Food is also the way that Gabriela Kogan, a Buenos Aires-based photographer and graphic designer, introduces us to her beloved city. In the introduction to her recently published book, The Authentic Cafes, Bars and Restaurants of Buenos Aires, she writes:
“There are many ways to get to know Buenos Aires. But there are only a few doors into its heart. The cafés, bars and restaurants of the city grant easy entrée to its true spirit.”
Kogan’s book is a thoughtful exploration of 70 of BA’s most emblematic places to eat, drink, and soak up a bit of local history and charm. What is it that makes Buenos Aires so unique? Where can you find the city’s essence, its beating heart? The Authentic Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants of Buenos Aires gives you the map.
Timeless and oozing with local lore, the places that Kogan highlights are the kinds of locales I have in mind at the start of every taxi adventure. In fact, the book includes several places where taxistas have taken me – Los Chanchitos, Albamonte, La Americana, Pippo – and many places where I wish they would go.
Kogan puts each of her chosen cafes, bars and restaurants in historical context and lets us in on their secrets, culinary and beyond. At Varela Varelita, for example, there is no regular menu, and your experience is at the mercy of your relationship with your waiter. And El Cuartito takes great pride in the fact that football legend Diego Maradona chose to dine on their pizza after his wedding.
In the Authentic Bars, Cafes, and Restaurants of Buenos Aires, restaurants are much more than places to eat. They are places that bear witness to the city’s past, places of communion and mystery and magic, places where time bends and stretches and envelops you in the spirit of this strange and wonderful city.
If you subscribe to the idea of going where the taxista takes you, this is a book you’ll devour with great pleasure.
The Authentic Bars, Cafes and Restaurants of Buenos Aires (Paperback)
by Gabriela Kogan