Bar el Chino, Beazley 3566, Pompeya
+54 11 4911 0215 www.barelchinofilm.com.ar
They call Jorge Eduardo Garcés ‘El Chino’ – the Chinaman. His bar, El Chino, is to be found in the Pompeya neighbourhood, where tango has its roots. The café is a covered in tango memorabilia, while El Chino himself claims the tango is danced here the way it was 60 years ago. Make time to meet the Chinaman and you’ll love watching tango – the old way – at this rustic little bar in the middle of nowhere.
Bar Sur, Estados Unidos 299
+54 11 4362 6086 www.bar-sur.com.ar
You can either heed the advice of your concierge, who will send you to a hideously expensive and over-the-top dinner followed by a tango show, or you can go to the intimate Bar Sur, have a little dinner in this quaint San Telmo corner and enjoy a show where the protagonists involve the audience – and everybody in the room has a smile on their face. Bar Sur is a gentle tango baptism.
Café Tortoni, Avenida de Mayo 829, Microcentro
+54 11 4342 4328 www.cafetortoni.com.ar
8am-3am Mon-Sat, 9am-1am Sun
Argentina’s oldest café, the Tortoni opened in 1858. While this is a tourist trap all through the day, Argentines who know their tango still come here to see shows in the little sala alfonsina at the back from 10.30pm. The authenticity has been retained and the tango is top of the range.
La Catedral, Sarmiento 4006, Almagro
15 5325 1630 email@example.com
Daily, 9pm-5am. Classes on Mondays,Tuesdays and Fridays at 9.30pm.
La Catedral was the most underground tango dancing-spot in Buenos Aires until 2004, when the tourists began to pour in. It was then closed down due to fire restrictions before opening again in early 2007. This old warehouse space has been turned into a beautifully rustic tango hall, filled with old sofas and chairs and overlooked by a bar that was once the occupant’s kitchen. If you fancy trying out the classes, call ahead and ask for Valeria or Federico, depending on your preference. Remember that men used to dance together, so don’t be scared to tread the boards with Federico.
La Dama de Bollini, Pasaje Bollini 2281, Barrio Norte
+54 11 4805 6309 www.ladama-debollini.com.ar
Daily, from 7pm
‘At 8pm on Wednesday night you are coming to dance tango’, we were told. By the end of the evening, more than a little progress had been made. Tucked away in Recoleta, La Dama de Bollini is ultra-accessible. There’s no need to tramp all the way down to San Telmo to have a dance – simply satisfy your tango whim and head back around the corner to more hedonistic pursuits. Celtic music is played on Friday nights (10pm), jazz is performed on Saturdays (10pm), and there are also literary meetings on Tuesday evenings (7.30pm) – Jorge Luis Borges attended the first ever gathering.
- Buenos Aires,