Hot Buenos Aires Nights Are Cooler at Congo

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Congo Bar Palermo Buenos Aires Argentina

Thanks for this picture to Hg2h

It’s Thursday night and you are pining for the weekend but just can’t wait any longer to unwind a bit early…Congo, the very unassuming and mysteriously sexy bar/lounge located in the ever-so-posh Palermo Viejo neighborhood is where it’s at. It’s a great place to catch an after-work drink with friends, mingle with the bustling population of slightly pretentious, good-looking, and flirtatious porteños, or to just chill after a long day and get lost in the undulating rhythm of the music as the energetic and friendly vibe takes you in.

Upon arriving (especially when closer to 2am), expect the entrance line to wrap around the building and be prepared to pay 10 pesos for the gals and 30 pesos for the guys. In exchange for the entrance fee you are given a stack of what, at first glance, appears to be coupons; however, when looked at more closely you will discover that they are indeed the currency required to attain a yummy first drink: Congo money. So for those of you who definitely plan on doing your fair share of drinking while there, your entrance fee seems to pay off as it essentially becomes the equivalent of the value of the Congo “dinero” and therefore (depending on how you look at it) the first couple of drinks are on the house. Quite the creative twist! From there on out the drinks are still a bit on the steeper side, but not when compared to most other Palermo digs and dives.

Congo Money Palermo Buenos Aires ArgentinaThe modest, inconspicuous entrance to the bar can be misleading as it spills over into a dimly lit, plushly decorated, reserved seating space where brown and beige leather clad couches are generally occupied by sexy and sophisticated thirtysomethings.

As you swirl past the first rooms of the bar you will encounter the back door which carries you out to Congo’s true claim to fame: its beautiful outdoor garden courtyard and bar, where during the hot and sticky summertime nights, everyone who’s anyone seems to gather. The cobble-stoned space is booming with great music, energy, conversation, and flirtation, and the exotic crowd only adds to this venue’s unique and magical atmosphere. Spot-lit outdoor seating lines the perimeter of the picturesque garden and as you sip on your icy and refreshing Bossa Nova or Caiparinha or good ol’ classic Fernet (which are about 14 pesos a pop), and stand elbow-to-elbow with the city’s beautiful people, you realize why Congo ranks as one of the city’s best outdoor drinking spaces.

While Thursday night is “the night” to see and be seen at Congo, the weekend nights are also always buzzing. I went on a Saturday night and had a wonderful time! And even on the busiest of nights, the staff is super friendly and the crowds of people inviting.

If you are planning on going with a group of people and would prefer to sit and have a more intimate experience, I would recommend calling ahead and reserving one of the table spaces in front. It’s a cool and comfortable space, and it’s a great way to escape from the excitement of the crowds that form at the bar and in the outdoor garden. It’s also a great way to subtly sneak a peak and observe those who are just arriving and those that are leaving. Also, don’t miss the popular Tuesday night asado (barbeque) that people wait in line for all evening just to experience. I was told that lines start forming after 1am, so try to get there before the after work rush hour!

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