San Telmo is considered the oldest, most bohemian and most traditional neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The city has been an impassive witness of much of the transcendental events of Argentine history.
Many of the suggestions I received before arriving in San Telmo coincided in that I should see the neighborhood on foot, so as to take in its cozy atmosphere.
One coffee bar in particular drew my attention long before arriving in Argentina. The inquiring phase of the trip led me to the Hippopotamus.
The particularity of the name seemed extremely authentic; the façade, truly bohemian. I wanted to be there!
So, once in Buenos Aires, visiting the northwest corner of Brazil and Defensa was a must.
This fascinating corner of San Telmo has a tenant dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the neighborhood was just starting to form part of the porteños’ emblematic history.
The Hippopotamus is an authentic establishment, mixing vintage ads, snacks and drinks that combine with the hams and salamis hanging from the ceiling.
I visited it on a Thursday night, and once I was outside, I remembered the pictures I had seen while planning my trip. Now we were face to face. I contemplating it with delight; meanwhile, the flow of the foot traffic was interrupted by a pedestrian on the sidewalk bordering the subtle room.
Upon entering, I noticed that the atmosphere was extremely quiet; everything proceeded tranquilly at each of the tables occupied by people brimming with stories to tell their companions.
The Hippopotamus became my favorite corner of Buenos Aires. I enjoyed admiring its walls, old tables, retro illustrations, and the menu of the day written on an old blackboard. And above all, I enjoyed visualizing myself writing there.
The Hippopotamus of Buenos Aires won me over with its genuineness, the soul of the coffee, and the alcohol in my drink, all while I enjoyed the company of two great women: my mother and sister.