Soho, Buenos Aires’ chic quarter

(continuer en français) – Last updated: June 12, 2022

The metropolitan area of Buenos Aires has 12 million inhabitants. The Argentine capital is divided into 48 neighbourhoods, each with a degree of administrative identity. Parlermo is the largest, mainly residential neighbourhood. Its wealthy population has created a pleasant living atmosphere.

Within Palermo, Soho is the most attractive area for strolling, shopping and drinking. Many foreign residents have settled here for varying lengths of time, creating a cosmopolitan vibe where travellers can easily find their place.

Soho consists mainly of one- and two-storey houses, leaving the higher buildings on its edges. The streets form a grid of one-way lanes, except for bicycles which have their own two-way lanes.

The streets are shaded by large trees of varying species.

The heart of Soho is the Plaza Julio Cortázar, which everyone still calls Plaza Serrano. Here, the café terraces can spread out without the disturbance of traffic pushed back on only two of its sides.

In part of Serrano Square and in the adjacent streets, on weekends a craft market spreads out its stalls, fostering a bohemian feel in keeping with the local population.

Away from the traffic of the main streets, there are small side streets that connect them. This is where neighbourhood life has found a peaceful refuge. Neighbours set up their chairs here, groups of friends come to sit on pavement, thus escaping the commercial pressure of the café terraces.

It is also in these transverse streets that street art has flourished, dragging all those wishing to be photographed in front of these mostly ephemeral wall decorations.

The small houses in Soho are mostly from the 1930s and 1940s, in a European Art-Deco style. There is a strong tendency to cover the facades with street art-inspired paintings, as if to guard against graffiti. Large painted faces on the walls follow the passers-by with their gaze.

The nickname of Soho given to this part of Palermo is borrowed from London and New York, where its namesake neighbourhoods are filled with chic and trendy shops. There is a mixture of sophistication and casualness.

Elsewhere in Palermo there are shopping malls or department stores, here they are small boutiques, taking advantage of the old architecture revisited with a contemporary touch

With legislation requiring street corners to be laid out in an octagonal pattern, this widens the intersections which become attractive mini plazas. Argentine cuisine is based on meat, but also opens up to other horizons, and in the summer months the terraces are the most important.

But what you shouldn’t miss are the master ice-cream makers who put their talents at the service of connoisseur customers. Whether it’s dulce de leche or tropical fruits, the flavours are powerful. You have to try maracuyá.

Lucciano is one of those artisanal ice cream shops in Soho offering quality ice cream. Freddo is a chain of ice cream shops that can be found throughout Argentina and even in some other countries.

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19 comments

    • I don’t have much memory for food, but ice cream and sorbets are different. I can remember addresses in Buenos Aires, like in Ipanema or Panama City 🙂

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    • You are perfectly right, they are more or less endured or organised, by the public authorities or by individuals, with or without a message. All in all, they add colour and vibrancy to the city’ s architecture.

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  1. we stayed in Palermo back in 2016. We had seven nights in Buenos Aires and it flew by. Not sure of what to make of the city to be honest. Palermo was certainly a very popular area and more modern that central BA. Musnt have spent time in Soho though because didnt see street art as frequently as this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soho is situated in the south of Palermo and has a bohemian feel, while the north of Palermo is a bit more formal, like the neighbouring La Recoleta.

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