Posted in Recreation on December 17, 2012
Buenos Aires is well known for its fashion shopping in Recoleta and Palermo Soho, but as one begins to wander around the many streets and barrios of BA, they may start to notice certain streets containing stores of the same category, for example a street where all the stores are computer stores. There is no specific name for these kinds of streets, the closest I have found is called “Calles por Rubros” (Streets by item). The same is true for Galerías, which can be considered “mini malls” and are often hard to spot. Some of them might contain stores all pertaining to the same type of goods, for example, electronics. There is not a lot of information on “Calles Por Rubros” or Galerías on the internet, so this guide is a result of personal experience over the years. I have come across these streets by either accident (passing in a taxi or walking by) or from recommendations by people when I was searching for some specific item.
What makes these streets valuable is the higher density and variety of products that you will encounter in a city where some things are hard to come by. For example, a couple weeks ago I was looking for a iron-cast dutch oven, a very popular cooking item used by chefs and I couldn’t find one in the kitchenware section of Coto. I started looking around online and came across a post by NOLAChef about how she found one in the “Restaurant Supply District” in San Cristobal. I had no idea there was a “Restaurant Supply District” and sure enough when I went to the intersection of Jujuy and Juan De Garay, Jujuy was filled with cooking gear shops. Not only did I find a dutch oven, but I also picked up an electronic scale that I couldn’t find in Coto either.
The goal of this guide is to serve as a reference to all the Calles por Rubros and Galería’s I have come across in Buenos Aires. Hopefully folks who know of other streets will let us know in the comments!!
Without further ado……
Restaurant/Cooking Supplies – South on Jujuy Street from Juan De Garay – San Cristobal
As I mentioned in the intro, The stretch of Jujuy street going south from Juan De Garay is full of restaurant supply shops. This is the place where most restaurants in Buenos Aires get their cooking gear. If there is something you can’t find in a normal home appliance place, chances are you will be able to find it here.
Music Instruments – Sarmiento between Cerrito and Callao and Talcahuano between Corrientes and Rivadavia – Tribunales/Congreso
Head to the corner of Sarmiento and Talcahuano and walk down either street in each direction and you will find both streets filled with musical instrument shops. If you are looking to buy a musical instrument, effects pedals, amps, etc, chances are you will be able to find it in one of the stores on these streets.
Imported Foods – China Town, Belgrano
While not technically a “Calle De Rubro”, China Town in Belgrano is where you will find a good amount of imported foods. Anywhere from peanut butter to hot sauces, this is the place to go if you are looking for a special food item.
Camping/Hiking/Fishing Gear – Paraná between Rivadavia and Marcelo T. de Alvear – Barrio Norte/Tribunales
If you are planning on a camping, fishing or hiking trip to many of the amazing places Argentina has to offer, Paraná street is the place to buy some gear. While the selection is definitely not up to par with what you will find in a place like Erehwon in the states, the stores on Paraná are you best bet to find what you are looking for.
If you are looking for camping gear, there is a higher density of strictly camping shops between Marcelo T. de Alvear and Tucamán, while for fishing gear head between Rividavia and Corrientes.
Alternative Lifestyle Items – Marijuana gear, Tattoos and Skateboarding – Bond Street Galería – Barrio Norte – Santa Fe 1670
Galería Bond Street is a fun place to check out even if you aren’t planning on buying anything. It has been around since the 60′s and has been a hub of underground culture ever since. If you are frustrated with the wooden pipe you bought from a rasta hippie at the San Telmo fair, the stores in Galería Bond Street sell quality glass pipes along with bongs, hookahs, etc. Basically you typical headshop/smoke shop. There are also Marijuana growing stores that sell all the gear you need. The tattoo studios in Bond street are well known and high quality. It also has stores dedicated to skateboarding, fashion and music.
Computers/Electronics – Galería Jardin – Microcentro – Florida 537
If you are a computer person who likes to build their own computers, whatever you need you will likely find in Galería Jardin. Coolers, RAM, CPU, Graphic Cards, networking, printers etc. For the common folk who just need a random item pertaining to computers like a mouse or keyboard, the shops in Galería Jardin probably offer you the best prices compared to Compumundo or Musimundo. It also has shops dedicated to videogames (xbox, PS#) and electronics like digital cameras.
Antiques – San Telmo – Defensa Street
This is well known, but Defensa street in San Telmo is the place to go if you are looking for quality Antiques. Many of the shops that line up on Defensa are dedicated solely to antiques.
Flea Markets – Mercado de San Telmo, Mercado de Pulgas
Besides the well known San Telmo fair on Sundays, San Telmo also has the classic Mercado de San Telmo (Defensa 961), which houses all kinds of flea market type stands, fruit stands and also some of the best coffee in the city.
The Mercado de Pulgas (Alvarez Thomas and Dorrego) in Colegiales is also a great flea market where many hidden gems can be found.
THE BARRIO OF ONCE IS FILLED WITH CALLES POR RUBROS
The following are some examples. There are probably many more that I am missing out on, so if you know of anymore in Once, please let us know in the comments.
Textiles & Fabrics – Lavalle Between Pasteur and Pueryrredón in Once
Interested in making your own clothing, bags, flags, backpacks, window shades, towels, etc? The textile district in Once on Lavalle is your one stop shop. The street is lined with textiles shops to suit your every need.
Costume & Party Stores – Lavalle between Callao and Pasteur – Once
Looking to buy or rent a costume for a crazy party? Lavalle between Callao and Pasteur is filled with tiendas de disfraces. Some of the stores also focus on party supplies.
