Bar at Kansas during Happy Hour, after they cleared out lots of empties.
Note: This guide was made in 2010, and probably very out of date. Help me make another guide and tell me about your favorite Buenos Aires happy hour.
Happy Hour should be called something different. Who came up with this stupid expression? First of all, which ones only last one hour? Second of all, I’ve seen a-many who are the least bit happy… more like scary, angry, crazy bitch drunkards. While Happy Hour isn’t as common in Buenos Aires, there are still a number of solid specials to grab a drink, or two, or 10.
Most Happy Hours consist of 2×1 specials, with strings attached (there’s always a catch)… if it’s a 2×1, you cannot drink two different things, no sharing allowed, and go into it with an understanding that the server will resort to inappropriate flirting without any extra discounts. So where are the best places to go for an after? After office, yes they use the word after – pronounced af-tar –as a noun.
My top favorites?
Kansas (Libertador 4625 – Las Cañitas): I used to go here weekly; lately I’ve been over it. During the summertime, they open up a patio with about 10 large round tables, perfect for a big group, but they offer the special menu year round daily from 5pm-8pm. The happy hour menu could fight for the top spot in the city – AR$7-AR$14 for a trago with GOOD alcohol (no national 7 peso vodka shit here) and a decent beer selection, not just Quilmes on tap. Piece of advice? From experience, I’ve learned the hard way not to mix my alcohols. Choose from fruity, sweet drinks like Piña Coladas, strawberry and peach Daquris, Caipirinha, Caipiroska, Margaritas, Pisco Sours or standard drinks like Cuba Libre, Bombay and Tonic, even a spicy Bloody Mary! The food happy menu is pretty solid as well, french fries, chicken fingers with honey mustard sauce, cheesy potato skins, and more – each under AR$15. Make sure to keep track of your bill, with servers always switching around, they are quite susceptible to make mistakes – especially overcharging, then blaming the table for “being to drunk” to remember how much they drank. I may be drunk, but I have a damn good memory when it comes to food and dranks.
The bill after a long afternoon at Kansas
Benihana (Arenales 3310, Alto Palermo Shopping): Benihana is the new Kansas. Switch from one American restaurant to another semi-American one. This one also offers a daily special menu from 4pm – 8pm. Signature martinis and specialty cocktails range from AR$12 – AR14, My favorites? BeniTini (Smirnoff, Japanese vodka, hibiscus, pulpa maracuya), Benihana Punch (Havana club rum, licor de durazno y frutilla, sour mix, jugo de anana y naranja served with a piece of fresh pineapple – yes I like liquid cavity cocktails), Benihana Mojito (Sake Yaegaki, rum, mint, sour mix) and many more….
What kind of food might you ask? Good shit. Appetizers like vegetable, shrimp and calamari tempura (AR$10 – 24), yakitori, gyoza, hibachi rice and teriyaki wings (AR$9 – 21), plus three very tasty sushi combos (AR$20 – 39). I could stay here all day. And I did.
Lotus Neo Thai (Arribeños 2265, Barrio Chino): My favorite (and only place) I go for Thai food in the city. Lotus Neo Thai in Barrio Chino opened a rooftop terrace where they offer a 2×1 happy hour specials for, get this, only one hour! On Thursday – Sunday, from 9pm – 10pm, check out delicious drinks… my favorite, by far, is the Trago Lotus (maracuyá, vodka frozen deliciousness – AR$22). I have serious cravings for this drink. Stipulations? Happy hour is only on the terrace and this is one of those you-have-to-order-the-same-drink 2×1 off their regular drink menu. The terrace reminds me of a beach hostel bar with comfy pillows around low tables, relaxing music, candles, just a great onda – even a fluffy kitty who walks around!
Trago Lotus and appetizer – taken from the Lotus Neo Thai facebook page
I haven’t checked all of these out, because I’m not a complete drunkard, but according to the Guia Oleo blog, the following bars do a decent happy hour:
Antares (Armenia 1447, Palermo Soho): Palermo Bar / Brewery with a happy hour from 7pm – 8pm with 2×1 in all of their varieties of beers. Barley wine beer will get you hammered.
