Closed-door Restaurants & Bars in Buenos Aires
A peek at some of the better places that aren't visible from the street
Welcome Avatar! Time for some Austral gastronomy after a request to list some of the best restaurants behind closed doors in the city. We start with restaurants and finish it off with some speakeasy bars that are also not visible from the street, although most of the bars are better known.
Why closed door restaurants?
Restaurantes a puertas cerradas is a movement that started around 2010 and keeps adding new names to the list.
Why behind closed doors? It’s mainly to make it a more intimate setting, with protective privacy and very good cuisine in many cases. Another reason is that opening a restaurant facing the street can involve more costs, permits, and hiring a fixed staff.
Restaurants need quite a large amount of money for that set-up, and that is most likely the main reason that chefs started restaurants from their living rooms, patios etc. It’s important to keep in mind that the ones I’ll be listing here are not the kind of DIY amateur cooks who wouldn’t make it through the first rounds of Masterchef.
These are professional chefs, and the ambience in these places is top notch, just like you would expect in a nice restaurant. This makes the whole “behind closed doors” concept even more compelling in my opinion.
It does come with some disclaimers: some restaurants will not list an address on their website (I will not list an address either in those cases, you will have to make the reservation to find out), and making a reservation is an absolute must for most of these.
If you can just knock on the door and walk in, I will mention that; same goes for the ones that only allow bigger groups.
Let’s start with a select list (no particular order):
This restaurant has a fixed menu that varies monthly, with only 14 guests per night. They offer a very intimate setting with personalized service, while taking care of every detail.
Toro 777 can also be booked for private events both in their restaurant and on location in private homes. If you want to book outside of the days they are open, they can put together a special menu for tables of six people or more.
Address: ? (Chacarita) | Reservation needed: Yes, only 14 tables | Type: Local cuisine, Pampa style | Website
Technically this is not a closed-door restaurant because you can just walk in, but from the street side there is no visible signage indicating that this restaurant exists.
The setting is very nice, which more than makes up for the fact that this is a vegetarian restaurant. The food is excellent by the way, but don’t expect to get your steak game on when going here.
Address: Loyola 1250 (Villa Crespo) | Reservation needed: No, you can walk in | Type: vegetarian (great food)
Warnes Buenos Aires
Warnes Buenos Aires is a closed-door restaurant in the center of a forgotten section of La Paternal also known as Palermo Detroit (this is a joke because of the car mechanics in this neighborhood).
From the outside it looks like an abandoned car mechanic with closed shutters. On the inside, it’s a completely different story with very stylish interior.
Warnes is fusion cuisine, and offers everything from tasty Mediterranean cuisine, International Menus to Asian fusion cuisine.
Address: Darwin 62 | Reservation needed: Yes
This restaurant has been open for more than 15 years. Very good quality, and you can find a sample of the menu on their website.
Chef Ezequiel Gallardo puts together menus with 4 different courses, which change weekly.
Address: Cap. Gral. Ramón Freire 700 | Reservation needed: Yes, only 33 chairs | Website
These guys were some of the first to start with a restaurant behind closed doors. Casa SaltShaker opened eighteen years ago with the idea that visitors could meet new friends and above all, taste good food and good wine.
Unlike most of the other options where you can check the proposal on the web, the menu (also five-course with pairing) is unknown until you arrive.
The food is eclectic global cuisine, influenced by the spicier cuisines of Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Address: Pres. J.E. Uriburu 1500 (Barrio Norte) | Reservation needed: Yes | Website
Florería Atlántico (Arroyo 872)
The bar Florería Atlántico, located in Recoleta, is one of the best bars in the world in The World's 50 Best Bars.
A flower shop with a secret door leads you inside the maritime-themed bar in the basement. Very cool vibe.
The menu is divided according to the countries from which immigrants arrived in Argentina. No need to make a reservation, but come a bit earlier if you want to eat just so you have a table vs the bar.
Victoria Brown Bar (Costa Rica 4827)
The Victoria Brown Bar is located in a deposit in Palermo. The façade on the streetside has a mural of a Queen Victoria:
La Calle (Niceto Vega 4942)
This bar in a former textile factory is hidden behind a La Guitarrita pizzería. The drinks are inspired by different countries. You can make a reservation online.
Puerta Uno (Juramento 1667)
A door in Chinatown hides this bar with live music, dim lights and a very original selection of drinks. Very nice setting, and opens until 3am.
Uptown BA (Arévalo 2030)
Everyone probably knows this place by now, so it’s technically not that hidden, even though you can’t see it from the street. It’s located in the basement of the “Live Hotel” complex, which spans a complete block and has multiple restaurants and bars (the main building is an apartment complex).
To get to Uptown BA you have to go down a subway entrance that leads to an exact replica of a New York subway station. The bar menu offers a tour of the iconic neighborhoods of the city.
In Palermo I will skip Franks (Arévalo 1445) and The Hole (Armenia 1743), but if you have never been you should probably visit at least once. These have too much of a “theme park” vibe for my taste, with a high percentage of Instagram Zoomers taking their snapshots everywhere to post online.
Bar 878 (Thames 878)
Hidden behind a wooden door, it was one of the first hidden bars in the city, located in Villa Crespo. Good drinks, and a great setting.
Keep in mind that some of these restaurants only open on specific days of the week, so make sure to plan your reservation in advance.
This list is not extensive, and surely there are places that I don’t know about or forgot about (some that I wanted to include originally are no longer open, which also happens quite often).
Let me know in the comments if you think I missed some.
See you in the Jungle, anon!
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