Bar Seddon: A Seductive San Telmo Classic

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Seddon Bar sits on the corner of Defensa and Chile Street in Buenos Aires' San Telmo neighborhood

Bar Seddon is a nostalgic refuge on one of the nicest little cobble-stoned corners of San Telmo. It’s a seductive destination to enjoy a coffee while gazing out the window or to linger over a bottle of Malbec on a casual date.

The 19th-century former pharmacy oozes style with its classic black and white tiled floor, wood paneled walls topped by beveled mirrors, antique furniture filled with knick-knacks and candles endlessly flickering and melting around the bar. An antique railway clock keeps time.

→ Check out this cafe after visiting the Sunday San Telmo Fair, along the same street

History of San Telmo’s Bar Seddon

Seddon is overseen by the friendly owner, Pamela, which kind of makes you feel like you’re hanging out at your favorite eccentric aunt’s house. Her dad, who founded the much-mourned original Seddon downtown, has since passed away but you’ll still find Pam’s mom hanging out almost everyday. In the good old days, Seddon was one of the best venues to see Cuban, blues and rock and roll music live in San Telmo.

Unfortunately the city government started enforcing zoning laws limiting live music in bars, but there is still always a cool selection of tunes playing over the stereo system at a volume that still allows for conversation.

So beloved is Bar Seddon that it is declared a ‘notable’ bar of historical significance by the city of Buenos Aires. This is more of a bar than a restaurant but the reasonably priced menu does include a few typical Argentine dishes as well as pizza, pastas and meat and cheese platters.

The crowd tends to be down-to-earth, cultured Porteños with mix of international visitors. Here you’ll enjoy a relaxed old-school San Telmo vibe, which is a pleasant contrast to the ‘fashion’ bars of the more upscale Palermo neighborhood.

Food & Drinks

El Seddon is a sexy place for a pre-dinner drink, but the quality of the food and service has received less stellar reviews since Pam sold the bar not long ago.

It seems the new owners are relying on their once-favored status to jack up prices for tourists visiting the San Telmo Fair.

We requested they fill up a water bottle for a child in our group while giving a tour in San Telmo, on a day when the restaurant was not very busy. They refused, which seemed pretty unneighborly, especially considering we have this blog post dedicated to them free of charge.

Because of the declining quality of the food, we recommend only getting drinks or a little treat such as the coconut-dusted alfajores here to enjoy the atmosphere, but head elsewhere to eat. Some other bar-cafes in the area are suggested below.

The interior of Bar Seddon in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Seddon
$$-$$$ /Credit cards accepted
Defensa 695 (corner of Chile)
San Telmo
Tel: 4342-3700
Tue—Fri: 10am–4am
Saturdays: 6pm-4am

 

Other Stylish historic cafes in the area:

 

Pride Cafe, the only specifically LGBTQ cafe-bar in the neighborhood with limited sidewalk seating.

 

Bar Britanico, where Ernesto Sabato wrote Heroes and Tombs and part of the film the Motorcycle Diaries was filmed.

 

→  La Poesia Cafe, another classic neighborhood cafe with a much larger menu and sidewalk seating.

 

→ For good drinks and pretty decent pub food including fish and chips and curries, try Gibralter Pub.

 

→ If it’s early enough there is a wide variety of small restaurants inside the historic San Telmo Market, including excellent empanadas, Thai, Korean, French (including fondue), Mediterranean, Americana food and others.

 

→ Not in San Telmo, but only about 6 blocks away, Cafe Tortoni, the city’s most famous French-style historic cafe.

 

 

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