Most great cities have great bars and the capital of Argentina is no exception. In fact, the thriving bar scene in Buenos Aires may be even broader than it is in other cities with cocktails, wine bars, and craft beer at your fingertips plus places to enjoy (and learn about) vermouth. Here’s where to drink in Buenos Aires.
Where to Drink in Buenos Aires
We’ve covered the most exciting places to eat in Buenos Aires and we’ve covered iconic, chart-topping restaurants in Buenos Aires. Now we’re here to tell you where to drink in Buenos Aires including wine bars, craft beer, award-winning cocktails, and a deep dive into vermouth.
La FuerzaWe first visited La Fuerza bar, in the Chacarita neighborhood of Buenos Aires, in 2019 shortly after it opened. We loved the cozy, casual, neighborhood vibe and the focus on vermouth (vermut in Spanish) which is a distilled wine infused with herbs, flowers, etc. This distillate is a popular aperitif in Europe and in Argentina and it’s also frequently used in cocktails. A return visit to La Fuerza in 2022 revealed a finished roof with a bar, parrilla bbq, seating for drinking, snacking, or dining, and heat lamps plus a menu of fresh vermouth cocktail creations. In addition to their white vermouth, rose vermouth, and red vermouth La Fuerza has also unveiled a scrumptious aged vermouth called Sideral. La Fuerza’s vermouth stands apart because the base wine is made by Zuccardi winery in Mendoza (one of the most celebrated wineries in Argentina) and it’s infused with dozens of Andean herbs. The La Fuerza bottles are also collectible works of art. Not into vermouth? La Fuerza also offers craft beer and Argentinean wines. La Fuerza also now has a full menu including many sharable small plates (like crispy chard fritters and a hummus plate with slices of tangy cured fish on top) and fuller plates including grilled meat and tender and satisfying mushroom milanesa (breaded and fried) on a bed of pumpkin puree. And it’s all set to a cool soundtrack mix of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, etc.
Naranjo BarThere are certainly swankier wine bars in Buenos Aires (we cover a few of them in this post), but the wine selection at no-frills Naranjo Bar doesn’t need to be dressed up. During our first visit to Naranjo Bar, in the Chacarita neighborhood, we were intrigued (and a tiny bit intimidated) by the packed refrigerator (pictured above) and the range of options inside. That’s when Gaston stepped in and, after hearing our likes and dislikes, urged us to try a very fairly-priced bottle of natural malbec made from grapes grown just a few miles from the sea then turned into wine by a legendary upstart winemaker named Sante using traditional clay amphoras. The wine was light, fruity, and a bit like sweet tarts with a startling amount of acid and a slight effervescence–utterly unlike any malbec we’d ever tasted. Food is also served at Naranja including a generous pile of tender sliced pastrami with mustard and house pickles (order a plate of excellent bread on the side and make your own sandwiches). UPDATE: the owners of Naranjo Bar have started making their own house wines and the food menu has expanded and improved since opening.
Vico Wine BarSpeaking of swanky wine bars…Vico Wine Bar, in the Villa Crespo neighborhood, has 18 Italian wine preservation machines dispensing (and preserving) more than 140 bottles from around Argentina. Buy a pre-paid card, select the wine you want to try, select one of three pour sizes (from just a taste to a full pour), and enjoy. This is a great place to try new-to-you wines in a classy setting. Vico offers good food including options from charcuterie plates to share to multi-course meals.
CoChinChinaIn 2022, CoChinChina Bar, in the Palermo Soho neighborhood, debuted at #42 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars after just a year in business thanks to talented bartenders and a laser-focus vision on combining the flavors and aesthetics of Vietnam and France which you can see and taste at every turn. The result is one of the shiniest, buzziest, and most ambitious bars in Buenos Aires with serious talent behind the bar. Pictured above, is a Los Blends de Buenos (in the short glass) which is a blend of vermouths served over ice with a skewered giant caper from the Catamarca region of Argentina. The mix delivers a slightly salty, slightly umami fragrance and light rosy flavors. The CoChinChina riff on a Sazerac (in the stemmed glass) is reinvented with the addition of three drops of sesame oil–just enough to make it fragrant and taste like a liquid version of chewy sesame candies. Fuel your craft cocktail adventures with a Sando de Cerdo (pictured bottom left) and enjoy crispy, juicy, hot, pounded, and breaded pork between rectangles of toasted and buttered bread topped with zingy pickles and a jolt of cilantro. This pork sandwich is easy, satisfying, and fortifying as all bar snacks should be.
878 Bar878 Bar, from the same team behind La Fuerza, is a concept built on quality and approachability inflected with style, service, and some serious cocktails in the Villa Crespo area of the city. An extremely well-stocked bar and a flock of bartenders turn out all the classics plus a long list of 878 specials including the Manhattan Argentino (pictured in the stemmed glass above right) riff on a Manhattan poured at the table then spritzed with a bit of orange rind to add to the grown-up marmalade element of this potent yet sippable drink. The Fernet y al Margen cocktail involves Argentina’s beloved and bitter Fernet with Margen gin brightened with lemon juice. But it’s the sprig of fresh and pungent huacatay herb that really makes this zingy cocktail (pictured above right). Toss in great dim lighting, lots of tables, a welcoming bar with stools, a mix of locals and tourists, a great funk soundtrack, casual but buttoned-up service, and a fairly fleshed-out menu with plates that are easy to share on dates or at tables full of friends and you’ve got the kind of bar you go back to. We did.
