Often without full published addresses, some only open to members and others requiring a secret password to enter; Buenos Aires’ nightlife is getting even more unique with the emergence of secret speakeasies popping up around the city. The city has always been famous for its classic wine bars, exclusive cocktail bars and pubs serving artisanal beers but this new breed of speakeasy bars are quickly sprucing up the bar scene and even gaining some international recognition. With one of our 6 regional offices in Latin America located in Buenos Aires, find out which are our favorite, secret speakeasy bars in Buenos Aires.
Hidden behind two towering wooden doors in Buenos Aires’ up-and-coming neighborhood of Villa Crespo on the cusp of Palermo is Ocho7Ocho. With no sign other than the street address, Thames 878, and a doorman don’t be fooled by its unassuming entrance as once you enter you’ll be welcomed by an exclusive and romantic environment. A place to relax rather than party, the dazzling back-lit bar offers a legendary collection of whiskeys, retro drinks, cocktails of the day and an impressive selection of Argentina’s finest wines.
Thames 878, Villa Crespo (Mon-Fri open from 7pm & Sat-Sun open from 8pm)
♦ Frank’s Bar
Even if you find the small sign on the door that says “Frank’s”, you still face two tests to enter the bar. Each week a new password is released via a series of clues which they put on their Facebook Page. After figuring out the password and saying it to the doorman, he’ll give you a numerical code before you enter a smaller room where at the other end is a phone booth. Once you’ve entered the secret code in the phone booth the back panel will swing open to reveal an understated yet sophisticated bar. Although the cocktails are expensive in comparison to the other speakeasy bars in Buenos Aires, they are extremely well made by the talented bartenders and it is all part of the experience.
Arévalo 1445, Palermo Hollywood (Wed-Thu open from 9pm-3am & Fri-Sat open from 9pm-4am)
♦ Bar Isabel
In the middle of all the action in Buenos Aires’ lively neighborhood of Palermo Soho is Bar Isabel, one of the most exclusive bars in the city thanks to the limited number of tables and its stunning jasmine-scented courtyard. Entrance to Bar Isabel is limited by the guest list so you will need to sign up before going if you want to try some of the best cocktails in Buenos Aires. Drinks are paid for with special casino-like chips and the bar serves up some seriously good martinis with the standout cocktail in our opinion being the house cocktail, Cruz 3.0.
Uriate 1664, Palermo Soho (Tue-Fri open from 19.30pm-5am & Sat open from 9pm-5am)
♦ Floreria Atlantico
A flower shop by day (open every day from 10am until bar closes), this unique bar in the classic neighborhood of Recoleta opens up one of its doors at dusk that leads down into the basement. Floreria Atlantico is an award-winning bar with a special cocktail list categorized by the different countries that the wave of immigrants arrived from and settled in Argentina in the 1900s. As well as offering classic and traditional drinks on the menu, we highly recommend accompanying them with some equally mouth-watering appetizers and small platters form the authentic grill.
Arroyo 872, Recoleta (Mon-Weds open from 7pm-2am; Thurs open from 7pm-2.30am; Fri open from 7pm-4am; Sat open from 8pm-4am & Sun open from 8pm-2am)
♦ The Harrison Speakeasy
Whilst the speakeasy bars of the US during the Prohibition era had to hide behind stores and hotels, the sophisticated, exclusive members’ only Harrison Speakeasy is concealed behind its other business operation, Nicky NY Sushi at Malabia 1764. A trip back to the 1920s, no photos are allowed to be taken in the Harrison Speakeasy and it’s this hushed and hidden aspect which only adds to its individuality and exclusivity. Clearly stating that its location is ‘somewhere in Buenos Aires’ means that, unless you’re a member of the bar or, can sweet talk your way into the “cellar” (Harrison Speakeasy) after enjoying a delicious meal in the adjoining Nicky NY Sushi restaurant, you’ll just have to take our word for the fact that this is one of the best bars in Buenos Aires.
Somewhere in Buenos Aires (Tues open from 10pm-1.30am; Weds open from 10pm-2am; Thurs open from 10pm-2.30am & Fri-Sat open from 10pm-3am)
♦ Victoria Brown Bar
Beyond a secret door at the back of this daytime café and bakery is a huge mural of HRH Queen Victoria and although disguised, the hidden Victoria Brown bar welcomes all…no password or membership required. Look for a door that resembles an abandoned storefront and you’ll find a bar decorated with a fusion of the industrial revolution and contemporary chic. The drinks menu has a helpful compass page which in effect recommends which cocktails would be best suited to different patrons’ tastes. Given the bar’s popularity, a reservation is a must and can easily be made via their website.
Costa Rica 4827, Palermo Viejo (Tues to Sat open from 8pm)
♦ Verne Club
Inspired by Jules Verne with the cocktail names based on the famed author’s writings, the Verne Club is one of Buenos Aires’ most elegant bars. There is even a section of the drinks menu that pays homage to the many cities of Phileas Fogg’s round the world journey, plus an absinthe tasting menu. One of the newer members of Buenos Aires’ bar scene, the romantic lighting and smooth sounds of jazz make it the perfect place to enjoy an expertly mixed cocktail and a good conversation inspired by the bar’s namesake.