Bar el Federal
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Belly Up to the Bar in an Old Brothel
For a little old-school San Telmo atmosphere, you can’t do much better than this classic corner bar. Dating from 1864, the antique building started out as a pulpería (general store), the seedy center of a gambling ring and even a brothel before it was converted into the popular restaurant and bar it is today. On your way in, check out the antique cash register and the gorgeous vitraux (stained glass) over the long bar: it's no wonder this place has been used as a film set several times over. Then pull up a chair at one of the rustic wooden tables, preferably by the windows for maximum people-watching potential. If it's morning or time for merienda, ask for a cortado with medialunas; otherwise, order an ice-cold chopp (draft beer) and a monster-sized lomito (steak) sandwich.
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