Secret Bars of Buenos Aires: Explore the Hidden Underground

Gringo in Buenos AiresBars, Nightlife14 Comments

The phenomenon of Secret Bars has been on the rise in Buenos Aires. What is a secret bar? Well, the idea harks back to the prohibition era of the United States and the idea of the “Speakeasy.” A Speakeasy was a place where illegal alcohol was sold, where the entrance was hidden and you probably needed to know somebody in order to be let in.

The Secret Bars of Buenos Aires all take some aspects of a Speakeasy and incorporate them into their essence, whether it be through needing a password to enter or having unmarked doors. Besides the fact that these bars are downright cool, they also make for a great place to take a date or some friends that are in town visiting. Just one more reason why Buenos Aires is one of the best cities in the world! Lets take a look at some of them.

1. Frank’s Bar

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Frank’s Bar actually takes the concept of a Speakeasy and puts it into full gear. On a quiet street in Palermo Hollywood, there is actually a small sign in front of the door that says “Frank’s”, but you would never notice it. In order to get into this Speakeasy, you must first past two tests. First, you need to get past the door man (unless you are a group of 20 dudes, you will get in, the doorman is there more for effect and security) by saying whatever it is you want to say. After the door is opened for you, you enter a smaller room where at the other end is a phone booth. If you are just entering the bar and have no idea what this is about, you would probably be very confused. Well, the next step is to enter a secret code into the phone which will open a door and allow you to enter the bar (if you don’t know the code, the doorman will help you).

Once you enter through the phone booth, you will of finally made it into the actual bar, but you might even be more confused as there is a sex shop selling all kinds of toys to your right.

The actual bar is really nice. Well designed and has a high class vibe. The drinks are expensive but are made well. The crowd tends to be little older on the +30 side. On your way out after buying a 40 peso cocktail, you can buy a double sided dildo as well. What more can you ask for in the place?

The Bottom line is that Frank’s is a very cool experience and makes for a great place to bring a date or some friends from out of town visiting. Just make sure to not tell them where the hell you are going and keep it a surprise. They will surely be confused by having to get through a doorman, entering a code into a phonebooth and then passing a sex shop.

2. The Clubhouse
Ask around for Address

The Clubhouse is more of a private social club and is not open to the public, so you will need to know somebody to check it out. It is actually a pimped out house in the middle of Palermo Soho that is used for private parties, events, etc. Not only is the actual house well designed and classy, the clubhouse also features a courtyard and a pool, which make for some great pool parties in the summer.

If you are traveling to Buenos Aires, you can even stay at the Clubhouse and take advantage of all its amenities by staying in one of their guest rooms.

3. La Ferona Social Club 

Humboldt & Niceto Vega

La Ferona Social Club has a house party vibe, which makes sense as it is literally a house/apartment. The decoration is funky and a DJ is usually playing tunes. Besides people hanging out in the living room, people also have the option of mingling on the outside terrance. Make sure to get there early on the weekends, as La Ferona Social Club tends to fill up quickly. It is also worth nothing it can get so jam packed it is hard to get a drink.

4. Ocho7Ocho
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Ocho7Ocho has been around for a long time and one could say it is the grandfather of all the secret Bars in Buenos Aires. Located in Villa Crespo on a quiet street, the entrance is just two big wooden doors with no sign, other than the street address and a doorman. Once you enter, you will notice a large contrast between Ocho7Ocho’s high class stylish environment and its run down entrance on a quiet street. Ocho7Ocho is more low key and a place to chill out rather than to party hard. One could say it has more of a dimly lit restaurant vibe than a bar, as a good part of its inside is taken up by chairs and tables where one can enjoy some food with their cocktails.

But what some people don’t know about Ocho7Ocho is there is actually a secret bar within the secret bar. If you walk all the way back to the end of first bar, there are black doors that lead to another hidden bar. It depends on when you go, but a lot of the times this bar area has been reserved for a private party. But don’t let that stop you from entering. Observe the entrance and see if you can somehow sneak in.

5. Puerta Uno
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Puerta Uno is a little more off the beaten path and may take some people a longer journey to get to depending on where you live, but it is worth the trek. Located near Barrio Chino in Belgrano, Puerta Uno is on a quiet street with an unmarked door, who’s inside is beautifully designed and decorated (notice a pattern here?). Puerta Uno is a great place for some drinks and also food, as it has a tasty menu. There is also an open-air patio area which is great.

6. Squat House
Secret Location, Varies With Each Party

The idea of Squat House is that it takes over a new location and throws a party. So in essence, it is not a set bar, but a party. The address is not known until the day of the event. DJ’s are always spinning tunes and don’t be surprised to see different types of performers doing strange acts and stunts. If you do enough googling you should be able to get some more information on where the next party will be.

7. Dudui
Dudui is No Longer.

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Dudui is located in a renovated house in Palermo Hollywood and definitely has a “home-y” feel to it. Dudui is also a “social business club”, which is kind of hard to explain, so let’s see what it says from the actual Dudui website:

The concept of bar DUDUi is an idea of Coen Meischke. He got the idea after reading a book of futurologist Alvin Tofler. The concept of DUDUi is that DUDUi Amigos (the regular customers) help to build the identity of the Bar and in this way will help it grow.
Customers are the soul of a Bar

How do we achieve this? Customers can become a DUDUi Amigo and thus get the opportunity to organize activities in the Bar. All kinds of activities can be organized from showing movies to a fashion show, from fund-raising to product launching. In this way the Bar grows and get’s a soul thanks to it’s customers. Every week different new and regular activities are organized so the programme will be diverse.

Do you know of any other secret bars in Buenos Aires that we left off this list? Let us know in the comments below!!