Buenos Aires’ enticing subtropical climate and Argentina’s practically genetic love of asado (barbecue) mean Argentines have always known how to enjoy a good al fresco meal. Now, the sky’s the limit thanks to a growing rooftop bar scene. While many of Buenos Aires’ sky bars are in upscale hotels, there are spots for sunset drinks atop hostels, historic buildings and even gig venues. Here's our list of top 7 rooftop bars in Buenos Aires.
1. Trade Bar
Best for: Slick evening vibes
Having just opened in 2019, Trade is the new kid on the block, but it’s already creating a buzz. The coppery interiors and soft lighting strike a note somewhere between smart hotel and New York jazz lounge.
Occupying the top four floors of a skyscraper on Avenida Corrientes, Trade Bar attracts a cosmopolitan crowd of international visitors and well-off Argentines. The 22nd-floor roof terrace looks onto the skyscrapers of Puerto Madero to the east and onto the obelisk to the west. There’s even a fabulous corner view from the men’s toilets.
Bartenders in snappy black waist coasts serve an extensive menu of signature cocktails. The super tai is a mouth-wateringly tart, smooth rum concoction garnished with a petite pink triangle of dehydrated grapefruit pulp. Several drinks incorporate local flavors such as Patagonian pear.
Trade has an incredible fish and sushi menu, but it’s a good idea to book in advance.
Best for: Sky-high extravagance
Crystal Bar is on the 32nd floor of the luxurious Alvear Icon hotel. It’s so high that your ears pop on the way up.
Unsurprisingly, the views are phenomenal. If you go on a clear day, you can see across the River Plate estuary to Uruguay. Looking into Buenos Aires offers a direct view over the dikes of Puerto Madero and the Puente de la Mujer footbridge.
Decadence is the name of the game here. With a wide selection of pricey signature cocktails and fine vintage wines reaching into the tens of thousands, these are some of the most expensive drinks in Buenos Aires. The balcony is completely enclosed, to stop the wind whipping away any priceless silk scarves.
The Icon is one of three Alvear hotels in Buenos Aires, and all of them are exquisite. The Alvear Palace Hotel in Recoleta is a famed bastion of old-world opulence and has a rooftop bar of its own.
Best for: Hitting the indie scene
Rabia is a hip, alternative Palermo bar and entertainment venue hosting everything from indie bands to English-language comedy. On the roof, take a seat among lush tropical plants, grab a pint of craft beer and enjoy the view.
While it’s not particularly high, it’s surrounded by the trendy watering holes around Plaza Serrano, making it great for people-watching. The kitchen serves a tasty selection of burgers and tapas. There’s a varied range of draft beers from Argentina’s growing craft beer scene.
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Best for: Drinks with travelers
Enjoy the eye-catching décor and digital nomad chic at the 10th-floor bar of Selina. This self-described ‘lifestyle, travel and hospitality platform’ is a designer hostel for the location-independent generation, with a coworking space, rooftop bar and shop selling slick boutique goodies. It majors on striking design, with enormous murals and stylish, modern furnishing.
Bar stools at counters decorated with exotic succulents look out over the streets of trendy Palermo Soho. In one corner is a very Instagrammable swinging bed, a social media spectacle complete with a handy hashtag sign on the wall.
For everything except the spicy margarita, the cocktails are surprisingly wallet-friendly. The Samara is a citrusy vodka-based kicker rounded out by the tang of pulped raspberries and frozen blueberries, while the juicy, refreshing Lenny Style is prettily garnished with hibiscus and dried orange. The straws are made from bamboo, of course.
5. Salon 1923 at Palacio Barolo
Best for: Drinks on one of Buenos Aires’ historic buildings
Palacio Barolo is a landmark that exudes vintage glamour. Sixteenth-floor cafe Salon 1923, named for the year the building was completed, opened in February 2019. The experience starts the moment you step into the fabulous entrance lobby, where you’re greeted by staff wearing 1920s office clerks hats.
The roof offers views out over Congress and Avenida de Mayo, as well as a close-up of Palacio Barolo’s intricate white stone tower. The neat, round windows inside look out over the Ministry of Social Development, which features a huge picture of Argentine heroine and former first lady Eva Peron.
It’s open early, making it a great brunch spot. There’s a traditional breakfast of medialunas (Argentine croissants) and coffee. On Saturday mornings, there are cello recitals. The drinks menu features local favorites such as Fernet and coke, Campari and Cynar Julep.
There’s a minimum spend requirement which is paid in the foyer downstairs.
6. Dome Bar (Hotel Tango de Mayo)
Best for: Picturesque boutique style
Dome is the pretty bar on top of the boutique hotel, Tango de Mayo. White wrought iron chairs, wooden decking and little beds growing fresh herbs lend it a folksy charm, but it never loses its elegance.
The hotel itself is a carefully refurbished art nouveau gem. Portraits of tango legends such as Gardel and Piazolla decorate the walls. It’s next to Palacio Barolo, but with a different atmosphere: instead of imposing commercial grandeur, Tango de Mayo channels all the bijou hospitality of a smart Parisian patisserie.
Dome Bar is open between mid-September and mid-March.
7. Visit Sky Bar (Hotel Pulitzer)
Best for: Mingling with the after-office crowd
A firm favorite with well-heeled porteños (Buenos Aires locals) after they clock off in the summer, Visit Sky Bar on the roof of the Pulitzer Hotel is one of the best-known rooftop bars in town. It goes for a smart but relaxed ethos, with suave live music in the evenings.
The drinks menu majors on cocktails and features an impressive list of gins: alongside favorites like Beefeater are more unusual options, such as eccentric German gin Monkey 47 and Patagonian-inspired Sur. International dishes like ceviche, tataki and even fish and chips serve nicely to soak up the alcohol. This summer, it’s open from mid-October until mid-April.