Eating outdoors is one of those strange pleasantries in life, whether it’s an outdoor patio, rooftop terrace, quiet backyard garden or even colectivo polluted sidewalk, food somehow tastes better while sitting outside basking in the aire libre. The Buenos Aires dining and café scene is all about outdoor spaces, where restaurants immediately increase in stock value with just one table afuera. With the summer in full effect, it’s only fitting to take advantage of the perfect South American warm air and stakeout the best Buenos Aires restaurants with outside seating areas. Since it’s difficult for me to leave the tiny bubble of Palermo, here’s a random rundown of the best spots in the barrio.
Perhaps it’s the strong caipirinhas that make the onda so awesome, or the cheerful Brazilian service, or the delicious (and well cooked) seafood, or spicy flavors that taste like Brazil on a plate, or the live music, orrrrr all those things. Boteco do Brasil has recently changed location to La Maison’s coveted garden terrace, making it the ideal spot for summer drinks.
Get here early or prepare to wait for a table, Las Cabras, or as I call it, the red chair busy place, may not serve out-of-this-world food, but it’s a solid place to go with friends when looking for something cheap and casual with a lively atmosphere. Order the parrillada para dos that really serves four, or a choripan with fries, a pitcher of penguino house wine, a sifón of soda and bienvenida-r yourself to Argentina. Photo by Destemperadinhos.
What strikes your hunger more than walking through a bathing suit shop after having your ass eat up a bikini that’s a few sizes too small? Ivy lined walls, adorable turquoise chairs, Moroccan lemonade, and tasty pastries — it’s a girly design lovers dream world and fantastic summer spot to sit for hours.
Cusic (El Salvador 6016)
Pull on the wooden kitchen spoon to be welcomed into this Palermo Hollywood small café. Both the food and the ambience of this PH converted space makes diners feel all comfortable and warm inside. Licuados, lemonades, breakfasts, lunches and desserts make Cusic a winning choice. Don’t miss Thursday nights a la gorra, where they cook up a different speciality every week and you pay what you think it’s worth. Dog lovers should probably stay away, the house dog tends to run around and beg for food at the table.
Decata (Dorrego 6100, Palermo Hollywood)
This might win the gold for one of the best summer terraces – Decata’s food can be somewhat lacking (I always order the Caesar salad) but they have one helluva terraza, strong wifi and lots of plugs, making it for a winning work space. Another bonus: each coffee comes with a sugar covered orange peels and some sweet lil’ bakery bite. Anothernother bonus: Decata has opened up a lovely tiny café inside home decor wonderworld Paul on Gorriti.
DJ, you can do me no wrong. In six faithful years as a Don Julio patron, I have yet to be disappointed by the quality of meat, grand wine selection, superb service and classic good ole BA sidewalk dining.
La Editorial Bistro
I am ambivalent to give this spot up because it’s super special, so I won’t be giving any addresses here. All terraces should be as lovely as the one at La Editorial Bistro. Combine this prime open aired rooftop with lunch specials and a full cocktail menu, and you’ve got my summer go-to spot. Photo: La Editorial Bistro.
Located in one of my favorite sections of Palermo, behind the zoo and near where all the rich bitches live, the Evita Museum’s restaurant patio is a tranquil oasis from the of the city. Strong wi-fi connection makes it the perfect place to sit for hours sipping a coffee or eating a killer crepe. Photo SpareroomsBA
La Fábrica del Taco (Gorriti 5062)
It’s a known fact that Buenos Aires just can’t do Mexican, but Fábrica offers a solid option for those who are craving a bit of ze spicy sauce. The large backyard garden is ideal for sipping on Coronas, chugging down margaritas and chomping on chips and guacamole.
In Bocca Al Lupo (Bonpland 1965)
This café is the perfect spot for coffee drinking, fast wifi using and Italian food eating. Grab a table on the checkered tile inner patio and peek in as the kitchen staff makes homemade pasta and whips up favorite Italian treats. If you are a nutella fanatic, this is a place for you.
