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The Spot Bar in Recoleta, an Underground Success

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The Spot Bar Recoleta Buenos AiresFinding a good bar in downtown Buenos Aires is not a hard thing to do. Pubs and cafes line nearly every main street and plaza, catering to a vast clientele of both locals and tourists alike. Finding a truly unique nightlife experience, however, is decidedly harder. Even the most casual traveler will tell you that they want to do something different then they’re used to at home. They want good drinks, atmosphere, music, crowd, and most of all fun. If that’s your idea of a good time, then look know further than “The Spot”, Recoleta’s best kept secret.

Nestled behind 15-foot steel gates, through a dark Fourier on a quiet street in the posh Recoleta neighborhood, “The Spot” can be tough to find. There’s no sign out front, no advertising, and the bar doesn’t open until 10pm. This bar is no frills, all fun, and you can expect something different every time you go.

El Niño Bien: A Child of the Tango Tradition

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el niño bien tango and milonga dancing place in Constitucion Buenos AiresI have never seen anything quite like El Niño Bien, a famous milonga located on Calle Humberto Primo in Constitucion. One door down from a small restaurant of the same name, the entrance to the milonga is a wide double door which opens to an empty foyer. Follow the sound of music up the stairs and you find yourself paying your twelve pesos and walking into a large dance hall which at first seems like the antithesis of tango. The room has a high ceiling dotted with spinning fans and a few ineffective air conditioning units; the walls are covered in panels of yellow wall paper, outlined by gold molding. These panels are separated by tall mirrors, and all remaining exposed plaster is painted a deep salmon pink. The room is well lit; the dance floor is a little tightly constrained by dining tables on all sides, most of which had reserved signs on them by the time my friends and I arrived, early, at eleven.

Tango Festival at El Tasso with La Chicana

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cimg1195.thumbnail.jpgIn the heart of San Telmo, across from Park Lezama, lies the elegant tango room El Tasso. El Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso – commonly known as El Tasso – is a supper club with tango orchestras, tango classes, and performances. This month El Tasso hosts their fourth annual Tango Festival with live bands and dance performances.

Less Polish, More Shine: Tango at La Catedral in Buenos Aires

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catedral_400.jpgTango is a buzz word in Buenos Aires tourism. The promise of authenticity often is combined with a price too high for someone living in the city to pay more than a few times a year. Ironically, the price of authenticity eventually degrades that authenticity, as more and more tourists watch this cultural activity turn into a spectator sport. I am not suggesting that this is true of all expensive tango halls; a show is a good way to see the very best dancers dance tango. I will, however, suggest that the best does not mean the most authentic. And the most authentic tango I have found in the city of Buenos Aires is at La Catedral.

Le Bar in Downtown Buenos Aires

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1.jpgThe new spot in town is Le Bar and it is worthy of the name. With a gorgeous decor, great cocktails and bites, and a terrace to rival all others, Le Bar raises the bar in Buenos Aires – a town that was begging for a good creme brulée.