Puerto Madero: cuisine, architecture and tango
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Meet Puerto Madero, the newest neighborhood in Buenos Aires
The newest neighborhood in Buenos Aires is not afraid of new experiences. It boasts parks, gastronomy and design next to Río de la Plata. We will guide you among its ‘docks’ so you don’t miss anything.
A fortunate (and beautiful) mistake
There are mistakes that could be wonderful, like penicillin, Coca-Cola and Puerto Madero. A failed urban development project at the beginning of the century resulted in one of the liveliest areas of Buenos Aires today. In 1897 began works for a port that would provide Argentina’s capital with better infrastructure to trade with Europe. Merchant Eduardo Madero was chosen among the different presented proposals, and he carried out his idea around Plaza de Mayo. However, just a decade later, his design was obsolete; Madero had not taken into account the increasing size of cargo ships. With the later construction of Puerto Nuevo (New Port), its creation was abandoned to its own fate. Strolling now between its well groomed parks, it is impossible to suspect anything about Puerto Madero’s troubled past. From that time remain the “docks”, open brick warehouses designed to store grains and merchandise. The “docks” house today trendy restaurants, offices and luxury apartments. The neighborhood has changed so much that not even Madero would recognize it. The Puente de la Mujer, whose avant-garde design represents a couple dancing tango, has brought a new air into its banks. It is the first work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and has become a symbol of the old port’s transformation. Its changes began in the early nineties, promoted by the local and national government, and has not yet finished, since every year there appear new premises and businesses.
Argentine cuisine in Puerto Madero
In Puerto Madero, you breathe modernity and sophistication. If you are attentive, you will feel the exquisite aroma that escapes from the kitchens of some of Buenos Aires’ most promising chefs. A good example is Pedro Bargero, who is in front of the kitchens of Chila since 2017. This young chef has managed to keep Chila as one of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants (according to San Pellegrino’s prestigious list) without compromising his good habits: get up early to choose the ingredients of its dishes in the Central Market of Buenos Aires, personally. His signature Argentine cuisine is ranked 19 in the Latin American list. The Argentine grill Cabaña Las Lilas is another favorite in the neighborhood, for its juicy meats, artisan breads, and general traditional flavor. It is located on Alicia Moreau de Justo Avenue, like most gastronomic proposals that have made the neighborhood famous. Asado, eye of beef, sausage steak… Las Lilas chooses the best Argentine meat with the confidence that gives having raised it on its own farm. To accompany it, you can choose from its excellent wines, distinguished with the “Excellence Award” by Wine Spectator.
But Puerto Madero goes far beyond its Argentine roots. As a good port, it is open to exchange with the rest of the world; you can find in its avenues some of the most exotic dishes. The “nikkei” kitchen of the Osaka restaurant and the Asian sushi tables in Cuba are good examples. The latter also works as a “bowling” (disco in Argentina) on weekends. It is the moment when it abandons Asian exoticism and lets himself be carried away by his most Latin side.
From dusk until dawn
Buenos Aires’ nights are something you must live, and in Puerto Madero you have multiple choices to dance until dawn… Or maybe just relax on a terrace overlooking the river, with a fancy cocktail in your hand. In Poolbar, an exclusive bar inside Faena Hotel Buenos Aires, the view reach to its elegant swimming pool (it has nothing to envy Río de la Plata). In summer, live music enlivens the Faena Sunsets, where you can enjoy its “happy hour” while watching the sunset at the pace set by the guest artist of the day. The rest of the year, do not miss the Red Tango show, also in the Faena. A sensual cabaret atmosphere with red velvet and a very careful scenography will transfer you to the tango clubs of the 20’s. A return to the past of Puerto Madero, but now, without time running against it.