The charming and intriguing residential neighbourhood of Chacarita is located in the northern-central portion of Buenos Aires, flanked by barrios Colegiales, Palermo, Villa Crespo, La Paternal and Villa Ortúzar. It is known to many only for its namesake cemetery, 20 times larger than the more famous Recoleta, and the largest in Argentina, which holds the grave of legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel. Chacarita gets its name from the word chácara, meaning “small farms” owned by the Jesuits – to whom the barrio used to belong until around 1767.
With a laid-back vibe and tree-lined avenues, the neighbourhood’s streets practically beg to be wandered down, its delights largely underrated and unexplored by the city’s guidebooks. The barrio is undoubtedly up-and-coming, with many locals pointing to Chacarita’s close proximity to hip Palermo Hollywood (just a stone’s throw away) as the influence behind the increasing number of hotspots popping up around the barrio.
The Indy set out to discover the hidden gems and unmissable spots that Chacarita has to offer, from killer coffee, to local art, and a gastronomic journey you’re sure to rave about. Here is our ‘not to be missed’ list:
In a city with countless ferias and mercados, El Galpón has managed to create a unique space with a simple ethos: to eat and live without pillaging the planet. Nestled at the end of a cobble-stoned path off of the bustling Avenida Federico Lacroze, a yellow tin building surrounded by disused trains offers solely organic, locally sourced produce. Inside, vegetables and fruits, meat, bread, dairy products, canned treats, and natural cosmetics can all be found, along with a similarly only-organic restaurant.
The market is committed to selling fairly-priced goods, sold directly from the producers and regulated as a co-operative. It works by collecting a ticket for what you fancy that day (think stinky cheeses or a hunk of organic salami) and paying at the centre till, before collecting your goods from the individual stalls.
A trip to Galpón is like stepping out of the city for a while, with market goers and sellers relaxed, friendly and welcoming. Follow the signs pinned around the area to find the easily missed market.
The farmer’s market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 9am-6pm, and can be found on Federico Lacroze 4171. More information about the project’s inspiring ethos and producers can be found here.
You’ve probably heard of this place if you read any Buenos Aires-based food blogs or run in coffee-loving circles, but there’s good reason why this place has garnered such praise. Full City has become a beloved spot in Chacarita for their criminally good coffee, offerings of traditional Colombian dishes such as arepas, and chic, cosy setting.
The café roasts their own 100% Colombian coffee locally, and you can choose your poison and desired strength from their extensive menu, and purchase it in bags to enjoy at home.
Owned and run by Colombian-UK couple, Victoria Angarita and Allan Dorgan, Victoria herself comes from renowned coffee making stock (her father is an expert in the field and founder of coffee school EduCafés). Full City also hosts coffee brewing masterclasses, with the current run taking place over the months of May, June, and July.
You might find yourself planning your next visit before you’ve even finished your first cup, and why not because as their motto so aptly says, “life’s too short for bad coffee”. Amen.
Full City Coffee can be found on Jorge Newbery 3663 and is open Monday to Friday 9am-7pm and Saturdays from 10am-3pm. More information here.
Next up is the intimate closed-door restaurant, Casa Felix, which has been hailed as one of the finest restaurants in the city since its opening in 2008.
A night a Casa Felix begins in the home of Sanra and Diego with a cocktail paired with a bite of heaven with their seasonal hors d’oeuvre in their charming garden. The small group of 15 guests then proceed to individual tables in the dining room, where the five course-tasting menu commences.
Guests can expect a pescetarian menu “inspired by Latin American aromas, spices and ingredients”, though the exact content changes weekly according what local produce they can source (and grow in their back garden). Think peanut soup with comfit tomatoes and chilli oil to start, with a fish topped mole main that had guests searching for superlatives, finished off with a quinoa, jasmine, white chocolate, and flower petal dessert.
The atmosphere is instantly warm and welcoming, with a twinkly candle lit and eclectic setting, and flawless service by the delightful Sanra.
Reservations at Casa Felix are a must and you can email email@example.com to make yours. Dinners start at 9.30pm with the tasting menu coming in at $230 per person not including wine. The chef is more than accommodating to vegetarian and vegan diets. More information can be found on their website here.Central Newbery Art Gallery
Taking a break from all things food and drink and leaning towards a bit of culture, Central Newbery is located on a corner of the slow-paced and pretty Jorge Newbery. Its accessible collections, frequently-changing exhibitions, and regular workshops have made it a go-to spot for the barrio’s art lovers.
The building formerly functioned as the Esnaola sweet factory, leaving the space with its high ceilings, vast stretches of wall, and giant windows. The gallery is now run by artists themselves and features an impressive selection of paintings and sculptures, and a quaint shop where visitors can purchase prints, homewares, and artistic objects.
The gallery also hosts a unique selection of classes and workshops, which in the past have ranged from history of art seminars to practical photography sessions for beginners.
The Indy was told of their next event, which will focus on the spread and promotion of photography and photography books. From the 8th to 25th August, the 12º Feria de Libros de Fotos de Autor will fill the gallery with photographers, photography lovers, publishers, collectors and gallery owners from around the city and country.
Central Newbery is located on Jorge Newbery 3599 and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 2-8pm. More information can be found here.
Sometime theatre, sometime concert venue, La Playita is an offbeat and under the radar cultural space that offers everything from jazz nights to wacky plays and alternative bands. In their own words, La Playita “is the only shed that looks like a person. Who? A cute someone. Theatre building, Musical Box, Parking Cultubar, Dressed-up Toilet”.
La Playita has an uber-relaxed, indie vibe, and is the kind of place you want to go with friends in order to witness some local talent over a couple of drinks. Just take your pick from their bustling schedule which sees the space open up almost every evening for a completely different performance, or take a gamble and head along from around 9pm to see what kooky delight is on offer that night.
Their regularly updated Facebook page is a go to source to find an alternative and offbeat selection of evening activities.
La Playita is located at Rosetti 722, on the corner of Avenida Federico Lacroze. Check out their website here.