Ask A Porteño: 15 Questions With Buenos Aires Native Cynthia Vilaplana

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Each month we ask a Porteño (Buenos Aires Native) the same 15 questions with the goal of getting a unique perspective on Buenos Aires that visitors and expats alike can learn from. In this month’s inaugural addition we meet up with Cynthia Vilaplana, A Spanish Teacher and Journalist.

Cynthia Vilaplana: Age 33. Lives in Almagro. Born in Flores. Private Spanish Teacher at Speak Spanish BA.

1. Describe a perfect day in Buenos Aires for you?
My favorite day is Saturday because you can sleep in and enjoy breakfast. In the afternoon I like to meet up with my friends, ride bikes, check out a market and drink mate. At night eat something tasty, preferably delivery and afterwards go out to a bar or watch a movie at home.

2. Where would you bring someone who is visiting Buenos Aires for the first time?
I would take them to the San Telmo Market if it is Sunday, a parrilla and a milonga. The most important thing is that they experience the culture, so I would bring them somewhere where I go with my friends.

3. Do you have any preferences on where to go shopping or any secrets?
I like to shop for cheap things, haha, so in that regard it is best to head to Once or Calle Avellaneda. On the weekends the bars and nightclubs of Palermo around Plaza Serrano turn into a clothing fair where you can buy fashionable clothes at a good price.

4. What is your favorite restaurant and why?
I will tell you two. One expensive and one with average prices. My favorite expensive restaurant is Osaka, which is a fusion of japonese and peruvian food. The sushi and ceviche are delicious. The other is Las Cabras (o La Cholita same restaurant and owner, different name and location) because you can eat Argentine food at a great price. I love the Humita en Chala and the empanadas from there.

5. What is your favorite Parrilla and why?
El 22, because I find it to be a good average between price and quality.

6. What place has the best empanadas and why?
El Gourmet which is only delivery makes tasty, well filled empanadas and has a lot of variety. A great hole in the wall place is La Simona (Acuña de Figueroa 1317) in Palermo Viejo. From a sit-down restaurant, I would say that the empanadas from 1810 (3 locations, Palermo, Belgrano, Microcentro) are great.

7. What is your favorite empanada flavor?
Humita, which is corn in a white sauce. I also love carne picante and carne dulce.

8. Besides meat and empanadas, what is an Argentine food that everyone has to try?
Locro is a classic, pastel de papas and el choripán. For something sweet, alfajores and facturas with dulce de leche.

9. What is your favorite bar/club?
You Know my Name, it has a good crowd (around my age) and the music is great.

10. What do you love about Buenos Aires?
There is always something to do: an event, a fair or market, a tasting, an exhibition, etc.

11. What do you hate about Buenos Aires?
There is a lot of trash, the dog poop in the streets, like every big city it is noisy and the traffic can be horrible and caotic.

12. If a tourist wants to spend time in Buenos Aires like a local, what should they do, where should they go?
They should live with a Porteña family, try to meet people from Buenos Aires, you could do this for example in a Peña. They could rent a bike and go the first sunday of every month to La Masa Crítica.

13. What is an authentic cultural experience in Buenos Aires where there are no tourists?
I would say a Peña more than a Milonga, but there are tourists everywhere. They could go and eat at Bellagamba (there are a lot).

14. What is your favorite Neighborhood? Why?
I am from Flores, I like it, it is a relaxing place. I also like Almagro because it is up and coming with lovely bars and restaurants.

15. What is your favorite destination in Argentina outside of Buenos Aires to travel to? Why?
My favorite place to visit would be Villa Angostura. It is a small little village near Bariloche in the province of Neuquén. I love it because it is very relaxing and in the middle of nowhere, looks like Switzerland and all the buildings are made of wood.

Cynthia Vilaplana has been giving private Spanish lessons to students from all over the world for the last 6 years. If you are interested in private lessons with her, contact here at {speakspanishba}{@}{gmail}{dot}{com} or on her website.


2 Responses to “Ask A Porteño: 15 Questions With Buenos Aires Native Cynthia Vilaplana”

  1. Andi says:

    2 things… #1 I just tried Osaka 2 weeks ago for the first time and it was absolutely amazing, wow! #2 Humita is my favorite empanada too!

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