Buenos Aires City Guide by Barrio: Villa Crespo Guide
Villa Crespo is located in the north-central part of Buenos Aires and is in-between Palermo and Caballito. It lies between Av. Cordoba and Av. San Martin and straddles Av. Corrientes and borders on Parque del Centenario.
An up-and-coming barrio, Villa Crespo is often referred to now as Palermo Queens, due in part to its industrial heritage.
Villa Crespo originally grew around the National Shoe Factory (Fabriza Nacional de Calzado) in 1888 and was named for a mayor of Buenos Aires, Antonio F. Crespo.
Villa Crespo has long been associated with the Jewish community as it is home to many synagogues, Hebrew schools and youth movements. As the same time, it is actually populated by a variety of different people and cultures as is the rest of Buenos Aires. On April 11, 1894 the San Bernardo church and parochial school was first opened, known for its clock tower and statue of Cristo de la Mano Rota (Christ of the Broken Hand).
Until the 1980’s Villa Crespo was home to a large commercial clothing center on Av. Scalabrini Ortiz, formally named Canning, but it lost its importance over the years. Villa Crespo also held several conventillos (boarding houses) at one time, including the most famous one, the Conventillo de la Paloma.
Villa Crespo Today
Today, Villa Crespo is a middle class residential neighborhood. While it still maintains its identity as a barrio for families and young couples, being located next to the hip neighborhood of Palermo, the spread of new restaurants and chic boutiques has been impossible to resist as expats and young Argentine professionals are filling the apartments there in ever increasing numbers.
Along with this new wave of residents, a new social scene is being forged. The hippest bars, dancehalls and restaurants have no signs outside, instead their addresses are passed by way of word of mouth. Discovering one of these hidden wonders is part of what makes Villa Crespo so unique today. It is almost like stepping into a secret society.
Change is already coming to Villa Crespo and its boundary with Palermo will continue to blur, but for now Villa Crespo remains a barrio with a distinct personality and one of Buenos Aires’ most captivating areas.
Villa Crespo is most known for being a great place to find a bargain. One of its main attractions is a strip of leather goods stores located on Calle Murillo. One of the biggest and best of those is Murillo 666 (yes, located at Murillo 666) and offers everything from jackets and accessories to leather furniture.
Beginning in 2008 many of the local factories in the neighborhood started opening up outlet stores to the publick. Around Calles Aguirre and Gurruchaga one can find a string of outlet stores such as Armani Exchange, Cacharel, Lacoste, Puma, Timberland, Wrangler and more. One can also find many more outlets lined up along Av. Cordoba only 5 blocks away and Av. Warnes there are numerous auto parts stores.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Villa Crespo has a select number of options for restaurants and nightlife that you can enjoy. Here are a few to get you started:
Sarkis (Thames 1101) a family style restaurant offering satisfying Middle Easter food.
Ocho7Ocho (Thames 878) beginning at 8pm every night a doorman appears here outside an unmarked door. Those in the know can step inside to find themselves in a stylish but deliberately rough around the edges lounge created in a former carpentry workshop.
From 8pm every night a doorman appears outside an unmarked door. Those in the know step inside to find a former carpentry workshop, converted into a stylish, but deliberately rough-around-the-edges, lounge bar
Scannapieco (Av. Cordoba 4826) founded in 1938 by an Italian immigrant, Scannapieco is simply the very best ice cream to be found in Buenos Aires and is still family owned.
Club Silencio (call +5411 4775-7330 or email email@example.com to make a reservation and get the address) inspired by David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Club Silencio was created by Argentinian musician Shoni Shed. At 11pm every Friday he performs in his apartment for an audience of 20, all of whom are blindfolded upon arrival to stimulate their other senses. The show lasts about an hour and a half and afterwards a bar menu appears and the place turns into a house party.
The 3rd of June is the day of Villa Crespo.
Pros and Cons
Villa Crespo offers great prices and being located next to Palermo there are plenty of hip places to eat and drink.
There really is no downside to Villa Crespo although one might look to seeing more foreigners in the future leading to higher prices.
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