Haberdashers – Lavalle between Pueyrredón and Azcuénaga – Once
You might have noticed a trend…Lavalle is a popular street for specialty stores. Mixed in with the textile stores are Mercerías or in English Haberdashers. Never heard of the word “Haberdasher”? It is the name of a store that sells sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, zips, etc. In Spanish the stores are called Mercerías.
Curtain Stores – Calle Azcuénaga between Viamonte and Corrientes – Once
Hey buddy! Do you need some Curtains?! Well guess what, I have just the street for you!! It is called Azcuénaga and the high concentration of Curtain stores is located between Viamonte and Corrientes!! To be more specific that is like the 400 block of Azcuénaga!! Yes!!! I love curtains!!!
Weird Birthday Party Items/Cortillon – Calle Pasteur 500 Block – Once
What the heck is Cortillon?? It is weird fucking birthday party items. The little knick knacks you see at birthday parties where there is probably a clown doing magic tricks. Confetti, piñatas, that type of stuff.
Female Underwear & Lingerie – 100 to 300 blocks of Paso and Larrea, 2500 to 2700 Blocks of Sarmiento – Once
Yes, there are even streets dedicated to Female underwear and Lingerie in Buenos Aires! I am not a lady, so I am not aware of the quality of the goods, but the stores are in Once, so it can be assumed that the prices will be good.
Watch Stores – Pasteur between Corrientes and Perón – Once
Watch out, Pasteur between Corrientes and Perón is filled with watch stores. You better time your visit wisely, you don’t want to go at night and get clocked in the head with a metal pipe. Ok, bad attempt at time-based puns. Anyways, if you are looking to buy a watch or get one fixed, check out Pasteur.
Furniture – Ave Belgrano between Jujuy and Entre Rios – San Cristobal
For anybody looking to buy furniture, Avenida Belgrano is the place to go. From uber trendy and modern to antique and classic, Avenida Belgrano is filled with furniture shops for a good ten blocks or so. Some blocks get even more specific, for example, stores of only furniture for children. Its best to check out Avenida Belgrano before heading to any store in Palermo, as the prices are lower and the same quality and style exists.
Auto Parts – Avenida Warnes between Manuel Ricardo Trelles & Juan B. Justo – Villa Crespo
For those who own a car in Buenos Aires, anything car related can be found on Avenida Warnes. Car check-ups, service, auto parts, etc can all be found on Warnes.
Leather – Murillo between Scalabrini Ortiz and Juan B Justo – Villa Crespo
For those making the trip to Buenos Aires, it is a good idea to pick up some leather products as the quality is high and the prices are usually lower. Calle Murillo in Villa Crespo is the Leather district of Buenos Aires, with quality leather jackets, belts, home accessories, etc filling the stores.
Outlet Stores – Calle Aguirre and Gurruchaga. Also, Ave Cordoba between Lavalleja and Thames – Villa Crespo
While not specifically concentrated by stores of the same items, Villa Crespo has become well known for its high concentration of outlet stores from international and local brands alike. The main outlet area is centered around Aguirre and Gurruchaga. There is also a high amount of outlet stores running along Cordoba.
Reconquista Between Paraguay y Alem – After Office Irish Bars – Microcentro
For those looking to start their drinking at around 7 as opposed to midnight, Reconquista is the place to go. The street is filled with “after office” bars that have good happy hour specials and there is also a high concentration of Irish Bars. Check out Reconquista between Paraguay and Alem and you will find a bar to suit your needs. Other bars can be found going south on Reconquista from Cordoba, but the high concentration is between Paraguay and Alem.
Yarn and Knitting Stores – 900-1000 blocks of Scalibrini Ortiz – Villa Crespo
While not completely filled with yarn stores, the stretch of Scalibrini Ortiz between Córdoba and Corrientes is scattered to stores dedicated to wool and other like products. If you are a big knitter, this is the place to go. The stores are concentrated around the 900 and 1000 blocks of Scalibrini Ortiz.
Art and Design Galleries – Calle Arroyo between plaza Carlos Pellegrini and Juncal y Esmeralda – Retiro
Calle Arroyo is the place to go if you are looking to check out high end art and design galleries. The place reeks of sophistication and anything bought here will surely put a dent in pocketbooks. But it is worth a visit, especially when once a month on a Friday the noche de galerias takes place.
Jewelry Stores – Libertad entre Rivadavia y Corrientes – Tribulnales
Looking to win the heart of a special loved one with a big fat rock? Or maybe just a bracelet…. Libertad between Rivadavia and Corrientes is the Jewelry district of Buenos Aires. Its pretty straight forward, the street is filled with Jewelry stores selling gold, silver, etc!!!
Second Hand Electronics – Libertad between Corrientes y Lavalle – Tribunales
It is just one block, but if you are looking to buy some second hand electronics, do a trade or sell something, check out the 400 block of Libertad.
Affordable Furniture and Hand Crafted Items – Tigre – Puerta de frutos
For those willing to make the journey north to Tigre, the Puerta De Frutos is a great place to visit. It has TONs of stores and also a flea market type atmosphere with different stands selling hand-crafted items. We bought a wooden dresser there for 250 pesos.
Hopefully this guide has been worthwhile for you in your quest to buy certain items in Buenos Aires. Please please please! lets us know in the comments any other streets that you know of in the comments that only contain one type of store. I am also looking for more information on specialty Galerías. I only have two listed in this guide and they are hard to find. Happy Shopping!!!