Porteños – people of the port – eat late and lavishly, and party hard all night. Tango, football and beef are the definitive characteristics of Argentina, and all can be found in abundance, passionately indulged in amongst the bustling city streets of Buenos Aires.
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Every barrio has a distinct personality, nodding to different aspects of the country’s past. San Telmo, with its antique markets and traditional restaurants, is the heart of old aristocratic Buenos Aires, where tango originated, and to this day dancers still slide across the cobbled streets.
This highly-praised parrilla serves some mouthwatering meat – the chinchulines de chivito (kid intestines) at La Brigada are some of the best in town, or go for the baby beef: a gigantic 850g beast. Get your canines ready.
In the last decade, tango has undergone a total revival, and now you will see young hip travellers dancing with wizened old-timers.
It is an improvised dance of sliding steps and leg kicks, which can be intimidating when you first enter a milonga or salon de baile. Start off by watching some dances, then take lessons at somewhere like El Beso, or the free classes at many bars and hotels, and finally go to a milonga to really experience what makes this dance unique.
Don’t turn up without a password, or at least a connection to owners Robertiño and Marcelo, because you won’t get in. Puerta Una prides itself on being distinctly underground, and hard to find.
Look for a Harley Davidson motorbike, and knock on the unmarked black door behind it. Whisper the secret code, and join the other people cool enough to be in the know.
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