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April 30, 2009


Likes and dislikes

The following is a list of the milongas I had a good time at (or not, as it were). It’s not a very “scientific” study but simply my experiences during a 3-week stay. However, having said that, I want to add one qualifier that, as with any public event, it is really the luck of the draw what type of crowd you encounter on any given night, so it’s quite possible your experiences can differ from mine. Finally, while the negative experiences were all based on a single visit, in general I tended to make return visits only if the initial experience was enjoyable.

Milongas I really enjoyed:

  • Nino Bien (Monday, Friday): relaxed and good dancing. Good selection of foods served here.
  • Lo de Celia (Friday): very homely atmosphere; decent dancing.
  • Lujos (Thursday, Sunday): good crowd and good dancing. It did not hurt that, through our friend, we were able to befriend the organisers and usually had decent seats. 😉
  • Sunderland (Saturday): huge dance floor and in my opinion good neighbourhood ambience despite being held on a basketball court. The major downside was it is quite far and the taxi fares not cheap unless you can go with a bunch of friends. Don’t miss the fantastic and big beef steak (forgot the exact name?)!
  • El Beso (Sunday): good crowd and good dancing.

Milongas I did not enjoy:

  • Gricel (Monday): navigational issues – from tourists and some locals alike. In comparison, the navigation at Lujos (at Maipu 444) with a higher density of dancers on the dance floor was considerably better. However, as this is a late milonga (ending around 4am) and we left by about 1am, things might have improved as more of the non-locals headed home.
  • Canning (Tuesday): lots of tourists with poor navigation. The frantic atmosphere also played havoc with my usual rhythm. Furthermore it did not help that Color Tango was performing the night I went, which meant more tourists than usual. Good, young dancers – some of them future “stars” of the local dance scene – normally strolled in after 2.30-3am.
  • Nino Bien (Thursday): the original “Nino Bien”, hence extremely popular with tourists but can be chaotic on the dance floor. The floor craft did get significantly better after 1am.


  • Practica X* (Tuesday): well, what can I say? This is really a practica that turned into a semi-milongaish event. While tango nuevo dancers typically get lots of flak from the traditionalists, there were some excellent salon nuevo dancers can be seen here. If you are into this style and are running out of ideas, here is the place to see some action.
  • Confiteria Ideal (Friday afternoon): a “tourist trap” as many will probably say. However, I think it’s worthwhile to go for the beautifully restored interiors but don’t expect too much for the dancing department. Music is so-so but the meals and coffee downstairs are quite decent.
  • La Viruta* (Friday): apparently one of the most profitable and longest running milonga in Buenos Aires. A little chaotic has a typical night-clubish charm: for many, really a pick-up joint for Argentines and tourists alike. Nevertheless, this remains probably one of the better known places for tango even among the non-dancing Argentines.
  • Cachirulo (Saturday): excellent dancers but can be quite competitive and intimidating. Big, fat empanadas available here!
  • Porteno y Bailarin (Sunday): music was somewhat erractic. There were dance floors but both on the small side.

* While some may argue if they deserve the “milonga” label, I think they can be fun places to hang out if you go with a bunch of friends. Not suitable if you go alone AND are looking to dance social tango salon.

Read more from BsAs 09, Social Dancing
  1. Aug 14 2009

    I thought I was the only one who hated Niño Bien on Thursdays, but I have always had a wonderful time at the same location for Saturday afternoons, Los Consagrados.

    Same with the neutral for Cachirulo. For me on a Saturday, I would not bother going there for my own delight, I honestly could not be bothered about it, and put the effort in to get dressed to go. I would probably only go to meet visiting friends.

    Lujos on Thursdays is now Ros(t?)cler run by Lola and Rafa. I have yet to go, but I am looking forward to attending one Thursday afternoon as Rafa is such a lovely person and a wonderful dancer!

  2. Aug 17 2009

    Hi Joli,

    Thanks for sharing. I won’t say that I HATED Nino Bien on Thursdays but yeah didn’t exactly have the best of times. 🙂 As I was in BsAs for only a brief time and, from what I saw, even the best milongas might have one bad night, I was not sure if long-term residents shared the same views as mine. Pity that I didn’t manage to go to Los Consagrados during the trip…

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