As romantic cities go, Buenos Aires is up there with the best of them.
The city bounces with energy during the day and turns all mysterious and sultry by night.
A slight sense of danger always abounds, and the unpredictable turmoil of everyday living ensures your heart is always beating a bit faster than normal, your endorphins are flowing and life is vibrant.
Argentines are a passionate people, and it’s a condition that rubs off pretty quickly on visitors.
The people of Buenos Aires channel these lusty emotions in different ways. Bosses take their secretaries to lunchtime love hotels called ‘telos’.
Twenty-somethings cram themselves into sweaty nightclubs until the daylight hours, hoping to meet their soulmate (or at least drunkenly rub up against somebody attractive).
Construction workers shout unmentionable obscenities at passing housewives. Taxi drivers leer lecherously at girls young enough to be their daughters.
For those who have already found love, the city’s pulsating sensuality can be used to your advantage.
The problem is, after a few romantic dinners and walks in the park, you start to run out of ideas on how to impress your partner.
Luckily for you, we have laid out some ideas in this guide.
Fusion food, irresistible cocktails and a low-lit atmosphere mean Asia de Cuba is one fancy spot among many in Puerto Madero for a dinner date.
If you find yourself in Palermo, there are a plethora of options. French food and candlelight at Jolie ensure you can’t really go wrong.
For the complete asado experience, La Cabrera in Palermo is a classic lunch and dinner spot for a huge meal with the works.
Taking your date out to get pizza might seem like romantic suicide, but Pizza Piola in microcentro has a funky vibe and loud enough music to ensure that uncomfortable silences won’t be a problem.
Dadá is a bistro bar (see below), with excellent food, and it’s the kind of effortlessly hip place that will suggest to your partner that you’re cooler than you really are. To create the impression that you are all ‘in the know’, take your date to one of the exclusive underground ‘puertas cerradas‘ (closed door restaurants), speakeasies or ‘pop up’ restaurants.
As millions can testify, witty conversation, a charming personality and good looks can all be rendered unnecessary if you just supply your date with enough alcohol to make everything you say seem Oscar Wilde-ishly clever and all your physical deformities seem, well, momentarily excusable.
A professional wine tasting in Palermo to learn more about Argentina’s amazing wine is the perfect wine and food adventure to imbibe some delicious wine, with an educational spin.
In Recoleta, you can’t go wrong with a date at Millión, a three-story bar/restaurant in a restored French-style mansion. And La Cigale is the kind of place that will make you look cool and classy when you take your date there after dinner.
Daytime Date Activities
If you date somebody for long enough, sooner or later you will eventually have to spend time with them in the harsh light of day. Then suddenly it becomes harder to think of things to do that don’t just involve eating and drinking.
Luckily, Buenos Aires is full of activities that fall into the category of ‘things that impress partners.’
Just make sure you prepare a few intelligent modern-art-related observations beforehand, so you don’t come off sounding like a brain-damaged football hooligan when asked for an opinion.
“Even I could draw a boat better than that,” will not impress anybody.
Dance Classes & Milongas
This is the city of tango, and learning some steps or even other dance styles with your date at milongas such as La Viruta, the bohemian milonga in a church, La Catedral and the weekly milonga in San Telmo, will not only allow you to ‘accidentally’ grope them a lot, but will give you an excuse to take them clubbing later that night, so as to try out those new super-stylin’ moves you just learned together.
The view of Buenos Aires from two wheels is much more attractive than from a car or a bus, and an afternoon bike ride is sure to evoke many giddy lovey-dovey moments.
Imagine some kind of sleazy 1970’s golf instructor with handlebar mustache, aviator glasses, sun visor, and tight bell-bottoms, moving in real close to help his student with her swing, reaching around to put his hands over hers on the club shaft, telling her to “relax your hips, baby, sway back… and forward. There you go!” Well, that could be you with your date at the Pitch ‘n’ Putt golf course! But seriously, it doesn’t have to be quite so grubby – it can be a really fun day out even if neither of you have any idea how to play golf.
Another idea that may seem a little left-field is a day at the horse track. The Palermo and San Isidro courses alternate race days, and although it might not be a place you would take a date back home, it can be a surprisingly pleasant day out.
Sitting on the grass drinking beers, eating choripan (chorizo sausage on bread) and trying to interpret the form guide can be nice, and your first win together is an unforgettable bonding experience. You could even keep the winning ticket to teach your future children about the joys of gambling.
Okay readers, make sure to send us your wedding photos — it makes us all warm and fuzzy inside to know we made a difference.
—by Dan Colasimone