As a Libra (yep, I went there), I love love in all its forms. Mostly that means dogs and Neruda sonnets and having my forearm tickled as I fall asleep, but since February 14th is just around the bend, might as well apply that passion specifically to Valentine’s Day, right? Now that holidays like this are celebrated with such vigor in Buenos Aires, it means that planning a night out at any restaurant is a potential anxiety attack waiting to happen. What was once a non-event has now become a veritable *thing* with high stakes and even higher price tags.
Fret not, dear Cupid. If you’re keen to leave the house and showcase your love – be it with a Tinder date, your long-term boo, a bestie, or even your Mom – we’ve put together a list of some top spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day in BA.
Roll out the red carpet at this Recoleta bistro known for its sophisticated dishes and intimate atmosphere. The special Valentine’s menu starts off with a choice of Patagonian trout tartare, chicken croquetas with tomatoes from La Plata and turmeric from Cachi, or risotto with saffron from Catamarca and baby squid from the Malvinas. The main course features a Black Angus steak (served rare, which is #sexy) with grilled endive and apples from Río Negro; for dessert you’ll sip on a chocolate soup with pink pepper from Córdoba and a single-malt gel. Each course will be paired with wines from Bodega Alegoría. If you’re looking to putting a ring on it, consider Roux a fail-safe frontrunner.
Roux | Peña 2300 | Tel: 4805-6794 | By Reservation | Web
Another top-notch spot, Casa Cavia will transport you to a chic and dreamy space where inflation isn’t real and your house is full of gorgeous furnishings. For V-Day you’ll nosh on a four-course meal designed by chef Julieta Caruso that will without a doubt be nothing less than a whimsical journey of flavors and textures. This is the place to be if you want to take a break from reality for a night and surround yourself with absolute perfection. Bonus: If you opt for a bottle of Baron B fizz, you’ll get sent home with another for free, a perfect way to keep the romance going (or fall asleep in your fancy clothes, your pick).
Casa Cavia | Cavia 2985 | Tel: 4809-8600 | Web
Vuelta Abajo Social Club
Nothing says romance like a sexy rooftop and a big fat cigar, right? Well, at least for some people, probably. Vuelta Abajo Social Club opened up its newest location in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires with killer views of Puerto Madero and a sleek, sophisticated (if rather masculine) drinking and dining space. Consider this a fun option to step out of your comfort zone, try something new (like smoking cigars, if you aren’t already a 70-year-old golfer), and spice things up. And I’m not kidding about the cigars: There are over 100,000 available for your enjoyment. The Valentine’s menu will be paired with wines from D.V. Catena and includes prawns, scallops, fresh fish, and a sweet lemon curd for dessert.
Vuelta Abajo Social Club | Edificio Comega – Corrientes 222, 15th Floor | Tel: 15-5368-5828 |Web
You’ll be tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everything at BIS, a true gem in the heart of Recoleta. Chef Julio Martín Báez serves market-fresh, creative cuisine that changes with the seasons and pleases all types of palates. Try not to fill up on the homemade sourdough bread (the butter is to die for, too), because you’ll then nibble on oysters, fish, filet mignon, and fresh peaches – among other treats. Expect interesting combinations that surprise you without going too far overboard. The special Valentine’s menu includes wine pairings and should be booked in advance.
Aramburu BIS | Vicente López 1661 | Tel: 4813-5900 | Web
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Tintorería Yafuso es una experiencia que te transporta a través de todos los sentidos a los pequeños “shokudo” o tabernas de Japón. Un formato clásico, íntimo que sumado a la hospitalidad del dueño y la creatividad volcada en los productos de estación hacen que sentarse en la barra, en uno de esos diez asientos sea una aventura que emociona y no queres que se termine jamás. Cuando visité Tintorería Yafuso, ya conocía la historia familiar y experiencia laboral de Fabián, cocinero especializado en gastronomía japonesa, un apasionado por la tradición y delicadeza del washoku. Observarlo hacer su trabajo es un verdadero placer y sus increíbles sabores merecen la espera. Las palabras clave son sushi moriawase y robata. El espacio es un capítulo aparte y muy logrado, valorar este trabajo familiar es un orgullo y la elección de esta idea me pareció fantástica: las perchas, la plancha, el sanshin y el tambor de la máquina hoffman convertida en horno para caldos me pareció increíble. Proyectos como este se aplauden de pie, pero también se deben respetar. Olvídate del sushi libre y roll con queso. Esperamos ansiosos la apertura oficial… おめでとうございます?? . . . #japonenbuenosaires #cookingsoon #TintoreriaYafuso #FabianYafuso #robatayaki #日本料理 #寿司 #おすすめ #経験 #ブエノスアイレス #アルゼンチン #炉端焼き #三線 #酒 #居酒屋 #sanshin #uchinanchu #Okinawaenbuenosaires #gachimaya
If you’re looking to impress your date, take them to the still-under-the-radar Tintorería Yafuso. This Villa Crespo outfit opened quietly toward the end of 2018 and pulled the ultimate hipster move by eschewing social media and big fancy write-ups to focus on the most important thing: the food. To snag a seat at the teensy tiny bar, you have to book in advance by phone and will have a choice of only two seating times. You’ll be treated to an utterly sublime Japanese experience, with the freshest sushi and sashimi you can imagine and a special ambiance that most restaurateurs would kill for. In fact, you should probably stop reading this article and call now to secure your spot.
