Top 20 Argentine Tango Places in Buenos Aires
Tango Shows, Dinner, and Lessons
“Roooooxanne”. Isn’t it amazing what images one simple word can evoke? No doubt you’ll now be imagining a dimly lit, small but cozy dance bar in Argentina with couples wrapped tightly together in a half passionate, half jealous embrace.
Just me? Ok perhaps I’ve seen Moulin Rouge too many times, but I’m sure you all have an image which springs to mind when you hear the words ‘Argentine Tango’. Renowned as one of the most sensual and dramatic ballroom dances, if you’re visiting Argentina a tango show is a must on the list of things to do.
There are a number of ways you can experience Argentine Tango. From taking lessons, to seeing a dinner show, to finding yourself in a bar or milonga where the locals dance, here is a definitive guide on the best places to encounter tango in Buenos Aires.
By Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires from Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina (Divertango-Milonga jóven, Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
10 Tango Shows with Dinner:
There are an array of establishments where you can watch a tango show while being wined and dined with a three course gourmet meal or the snacks and tapas of your choice. You can of course opt to just go for the show, but if you would like to accompany your tango evening with something to eat here then all of the below offer dinner as well should you wish:
- Tango Porteño, one of the most renowned and well known shows, transports you to the 1940’s, the Golden Age of Tango, with its guest orchestras and stunning cast. ‘Porteño’, or someone who is from or lives in a port city, is now a term often applied in Latin America to refer to the people of Buenos Aires. Located close to the Obelisk, the attention to detail in costumes, scenery, and cuisine will give you the real deal.
- An intimate affair, We Are Tango provides “more than a show, a tango experience”. With all the usual frills and whistles, it also has an in-house band that writes contemporary tango music which is played along with all the classics in the show.
- Esquina Carlos Gardel will take you through the history of tango with their classy ensemble, providing a range of food from international to Argentinian specialities and a complimenting wine list.
- Rojo Tango brings a unique experience to the public as their show uses themes found in tango music to tell a passionate legend. Here you can book private tables whilst enjoying an open bar and your meal along with the performance.
- Cafe de los Angelitos is well-located near the National Congress and provides a tango show and dinner where you can choose from sumptuous VIP menus whilst being serenaded by a quintet and two singers.
- Set in a traditional theatre with intimate dinner tables in the auditorium, El Viejo Almacen gives you a passionate insight into the world of tango based in the heart of San Telmo.
- Piazzolla Tango is for those who want a bit of luxury, and more of a spectacle than an intimate show. Set in the Guemes Gallery, a stunning restored theatre, the show features exquisite ballet and vocals of some of the best Argentinian singers in tango. The story you will see unfold is based on the works of Astor Piazzolla, “the world’s foremost composer of tango music.”
- More like a broadway show, Señor Tango uses special effects, staging and props to create a fantastic spectacle of a show. Featuring traditional music alongside well-known classics such as the theme from Evita ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’, this is a luxury experience for all that will transport you into the performance.
- With more than 30 food options to choose from before the show, El Querandi is a timeless tango experience that takes place in a restored house from the 1920’s. Centrally located in the historical district of Buenos Aires, it takes you through five historical movements and gives audiences an unforgettable experience.
- Cafe Tortoni is one of the oldest coffee shops in Buenos Aires and is both beautifully decorated with a traditional feel. Worth coming for even just a coffee in the day, you can also head here in the evening for a reasonably priced meal combined with a cozy tango show.
Wondering what to do before your tango show? Try our Art and History City Tour!
Support local artists and see an alternative side of the city
10 Tango Lessons and Milongas
If you’re quick on your feet and keen to learn some tango steps before going to the show, there are countless places you can get an introduction to the dance before you sit down to relax. Once you’ve had your lesson and are inspired with a tango passion, you can also head to a milonga where you can try out your moves like a local. Remember, there are no mistakes in the tango so don’t be shy! “That’s what makes the tango so great. If you make a mistake, get all tangled up, you just tango on!”
- Complejo Tango provides you with the chance to enjoy a tango class in a large group with other tourists from different hostels and hotels, before being wined and dined with a sumptuous three course meal in front of an atmospheric show. I elected for this when in Buenos Aires as it was advertised by my hostel. An all-round great show, with some very talented dancers, good food and great atmosphere. The one thing to note is that the class includes quite a lot of people so you only learn around six basic steps and a pose. If you’re looking for a class that teaches you more than just the basics, you may prefer an alternative.
- Gala Tango and La Ventana are related luxury tango operators with a distinguished service. Both provide lessons, dinner shows, and wine tastings which take you through the Folklore of tango in a beautiful salon in San Telmo.
- Sabor a Tango is a beautifully decorated theatre where you can enjoy a tango show and sip your drink in a traditional themed bar whilst you wait. Along with a lesson before dinner, you have the chance to pose for pictures with the dancers and buy souvenirs from the show if you’re looking for some memories of the experience.
- La Viruta is a dance school which offers classes for various levels of tango as well as hosts milongas. For those more experienced dancers you may find a class better suited to your level with either intermediate or advanced classes.
- La Catedral club is another renowned place for tango lessons of all levels which has events every day and milongas after the class to test your new steps. With a high-vaulted ceiling and artwork on the walls, the name of this place gives you an idea of the atmospheric experience you are in for.
- Designed to help focus both your body and your mind, Alejandro Gee provides private and group tango lessons. A psychotherapist by profession, Alejandro’s students leave their lessons feeling invigorated and refreshed after experiencing his style of ‘tango therapy’.
- Club Social y Deportivo Villa Malcom is in fact a social community and sports center but on certain nights you can find free tango lessons follows by milongas, with tango dancers (tangueros) turning up from far and wide.
- Tango classes with Lucia and Gerry are well reputed to give travelers an excellent experience, whether just passing through or staying for longer. You can book private or group classes and get a tailor-made tango experience.
- Visit Unitango for great options of private or group classes, and also milonga events that give you an authentic experience.
- If you’re really intent on immersing yourself in lessons then you can always check out some of the famous tango hotels which offer classes and organize their very own milongas.
For full information on where to try out your dance moves, take a look at this milonga guide, which tells you where to go depending on the day. If you don’t want to splash out on an extravagant tango experience, then don’t worry, there are always great street performances going on that you can take part in or just sit back and watch!
There are of course a range of places to learn tango as a local, but if you’re just passing through and want the complete Argentine Tango experience for a night, these options are some of the best ways to optimise your time.
Finally if you’re looking for something to do in the day before your Argentine Tango evening why not check out some of our Buenos Aires city tours. Alternatively, if want to escape the city and explore some of Argentina’s countryside, then take a look at our trips in Salta. From horseback riding, to trekking, to birdwatching, there is something for everyone!
“Por Una Cabeza” is one of the most famous and evocative pieces of tango music, written eminent baritone singer, actor, and composer Carlos Gardel.