Happy hour, a time-honored tradition that brings people together to drink discounted alcohol and complain about their jobs, transcends geography and culture. What I mean by this: there is happy hour in Buenos Aires. Porteños love to cap off a day of work with some friends and cheap drinks – known colloquially as after office, and the city’s bars and restaurants are all too happy to oblige. Here at The Bubble we also love an excuse to sip and snack, so we’ve compiled a list that will fill any happy hour need you may have.
Best for All-Day Drinking: La Puerta Roja
La Puerta Roja’s happy hour commences at noon every day of the week, and runs until 10 PM. This makes it an ideal place to drop by with friends on the weekend, to get a cheap drink after working late, to pregame Sunday brunch, whatever. The happy hour specials include two beers for ~AR $240 (depending on which beer you order) or two drinks for AR $220. This is a lively, chattery place. There is often rock music playing loudly. There are also four different types of papas fritas on the menu. Do with this what you will.
Best for Terrace Drinkin’: KOI Beer & Dumplings
KOI recently revamped its terrace, making it the perfect place to soak up some sunshine before fall truly begins. Crowds of people are drawn to KOI for the plump, goody-filled dumplings, baos, and buns, as well as a robust beer selection. During happy hour, you can snag a beer for AR $80, or two drinks made with Campari or Apóstoles Gin for the price of one (AR $150). You may have heard of Apóstoles, the renowned Argentine gin infused with yerba mate, eucalyptus, and grapefruit—this is a great place to sit in the sun and sample it. Pull up a cherry-red chair, order some shrimp dumplings and crispy tofu buns, and pretend winter isn’t coming.
Best for Snacking: NOLA
NOLA is a Palermo gastropub that specializes in Cajun food and craft beer. The place itself is small, but there are tables you can snag outside of the restaurant to enjoy your happy hour al fresco. Happy hour deals offer a beer for AR $80 or a glass of wine, sangria, or an alcoholic spritzer for AR $90. Give the sangria a whirl; it’s pink and comes in little mason jars! My only complaint is that the only fruit the drink contained was a lonesome orange wedge, which does not a sangria make. We took a boomerang with our sangriaitas (this is not a real word) anyway. How fun and embarrassing is that?
Sadly, happy hour does not extend to NOLA’s food menu, which is chock-full of pollo frito in its various different forms. Dishes are still worth the full-price: order chicken and waffles, cornbread with jalapeños, or the sandwich clásico, which comes with a slab of fried chicken twice the size of the brioche roll it sits on.
Best for Views: Desarmadero Bar
If you’re looking to happy hour hop, Desarmadero is a half-block away from NOLA and offers an entirely new vibe. Come here for beer, a lively rooftop, and great views of street art. The majority of the spot’s 24 craft beers—save for the cervezas especiales—run for AR $80 during happy hour. We recommend making your way up to the rooftop, where you can order a wheat wine or a tropical stout and people watch. The bar draws a diverse crowd: my friends and I sat next to a man enjoying a beer while his toddler enjoyed some french fries and her toy truck. Happy hour extends until 8 PM, but get there early if you want a seat on the rooftop, where you’ll be surrounded by some of Palermo’s most interesting murals.
Best for Feeling Fancy: Doppelgänger Bar
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Buenos Aires is a (newly) beer-obsessed city, and the happy hour deals reflect this culture. However, trendy cocktail bar Doppelgänger (recently featured in The New York Times!) offers a respite from the drinkable carbs, with cocktails that range from the classic to the whimsical. Because Doppelgänger is a shi shi, frou frou joint where the bartenders take their craft seriously—”no beer, wine, energy drinks, or soft drinks”— the bevvies here are on the pricier side.
All the more reason to come during Happy Hour, when you can get two cocktails for AR $295. Choose from a list of 40 concoctions such as the classic Tom Collins (gin, simple syrup, soda water, lemon) or the New Yorker (bourbon, grenadine, lemon juice, cherry). Sip your drink and soak up the candle-lit, speakeasy vibes for a fraction of the usual price.