Photo by Felix Busso
An observer from the sidewalk might puzzle as groups of people march into this pretty flower store—and don’t emerge shortly with bouquets. The customers are not here for the blossoms but for what lies below. A door at the rear of the shop leads downstairs to a long speakeasy bar and an adjacent line of hard-to-snag tables. Sea monsters and fish scales emerge from the walls, and as the name Atlántico suggests, the seafood and old-school-aperitif recipes that European immigrants brought to Argentina when they crossed the eponymous pond are the inspiration behind cuisine and cocktails alike. The Spanish-style pulpo (octopus) or the jumbo prawns draw raves; reserve for dinner to avoid a likely wait. Or wedge into the bar to enjoy the innovative, much-ballyhooed mixology.
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Beneath the Flower Shop
You might not guess it from the location—the bar is located far from the busy Palermo nightlife hub, on the edge of downtown, where it's awfully quiet after dark—but Floreria Atlantico is arguably the coolest place to go for cocktails in Buenos Aires right now. And when you finally do roll up to the address, you'll definitely think you're in the wrong place. Unless, of course, you've done your homework: the cocktail bar is located beneath street level, and, more specifically, just beneath a flower shop. That's right. Don't be deterred by the misleading storefront. You'll walk past arrangements of daffodils and roses, then down the stairs, to get into Floreria Atlantico. An instant hit for its encyclopedic menu of innovative cocktails, plus an excellent wine list and well-prepared small plates, it's the place to see and be seen right now. Grab a seat at the long, elegant bar, or a cozy table for two, and watch the beautiful people in their natural habitat.
By Bridget Gleeson, AFAR Local Expert
Shelby Donley, Camelback Odyssey Travel
A favorite hidden bar of mine is the Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires. It's a wine bar that doubles as a flower shop.