Explore Palermo Hollywood: My Favorite Neighborhood in Buenos Aires

Palermo Hollywood is a popular expat neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The barrio has a laid back charm and thriving restaurant scene. There are more cafes and places to eat in Palermo Hollywood than anywhere else in the city. Join me while I showcase the best places to eat, how to get around, and why this is the best place for expats. minutes

05/10/24

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About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.

QUICK SUMMARY-

  • Living costs in Palermo Hollywood are lower compared to similar neighborhoods in the US, especially when it comes to dining out.
  • Palermo Hollywood offers a diverse food scene with options ranging from Asian fusion to traditional Argentine parrillas.
  • It’s highly walkable with good public transportation options, including metro and bus services, making it accessible and easy to navigate. 🚶‍♂️🚌
  • +The neighborhood promotes outdoor dining and local markets, enhancing community vibes and fresh food access.
  • Palermo Hollywood may not be as lively as its neighbor Palermo Soho, a downside for those seeking a more vibrant nightlife.
  • While local specialty stores are charming, they might not always have as wide a selection as larger supermarkets.

Next up on our tour of the best neighborhoods for expats to live in Buenos Aires is my hood- Palermo Hollywood. This barrio has been my home base for the last six months, as I have lived in the Argentina capital. While I had several chances to move to more exclusive (read expensive) areas like Recoleta or the more popular and socially active Palermo Soho, I loved the Hollywood district and didn’t want to move.

Brief overview of Palermo Hollywood in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a massive city. With over 15 million people in the metropolitan area, it ranks as the 11th largest capital city in the world.

The city’s urban area is divided into 15 communes and 46 official barrios (Spanish for neighborhoods).

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Table of Contents – [Click To Hide]

Buenos Aires Neighborhoods by Size and Population

NameArea in km2PopulationCommune
AgronomĂ­a2.141,8941
Almagro2.239,1751
Balvanera2.16,6291
Barracas2.838,6351
Belgrano2.328,6671
Boedo1.223,1981
Caballito5.9165,4942
Chacarita4.4137,5213
Coghlan2.146,4943
Colegiales7.673,3774
ConstituciĂłn3.143,4134
Flores6.260,4654
Floresta3.737,7914
La Boca4.1128,2065
La Paternal2.645,5635
Liniers6.8170,3096
Mataderos7.8142,6957
Monserrat3.854,6387
Monte Castro9108,1708
Nueva Pompeya4.113,9958
Núñez8.639,4778
Palermo4.342,0839
Parque Avellaneda7.362,2069
Parque Chacabuco5.151,6789
Parque Chas2.337,24710
Parque Patricios2.632,78210
Puerto Madero2.434,08410
Recoleta1.413,55610
Retiro2.631,85910
Saavedra1.313,68110
San CristĂłbal3.455,50211
San Nicolás6.467,71211
San Telmo2.234,20411
Vélez Sársfield2.232,24811
Versalles1.318,02112
Villa Crespo5.648,95612
Villa del Parque3.338,55812
Villa Devoto5.485,58712
Villa General Mitre6.8126,81613
Villa Lugano2.352,39113
Villa Luro4.549,01913
Villa OrtĂşzar15.9225,24514
Villa PueyrredĂłn2.113,96315
Villa Real3.125,77815
Villa Riachuelo2.219,05815
Villa Santa Rita1.418,92615
Villa Soldati3.683,64615
Villa Urquiza1.821,25615

With the largest area and number of people, Palermo is Buenos Aires’s largest barrio. This massive neighborhood is further divided into several smaller unofficial neighborhoods.

  • Palermo Soho
  • Palermo Hollywood
  • Pacifico
  • Nuevo
  • Zoologico
  • Botanico
  • Alto
  • Chico
  • Norte
  • Villa Freud

Each sub-neighborhood has its own nickname, reflecting its individual character and charm.

For example:

Palermo Chico, or “Little Palermo,” is an upscale residential area filled with elegant mansions and tree-lined streets. This neighborhood oozes a snobby sense of exclusivity, making it a favorite among the city’s elite.

