buenos aires shopping guide

Argentina's hauntingly beautiful capital is brimming with incredible shoes, gorgeous antiques, and chic small designer finds—and with such an insanely good exchange rate, everything's a deal.

Mishka

We lost our minds over the shoes in Buenos Aires. They're unbelievably affordable, invariably made of high-quality leather, and the styles consistently nail the trends. Of all the footwear purveyors, Mishka is our hands-down favorite; right now we're coveting its quilted booties, mummylike wrapped pumps, and candy-colored patent sandals.
El Salvador 4673, 4833-6566

Products: Shoes
Type of Store: Boutique

Papelera Palermo

Set back from the sidewalk behind a rock-landscaped courtyard, this rustic paper-goods store has the feel of an old academic library. Elegant notebooks, photo albums, journals, and memento boxes top room-spanning oak tables, while swaths of fancy wrapping paper drape from dowels lining one wall, and a collection of Latin American-themed art books is crammed into ceiling-high shelves.
Honduras 4945, 4833-3081, papelerapalermo.com.ar

Products: Accessories
Type of Store: Boutique

Sabater Hermanos

A few years back, stylish siblings Eliana, Martin, and Sebastian Sabater took their family's 70-year-old soap business and gave it a serious makeover. They left the old-style manufacturing methods intact, but everything else—from the scents (which now include green tea, cedar, and violet) to the formulations (like inventive wafer-thin soap leaves)—got a thoroughly modern update. Even the store itself has a youthful edge: Retro lab flasks and beakers serve as decor, and old family photos are artfully collaged on the walls.
Gurruchaga 1821, 4833-3004, shnos.com.ar

Products: Beauty
Type of Store: Boutique

SoldBA

Every neighborhood has a boutique that serves as its unofficial clubhouse, and SoldBA has that honor in Palermo Soho. There's always a phalanx of locals flipping through the suspended racks of urban-cool clothing and chatting with the chic shopgirls about who's DJing or giving a book reading that night. Stop by the tiny on-site record store and pick up the latest from Gotan Project, a hipster-favored nouveau-tango group that you'll hear playing all over Buenos Aires.
Costa Rica 4645, 4833-7990

Products: Denim, Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

Buenos Aires Design

The concept behind this retail center is pretty innovative: It's a sleek, multistory mall dedicated exclusively to interior design, and it's possible to outfit an entire home with goods purchased here. Our three favorite tenants are Morph, an affordable place to pick up unusual glasses and dishware, Tienda Puro Diseño, which specializes in Argentine odds and ends, and Dogma, a trustworthy source for smart, surprising gifts.
Avenida Pueyrredon 2501; Morph: 4806-3226; Tienda Puro Diseño: 5777-6104; Dogma: 5777-6105, purodiseno.com.ar

Products: Women's Clothing, Jewelry, Accessories, Decorative/Lighting, Furniture, Linens, Outdoor, Tabletop, Books/Stationery, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

El Faro del Fin del Mundo

So crammed with antique maps, prints, signs, and books is this dimly lit shop that only one person at a time can safely navigate the space. There's something endearing about it—and about the grandfatherly attentiveness of proprietor Roberto Di Giorgio as you peruse his goods. We were most taken with the 19th-century lithographs of bustle-skirted courtesans and majestic clipper ships battling rough seas (expect to pay upward of $100 per print).
Libertad 1240, Loc 20, 4816-2920

Products: Books/Stationery
Type of Store: Boutique

Havanna

Argentines are so in love with alfajores—spongy, chocolate-coated biscuits layered with ultra rich dulce de leche—that they're almost a national symbol. Old-fashioned confectioner Havanna makes the most sought-after ones, and the easiest way to buy them is by visiting their eponymous, cafe-style shops.
Rodriguez Peña 1205, 4815-9400; plus other locations, havanna.com.ar

Products: Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

Maria Maria

Due to the fact that this purse line sells from a space that's more showroom than store—and happens to be located on the third floor of a fancy residential building—it's not exactly the sort of place you'd stumble upon. So seek it out: It's an excellent resource for chic, highly affordable bags, most of them made from incredibly supple leather.
Avenida Alvear 1807, 3rd floor Ste. 303, 4803-9856

Products: Bags
Type of Store: Boutique

Oxdans

Shaped like a tube, with planks of varnished wood lining the interior, this psychedelic, magpie boutique is best known for its chunky, multicolor knit cardigans, hats, scarves, and bags-plus bright, bull's-eye felt pins to decorate them all with. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Oxdans also offers a full line of classic denim, including basic jeans and simple miniskirts.
Avenida del Libertador 826, 4811-9026

Products: Denim, Women's Clothing, Bags, Jewelry, Accessories
Type of Store: Boutique

Patio Bullrich

Over the past decade, American-style malls, complete with extensive food courts, have popped up all over Buenos Aires. Though not the largest, Patio Bullrich is the most upscale-and historic (in the 1860s, it was an auction house for prized cattle and show horses). Most of Argentina's notable clothing and accessory chains can be found in the prettily-laid-out space, including Ayres (sweet, romantic tops and skirts), Prüne (refined footwear), and Uma (modern takes on feminine shapes).
Enter at Posada's 1245 or Av. del Libertador 759, 11/4815-3501, shoppingbullrich.com.ar

Products: Denim, Lingerie/Loungewear, Swimwear, Women's Clothing, Shoes, Bags, Jewelry, Accessories, Beauty, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Department Store
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