Novecento (Baez 199, Las Cañitas): Every Thursday in the Las Cañitas location, Novecento offers 2×1 cocktails that change each week, there you can find drinks made with espumantes, Gin, whiskey and more.
Manero (Monroe 899, Bajo Belgrano): Tucked in an exclusive restaurant (this is according to Guia Oleo) in Bajo Belgrano, weekdays from 7pm – 9pm they offer 2×1 on drinks like Mojitos, Caipirinha, Cuba Libres, Daquiris, Gin Tonic, etc.
Sullivan’s (El Salvador 4919, Palermo Soho): An Irish Pub where, Monday – Friday from 5pm – 9pm, they have Isenbeck and Warsteiner tiradas (on tap), 2 Grant’s for 25 (what the fuck is Grant’s? No clue), glass of white wine (AR$15), and other cocktails (AR$20- AR$22).
Gran Bar Danzón (Libertad 1161, Recoleta): I’ve been here once, really cheto, kinda assholey but apparently on the list for one of the World’s Best Bars, however that is chosen. Monday – Friday, 7pm – 9pm, Weekend and holidays: 8pm – 10pm a happy hour that changes every two weeks, with different beer, drinks, and wine.
Le Bar (Tucuman 422): I’m a big fan of Le Bar. Eclectic mix of music ranging from electronic, jazz, funk, soul, and hip hop, relaxed atmosphere, sleek modern interior design, interesting art, you get the point. Check out the whole bar – even though the steep accident-waiting to happen stairs might be a bit tiresome. The second floor has tables that make you look like you are sinking into the ground, then the rooftop terrace with awesome art. The place was designed by Diego Grinbaum, who designed Olsen restaurant in Palermo. On to the happy hour – weekdays from 6pm – 10pm, 2×1 on all cocktails and Warsteiner on tap. Also, Thursdays has an extra special happy hour that extends to 12am, 2×1 beer and cocktails “directos” = 1 alcohol + 1 juice or gaseosa.. see, there are lots of rules associated with happy hours in Buenos Aires.
Le Bar’s Bar courtesy of facebook
Doppelganger (Juan de Garay 500 esq. Bolivar, San Telmo): This San Telmo bar offers over 30 cocktails to choose from – what’s even better, you are actually allowed to order two different drinks in the 2×1!
Milión (Paraná 1048, Recoleta: Even though this place is cheto/ extranjero city, the building is an old mansion converted into bar and restaurant which is very lovely. 2×1 happy hour from 6pm-9pm, Monday – Friday. Just don’t order the food.
La Puerta Roja (Chacabuco 733, San Telmo): This bar has a really good happy hour that runs daily from 6pm – 10pm. It is an expat bar, note the good happy hour, with 2×1 Warsteiner bottles and Quilmes on tap (AR$14) or more special beers (AR$18 for two). Most cocktails with Havanna Club Blanco, Smirnoff, Brunett’s Gin, or Fernet Branca are two for AR$20. You can also find above average bar food as well.
Godoy (Paraguay 4905, Palermo Soho): Another two-fer. This time from 7:30pm – 9:30pm but only for beer and cocktails made with rum, rules.
saBBia (Ayacucho 1240, Recoleta): The no-capitalization is not me being lazy, this place is too cool and underground to be capitalized. From 7:30pm – 9:30pm find 2×1 Baccardi cocktails, beer, fernet and Gancia.
El Alamo (Uruguay 1175, Recoleta): Probably one of the first bars in Buenos Aires with a happy hour, this expat/American owned bar has, get this, free beer and free national drinks from 12pm – 12am for girls, and a cheap happy hour with free pizza from 3pm – 8pm for guys. At a certain point in the night, pretty early on, they charge a minimum cover at the door that can go towards drinks… some nights/days (especially when there are sporting events) it reaches AR$50. I haven’t been there since my study abroad days, but every Sunday they would have a bikini contest with a bunch of 17 year old Argentine girls. If you’re a creepy guy who likes young teenage girls, this is your spot!
Home Buenos Aires (Honduras 5860, Palermo Hollywood): Apparently, Home is famous for it’s cocktails, who knew? Everyday from 7pm-9pm hey offer special cocktails (2 for AR$30), and Heineken (2 for AR$20).
