The barrio of Belgrano has been around since 1885 and, during that time, it went from being a town, to a temporary capital and a city, to a unique neighborhood in Buenos Aires. It is divided into five unofficial sections: Belgrano C, Belgrano R, Belgrano Bajo, Chinatown and Barrio River. It also has the second most transited cross streets in BA: Cabildo and Juramento. However, what makes Belgrano distinctive is its beauty and tranquility. The best places in Belgrano are the ones you never hear about; these are just a few.
My favorite little coffee shop in Belgrano is Maru Botana. I always order café con leche with either melt–in-your-mouth medialunas, hearty oven-baked bread or sweet lemony scones. Maru Botana is also great for a decadent afternoon dessert. The portions of picture perfect cakes and pies are more than what two people can share. This is Argentine bakery at its best. They also serve an appetizing lunch menu.
11 de septiembre 982, between Olleros and Gorostiaga
Tel: (5411) 4772-2478
The list of parrillas in the city is a mile long. For those looking for a vegetarian option, La Casa de Oshawa is one in a handful of macrobiotic restaurants. The warm and relaxing ambiance gives it a certain Zen charm. The menu includes an ample variety of tofu, seitan, organic chicken, veggies, grains, freshly squeezed juice and guilt-free desserts. Go through the tall side door and discover their health food store, which sells fresh organic produce. They also open for dinner.
Ciudad de la Paz 421, between Maure and Jorge Newbery
Tel: (5411) 4553-9330
This has to be one of Belgrano’s best-kept secrets. The large black door to Puerta Uno is invisible. Sometimes no one answers when you knock (you have to ring). Standing there, you wonder if you are at the right place. However, once you are in it is like Narnia. The street noise disappears. You walk into a sexy lounge with an open star-lit patio. Under the candlelight you start to distinguish comfy chairs and sofas and a long dark wooden bar. The drink menu is delicious and includes anything from a classic screwdriver to an original apple-basil vodka daiquiri. Not a place for dinner, but there is a food menu if you get hungry. This word-of-mouth bar will not disappoint.
Juramento 1667, between Montañeses and the train tracks
Tel: (5411) 4706-1522
My Special Hang Out
I knew I had found a special place when I discovered KEL.This small chain English bookstore turned a beautiful upscale house in Belgrano R into their home. With ceilings two stories high and books lining every inch of the walls, it almost feels like you are in a private library. This is the ideal hang out for a bookworm, but anyone looking for a good book will also appreciate its beauty.
KEL’s surroundings are just as alluring. One block away is Plaza Castelli. After buying your book, you can cross the street and sit down to read in the park. You can also go to Echevarria Street, which faces the park and is lined with bakeries, sidewalk cafes and ice cream parlors. Outdoor seating in the summer turns this into a perfect day.
Conde 1990, between Echeverria and Sucre
Tel: (5411) 4555-4005
You can take a cab if you do not know your way around. However, Belgrano is a central place for public transportation. It has three subway stops, two railroad stations and over 20 buses that go through it. Nevertheless, make sure to bring a map; Belgrano has close to 85 city blocks.
Train Stations– T.B.A. Ex-Mitre: Belgrano C and Belgrano R
Buses: 29, 38, 41, 42, 44, 57, 59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 80, 107, 113, 114, 118, 130,151, 152, 161, 168.
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