Souvenir Shopping (Self Guided), Buenos Aires

It would be a pity to leave Buenos Aires without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Buenos Aires, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: Argentina » Buenos Aires (See other walking tours in Buenos Aires)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 Km or 3.7 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Arandu
  • Comme Il Faut
  • Rossi & Caruso
  • Winery
  • Just for Sport
  • Havanna
  • Ligiers
1
Arandu

1) Arandu

What to buy here: Mate set.

Mate is the Argentine equivalent of tea and an integral part of the culture. In fact, the city’s “porteños” (locals) don’t go anywhere without their mate kit, which comprises of a special mate cup or matecito (traditionally a hollowed out gourd), a bombilla (metal straw flattened at one end and perforated at the other), a flask of hot water and a bag of herby yerba leaves that come from an evergreen tree. Drinking mate is a very sociable custom and comes with its own set of rules. To make the mate brew, you have to fill the matecito half full with yerba leaves and slowly add very hot (but not boiling) water from a flask. The cup is passed around a group of people in a clockwise order. Each drinker sips the mate through the bombilla before handing it back to the mate maker to be refilled. It’s either drunk “amagro” (bitter) or dulce (sweetened with sugar).

This artisanal Mate tea set from Arandu is made from gourd and alpaca silver and includes a mate cup and bombilla and matching yerba leaf and sugar containers. You can buy a bag of yerba tea leaves in any local supermarket.

Price: around AR$ 490.

Arandu, Paraguay 1259, Barrio Norte, 4816 3689, www.arandu.com.ar, Business hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 8.30pm, Saturday, 9.30am to 1.30pm
2
Comme Il Faut

2) Comme Il Faut

What to buy here: Tango shoes.

As any professional tanguera will tell you, you can’t dance tango well without a good pair of tango heels – something that combines comfort and durable soles with elegance and a heavy dose of sparkle. And nowhere does them better than the birthplace of tango itself, Buenos Aires.

Numerous tango shoe designers have appeared on the scene in the last few years catering to the younger, hip crowd of tango dancers but one of the best in town is Comme Il Faut, founded by shoe and tango devotee Alicia Muñiz. The local brand’s elegant yet comfortable shoes, designed for dancers by dancers, appeal to both professional tango dancers and women seeking an eye-catching one-of-a-kind pair of evening shoes. Their exotic limited edition designs are colorful and incorporate high quality leather and other textured materials and come in a range of sizes. Price: available on request.

Comme Il Faut, Arenales 1239, Door 3, Apartment M, Rues des Artisans, Recoleta, 4815 5690, www.commeilfaut.com.ar; Business Hours: Monday to Friday, 11am to 7pm / Saturdays, 11am to 3pm.
3
Rossi & Caruso

3) Rossi & Caruso

What to buy here: Leather jacket.

A classic leather jacket never goes out of fashion and is a good solid style investment. In Buenos Aires, there are leather jackets to suit every taste imaginable but the quality and tailoring of the jackets varies depending on where you go so be sure to shop around.

For some of the best leather products in town, try family-run Rossi & Caruso, in business since 1862. Their products are distinguished by top quality workmanship and attention to detail. In particular, their leather jackets and vests, for men and women, come in a range of classic cuts and colors and are crafted from top notch leather that’s beautifully soft to the touch. Price: Women’s leather jackets start at around $1,400.

Rossi & Caruso, Posadas 1387 / 1379, Recoleta, 4811 1965, www.rossicaruso.com.
4
Winery

4) Winery

What to buy here: Bottle of Malbec Wine.

Argentines consume vast quantities of red wine for good reason; the country produces some of the best red wine in the world. Malbec is Argentina’s signature grape and makes a rich wine favored for its velvety texture and heady mix of fruity and spicy flavors.

One of the country’s most famous wineries is Catena Zapata and serious vinophiles will appreciate the love and attention that has gone into a Catena Zapata Wine. Based in Argentina’s biggest wine region Mendoza, it is a family-run winery famous for revolutionizing wine cultivation by planting vineyards at high altitudes and experimenting with scientific processes to produce world-class Malbec.

The Catena Zapata 2005 “Malbec Argentino” is a limited edition wine made from a carefully selected blend of grapes from the company’s best vineyards. The wine is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels. Price: around ARS $600

Winery, Avenida Roque S. Peña 555, Centro, 4343 7400, winery.com.ar

Business Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 2pm
5
Just for Sport

5) Just for Sport

What to buy here: Boca Juniors football shirt.

Argentina’s passion for football is up there with its love of red wine, steak and tango. The locals are fervent football fans, and take the game very seriously. One of the city’s most beloved and successful teams is Boca Juniors from the colorful La Boca neighborhood in the south of the city, where the infamous Diego Maradona first started his football career. The team’s strip is bright blue and yellow (legend has it that the colors were inspired by the Swedish flag, the first boat to arrive in the La Boca harbor).

You’ll see Boca Juniors football shirts on sale all over the city but to ensure you’ve got the real thing and not a fake, it’s advisable to buy one from a sports shop rather than a street stall or tourist stall (otherwise it may have fallen apart at the seams before you’ve even got it home).

Price: ARS $369.

Just for Sport, Florida 774, Centro, 4328 0140; Business Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 9pm.
6
Havanna

6) Havanna

What to buy here: Box of Alfajores.

Alfajores are another one of Argentina’s guilty pleasures and the perfect sugary snack with a coffee. Different to the original Spanish cylinder-shaped confection which traditionally contains honey, almonds and spices, the Argentine version is circular and falls somewhere between a cookie and a cake. It most commonly consists of milk, dark or white chocolate-coated layers of biscuit filled with chocolate, Dulce de Leche, jam or even mousse.

You’ll find alfajores in virtually every “kiosco” in the city but the alfajores from Argentine food company and coffee shop chain Havanna, in business since the 1950s, are regarded as some of the best in the country and come in a variety of flavors.

Price: A box of 12 alfajores costs AR$55.

Havanna, Florida 948, Centro (multiple locations around the city) www.havanna.com.ar/

Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:30 pm; Saturday: 9:00 am - 8:30 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm.
7
Ligiers

7) Ligiers

What to buy here: Fernet.

For those who prefer hard liquor to the grape, Argentina has harbored a love for Fernet, a bitter, aromatic spirit, since the 1800s. The syrupy drink’s original purpose was to cleanse the system after a heavy meal or rid the body of contaminants in the water and even today Fernet is touted for its medicinal benefits and is believed to alleviate stomach pains and hangovers due to its herbal contents. It’s made from around 40 to 50 different herbs and spices such as myrrh, chamomile, cardamom and saffron and characterized by a medicinal, earthy taste (not dissimilar to mouth wash). The Argentines most commonly like to mix it with Coca Cola (and a few cubes of ice) or have it as a digestif on the rocks, but it goes well with soda water too.

For a long time the Italian brand Fernet Branca was the most popular Fernet on the market but the Argentine brand 1882 has recently emerged and attracted a strong following of Fernet drinkers. Price: A 750cc bottle of Fernet 1882 is ARS $36

Ligiers, Tte. Gral. J. D.Peron 1621, Centro, 5353 8075, www.vinotecaligier.com; Business hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm.

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