There are plenty of bar options in neighborhoods like Palermo, San Telmo, or Recoleta, but Microcentro, Buenos Aires’ business district, has very few places for travelers to grab a drink. If you’re in the city’s Downtown area and looking to relax after a day of sightseeing, or if you want to start off your evening there before heading to a boliche (nightclub), Le Merval is a unique place to check out.
Le Merval is a stock market themed bar. The way their pricing works is simple and based on the same principle as the stock market: the more people buy a drink, the higher the price, and the less people buy a drink, the lower the price. You can see the drink prices displayed on television screens behind the bar followed by a green arrow pointing down — meaning the price has gone down — or a red arrow pointing up – indicating the price has gone up. Every minute or so the prices change based on what people ordered before. You can find similar bars in New York, Paris, and a few other major cities.
It’s fun to choose a drink whose price has just gone down, so you feel like you’re getting a good deal, but the difference is usually only a few pesos; it is more for the thrill of playing the game than anything else. Even when the prices rise, the drinks are still reasonably priced for the area. Buyers beware: they make their drinks strong!
Unlike the drinks, the food prices are fixed. The menu falls into the category of no nonsense bar food but with an Argentine twist: picadas (assortments of meats, cheeses, olives, and few other options, depending on which one you choose), fried mozzarella sticks, pizzas, and French fries are all available at decent prices — the cheapest picada can easily be split between three or four people.
Unlike many bars in Buenos Aires that offer outdoor seating right on the sidewalk, Le Merval’s outdoor seating is tucked away in a small plaza next to an even smaller patch of green space. You can sit outside and enjoy the wonderful Buenos Aires summer weather without getting blasts of car fumes in your face or being jostled by passers-by. As a result, when the weather is nice, almost everyone who frequents the bar chooses to sit outside, so the inside can feel quite empty and dull by contrast. Things do get more animated in the bar on weekends and later in the evening. However, during colder or rainy weather, the inside can fill up quite quickly.
Le Merval is located in Microcentro, on Viamonte 852, half hidden between Suipacha and Esmeralda Boulevards, and a few blocks from Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida Cordoba. Opening hours are Monday-Friday from 5pm, and Saturdays from 10pm.
Check out their Facebook page for special events.
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This story was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question before planning your trip.