La Casa Pajaros - Airbnb
For the week we were in Buenos Aires, we stayed at Casa Pajaros, an Airbnb apartment rental. The property is very large with multiple apartments within, including the home of the hosts, Fann & Jorge. They were both super sweet (as was their little babe!) and served a simple breakfast every morning with strong coffee and mate. They were helpful about guiding us around town but also gave us plenty of space. Our apartment had two rooms (since we were there with two of our best friends). Each room had its own bathroom and was separated by a living room/common area that was stocked with every summer reading book on a high schoolers list (aka all the classics from Salinger to Tolstoy.) It was a bit too cold for the pool while we were there but that didn't stop Dusty & our friend Adam from jumping in anyway.
I should first mention that none of these restaurants were in any of our guidebooks (we used Lonely Planet & Wallpaper) and we found the book recommendations to be a bit lackluster. Casa Felix was a lucky find in some random article I read. The taco shop we stumbled upon. The best thing we found was to get recommendations from locals -- shop owners or Airbnb hosts because everything in the guidebooks felt overpriced and touristy.
This is a pescetarian closed-door supper club that was just blocks away from our apartment. Randomly, the wife of the chef grew up in Kensington (the SD neighborhood!). The evening starts with a fresh craft cocktail and appetizers in the backyard garden. From there we moved to the open patio for our 5 course meal. They're great about accommodating different dietary restrictions. One diner in the crew of 15 that evening was gluten intolerant so our entire meal was gluten free and absolutely amazing. The chef goes to the market that morning to buy whatever is fresh and that day ended up with giant sardines (like the size of a regular fish) -- totally insane and SO good. This was probably our priciest meal of the trip but totally worth it. We wanted to eat there again the next night!
La Fabrica del Taco
Located in Palermo, this place had delicious tacos and beers... we all felt a little slice of SoCal home while we ate and played Uno. This was our last meal of the trip and we were super happy with it!
This was a recommendation from the guys at Elementos Argentinos and felt like an American farm to table restaurant. The menu was all listed on a chalkboard and once things run out, they're erased. The wine recommendation we got was perfection... the best Malbec we had on our trip! Can I remember the name? No. Super helpful.
We hit up a lot of the shops in Palermo that Wallpaper listed. There were a few cool ones but mostly I feel like we had the best luck just wandering. There's so much to see that when you see an interesting shop, just stop! These were our absolute favorites.
It was a theme at our favorite places in Buenos Aires that they felt like home. Both of our favorite shops felt home-y, as were our favorite restaurants. This was one of our favorites for that reason. The back patio felt like you'd want to stay for hours and have a cocktail and chat with the super sweet guys who worked there. They carry all kinds of Argentinian goods -- from textiles to home accessories of every variety. We all spent a good amount of money here.
Arte Etentico Argentino
Their array of antique rugs was amazing and the price range totally varied (minimum of around $500 and way up from there.) They also had some gorgeous wood work that Dusty was obviously into -- large slab tables, handmade chairs and other little crafts. This is definitely worth a stop to see what rugs are in stock. We picked up a RAD one for ourselves and one for my parents that they keep in Taos!
Uruguay Day Trip
We did a day trip to the town of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay through a day travel agency. In hindsight, we should have taken the ferry ourselves, sans tour, and stayed overnight in the town. The tour was weird and promised horseback riding on a farm, along with an authentic farm meal. The meal was crap (Dusty & Adam bravely tried what translated to be "gut") and all we saw were horses from afar. Exploring the downtown area solo would have been just fine. Pro tip: the downtown area is a 5 minute cab ride from the ferry station and everything else is totally walkable once you're there.
We visited the MALBA (Mueso de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) which was our only museum stop. It took a solid half day but was definitely worth it. It was the perfect day since it was rainy outside so spending the majority of the day inside looking at gorgeous art was just what the doctor ordered.
La Boca + San Telmo
We woke up one morning and hit the massive San Telmo street market. We spent the first half of our day there, stopped for lunch at a touristy spot by the market (complete with tango dancers) and then headed to La Boca for the rest of the day. The market pretty much wiped us out and we found La Boca to be a little seedy with gorgeous buildings but not too much to explore. I would say you could spend two hours max there to get some photos of the buildings and walk around but plan to spend more time at the market if you choose to do both in the same day as we did.
Recoleta + Evita
We made the mandatory stop at the Recoleta cemetery to see Evita's grave, which was crowded and not quite as impressive as some of the others we saw. Families are tasked with maintaining the tombs of their loved ones but since the cemetery is so old, many of the families have died off and there is no one left to attend to them. This means you see lots of creepy things like caskets popping out through broken glass windows, overgrown entryways, etc. I brought my film camera here and used some expired film so I got some pretty rad and creepy photos.
We spent two nights in Puerto Iguazù to see the massive National Park with the most spectacular waterfalls you've ever seen. While we weren't all that impressed with the town, Dusty & Adam managed to find a place that sold craft brews and I fell in love with about a million stray dogs (I really regret not bringing my favorite guy home!) so it wasn't a total loss while not at the park. Our favorite part of the town was the farmer's market area. We had a delish dinner among locals and picked up a few cases of authentic chimichurri spice mixes while there. If we had to do it over again, we would have spent more time in this area as you can easily get to Brazil to see the other side of the falls and you're right next to Paraguay as well. Once we realized we could have seen two other countries if we only had more time, we were pretty bummed. There's always next time!