a Medium or Large pizza with two different set of toppings if you each want something different. Fresh lemonade is a big thing in Buenos Aires which I LIVE FOR. The Grappa concoction doesn’t disappoint and I recommend that if you want something non-alcoholic. They also do pastas and other dishes but I only ever go there for the amazing pizza! LOVE!
+ Shopping in Palermo Soho
I understand that after a delicious pizza lunch, you might be tempted to go for a long nap, but a perfect day in Palermo, Buenos Aires, involves some form of wandering around the stores in Palermo Soho! Ask your ride to drop you off at Plaza Armenia and walk around from there to explore the boutique stores and artsy corners. You’ll find a nice mix of well known international stores, local book shops, décor stores, original and unique souvenir spots as well as fun, artistic walls! Always be wary of your personal things in the city and don’t flaunt. There’s been a rise in pick pocketing and swiping things like your phone out of your hand while you text and walk or have it on a table on the street cafes, for example. I didn’t feel personally threatened at any time, but you know, extra common sense could save you a lot of hassle and frustration!
+ Coffee at Paul French Gallery
This little local hideaway is a quaint gallery where you can buy fresh flowers, explore the jaw-dropping home décor store in the back, buy exotic teas or just sit down at the little coffee tables and order a pick me up and yummy pastry! They were surprisingly picky about us photographing in there (I don’t think they’re very used to how we roll around with cameras here in LA) but we eventually convinced them to let us snap a few shots. An iPhone won’t cause a stir at all but I have a DSLR. Maybe it just depends on the day and who’s there running things but certainly don’t miss this gorgeous gallery visit.
+ Dinner at Croque Madame
For years, the delicious Croque Madame has ranked high on my list of best places to eat in Palermo, Buenos Aires. They have a lot of locations (including one in the heart of Palermo) but my favorite is by far the one ensconced on the grounds of the National Museum of Decorative Arts, in neighboring Recoleta. It has outdoor seating around a central fountain/pond with a stunning view of the museum in all it’s splendor and grandeur. In the colder months, sitting inside is welcoming and cozy and feels like you could even be in Paris. But if it’s a mild or warm evening, outside is where it’s at! Food-wise: for appetizers, the Rustic Potatos with 4 Cheese Sauce was a hit for its flavor and generous portion size and for main course, my favorite was the Squash Ravioli with Spinach, Mushroom cream and toasted almonds.
+ ICE CREAM FOR DESSERT
There is no better end of a perfect day in Palermo, Buenos Aires, than with their take on the Italian creamy ice cream! In fact, it’s such a big thing that most people just order ice cream delivery to their house! I’m quite boring with my ice cream choices but if you have a sweet tooth, then try the Dulce de Leche flavor (typically Argentinian), chocolate and sambayon! There are a lot of ice cream spots around, the most commercial ones being Volta, Persicco and Freddo, but you can also find absolutely amazing boutique places too. YUM!
And that just about wraps up my guide to a perfect day in Palermo, Buenos Aires! Let me know if you’re planning to visit Buenos Aires (I’ll be jealous but oh well haha) and I hope you find the time to try out some of the spots on my list! If you have more time you can obviously visit these places at a more leisurely pace! Catch you over on the ‘Gram too for many more adventures. Thanks for stopping by!
**Cabify is like Uber, but at the time of writing this, Uber is illegal in Argentina. That means if you have a bad experience, complaint etc. there’s not much you can do about it. Also the app often forces you to pay cash instead of being able to pay using your linked card and can generally be buggy. Cabify is legal, so the framework is all there. The Cabify app is awesome – I highly recommend it. The drivers are lovely, the app accepts international cards and all works wonderfully!