THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO EATING AND DRINKING IN ALMAGRO
Almagro, the up-and-coming Porteño neighborhood that is already on the up, has everything you want in a Buenos Aires barrio. Unlike too cool for school Palermo, Almagro is cool without even trying. The gritty streets are filled with hidden hole in the walls, unpretentious gems, and rich café, theater and tango culture. The central, bustling location still has that down-to-earth neighborhood feel, where in just after a few visits, you are already on a first name basis with your local butcher, medialuna baker, and parrilla meat maker. So where should you go on your eating tour of Almagro? Let’s get into it about your go-to spots in one of the best under-the-radar barrios of Buenos Aires.
Don Ignacio – Av. Rivadavia 3439
Don Ignacio makes the Cadillac of milanesas. Skip the garbage at the various Club chains and venture to Rivadavia where Don Nacho put you in the ring for your face to wrestle with a massive milanesa oozing in cheese and toppings. A true Porteño bodegón at its best. $$
El Molino Dorado – Quito 4100
Looking to warm your soul like a real ice cold Rusky? Dmitiri and his cooks from the motherland prepare hearty dishes in true Russian fashion. There’s nothing better than downing dumplings by the dozens and sipping on homemade vodka while an old school television set blasts creepy dark web Soviet karaoke. $$
Lucuma – Humahuaca 4101
Family style wonders come out of the minuscule Peruvian kitchen at Lucuma, which is known for their stellar takes on lomo saltado and tacu-tacu. It might be pricier than the other Abasto-Once spots (like the great La Conga (La Rioja 39) and Puro Peru (Gral Urquiza 375), but flavors and consistency are always on point. $$$
La Cresta – Bulnes 829
It’s the original gangster of the roasted chicken wrap world. La Cresta might have expanded to San Telmo, but as a loyal customer, I always stay true to Almagro’s Bandido wrap – a Mexican themed combination of roasted chicken, black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. $
Doble AA – Estado de Palestina 866
While this tiny parrilla on Palestina probably isn’t suitable for a first (or even fifth) date, it is the ideal local barrio lunch for your no frills steak fix. My perfect order? Bife de chorizo jugosa + mixta + soggy fritas. $$
Pierino – Lavalle 3499
Looking to impress the flavor conservative in-laws on your BA restaurant knowledge? Take them to Sunday lunch at Pierino and you’ll join their secret Porteño society. Homemade pastas are the specialty at this family-owned joint that has been around since 1909, and frequented by many of the city’s most well known musicians, artists, tango dancers, and writers. $$$
Teamim – Díaz Vélez 4431
The unassuming open kitchen near Parque Centenario whips up a series of flavorful Israeli and Middle Eastern delights. While most of the business is to-go, there are a few picnic tables for those exhibitionists who wish to publicly get their nose deep in hummus and spicy sauced shawarma. $
Doña Tipo Cocina – Bulnes 802
A great lunch special is to be appreciated and devoured. This cozy corner café has been a favorite amongst barrio locals for its simple, home cooked flavors and friendly service. The house speciality? When in doubt, go pastas. $$
Ph: featured image on top.
Pin Pun – Av. Corrientes 3954
Pin Pun might be known for their cheesy Argie slice, but the true food know it alls tend to skip the pizza and go straight for the beef empanadas, baked not fried. A total Almagro landmark. $
Honorable Boedo mention
La Birra Bar – Av. San Juan 4359
Okay, so this is technically in Boedo, but it would be a shame not to cross the few block border when we are talking about such burger greatness. La Birra has has been around for 15 years, offering burgers during the past 12 months, but it wasn’t until recently when word got out about this hidden treasure, and then Instagrammers flocked. Why is it the craze of the internets? Burgers that taste good and are cooked just right. $$
The Cafés and Bars
For decades, Almagro has been known for its lively nightlife scene. No, I’m not talking overly serious mixologists shaking up cocktails that will change the world, Porteñas wearing mile high platforms waiting in line at a bad Hollywood boliche, or hipsters in a sweaty standing room only bar clutching a “craft” beer. Almagro offers a different kind of cultural experience, one with dirty dive bars, cheap Fernet and cokes, men with woven sweatpants and mullets, artsy-theater crowd kids, and incredible live musical performances. El Boliche de Roberto (Bulnes 331) should be the top attraction on any Almagro City list. The old school tango singer’s bar, officially called “12 de Octubre” and originating back to 1893, is piece of Buenos Aires heritage, and also the former hang out of the infamous tango singers and musicians. Over at Señor Duncan’s house (Rivadavia 3832), there’s always something interesting going down, whether it’s a swing dancing class or live jazz band, while La Catedral (Sarmiento 4006) has been providing aspiring hippie tango dancers a refuge for years. The other side of Corrientes hosts its own mini bar/theater/musical venue hopping hub along Guardia Vieja, with spots like La Vieja Guardida (Guardia Vieja 3777), Guarda la Vieja (Billinghurst 699), El Emergente (Acuña de Figueroa 1030), and Le Troquet de Henry (Guardia Vieja 3460 – order the empanadas!). Legendary bares notables, historical bars and cafés, are sprawled across the barrio, like the picturesque El Banderín (Guardia Vieja 3601), the perfect spot for an afternoon aperitivo, Las Violetas (Rivadavia 3899) a piece of Porteño history and spot where old ladies from across the city congregate for merienda, or La Orquídea (Corrientes 4101), one of the last standing 24-hour cafés that exist. And then of course there’s Musetta Caffé (Billinghurst 894), the favorite order a coffee and stay for hours home office spot and La Vermutería (Lavalle 3780), the order too many 5,6, and 7 o’clock vermouths.
You don’t shop at big Jumbo or Disco supermarkets, because in Almagro, you go to the source. Insanely fresh orange yolk farm eggs? La Granja (Gascón 915). The barrio beekeeper selling delicious honey? Apicutodo (Humahuaca 4224). Fresh flowers and herbs? Flower street on Acuña de Figueroa y Corrientes, or the even better Mercado de las Flores (Corrientes 4377). The whole barrio is overflowing with great produce at better prices, so keep your eyes peeled. If we are talking ice cream for a hot second, Heladeria Tino (Díaz Vélez 4520) should be your 80’s style heladería jam, while over on Rivadavia both Dumbo (Rivadavia 3929) and El Podio (Rivadavia 3778) make chocolate-dulce de leche-sambayón trifecta dreams come true.