The Secret World of Tango Bars


The real tango doesn’t live in show rooms, fancy shops or behind closed doors of staged performances. It lives where the people are, it beats with the nightlife rhythm of Buenos Aires. The truest form of tango is often found in a small corner bar at 2am, with a local band belting out the longing tunes, and the crowd of young and old listening in, sipping on their coke & fernet…

One of the best places to get a feel of real tango life is Almagro barrio. It is home to several milongas, many classes, but most importantly, several iconic tango bars. Recently I had a great night out there, going from one tango bar to another (with a street carnival thrown in between for a good measure!)

This one is Sanata bar, a really cool, unpretentious atmospheric place in Almagro; the night I was there, they had a small tango music show, the best were the women: the girl with the clarinet, clearly so loving what she does, smiling in appreciation to the crowd after every song; and the bandoneonista, whose facial expressions were almost more fascinating than the music…

(the video is a bit dark, but you can still get the feel of it):

And here, welcome to Bar Roberto, the ultimate corner tango bar; it’s been there for ages, and is still the magnetic neighborhood spot. The night we were there, mostly the young crowd was drinking and listening to two-people band playing; looking in through the window, singing along to their favourite songs… Was wonderful to see tango being a part of so many people’s lives. Come and feel it for yourself :)