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One of the most visited tourist spots in Buenos Aires is also an oasis of tranquility in the midst of one of the city’s more popular nightspots. After all, it can’t get any quieter than being surrounded by the dead.
Located on 1760 Junín, in what used to be the garden of the Our Lady of The Pilar church, the Recoleta Cemetery was inaugurated as the first public graveyard of the city back in 1822. Decades later, after a restoration and with the opening of the much larger graveyards located in Chacarita and Flores, Recoleta became the posh cemetery: the “it” place to be and be seen in your afterlife if you were a VIP during your life time.
Nestled in between Avenida Santa Fe and Arenales on Uruguay in Recoleta is a little taste of the United States; a good ol’ American sports bar in Buenos Aires! If I were to blindfold, kidnap, and place you in El Alamo (also known as Shoeless Joe’s) on a Sunday afternoon during (American) football season, you would swear you were at any corner bar back in the United States. The smells of hot grease, stale cigarettes, and cheap beer are the same. The sounds of color commentators announcing wide receiver fly patterns and linebackers’ 40 yard dash times, as well as the random curse-riddled outbursts of rabid fans are the same.
Yes, I am aware that labeling a restaurant in Buenos Aires home to the best empanadas in the city is quite a tall order. However, I can confidently say that with respect to empanadas, thus far in my experience, no restaurant, café, or pizzeria has compared to El Sanjuanino in Recoleta. Centrally located at 1515 Posadas, the restaurant is within a five minute walk of the Recoleta Cemetery, Patio Bullrich Mall, and Plaza San Martin. One might walk by El Sanjuanino dozens of times before stepping foot inside for the first time because of the lack of flashy or distinguishing characteristics visible from the outside. Unlike many places to dine in Buenos Aires, there are no gimmicks here, just great food.