Mosoq (El Salvador 5800 esq. Carranza, Palermo Hollywood): 1/2 off Martinis Monday- Wednesday until 9pm. – CLOSED!
Nice strong martini at Mosoq. I make that face when I like something.
Miloca (Niceto Vega 5189, Palermo Soho): Every Wednesday from 8pm – 2am there is a happy hour on everything EXCEPT wine, espumantes and drinks with Speed (can’t give away speed, stupid). Also, Friday and Saturday they have a happy hour than includes 4 cocktails for AR$30 – just if you have tits, female tits (man boobs don’t count). For all you dudes, you can get 3 for AR$40 or 6 for AR$50. Nice atmosphere with a lil’ garden.
Ocho7Ocho (878 Thames, Villa Crespo): This used to be another one of those closed-door secret bar/restaurants, now I think they still try to be “underground” but everyone knows about it. The happy hour is Monday – Friday from 8pm – 9pm and includes all the cocktails on the menu, Johnny Red and Black, and Heineken tap.
Congo (Honduras 5329, Palermo Soho): From Wednesday – Saturday they offer different types of happy hours on cocktails and beer, 8pm – 10pm and on weekends it extends to 9pm.
Empire Thai – CLOSED (Tres Sargentos 427, Microcentro/Retiro): Weekdays from 5pm – 9:30pm they offer 5 cocktails everyday, that change weekly. The prices don’t make me that happy, 2 cocktails for about AR$30-40, 3 Chops of Quilmes for AR$30, 3 pints of Quilmes for AR$40. It’s not a 2×1 if you multiply your prices by two.
Dudui (Costa Rica 5709, Palermo Hollywood): This place I guess is also known for it’s excellent cocktails, I’ve never been there but have heard good things. Every Tuesday and Friday they have a happy hour from 7pm – 9:30pm that include 2×1 Brahma – ew nasty beer (AR$15), two chopps for AR$18, and two house wines for AR$20. Bring on the real booze hard shit, please!
Sugar Bar (Costa Rica 4619, Palermo Soho): Another foreigner-central bar, but they have a damn good happy hour. Although it’s not as good as back in the day when they had AR$5 specials on all national drinks before 12:00am, you can still get pints of beer, glasses of wine, and national cocktails for AR$7 from 7pm – 12am every night. Get ready to hear (in a thick Argentina accent) “What is your name (wut eez your nem) Where are you from (where arrre yoo frum)?”
Gibraltar (Perú 895, San Telmo): Expat central, but in a good, less annoying way, I think. This British Pub offers a daily happy hour menu from 6pm – 10pm including 2×1 on all Warsteiner, Antares, scotch, and Griffin Dry Cider (AR$20), 2×1 on Jameson (AR$25), Beefeter (AR$25), Havanna Club (AR$15), Quilmes and Budweiser (AR$14). One of the only places in the city to get pub food – fish and chips, Indian and Thai style curries, enormo sandwiches and burgers. Yum.
Si Si SI! (Aime Paine 1320, Puerto Madero): Odd name for a restaurant, yes yes YES! Welcome to Buenos Aires, the 3×1 drink special every day from 6pm for the rest of the night on speciality drinks, no I don’t know how much each one costs. Then, from 6pm – 8pm you can find 2×1 Quilmes tap and other drinks that vary throughout the week. July is Cuban month, so grab a drink with some Cuban rum and smoke a cigar, because that’s what Cubans do, right?
Levitar (Godoy Cruz 1715, Palermo Soho): Happy hour on Wednesdays from 9:30pm – 12am – Levitar is a fun place, many nights they play funk and even old school hiphop, I know how random. I’m a big fan.
CasaBar (Rodriguez Peña 1150, Recoleta): Another American-style bar (I know, it’s an automatic turn off for many) to get 2×1 pints and drinks from 8pm – 10pm and a free pint with all food orders (apparently have Ranch Dressing and Frank’s Hot Sauce). On Thursday – Saturday from 2am – 4am you can get 8 peso pints and other special, specials.
Have any other good Happy Hour recommendations?? Let me know, and feel free to add a snarky comment! If you find an error with my facts, tell me I’m full of shit and I’ll correct it.
UPDATE: This list is from July 2010 and with crazy inflation and rapid bar closing, may not be 100% accurate.