Tourists come to San Telmo for the old-world atmosphere — the barrio, filled with crumbling mansions and cobblestone squares, is where the city's wealthy Spanish and Italian immigrants first settled in Buenos Aires – and the antiques. While the historic wrought-iron Mercado San Telmo and the nearby showrooms lining Defensa street are indeed ground zero for antique-hunting, you might forget all about your shopping list when you start walking though the market and get lost in the charming atmosphere.
The Italianate market, built in 1897 and designed by architect Juan Buschiazzo, is a sensory adventure. Mid-century finds fill the booths lining the main corridor along with vintage street signs, antique mirrors, and grand furniture shipped from the Old World. Entering the central market, you'll see produce stands overflowing with fruits and vegetables straight from local farms and orchards, plus stalls selling cheese and artisanal dulce de leche, a gourmet coffee bar, and a retro carnicería. Another arm of the market, extending north to the side entrance on Estados Unidos street, specializes in old tango memorabilia and gently used leather luggage. Bring your camera: even if you don't buy anything, you'll come away from the market with beautiful images of old Buenos Aires.
Photo: Gonzalo Saenz, https://flic.kr/p/66cw9R
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