The favorite place of Borges is the largest in the Capital City and the most trendy, youthful and versatile of all. But Palermo is, above all, many neighborhoods, it covers the area of forests, the Jardín Botánico, another residential district (known as Palermo Chico), a commercial one (nicknamed Villa Freud) and the most fashionable lately and the one we treat here: Palermo Viejo, divided into Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood.
There are many Palermos, but among them, there are two that crown the trendy dispute: Soho and Hollywood
While it used to be ever a more middle-class neighborhood, Palermo Viejo exploded in the late nineties as a circuit of art, design and fine dining where today live recycled houses with high towers and stores with creative and varied sales. There are no historic buildings or museums, churches or relevant or architectural landmarks. But the possibility of getting lost on a walk of pure shopping, dining and a touch of bohemian style.
The so called Palermo Soho, with main axis in Plaza Cortázar (former Plaza Serrano) and Plaza Armenia, is delimited by the avenues Juan B. Justo, Cordoba, Scalabrini Ortiz and Santa Fe. It is characterized by its large number of clothing stores and objects design plus, of course, restaurants. The area called Hollywood on the other side of Juan B. Justo and its western border in Dorrego is marked on weekdays by the pace of television producers who dispensed the name.
It is very easy to reach Palermo from anywhere both by bus and subway, train or bicycle. Its streets are ideal for morning, evening or night tours: Palermo is alive all day long. But which of the two Palermos is more attractive? Here we beat a duel in six categories.
Palermo Soho is the one which offers stores of the best brands and native designers both in clothing (Vero Alfie, Jazmin Chebar, Garza Lobos) as in shoes (Mishka), decoration (Newton, Paul French Gallery) and other items such as unconventional objects (Calma Chicha, Bartolomea and Tienda Palacio), soaps (Sabater Hermanos), notebooks of all kinds (Tintha) and handmade woven carpets (Elementos Argentinos).
At sun set, the corner of Honduras and Fitz Roy becomes the epicenter of the youth scene together with a pioneer bar in the area, El Único, which tables witnessed over fifteen years of life all kinds of characters between famous stars, bohemians and media. It is open all night and serves beers, whiskeys and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere that is characterized by very loud music and the spread of the party until the own and surrounding pavement. Also among the recommended ones we find Niceto Club (alternate Dance Club with pop, rock, reggae, hip hop, electronic, soul and funk live music); Carnal (bar with a nice terrace) and Bangalore (Indian restaurant and English-style pub where the star is the mug of Gin Tonic prepared according to the original recipe).
The list of restaurants in Palermo is so long that it is only possible to recommend a handful of classics like La Cabrera (extremely popular grill); Xalapa (Mexican restaurant to go with friends, a lifelong Palermo); Mark's Deli & Cofee House (sandwiches and juice at noon); Janio (locals dishes in a super nice atmosphere) and Mott (author cuisine in a modern and sophisticated lounge). All that is in Palermo Soho. Meanwhile in Palermo Hollywood we can find Osaka (for many the best Japanese in town); Sudestada (Asian cuisine, legendary in the area); Green Bamboo (bar & Resto Vietnamese); Olsen (Nordic and excellent bar meals); Tegui (number 7 among the 50 Best Latam); Siamo en el Forno (pizza and pasta of high quality) and Paraje Arevalo (with its famous tasting menu).
Palermo Soho is the side that has only two craft fairs in the area: the Plaza Cortazar (in Jorge Luis Borges and Honduras) and Plaza Armenia (in Malabia and Costa Rica). Both open during weekends with a disparate range of clothing, handbags, shoes and trinkets.
There are still some paved, wooded and quiet streets with low houses, garages, bicycle shops and businesses of the old Buenos Aires neighborhood. However we must clarify that on Soho side four beautiful passages remain: Russel, Soria, Cabrera and Santa Rosa.
On Soho side you can find the beautiful Libros del Pasaje (essentially captive corner and warm with wooden shelves to the ceiling and a quaint cafe); while in Palermo Hollywood there is the prestigious Eterna Cadencia (which works in an old house, also keeps its coffee and looks good with its wide variety of titles from independent publishers).
Conclusion? They both carry the win. And that Palermo Viejo, then, will have to be crossed by two.