The Best Places to Shop in Buenos Aires

With designer boutiques offering leather, jewelry, fanciful underthings, and stylish menswear, and housewares stores with ultra-hip designs for the home, and shops and markets hawking antiques, vintage goods, and wine, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Buenos Aires.

Av. Alvear 1680, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Take home the essence of Argentina with a fragrance inspired by pampas grasses, the northern desert, or Patagonian lupine blossoms. Fueguia 1833, a perfume lab on ultra-chic Avenida Alvear in Recoleta, creates scents from all-natural ingredients. Only the best-quality plants and spices available at production time make the cut, meaning aromas vary from batch to batch. Each bottle bears an engraved lot number, and large flagons come in handsome handmade boxes. Even better: A Fueguia scent does more than make you irresistible—a portion of all proceeds goes to the NGO Help Argentina, a fund-raising organization that supports environmental, human-rights, and public education charities.
Av. Santa Fe 1860, C1124 CABA, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a city of readers—it supports more bookstores per capita than any other place in the world. The crown jewel of the librerías here is the Ateneo Grand Splendid. Housed in a theater where music legends such as Carlos Gardel once attracted vast crowds, the store features shelf after shelf of tempting volumes on its rounded balconies. Italian frescoes on the domed ceiling and plush red-velvet curtains are from the theater’s original 1919 design. The four-story space carries over 120,000 books and a local-music selection, and there’s a café on the erstwhile stage.
C1427BXE, Charlone 201, C1427BXE CABA, Argentina
The bricked-over windows of the bookstore/wine bar Falena may have you worrying the place has closed. But the isolation from the street that the bricks provide is part of what gives Falena the feel of a hidden sanctuary. Ring to enter and step into what could be some bookworm’s particularly inviting minimalist home. Downstairs, floor-to-ceiling shelves hold books handpicked by local independent publishers; a basement wine cellar safeguards a carefully curated selection of boutique vintages. And the rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass—or pore over newly acquired volumes.
Nicaragua 4880,Cdad. Autónoma de Buenos Aires, C1414 CABA, Argentina
Facon presents exquisitely handcrafted goods from all around Argentina. Look for baskets by the Matriarca women’s collective; Siwan’i natural, handwoven textiles produced by Wichí-nation women; and Warmi scarves and blankets the women of that Andean ethnicity also create. All items are fair-trade products that constitute an important source of income for the indigenous communities. Additionally, the store showcases contemporary design with an ecological spin, alongside leather goods, objets d’art, and a selection of local boutique wines. Facon is also headquarters to Salú, a club that hosts cooking classes, wine- and cheese-tastings, and talks by local chefs on topics like the origins of the Argentine mixed-grill known as asado.
Av. Juan B. Justo 2650, C1414CXP CABA, Argentina
With its innumerable acres of grasslands that are perfect for raising cattle, Argentina is not surprisingly known for top-quality leather goods. Murillo Street, in the Villa Crespo neighborhood, is lined with outlets where you can purchase bags, shoes, jackets, and belts at discount prices. For higher-end leather, however, Palermo boutiques are your best bet. Near Plaza Armenia in Palermo Soho, Humawaca showcases stunningly unique handmade purses and accessories. For men’s shoes, belts, and wallets—all of spectacular quality and sure to make any guy a touch more dapper—stop by Apuesto Hombre in Palermo Hollywood.
Paraguay 4979, C1425 CABA, Argentina
Once-abandoned railway sheds have been repurposed to create an open-air outlet mall in Palermo, one of the city’s buzziest neighborhoods. Clothes are expensive in Argentina so don’t expect rock-bottom prices, but you’ll appreciate discounts on local brands like Las Pepas. In addition to clothing retailers, there are several food carts, plus pop-up restaurants, here and there beneath a redbrick viaduct that supports the General San Martín commuter train. Large flowerbeds and the trains’ overhead comings and goings make Distrito Arcos a pretty spot for snacks or browsing the racks.
2729 Avenida Santa Fe
Support local artists and designers at the Patio del Liceo. The namesake courtyard, tucked away from Avenida Santa Fe’s hustle and bustle, connects art galleries, clothes and shoe shops, and, notably, boutiques selling eco-friendly home decor. Walk to the end of each gallery level to watch designers at work: Many of the spaces also function as workshops where the goods on offer are made. Pick up a beautiful book at Brezal, the glassed-in stall in the main entry hall; get a customized gift for your pet at Think Animal; or take home some local music from Mercurio Disquería. Afternoon visits are recommended, as many shops don’t open until 4 p.m. or later.
Bolívar 970, C1066AAT, C1066 AAT, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nothing better than to walk amidst the stalls of San Telmo market on a crisp Sunday. The smell of parrilla wafting through the air, inter tangled with the ever-present sound of tango. And chatter. Nothing you need to buy. Everything you need to see.
Humberto 1º 412, C1103 CABA, Argentina
The store specializes in antiques and vintage clothing from the 1920s to the 1980s. Everything has an air of elegance, from the beaded gowns to the crystal decanters.
Vuelta de Obligado 1933, C1428ADC CABA, Argentina
So you didn’t have time on this trip to visit Salta, Jujuy, or other breathtakingly gorgeous destinations in Argentina’s north - put it on your list for next time. At least you can go home with some beautiful handcrafted objects produced in the region’s indigenous communities - and Fundación Silataj, a non-profit fair-trade organization, is the best place to do some responsible shopping. Items at Silataj are divided into four categories: accessories, art, home and textile. Browse through the online catalogue for an overview, or just poke around the store in person. There’s an affiliated shop downtown that’s more convenient for some travelers - Arte de Pueblos (www.artedepueblos.org.ar).
Posadas 1387, C1011ABG CABA, Argentina
The historic leather goods company Rossi & Caruso is considered the Hermès of Argentina. Its Recoleta shop attracts horse enthusiasts and serious riders with its fine-quality saddles and horse-related gear. Non-equestrians visit for the buttery leather jackets and purses.
Arenales 1239, C1061AAK CABA, Argentina
Tucked away on the second floor of a courtyard building in the residential Recoleta neighborhood, the shoe store Comme Il Faut is a magnet for tango dancers. Customers provide their shoe sizes to cheerful saleswomen, and stacks of shoeboxes—in every color and heel height—emerge from the back.
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