Boedo, Buenos Aires: A Neighborhood Guide

Boedo is a dense working class neighborhood in the heart of Buenos Aires.

It’s famous for its tango history and literary cafes, a unique identity that dates back to when this bustling city barrio was actually a rural suburb.

On the outskirts of town, the “suburb” of Boedo was home to dairies and slaughterhouses.

On the contrary, today this tiny barrio hardly has any green spaces to stretch out in.

Boedo is pure city.

Wedge out some time to visit if you want to see an authentic corner of Buenos Aires far from the tourist circuit.

This post will give you a bit of historic context and the best things to do in Boedo, Buenos Aires.

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What to do in Boedo, Buenos Aires

The best things to do in Boedo are all within a few blocks from each other and coincidentally are largely historic cafe bars.

During the 1920’s a group of politically charged writers called Grupo Boedo met in the back of a bar at Av Boedo 837/39.

The working class group leaned heavily to the left, in contrast to the more elitist Grupo Florida that met downtown.

Grupo Boedo was founded by Antonio Zamora, a political journalist, and its members included a number of famous writers including Nicolas Olivari and Roberto Arlt (who were actually members of both Grupo Boedo and Grupo Florida).

Along with politics, tango also has a strong foothold in Boedo’s history, with musicians regularly meeting at Esquina Homero Manzi (a corner that still breathes tango to this day).

So grab a newspaper and head to one of Boedo’s historic cafes, like a local.

Boedo Map

You can see that everything here is within a few blocks from each other so you this is a quick little tour of Boedo. Combine it with another barrio nearby for a full day, like Caballito or Almagro.

💡Boedo gets its name from Mariano Joaquin Boedo who played an important role in Argentina’s fight for independence. As representative for Salta at the Congress of Tucuman, he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Esquina Homero Manzi

Originally called Canadian, Homero Manzi wrote the famous tango Sur sitting at a table here in 1948. Later, another famous musician, Anibol Troilo, put it to music.

A seemingly endless list of tango stars have frequented this corner, which changed its name to Esquina Homero Manzi in 1981.

In 1999 the cafe closed its doors but not for long, re-opening in 2001 and remaining open to this day with daily tango shows that keep the barrio’s tango spirit alive.

You can go to a show yourself to see a proper show in a historic location, click here to book your seats.

Cafe Margot

Just a few blocks further down Avenida Boedo is another historic cafe, Cafe Margot.

This emblematic bar is warm, with worn wooden tables and chairs atop a black and white checkered floor, surrounded by exposed brick and chalkboard menus.

My favorite thing to order in just about any Bar Notable (historic cafes in Buenos Aires) is the picada (local spin on charcuterie), but if you want to try the house specialty here order the pavita en escabeche sandwich, or pickled turkey (it’s so much tastier than it sounds, trust me).

Legend has it that in the 1950’s, President Juan Domingo Perón stopped his motorcade to try the pavita here.

There’s plenty of outdoor seating but definitely snag a table in the small interior for ultimate charm.

Museo Monte de Piedad

Charity isn’t what typically comes to mind when you think of bank, but this free museum above the Banco Ciudad just across from Cafe Margot begs to differ.

The museum narrates the economic history of Buenos Aires starting with the arrival of immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, weaving in the evolution of what was to become the present day Banco Ciudad.

Originally called Monte Pío in the Buenos Aires province over 150 years ago, the foundation eventually evolved into the Banco Municipal de Préstamos and today, Banco de la Ciudad.

Its original function was, in reality, a pawn shop, allowing those in need to bring in their valuables to receive a loan.

The spirit of the bank continued to focus on helping the working class throughout the years and I found the museum to be a LOT more interesting and informative than I expected (honestly, I had low hopes for a free museum located above a bank).

If you’re in the area, I think this small museum is definitely worth the time.

Go to a San Lorenzo Game

The San Lorenzo de Almagro stadium is located here in Boedo, so for a perfectly Buenos Aires experience, go to a game!

Going to a football game in Buenos Aires is a once in a lifetime experience, and while most people dream about a Boca Juniors match, you really shouldn’t discard smaller teams like San Lorenzo.

They’re still a first division team and the barrio’s passion for the team is strong. I find these teams are a lot more enjoyable to watch than the big two of Boca and River.

I go to games with Homefans – check out their San Lorenzo experiences here – because going with a local fan is both the safest and most enjoyable way to go to a game. [💸Discount – use code SOLSALUTE for 10% off]

They’ll help you navigate the stadium (it isn’t always as straight forward as you expect) and you’ll go with a great group of visitors.

Paragüería Víctor

This may a bit niche but if you’re in the market for an umbrella head to Paragüería Víctor on the corner of Independencia and Colombres streets.

Elías Fernández Pato and his son Victor own and operate the last remaining umbrella shop in Buenos Aires, open since 1957.

I have to say that I love the small mom and pop shops in Buenos Aires and a store dedicated to umbrellas has a particularly special charm to it.

It isn’t easy for these shops to stay in business these days so pop in for an umbrella or three! ☂

The Charm of Boedo

Being far from the tourist circuit (and it feeling like it), Boedo is pure Buenos Aires.

When I first moved here in 2010, all of my co-workers lived here or nearby. They preferred the authentic feel and the (obligatory) chance to practice their Spanish. If you plan on living in Buenos Aires, this is a wonderful place to base yourself to sink into the local scene.

If you’re only visiting, then I highly recommend coming for an afternoon or evening out. Have a drink at Cafe Margot before a late night tango show at Homero Manzi.

Walking the city? From here you can explore other neighborhoods nearby like Almagro or Caballito to keep exploring a local side of Buenos Aires.

More Buenos Aires Guides:

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