Los LaurelesSituated in Barracas in the south of the city, Los Laureles is a little out of the way from the normal expat stomping grounds of Palermo and San Telmo. In 2009 I spent a few months in Barracas volunteering for a kid’s club so I know a little of the area but haven’t had reason to head down there recently. Getting there couldn’t be easier – the number 12 passes in front of my flat and drops me less than a block from the bar. Immediately on getting off the bus, there is a change of pace from the chaos of the centre. Avenida Iriarte is a wide avenue with a wide dividing area complete with benches and chess tables. It has a dusty, provincial feel to it, far-removed from where I started my journey. The bar itself sits on a street corner next to a busy railway bridge. It’s a large space filled with tables, some plain and others laid with tablecloths for lunch.
Pictures. newspaper clippings and boards advertising the day’s specials line the wall. It’s not busy when I go, but the employees all seem to be doing something and give the bar life.
Opened in 1909, and one of the few buildings in the area remaining from that period, the bar has always been an important part of life in the barrio. Closed in the evenings during the week, at weekends it clears the tables and comes to life as a milonga giving locals the chance to listen to and dance tango.
Los Laureles is a classic bar, in an out-of-way part of town but has enough going for it that it is most definitely worth a detour.
Bar Los Laureles: Avenida Iriarte 2290
Colectivos: 12, 102
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.
For more on what the barrio has to offer, see Robert Wright’s excellent series on the architecture and history of Barracas.