Jardin Japonés Restaurant (Casares 2966)
If it were all about ambience, Jardin Japonés would be the best sushi spot in town. This restaurant is located in the beautiful Japanese gardens, and while it may not be the top choice to eat sushi in the city (check out THIS list for best sushi in Buenos Aires), it still offers fresh quality fish and items that don’t include loads of cream cheese. Photo: Jardin Japonés.
Malvón Botántico (Lafinur 3275)
Famed Villa Crespo spot Malvón has opened up a second casona in Palermo Botántico featuring their wonderful selection of breads and a beautiful garden.
Miranda (Costa Rica 5602)A prime people watching spot on Fitz Roy and Costa Rica in Palermo Hollywood, go to take advantage of Miranda’s awesome weekday lunch specials or for one of their ginormous salads.
MoreMore (El Salvador 5721)
Owned by two Korean sisters with a passion for baking, there’s something about this quiet café that’s absolutely winning: tuna sandwiches, fresh lemonades, great breakfast specials wonderful service and absolutely delicious freshly baked goodness.
Negroni (El Salvador 5602)
Oh all praise the holy Negroni. A multiple choice test that you’d be crazy not to get into, the Negroni Multiple Choice gives serious Campari drinkers their own chance to mix and match their own personalized Negroni. And of course basque on the glorious Palermo Hollywood busy corner. (Photo: Negroni)
Olsen (Gorriti 5870)
Despite that this restaurant used to be the hotness and now is the notness, you still can’t deny the fact that it is probably one of the nicest designed restaurants this city has to offer. Just above that point of disappointment where it’s still acceptable to go, I’d skip the food and go for a Bloody Mary instead.
Oui Oui (Nicaragua 6068, Nicaragua 6099)
Yes yes, Oui Oui is quite the scene on the weekend, getting extremely busy with both tourists and overly trendy Palermonites. Why would someone wait over 30 minutes for a table? Because it’s trendy, has brunch solid food, and a pleasant ambience overlooking the picturesque tree-lined street of Nicaragua. Avid Oui Oui brunchers know what up: two words.. Weekday. Tony.
Pehache (Gurruchaga 1418)
Head to the back of the wonderful home decor store Pehache and settle on the patio with a cup of coffee, tea and quick little snack.
Piola (Gorriti 5751)
Make a trip back to 1992, grab your Bayside High sweatshirt and head on over to the Max aka Pizza Piola. Front sidewalk seating and also a patio garden space makes it an ideal spot to grab one of their non-Argie pizzas and stuff face. Photo by Planeta Joy.
Quimbombó (Costa Rica 4562)
Quimbombó’s breezy decor and two sunny deck terraces remain a great Palermo spot to escape the craziness of the Plaza Armenia area. Order a fresh salad and a licuado and enjoy the day, or go for dinner and order one of their delicious cocktails. While food maybe mediocre at best, the pleasant and breezy atmosphere makes up for all of that.
Sipan (Uriarte 1649)
Ceviche, tiraditos and pisco sours – it doesn’t get much better than this. Well, maybe it does, sipping and eating them all fancy while lounging on comfortable couches.
More bar than restaurant, Soria has all the ingredients that makes a winning night: skilled bartenders mixing up traditional and inventive cocktails, good service, above average bar food (burger + fries) and almost the whole space is in the aire libre.
A bit too feminine for my macho liking, El Ultimo Beso looks like a girly regurgitation of lace, pink and flowers. Still, it’s pretty damn pretty. Don’t miss checking out the bathroom, with old fashioned tub filled with rose petals, too much? Boys, to really man it up go with yo bros and order some pink wine and lemon pie. (Photo: Ultimo Beso)
Other outdoor Palermo spots: DAIN Usina rooftop (Nicaragua 4899), Kansas (Libertador y Matienzo, technically Las Cañitas), Voulez Bar (Cerviño 3802), Magdalena’s Party (Thames 1795), Mia Cosas Ricas (El Salvador 5990).