Anchoita CavaYou may need some help to navigate Anchoita Cava. This diminutive wine and charcuterie bar in Chacarita comes from the same folks behind the bustling Anchoita Bakery and the acclaimed Anchoita Restaurant. Anchoita Cava has a handful of seats inside and a few more on the sidewalk where they offer bottles of wine and around 60 wines by the glass (mostly Argentinean, but a few imports too) plus small plates of house-cured and dried meats, dozens of cheeses from around Argentina, bread from their bakery, and, of course, anchovies (anchoita means anchovy in Spanish). All of these options (and more) are presented on an enormous fold-out paper menu that takes two people to unfurl. Don’t be overwhelmed. Knowledgeable staff and somms are on hand to help. Our plate of anchovies with toasted bread and butter is a sweet, creamy, salty, crunchy combo that’s perfect with a glass of crisp malvasia. The aged salami is tender and pliant with small dots of fat but very big flavor. And the 3-year-old dried pig cheek comes sliced incredibly thinly with a nutty moistness in the fat that contrasts with the deeply-flavored and nearly dried meat. Pro tip: Anchoite Cava is often open in the afternoon when many other bars and wine bars are not.
Floreria AtlanticoThe bar scene in Buenos Aires would not be as nuanced, varied, and ambitious as it is today without Floreria Atlantico. Opened in 2013, this pioneer in the Retiro neighborhood has been advancing the art of the cocktail for years–first as part of the speakeasy trend that was hot, hot, hot and then as an example of how keeping your eyes on the cocktail prize leads to innovation and enduring relevance. Tossing in a bit of quirkiness never hurt either. This bar, as the name would indicate, is accessed through a working street-level flower shop. Once inside, patrons descend a staircase to the basement bar below with an unpainted ceiling, exposed pipes, and walls painted with whimsical sea monsters. A mixed crowd of locals and travelers packs the place. An open kitchen turns out sharable plates (seafood empanadas, conserved octopus, anchovies), a funky soundtrack keeps things festive, and young bartenders rule the roost with ingredients like mushroom water, weeping willow leaves, and crustacean bitters. Yes, you can get a classic cocktail here, but why would you? Floreria Atlantico, currently #30 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, is for the adventurer in all of us.
Tres MonosBy pure chance, we walked into the Tres Monos bar, in the Palermo neighborhood, just as owners and staff got word that their bar had moved up to number 27 on the 2022 list of the World’s Best Bars. Needless to say, everyone was excited (and staffers couldn’t wait for their new plaque so they updated the old one with a post-it note, see above). Staff members are young, the dress code is black, the attitude is rebellious, and the bar is notoriously well-stocked. So how are the cocktails at Tres Monos? Karen ordered a Con el Pisco Seco, a very pink and refreshing concoction of pisco Calavera, Aperol, and Chandon sparkling wine. Eric ordered a classic Boulvedir made with Jim Beam, Campari, and Vermut Carpano Rosso that was solid but not mind-blowing (both pictures above, bottom right). There’s also a small menu of house special cocktails and a small food menu that includes vegan and veg options.
Strange BrewingThere’s a LOT of craft beer in Buenos Aires, but few true craft beer pubs serving their own beer in a casual environment with great music and easy eats. That’s where Strange Brewing, in the Colegiales neighborhood, comes in. Enjoy indoor/outdoor seating, a great soundtrack (The Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, etc.), Strange Brewing craft beer (and other select local beers) on tap and in cans and bottles plus a brewpub menu of burgers, nachos, etc.
Verne Club has been on the Buenos Aires bar scene for years and we were eager to check it out because of its reputation and its travel-adjacent theme which is an ode to Jule Verne, author of Around the World in 80 Days (among other titles). We arrived to find a facade with no sign and a surprisingly young crowd inside. We sat at the bar where it was clear that something was amiss. Dirty glasses were everywhere, ingredients, tools, and condiments were disorganized, and there seemed to be a problem with the ice…Also, there appeared to be just one bartender on duty. It took ages to get a QR code that let us check out the cocktail menu, so we checked out the room instead. Though very dimly lit, we could see that the rugs and club lounge furnishings had seen better days. The cocktails at Verne are on the expensive side compared to other high-end bars in Buenos Aires, but we ordered anyway. Karen’s Negroni Argentino was just plain sweet. A friend ordered the Black & Dirty martini (made with black olive paste) but the cocktail was so overwhelmed by the black olive elements that she couldn’t finish it. And Eric’s Opiumfashioned (a twist on an old fashioned), served in a silly rolly-bottomed glass, was okay but was made with far too many small ice cubes which caused it to get watered down quickly. Another disappointment? There’s not much in the way of Jules Verne references in the bar, though a few staffers did have kraken tattoos.
We clearly did not make it to every single bar in Buenos Aires. Here are some exciting options that we look forward to checking out during our next visit to the city.
Recently opened by the team behind Julia restaurant, Franca Fuego y Vino is exciting thanks to a comprehensive presentation of Argentinean wines in the hands of a somm who achieved second place in the Best Sommelier in Argentina competition in 2022.
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