Tastemaker Sofía Sanchez de Betak’s 7 Favorite Spots in Buenos Aires

Argentine art director Sofía Sanchez de Betak, whose refined style is closely monitored by fashionistas around the world, may divide her time between New York City and Paris, but she keeps coming back to her native Buenos Aires. It was during one of her regular trips to South America that she met Alexander de Betak, the French fashion show producer who became her husband in 2014. “We both love Buenos Aires,” she says. “When I’m there, I always gravitate toward places that are part of my history, and where I feel like I’m home.” Here are some of her timeless favorites, from restaurants to the library to the opera .

Ciudad Universitaria

The location of the main campus of the University of Buenos Aires in Belgrano is based on an urbanistic plan drafted by Le Corbusier in 1938. One of its modernist pavilions, set along the Río de la Plata and surrounded by vast parks, is the School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, where Sanchez de Betak once taught typography. “From a cultural point of view, it’s a spectacular place, full of graffiti and political banners,” she says. “If you want to know what a city is really about, you have to see its universities.” fadu.uba.ar

Croque Madame

This cozy café spills out onto the terrace at the National Museum of Decorative Arts, an eclectic French-style building from the early 1900s designed by architect René Sergent. “I love eating lunch outside, and this place is surrounded by incredible trees and greenery,” says Sanchez de Betak. “It feels very French and chic.” The museum’s permanent collection is mostly composed of artworks acquired by former residents Josefina de Alvear and Matías Errázuriz. croquemadameom.ar

Biblioteca Nacional

Argentina’s most famous library is a Brutalist structure designed in the early 1960s by architects Clorindo Testa, Francisco Bullrich, and Alicia Cazzaniga, although its construction didn’t begin until the ’70s and took two decades. “People used to think this building was horrible, and now everyone considers it an icon of the city,” says Sanchez de Betak. It occupies a storied piece of land: Former president Juan Perón once lived there in a residence called Palacio Unzué, which was demolished in 1958. bn.gov.ar

Bosques de Palermo

This centrally located park—also known as Parque 3 de Febrero—was partly designed by Carlos Thays, a French landscape architect who lived and worked in Buenos Aires for many years. Inside its 200 acres of woods and meadows are two man-made lakes and the emblematic Rosedal, a garden with more than 12,000 roses. “This is like the Central Park of Buenos Aires,” explains Sanchez de Betak. “You always see people walking or jogging or just enjoying the beautiful scenery.” turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

Palacio Barolo

Initially designed to house the ashes of Dante (and now mostly occupied by offices), Palacio Barolo is the 1923 masterpiece of Italian architect Mario Palanti, who drew inspiration from The Divine Comedy for his design. The building’s 22 floors are divided into three sections, representing hell, purgatory, and heaven. “I used to work there when I was art director of the local Time Out magazine,” says Sanchez de Betak. “It’s a very unique landmark.” palaciobaroloom.ar

Teatro Colón

The Teatro Colón is arguably the most beautiful opera house in Latin America. The horseshoe-shaped auditorium, which was inaugurated in 1908 and fully restored in 2010, certainly has the best acoustics, praised by none other than Luciano Pavarotti. “I highly recommend booking a tour of this historic theater,” says Sanchez de Betak, whose family are opera lovers. teatrocolonrg.ar

El Obrero

This classic restaurant in La Boca has welcomed its share of celebrities, from Bono to Francis Ford Coppola to Susan Sarandon. But it remains as humble as ever, decorated with a jumble of faded photos and the same tables and chairs it’s had since 1954. “I love canteens and bodegones [large bodegas],” says Sanchez de Betak. “They have zero pretensions, attentive waiters, and great steaks.” +54-11-4362-9912

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