Santa Fe Avenue is one of the most popular avenues in Buenos Aires, following 9 de Julio and Del Libertador Avenues. Santa Fe competes against the commercial pedestrian street Florida, and though not yet enjoying the same popularity among travelers, it’s the choice when doing shopping in the open air. The point is that join together marks of Argentine top designers like Maria Cher, Paula Cahen D'Anvers, Rapsodia and Vitamina, just to name some of the most popular.
In and its surrounding areas you’ll also find some of the best and most classical proposals on two key aspects: bookstores and ice-cream stores. Among the former, we must mention the headquarters of the chain “El Ateneo” (Santa Fe 1860). The Grand Splendid building, where the bookstore is located -lives up to its name. It was opened in 1919, it used to be a theater, then turned-movies in the 90s, and bookstore in the year 2000. Everything was preserved and restored as it’s to recall its elegant past, except the seats which were replaced by shelves to store more than 120 thousand books. The hand-painted dome, Greek-style marquee, decorated boxes, crimson velvet curtain... Even survived the stage with original wooden floor, where today a coffee dream lives, and not just where you can sit to read, but to hear the soft piano chords live-in the afternoon. Its splendor has been recognized worldwide: in 2008, the British newspaper The Guardian ranked it as the second cutest bookstore in the world, following a German 800 year church in Maastricht.
As for the ice-cream stores, you can do a tasting of the most popular ice-cream chains: classical and eternal Freddo (Callao 1201), where you can’t miss trying the dulce de leche Temptation; and the young but already established Volta (Santa Fe 1826), which also specializes in sweets and chocolates. But in turn, you can choose less massive options like Arkakaó (Quintana 188), the stronghold of the Italian tradition, where you don’t have to try the Tiramisu with mascarpone and the gianduia, chocolate-hazelnut paste. Or you can go through Rapa Nui (Arenales 2302) inspired by the flavors and ingredients of to make delicious like Berry Champ and Triple Temptation.
Santa Fe Avenue is synonymous with galleries. Some are better than others, but all are an opportunity to immerse yourself in roofing underworlds where you can meet the author designs, great deals, or even a work of art of the great Argentine maestro Raúl Soldi. But perhaps the most interesting are those related to youth culture. Bond Street Gallery (Santa Fe 1670) is the epicenter of the alternative and current street: tattoo, skates and comics stores and all kinds of merchandising tied to rock, punk and heavy metal. For objects and vintage clothing that never goes out of fashion, “La Quinta Avenida” (Santa Fe 1270) has it all. And if what you're looking is the pop art of , you might want to visit “El Patio del Liceo” (Santa Fe 2729): design shops, restoration workshops, recycling and decor, art galleries, bookstores and independent publishers are part of its original and refreshing proposal.