Discovering the traditional Caballito are in Buenos Aires City
So… what about Caballito?
Caballito is a historic neighbourhood in Buenos Aires which manages to maintain a relatively low profile considering its name and location. Caballito means ‘little horse’ but this is not due to a proud history of pony rides. The name in fact came from a weather vane, in the shape of a horse of course, that resided above a landmark local bar frequented by gauchos (Argentine cowboys). It is also the geographical centre of Buenos Aires, on the map it spans from the big green bullseye of Parque Centenario to Avenida Directorio to the south and Avenida Teniente General Donato Alvarez to the west.
Caballito is also my neighbourhood, I have lived there for 3 months now. The first evening I arrived I took a stroll through the cobblestone streets lined with beautiful trees which only continued to show off in new ways their beauty throughout autumn. On my stroll I saw families with young children taking walks or out to dinner, there were countless young people walking their dogs which are always indicators I look for to gauge the relative danger of an area.
Also read: A Guide to Argentina Trains
For me this is a homely neighbourhood, it feels safe and quiet like a secret hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the Micro Centre or Palermo. However I am having my cake and eating it too as only 4 blocks from my home is the historic Subte A line, opened in 1913 it was the first underground subway line in South America and the third in the American Continent. In less than 30 mins I can be in the middle of that hustle and bustle whenever I like. And my rent is half the price. Now it is true that Caballito is a bit of a well-to-do middle class neighbourhood with very little of the infamous Buenos Aires nightlife but I am going to tell you why I love it anyway.
Also Read: Barrios de Buenos Aires Part 1 (unofficial neighborhoods)
Caballito Points Of interest
Historically Caballito was a getaway from the city grind for wealthy Porteños (Buenos Aires residents) whose townhouse mansions can still be found throughout the Barrio (neighbourhood). For architecture buffs the English District has fine examples of these colonial mansions primarily built in Fin de Siècle style, which to this day remain impeccably preserved. Caballito is also home to 2 fabulous green spaces Parque Centenario and Parque Rivadavia. Both always having something going on in their Ferias from craft markets to vintage records, and if the weather is nice the grassy knolls and shady areas will be full of Porteños relaxing while they sip their Mate or socializing over a friendly game of football. For an injection of culture and history Caballito offers the Historic Tramway Museum of Buenos Aires, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (The Argentine Museum of Natural Science) and Asociación Argentina Amigos de La Astronomía (The Argentine Friends of Astronomy Association).
Cobras Libros is not just a bookstore with an incredible selection of local and independent books it is an art space with exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and it’s even a handy place to hire a bike in the summer. The also let you rent their books! Finally Mercado del Progreso is a historic open air market which began in 1889. It acquired its art-deco styled roof in the 1930´s and little has changed since.
Also Read: Historic Tramway or (Tranvia)
Many of the produce and meat stalls have been family-owned since the market’s inception. The market is such a draw that it brings in shoppers from all corners of the city who are keen to snag fresh and tasty groceries.
As I mentioned earlier Caballito is in no way a nightlife destination, sorry but you are going to need to head into those Palermo clubs for your weekly dose of Buenos Aires beloved electronica beats. There are however really great options for a bite to eat or a beer or two. My favourite dinner spot has to be Tierra de Nadie, a hamburger restaurant that delivers on the burgers, pumps the music and keeps the beer flowing (served in slightly peculiar glass milk bottles). I mentioned this burger joint in a previous blog about eating vegetarian in the city, so yes the vege burger is great and I have been informed by very reliable sources the meat ones are bang on too. For a casual beer and bite to eat check out Nesta Reggae Bar it has a varied and cheap menu and of course, because how could it not with that name, it has a great vibe. The only thing not ‘tranquillo’ about this place is trying to get a table because it is usually packed. And last but by no means least if you really want to get in the thick of it grab a few beers at Caballito´s sports themed bar Locos de el Fútbol (Football Crazy). The is the prime place to be during a football match, just be prepared to get lively with the locals.
If you are in Palermo and want to go to Caballito to for example eat at Locos por el Futbol simply follow this map
Final Words about Caballito
Caballito is classy and kirky, an understated barrio with tree-lined avenues, cobblestone streets and some beautiful parks. Buskers performing to the lines of cars sitting behind red lights is a common sight around these parts. I personally think we have the School of Philosophy and all it’s eccentric students to thank for the majority of these buskers being circus acts, clowns, jugglers and even clarinet soloists. It has no shortage of amenities and it is incredibly well serviced by the subte and buses. Honestly, Caballito is not known as a place to rush to visit but if you choose to make it your home while you’re in Buenos Aires, as I have, you might just never want to leave.
Did you visit Caballito?. What did you liked or didn’t like about it?. We would love to hear your opinion!
For more information about Caballito contact Vamos Spanish Academy. Our we offer Spanish in Buenos Aires for people wanting to Learn Spanish in Argentina. Come visit us at Viamonte 1516, CABA Phone 011 59842201