El Gran Danzon
With open breezeblock faces, a speckled, light slate bar, an all-imported liquor cabinet and an affluent wine list, this was the bar to be seen in 2003. The Danzon’s bomb-shelter feel carried the New York vibe, and wealthy porteños and ex-pats would come to dine here before standing up to mingle and sip Johnny Black.
A few years on and the Danzon continues to fill, albeit with an older, less refined selection of compadres than before. However, this remains the most sophisticated of Recoleta’s bars and you can smell the scented candles from half a block away.
The small entrance is found on Libertad street, where you march up the stairs past candles and the bouncer. Despite the fact that Dalila, one of Buenos Aires’ finest waitresses, no longer works here, the lab-coated bartenders still stand tall behind their Martini shakers, and mix their cocktails with precision.
Turn up at around 11.30pm for drinks after the resident DJ arrives, or book the sofa section for dinner. While the salmon, sushi and beef main courses are all delicious, bear in mind the fact that after the main kitchen is closed, the Danzon still offers fabulously tasty chicken pesto sandwiches until closing-time.