Home > Buenos Aires, Shopping > Local shops for local people!

Local shops for local people!

I fancied visiting a new barrio in Buenos Aires so got my map out and zoned in on Once which is directly north of the microcentro and west of Palermo. I had heard that this neighbourhood is a local place where the majority of porteños (those who can’t afford the inflated prices of Palermo) shop. I had expected a Tottenham Court Road (London), a Lower East Side (NY), a Connaught Place (Delhi) but Once is something else. It has a slightly run-down, independent and must-haggle feel about it.

Today being Saturday, the Corrientes, Puyreddion and the junction they meet on was buzzing with thousands of people out with the entire family shopping. Shops usually specialise in one thing – socks, towels, phones, bras, shoes, calendars etc. After every few shops there will be a door leading inside what from outside looks like a residential building but if you poke your head around, you will find it opens up into an enormous gallery with dozens of indoor shops.

On the pavement too, there were stalls set up to sell everything from bikinis to empanadas. We came past a large crowd of women surrounding something and tiptoed to find they were all looking at the seller (a middle-aged woman) demonstrating painting her finger nails with a garish red nail varnish. She was selling just that one colour!

Further down the road we turned into another gallery which opened up into a number of shops at the end of which was a pizza place. I had a slice of Anchoa pizza, which had none of the horrid mozzarella all pizza places slather on to their pizzas. It had a lovely napolitana sauce and a large anchovy in the middle. Craig had a couple of meat empanadas and we were done with this district which more than Once reminded me of the League of Gentlemen!

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