The most basic thing to know before coming to Córdoba (and we’ll assume for now that you’ll be staying in the capital) is where to visit. So this post will give you a brief overview about three of my favorite neighborhoods, or barrios, in Córdoba Capital. I’m biased towards areas with nice restaurants because I’m big on eating out and grabbing drinks with friends, so I’ll throw in restaurant suggestions as well! Also, make sure you check out my website www.travelwithshauna.com to read more posts about Argentina. Now onto those great neighborhoods…
First and foremost, Nueva Córdoba. It’s probably the neighborhood you’ll hear about the most in Córdoba for its nightlife. It’s located in Zona Central, right next to El Centro, the downtown area, and the National University of Cordoba (UNC) campus. You’ll find a young population (18-30) living in and around this neighborhood as well as lots of trendy clothing shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, or boliches. It’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods to live or stay in, but location is everything, so it’s worth the high cost if you can afford it. Usually you’ll be going out in Nueva Córdoba (if nightlife is your thing), so you’ll never have to spend money on a taxi to get home, nor will you have to wait an hour for a bus to pass by really late at night (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds).
Favorite restaurant/bar in Nueva Córdoba
One of my favorite places to go out for a beer with my friends in Nueva Córdoba is Antares on San Lorenzo Street. It’s got a really modern, somewhat industrial look with neutral colors, lots of tables, great service, great atmosphere, and the best happy hour around (2 for 1 beers from 6-8pm, $80 pesos). Plan on getting there around 5:45pm if you want to get seated first for happy hour; the line gets really long. But their famous Papas Antares—fries served with a white sauce, green onions and bacon on top—are worth the wait. The food in general is delicious, but the beer is even better. They brew all their own beers at Antares, and have a huge variety of flavors with different alcohol contents. My personal favorite is Barley Wine, which will give you a nice little buzz after just the first pint.
I’ll leave it at that for now, even though there are dozens of other things I could say about Nueva Córdoba. In general I’d say for location, nightlife, shopping, cleanliness, safety, and overall appearance, Nueva Córdoba is an awesome neighborhood to visit/stay in for anyone, but especially those under 35 years old. If you’re looking for something a little more down to earth and cultural, try heading over to see Nueva Córdoba’s next-door neighbor, Güemes.
Güemes borders Nueva Córdoba and wraps around the canal that runs through the whole city. This bohemian-influenced neighborhood is known for it’s various restaurants and all-year-round weekend craft fair, Paseo de Las Artes.
Paseo de las Artes in Güemes
The fair attracts tons of visitors and locals alike every weekend to browse the endless booths that line the streets. Here you’ll find a huge variety of things, but the majority is full of handmade leather purses, crochet clothing, homemade treats, and handmade bohemian jewelry. Around 6pm the fair starts to get busy, but the best time to go is later at night when the live music/magic/etc. street show takes place. That’s where all the local hippies go when it gets dark, beer (or pipe) in hand with their friends, which adds a little grunge to the chill bohemian vibe of the neighborhood.
Where to eat in Güemes
It’s worth it to spend a night walking the streets and have a nice dinner while you’re at it at one of the restaurants that overlooks the fair. There are way too many restaurant options in Güemes to choose, but the first place that comes to mind is Rooftop, which is a little on the pricy side, but very popular and tasty. Also there’s a little complex of restaurants and shops that was constructed fairly recently about two blocks away from there on Fructuosa Rivera Street: Muy Güemes. It’s like a tiny yet stylish outdoor shopping mall with a couple restaurants, most notably Kiui and El Mentidero. They’re also a little pricy for the younger 20s demographic, but if you want to splurge a bit… And lastly, one that I haven’t personally been to yet but that everyone raves about: El Capitán. I’ve heard the drinks are great, prices are average, and the place is really modern and trendy.
La merienda (afternoon snack)
Want to go to the fair in the afternoon? The afternoons in Argentina are devoted to merienda, a type of snack hour for Argentines. It’s basically a small meal between lunch and dinner where they eat bread or pastries and drink tea, coffee or a traditional drink called mate (pronounced moh-tay). Mate is a really strong and bitter tea that you drink from a gourd (wooden, plastic, squash skin, etc.) and a metal straw, which is called a bombilla (see my blog to read more about mate). If you want to experience a real merienda, head over to Paradojas where they serve you a thermos with hot water and all the mate leaves that you could ask for! You’ll also get a nice basket of bread with butter, jam, and dulce de leche (a type of caramel). On top of all that goodness, the atmosphere is really relaxing; half of the restaurant is on a gravel-covered patio with plants and small wooden tables outside and uncovered so all the sunshine hits you. It’s on the second floor in the center of a complex (shared with another good restaurant called Alfonsina).
CERRO DE LAS ROSAS
Finally, the last neighborhood in my top three favorites is Cerro de las Rosas in Zona Cerro. Far from the other two neighborhoods, El Cerro’s most popular street is Rafael Nuñez, which is the main street where you’ll find lots of really nice restaurants, clubs, supermarkets, clothing shops, etc. Basically everything you need. But there’s a smaller street that runs parallel to that one that is even more awesome: Luis de Tejeda.
Luis de Tejeda
The ultimate, ultimate best street to find a great place to have dinner is on Tejeda. The prices on this street might be a little more expensive than in Nueva Córdoba or Güemes, but not by much. The whole street is very well kept and the restaurants are beautiful inside and out. Plus everything is very close together so it’s easy to walk and find a restaurant that pleases you. Here you can find pizza, crepes, sandwiches, cupcakes, sushi, Mexican food, etc. But my favorite place ever (and most of my sushi-loving friends’ favorite restaurant ever) is Teppanyaki. Although you can definitely spend a fortune here trying all their different rolls and cocktails, it’s definitely worth the splurge! And once again, it’s got great ambiance (I’m big on places with good vibes).
That’s just one of the many tasty, trendy restaurants in El Cerro. But there are always new restaurants and shops springing up on Tejeda as well as on Rafael Nuñez that are turning away from the traditional, boring looking restaurants and turning on to more creative, stylish and attractive restaurants that make you actually want to go inside.
Comments or Questions?
Well folks, I’m gonna wrap it up here because this post is getting too long. There are easily 1 million more things to share with you guys about these neighborhoods, but I’ll have to save it all for more blog posts in the future. Were any of your questions answered? Was this helpful to you? Would you like to hear about anything in more depth? Leave me a comment, and make sure to visit my website www.travelwithshauna.com to get and request more information about Córdoba and Argentina in general. Thanks for reading!