Introduction to Parque Patricios
Parque Patricios is a working-class barrio situated on the southeastern side of Buenos Aires City. It shares its borders with Constitución, Barracas, Nueva Pompeya, Boedo and San Cristóbal. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Downtown Buenos Aires.
In the early 19th century, the area of Parque Patricios was the site of numerous slaughterhouses, mainly operated by the old Mataderos del Sur (“Slaughterhouses of the South”). Because the company provided many employment opportunities, the barrio grew rapidly. At the time, Parque Patricios was known as “Barrio de las Ranas,” a titled shared with nearby Nueva Pompeya. (Ranas is an Argentine slang term for “wise men.”)
In the early 1900s the barrio underwent a transformation. First, the slaughterhouses were torn down and moved to the now aptly named Mataderos. In their place, parks, housing and hospitals were built. Today the barrio remains a predominately industrial area, with factories providing residents with jobs.
Things to See and Do in Parque Patricios
At the heart of the barrio is Parque Florentino Ameghino, a large tree-lined plaza frequented by locals. On the weekend, an extensive artisanal market sets up around the perimeter of the plaza. Here you can shop for local handicrafts, second-hand goods and other bric-a-brac. Look for the statue in the center of the plaza. It pays homage to the victims of the yellow fever epidemic of 1871.
Another attraction is Club Atlético Huracán, a century-old soccer club that competes in the second tier of the Argentine soccer league and plays at the Estadio Tomás A. Ducó. The stadium itself is crumbling but has a welcoming charm, especially for true soccer enthusiasts. Tickets are often easy to come by and can usually be purchased on match days. Conveniently, the 118 bus starts and finishes its route about two blocks from the stadium, providing an easy connection to and from Palermo.
Restaurants and/or Nightlife
La Pulpería del Cotorro (Pepirí 400). Set on a busy corner of the barrio, this restaurant is famous for its daily specials board and the comical, pun-laden names of its dishes. La Pulpería del Cotorro is the creation of the writer, cartoonist and former soccer player Julian Mazzeo, who also waits tables. In short: good food, good prices, great atmosphere.
El Globito (Avenida Caseros 3015). A must-visit for all pizza lovers and especially worth visiting for the faina stuffed with mozzarella, ham, egg and peppers. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling with photos, posters and other memorabilia from Club Atlético Huracán, the local soccer team. In fact, the pizzeria’s name is a take on the team’s nickname, El Globo (“The Balloon”).
La Taberna de Roberto (corner of Caseros and Maza). This is a classic parrilla del barrio (“neighborhood grill”) and a favorite meeting point of friends. It’s a simple affair and you know what you’re in for as soon as you walk in the door: The steaks are tender, the fries are freshly cooked, the empanadas overflow with fillings and the wines are served at the correct temperature. What more can you ask for?
El Gardel de Medellín (Caseros 3033). This milonga and cultural center is the place to dance in the barrio. Throughout the week there are tango and folkloric dancing classes for all levels. There are also dance festivals and other cultural events. Check the listings on the website for details.
Parque Patricios: Come for the soccer, stay for the food.