Tintorería Yafuso | Velasco & Araóz | Tel: 2136-6922 | No walk-ins
Vico Wine Bar
If you’re regretting picking February 14th as the moment for your first date with your latest Tinder match, hitting up a wine bar is probably your best bet. After a glass or two, conversation should flow freely enough, and if things are looking grim, you aren’t left to grin and bear it for 14 more courses. After bringing a splash of by-the-glass chic to Villa Crespo, Vico recently opened the doors to its newest locale in Palermo Hollywood, smack dab in the middle of the action. The Valentine’s Day special offer includes a drool-worthy charcuterie platter to share and two glasses of wine per person. Consider it the perfect stepping stone to something more serious, or a spot to drown your sorrows surrounded by a fantastic selection of wines if things don’t pan out.
Vico Wine Bar | Honduras 5799 | Tel: 15-6402-1368 | Web
Sometimes the best way to celebrate love means casting aside the bells and whistles and going back to basics. Who needs long-stemmed roses and saccharine declarations when you can have a heaping plate of fresh pasta, a nice glass of wine, and some chocolate mousse for dessert? La Alacena is perhaps one of my most favorite places in Buenos Aires, full stop, and though this magical Palermo eatery isn’t planning anything in particular for Valentine’s Day, I think that makes it all the better. Take advantage that the 14th falls on a Thursday (La Alacena only opens for dinner three nights a week) and take your amor out for Italian food that is anything but pretentious. Alternately, if date night goes extremely well, check it out for brunch the next morning. Gazing into each other’s eyes while enjoying café con leche and fresh pastry? Sign me up.
La Alacena | Gascón 1401 | Tel: 4867-2549 | Instagram
San Telmo is perhaps the city’s most romantic barrio, don’t you think? Something about those cobblestone streets, colonial-style buildings, and tango ballads wafting through the air, no? Café Rivas will transport you to another era, and its menu is modern enough to stand out from other middle of the road tourist traps lingering nearby. If you’re lucky, the pianist will be tinkling away upstairs as you sip on your Spritz and whisper sweet nothings into your date’s ear. For a perfectly porteño date, this is the place you’ll want to be. Hell, the restaurant even uses the hashtag #ElLugarMásBello to describe itself. What more could you want?
Café Rivas | Estados Unidos 302 | Tel: 4361-5539 | Instagram
I’m a huge fan of the day date. If you’re just getting to know one another, it eases the tension a bit, and if you’ve already been seeing each other for a while, it can be the foundation of a fantastic afternoon spent enjoying the city together. The promo this Villa Crespo café put together for Valentine’s costs just AR $590 for two people to share and includes an iced latte, tostados, yogurt, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and signature chocolate cake. Given the way inflation is going these days, that’s a pretty good deal kiddos. It’s also a great option if you want to project an air of cultured cool; meander over to Parque Cententario afterward and spend the day lounging in the sun while talking about your favorite vinyls.
Bilbo Café | Belaustegui 802 | Tel: 2115-2016 | Web
Alright, enough of this lovey-dovey shit, you might be thinking. Maybe you’ve firmly planted yourself on the anti-Valentine’s side of things and are looking for a place to go a little wild and be far, far away from mushy couples that can’t keep their hands off one another. The rooftop bar at the Hotel Madero has put together a “Sin Valentín” night of fun on Friday, February 15th. Imagine the scene: DJ sessions, special cocktails, wines by San Felicien, a sushi bar, and jaw-dropping views over Puerto Madero. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet another feisty reveler that will end in an unexpected weekend romp
Hotel Madero | Rosario Vera Peñaloza 360 – Dique 2 | Tel: 5776-7777 | Web