Beef is king in the Buenos Aires food world; Argentina is famous for the juiciest and most tender steaks, served in its (steak houses). Foodies can also enjoy various Spanish and Italian pleasures, as well as sushi, fusion, and vegetarian cuisine.
There are numerous (walk through) places in the city, selling (hot-dogs), (beef sausages) and (breaded, fried cutlets). Travellers can buy a , the most traditional non-alcoholic beverage, in any Coto or Carrefour supermarket. Visitors should try the gourmet (ice cream) and (small pastries stuffed with combinations of cheese and meats), or the , an Argentinean cookie.
Various small restaurants offer foreign meals, mostly Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Arabic, Spanish and Italian. Expensive and luxurious restaurants can be enjoyed at Puerto Madero and Palermo. The main areas to go out are Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo SoHo and Palermo Hollywood, home to trendy stores, restaurants and bars. Most locals head out to dinner around 9pm.
Buenos Aires offers a wealth of authentic local treasures, from fine leather goods found in Murillo Street to alfajores, the traditional cakes and cookies often containing dulce de leche. Popular Buenos Aires souvenirs include tango music, mate cups, leather goods and Argentine wine. Shops are generally open Monday through Friday from 9am to 8pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.
Florida Street and Lavalle Street are for pedestrians only. In the zona de calzados there are many shops that sell tango shoes, and the Palermo Viejo in Palermo has various shops that will appeal to the young and artsy. There are also numerous fairs and markets to be explored, including Recoleta Fair and the San Telmo market.
Feria Recoleta, in Plaza Francia, boasts an assortment of artisan goods. Travellers can take in the Plaza Serrano in Palermo Viejo and the Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo. Defensa Street entices visitors as it comes alive with performers and vendors. Funky candles, street address plates and markers are available from Último Taller.
Shopping malls are a regular attraction and convenient shopping locations for many portenos (people from the port). The most famous stores in Buenos Aires can be found in these vast malls, along with restaurants, cafes, arcades and movie theatres. Shopping malls are open 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm.
Famed for its huge selection of trendy clubs, fashionable music bars and attractive restaurants, it's no wonder the city of Buenos Aires never sleeps. From the dimly lit tango bars and mainstream hard house dance clubs to the Teatro Colon and smaller independent theatres, there is something for just about everyone in this buzzing city.
In typical Latin fashion, dinner is eaten late, usually between 10pm and 11pm, so clubs only really get going at around 2am. Puerto Madero, near the Casa Rosada, is popular with tourists and expats and is considered safe during the day and at night. Recoleta, Palermo, and San Telmo are the trendiest neighbourhoods for dance clubs and all the hippest locals can be found sipping on long drinks in the surrounding bars. It is not uncommon to find residents walking home at sunrise after a big night out on the town.
Culture vultures will simply adore the arts and culture scene here, and plenty of Broadway-style hits can be found in both English and Spanish at most of the 30-odd professional and underground theatres in the San Telmo and Abasto neighbourhoods.
Other than the run-of the-mill watering holes, there are also many bars in Buenos Aires offering live acoustic music or displays of flamenco dancing, readings, tango and folkloric dance, providing a bit of entertainment to accompany evening drinks. The gay scene in Buenos Aires is thriving and rivals only that of Rio de Janeiro's in South America, with San Telmo being the main strip catering to this market.