In case you haven’t noticed the above list is quite odd. Other than being my opinion, the list isn’t all Milongas… some are just a venue and not titled at all! What gives? The list above is in no particular order, is subject to change, and I’ll explain why they are listed below. So hold on and it’s time to break things down!
Sometimes your favorite Milonga comes and goes, gets shut down, gets re-introduced, is changed to a Practica, and even hops venues. This is the life of La Bicicleta! When I arrived it wasn’t happening, and I was lucky enough to be there for the re-launch, and then at the end it was shut own and was a practica in a different location. The seating leaves a bit to desire, and many people will stand around, but usually only lasts a little while. Even found a surplus of leads some nights here on Monday!
What makes La Bicicleta so memorable and enjoyable? The energy, and fun, the overall vibe. This has the feeling of a group of friends out dancing the night away. I never really heard this advertised at any other Milonga in Buenos Aires, but others know about it. Your general dancers here are all under 40 for the most part. You get a new age feel with the old age dance. There isn’t alternative, and the floor depending on the venue is hit or miss. But what you get is fun. Sometimes food was served, very reasonably priced, same with the drink. But you energy is high but controlled. Since you have a younger crowd, there is a bit more floor navigation problems, but really it isn’t as bad as other places, and people have smiles. Check out their facebook page for updates on what is going on, and dance away on Monday nights!
Cheek to Cheek (Practica)
Another top pick is a Practica in Buenos Aires. This isn’t any old Practica, it’s actually hard to find for your first time. It’s hidden away behind a locked door that you would normally pass by, but oh is it worth it. From the music, to the people, to the fact it makes you feel like part of the culture. The interior feels fresh and new, and you will enjoy what it has to offer overall, especially for a Wednesday!
Food and drink is served, and there is even a class available beforehand. You will find the dance floor packed, even in winter, and it has the right feeling of a practica with no cortinas. Normal milonga protocol is usually adhered too, but is not looked down upon being less formal. The seating in rough, but it’s what you get. You get mostly those under 40, but the range is pretty wide, it also looks like people actually practice here as well! There is also a drawing usually for a Mate Gourd over halfway through, so keep your entrance ticket. This is a great start to your Wednesday evening!
Los Jueves de Ana Postigo (Practica)
Los Jueves de Ana Postigo (Practica) is out in San Telmo, the other side compared to most others here which are in Palermo. This is a small venue, and usually packed. The best thing is, it’s free entrance and on a Thursday. There seems to be food and drink, but so crowded could never get to where I could order anything.
The main pull here is the fact it’s free and you get to see a different side of the town and the people. The energy is different than La Bicicleta, but the people are all around their 20’s to 30’s. Expect to be bumped here for sure. They even walk around with the upcoming music before the tanda. If it’s your first time, you may be given a heart pin and a little bit of history with a flier, so it’s very welcoming. I went with friends, so didn’t get to dance with many locals, but still had a great time!
No Picture as it was so crowded and I was dancing almost the whole time.
Salon Canning (Venue)
Salon Canning is known as the go to place in Buenos Aires for Tango. Not only for the tango dancers, but also a great place to watch. Table service, performances, live music every Tuesday (and Friday sometimes), with classes before hand (are above average!) really pulls you here. The floor is good, with a few small missing pieces which you can avoid, but overall really a good atmosphere. I went every Tuesday, because of the live music and was never disappointed. Also a good option every Monday after La Bicicleta.
This place has history, good food and wine, great people, and since I was there frequently I got to know people and getting dances were easier. Don’t be afraid to walk around looking for dances, it’s needed to catch the eye of someone across the room not in the area you are seated. You get a good mix of people, but a majority of 35+ here. There are indeed many tables of friends and locals, but also of travelers, so you can dance here easier than at La Bicicleta or Los Jueves de Ana Postigo.
This was my go to spot on Tuesday, especially for the live music and good crowd. Not one to miss on your trip to Buenos Aires for sure!
La Viruta is hit and miss, but once you know the right days, it’s awesome! It’s advertised most nights as a Practica, and I think once a week as a Milonga. The venue is best after 2AM when the locals leave the other Milongas and come here. After 2AM it is also free entrance. So if you are done with where you are, it’s a good chance La Viruta will be open for some added dancing until at least 4AM if not 6 or 7.
La Viruta really brings people on Sundays and Wednesdays. Those are the days I highly suggest! Going there Thursday was pretty much dead, but offers a good floor to practice on if you are really looking for some practice time. Saturdays was too busy for my tastes, but could be up your alley. The food and drink is good as well. If you are solo, you should go with people you met at other Milongas, It really is a social place that many locals go for their late night dancing.
No proper Picture as I was social every time I went and never had time to take out my phone.
El Nacional was the first place I went to for a Milonga, and had some of my favorite moments. It was very newcomer friendly with events a few times a week. There is a special Milonga that is once a month where the proceeds go to education of children in need, this was packed! The space does give you the option to talk around if you’re looking for a dance, but narrow enough to ask across the floor for sure, at least one direction.
Some of the best food was here, with good priced wine. The class beforehand is a good way to meet people in a relax atmosphere. It is much brighter here, and the clients are a little on the older side, but some younger blood mixed in here and there. With how much it offers, and also being in Montserrat, it is definitely a place to go, and support if it lands on a night you aren’t already booked at. The floor was a little dusty, and there was also some live music. Very relaxed and enjoyable, would say to give it a shot. Jugar x Jugar is the time to go if you can only go once, otherwise El Recreo would be my next suggestion here.