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Welcome to hipster heaven: Buenos Aires Add to ...

A number of market stalls display cool gaucho artifacts, including an antique striped blanket I'd have bought if it weren't for the $350 price. My beau circles the stalls, looking for a birthday present for his horse-riding mother (he settles on a 14-foot lasso). Owing to packing concerns, we pass on one of the de rigueur items of the market: vintage seltzer bottles in shades of blue and green. One stall owner says seltzer used to be delivered to the door, just like milk.

This makes us thirsty, so we drop in on the rickety Bar Plaza Dorrego where, shoulder-to-shoulder with our neighbours, we have coffees and flat-pressed tomato sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

Back outside, we watch a pair of melodramatic tango artists ply their trade for the crowd. We then high-tail it over to see the famous presidential palace, the Casa Rosada, named for the original practice of dying whitewash pink with ox blood. It's at the edge of the city's original main square, Plaza de Mayo, which dates back to the 1580s. And yes, you've seen Madonna on the balcony of the Casa Rosada in Evita.

Later that evening, wedding crew in tow, we pay a farewell visit to Lomo. What better way to spend our last evening in Buenos Aires than with a $15 plate of delectable beef?

Pack your bags

GETTING THERE

Most flights from Canadian cities to Buenos Aires connect in the U.S. Prices start at around $1,000.

WHERE TO STAY

Alojargentina Lodging and Services: 54 (11) 5219 0606; http://www.alojargentina.com.ar. Books apartments for visitors. A one-bedroom flat in the Palermo district, for example, costs about $320 a week.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Reencuentro: 54 (11) 4833 5666.

La Parolaccia: Juan Maria Gutierrez 3765; 54 (11) 4514 3220.

Lomo: Costa Rica 4659; 54 (11) 4833 3200; lomorestaurant.com.ar.

El Cierro de Oro catering: 54 (11) 4854 0111.

Mundo Bizarro: Guatemala 4802; 54 (11) 4773 1967.

Viejo Indecente: Thames 1905; 54 (11) 4775 2666; http://www.viejoindecente.com.ar.

Maldito Salvador: El Salvador 4960; http://www.malditosalvador.com.ar; 54 (11) 4832 1765.

Calera: Serrana 1598; 54 (11) 4831-3850.

Bar Uriarte: 1572 Uriarte;

http://www.baruriarte.com.ar.

La Cabana: Rodriguez Pena 1967; 54 (11) 4814 0001.

Confiteria La Rambla: Poseda 1602; 54 (11) 4804 6958.

WHERE TO SHOP

Prune: Florida 963; 54 (11) 4893 2634.

Uma: Honduras 5225;

http://www.umacuero.com.

Rapsodia: El Salvador 4757; 54 (11) 4833 5814; http://www.rapsodia.com.ar.

Maria Marla Facchinelli: El Salvador 4741.

Filia Artisanis y Cultura: Rodriguez Pena 2011; 54 (11) 4813 7869; http://www.filia-argentina.com.

Mariana Dappiano: Honduras 4932; http://www.marianadappiano.com; 54 (11) 4833 4731.

Tienta Tres: Armenia 1655.

Felix: Gurruchaga 1670; 54 (11) 4832 2994; felixba.com.ar.

Bolivia: Gurruchaga 1581; 54 (11) 4832 6284; boliviaonline.com.ar.

Hermanos Estebecorena: El Salvador 5960; 54 (11) 4772 2145; http://www.hermanosestebecorena.com.

Lopez Taibo: Alvear 1902;

http://www.lopeztaibo.com.

Quiere Espace: 2172 Luis Borges; 54 (11) 4772 5533.

Pret: Gorriti 4802; 54 (11) 4831 8135; http://www.pret.com.ar.

Joe Camello Antiguedades: Defensa 1140; usarious.advance.com.ar/joecam.

Las Pulseras de Popea: Humberto 1-496.

MORE INFORMATION

Argentina Secretariat of Tourism: http://www.turismo.gov.ar.

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