a(n incomplete) designer’s guide to buenos aires

posted in: design | 1
stencil/graffiti mural in Carabobo subte station

stencil/graffiti mural in Carabobo subte station

every now and then friends ask me about art-and-design-related stuff to do and things to see in Buenos Aires. It’s fun answering this question; the city is bountiful of eye candy. I’ve been sticking together a rough and of course incomplete list of memorable places and things to suggest to like-minded design enthusiasts, here’s what i’ve got so far:


Papelera Palermo = Palermo Soho. beautiful space selling handmade and hand-printed papers, notebooks, art books, etc… retail store at Honduras 4945. they also have a workshop where they give classes (and make most of the stuff sold in the shop) at Cabrera 5227



CouCou = gurruchaga 1783. Palermo Soho. very cute little shop that carries lots of fun objects made by independent designers: home goods, stationery, jewelry, lots of cute tote-bags, baby clothes, etc. The owner Emi is very nice and friendly! She has a great eye, the store always looks super cute and she has a wonderful selection of interesting things!

Fabrolab = Nicaragua 4677. Palermo Soho. big space with some of everything.

Calma Chicha = Honduras 4925. Palermo. home & interior stuff, modern poppy vibe. i think they specialize in argentine-made goods.

Pic Nic = Nicaragua 6080. Palermo Hollywood. patterned wallpaper, pillows, etc. Not really original designs, but fun and colorful.

Cualquier Verdura

Cualquier Verdura

Cualquier Verdura = Humberto 1º 517. San Telmo. a beautiful house filled with good-quality vintage stuff, tchotchkes, kitsch, toys, games, a few clothes, mid-century modern furniture, fun stuff. Even the bathroom is fitted out with fun vintage stuff for sale.
Wussman = Venezuela 570. San Telmo. art gallery in the front and a wonderful stationery shop with fine papers and gifts and a letterpress printing operation in the back and an art-books-store downstairs.

El Mercado de las Pulgas

El Mercado de las Pulgas

El Mercado de las Pulgas = Niceto Vega y Dorrego. Palermo Hollywood. Flea market with lots of modern home stuff.

La Pasionaria = Godoy Cruz 1541. Palermo Soho. wonderful warehouse filled with a jumble of vintage 20th century objects, , Palermo Soho. (open 4pm-8pm mon-fri, 11-8 sat)

Canasta = Delgado 1235. Colegiales. a tiny little gallery/bookstore/shop. minimal, eclectic and cute. open tues-sat 2pm-7pm.


Lupe = El Salvador 4657, Palermo Soho

and on the same block, Rapsodia. El Salvador 4757, Palermo Soho

AY Not Dead = Soler 4193, Palermo Soho

Pesqueria = armenia 1493. Palermo Soho.

Juana de Arco = El Salvador 4762. Palermo Soho.

Objeto = gurruchaga 1335. Palermo Soho.

Tramando = Rodriquez Peña 1973. Recoleta. interesting textiles and clothing by designer Martin Churba.

DAM = Honduras 4775. Palermo Soho. wacky stuff.


Lepi Boulangerie = Roseti 1769. Chacarita. Cute bakery.

Oui Oui = Nicaragua 6068. Palermo Hollywood. coffee shop, bakery, café

Arevalito = Arevalo 1478. Palermo Hollywood. Delicious, filling, homey vegetarian café. Good coffee too. And they serve food all day long (many other BsAs restaurants close down between 2pm and 8pm which often causes visiting yankees searching for an afternoon snack to become hunger-crazed and desperate during these hours!)


an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon at Ølsen

Olsen = Gorriti 5870. Palermo Hollywood. lofty scandinavian restaurant, good brunch and impressive design (from the menus to the plates to the architecture of the restaurant itself)

Milion = Parana 1048. Recoleta. Cool, fancy bar/restaurant in a converted mansion. It’s a beautiful space. It’s always nice to have a mojito in the upstairs bar. (the bar-top is glowing alabaster!)

Cusic = El Salvador 6016. Palermo Hollywood. Cute, quiet café with two nice gardens.

Home Hotel = Honduras 5860. really cute boutique hotel with a nice bar/restaurant in the back, lovely view of the garden and pool from the café, i think in nice weather you can eat in the garden. It’s a great spot for brunches or afternoon tea. They have different cool wallpaper in each room, it’s worth taking a peek around. And they have a wonderful spa if you want to drop a bit of cash on a massage or a day of pampering.

La Catedral

La Catedral

La Catedral = Sarmiento 4006 (corner of Medrano). Almagro. Scruffy, dark & atmospheric tango bar, upstairs in an immense dusty warehouse.


Eterna Cadencia = Honduras 5574. Palermo Hollywood.a beautiful space, bookstore and cafe.

El Boutique del Libro

El Boutique del Libro

El Boutique del Libro = Thames 1762. Palermo Soho. another cozy bookstore/cafe. A great place to take a break from wandering around Palermo, or to bring your laptop and get some work done while you drink coffee. (ED: since this post was written, this bookstore has changed names. El Boutique del Libro opened a new location on Plaza Armenia; this bookstore is now operating under a different name but is otherwise unchanged!)

Helena = Nicaragua 4816. Palermo Soho. Cute coffee shop (no books)

El Ateneo

El Ateneo

Ateneo Grand Splendid = Santa Fe 1860. Recoleta. This is a really impressive bookstore, converted from an old movie theater, and the café is located on the stage!


Espacio Fundación Telefonica = Arenales 1540. Recoleta. Arts foundation with exhibitions in gallery spaces, also an extensive library of art books, workshops, events, etc.

Fundacion PROA = Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929. La Boca. Contemporary arts museum & gallery space

Hollywood in Cambodia = Thames 1885. Palermo Soho. Graffiti art gallery and bar. Open 5pm – 9pm

Jardin Oculto = Venezuela 926. San Telmo. Art gallery

713 ARTE CONTEMPORANEO = Defensa 713. San Telmo. Art gallery.

Centro Cultural Borges / Galerias Pacifico = Viamonte esquina San Martín. Centro. art museum (CC Borges) is located upstairs from a very luxe shopping mall (Galerias Pacifico) in a beautiful old building.


Graffiti Mundo
tour = sounds like fun! It’s a tour of walls, galleries and studios to learn about different artists in the Buenos aires graffiti scene.



Ana Laura Perez

Patricia Tewel

Lala Ladcani

Marina de Caro (Bola de Nieve)


Cristian Turdera

One Response

  1. […] off Craigslist for the month, and made a profit on my vacation by writing math problems from a variety of charming bookstore/cafes, some of which will keep you supplied with empanadas as you work. Try this for a month or two […]

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