Palermo Soho, on the other hand, is the epitome of bohemian chic. This trendy area is brimming with fashionable boutiques, art galleries, and hip cafes. The colorful facades by local graffiti artists and the Latin music pouring out of the Plaza Serrano contribute to the vibrant neighborhood’s artistic ambiance.

Palermo Hollywood earned its nickname due to the numerous TV and film studios scattered throughout the neighborhood. This area also hosts some of the city’s best restaurants and international eateries.

Alto Palermo is primarily known for its shopping scene. This area is home to the eponymous upscale shopping center.

Villa Freud, though not explicitly stated in its name, is a sub-neighborhood within Palermo. This tranquil area, with wide, tree-lined avenues and beautiful parks, earned its nickname (after the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud) due to the high concentration of psychologists, therapists, and mental health professionals clinics there.

Palermo Hollywood’s Location and Boundaries

The Palermo Hollywood is in between Palermo Soho, Pacifico, Chacarita and Villa Crespo. It is about a 15-minute Uber ride to Aeroparque Internacional Jorge Newbery (AEP) or a 60 to 90-minute ride to Ezeiza International Airport (EZE).

The streets Juan B. Justo, Dorrego, Paraguay, and Cordoba Avenue comprise Palermo Hollywood’s rough borders, encompassing roughly 70 city blocks.

In addition to Hollywood’s low cost of living, walkable, tree-lined streets, safety, and easy access to public transportation, I recommend Palermo Hollywood to expats because of its impressive foodie scene. The district is home to loads of restaurants, ranging from high-end sushi bars to my favorite affordable empanada shop.

Walking the Neighborhood: A Pedestrian-Friendly Area

One of the joys of Palermo Hollywood is its flat, pedestrian-friendly design. There are no odd twists, turns, or deadends to frustrate you while running to get groceries. The neighborhood is laid out in an easy-to-navigate grid-like pattern of streets, making it a joy to explore on foot.

Combining the neighborhood’s easy navigation with its wide sidewalks and beautiful tree-lined cobblestone streets, Palermo Hollywood is built for leisurely strolls and spontaneous detours to uncover hidden gems.

Sidewalk cafes and street corners decorated with street art create an ambiance that seems straight out of a postcard, making it perfect for stopping for a cup of coffee and people-watching.

Whether walking to your favorite coffee shop, local verdulerĂ­a for some fresh fruits, or checking out a new Asian fusion restaurant, walking through Palermo Hollywood offers an intimate perspective of the neighborhood’s charismatic character.

tree-lined walkable street of Palermo Hollywood Buenos Aires Argentina

Low Cost of Living In Palermo Hollywood

Since President Milei took office and the devaluing of the Argentina Peso’s official exchange rate in late 2023, Buenos Aires is no longer considered a cheap place for expats to live. However, considering the quality of life here, I still consider the cost of living in Palermo Hollywood affordable.

Here are some examples of prices in Palermo Hollywood.

a typical $800 a month apartment for rent in Palermo Hollywood

Housing Costs

Here is our two-story, one-bedroom apartment in Palermo Hollywood.

It was a large, fully furnished loft-style apartment with a king-size bed, office area, pool, gym, and 24-hour doorman.

The rent was $800 monthly for a six-month lease, with all utilities, including Wi-Fi and electricity, included.

Lunch- Here is a Menu del Dia, or Menu of the Day at Montecarlo, a classic café that has been serving locals in Palermo Hollywood since 1922.

Here, I can eat traditional Argentine food for $6 consisting of a Tapa de Asado (slow-cooked beef brisket), a side dish, dessert, and a drink.

a $6 menu del dia at a typical Palermo Hollywood Argentine bistro with a meat main course, side dish, salad, dessert, and a glass of red wine.
Four kinds of empanadas, a typical Argentine snack pie filled with a savory meat and cheese filling.

Merienda (afternoon snack)– Empanadas are a staple in every country in Latin America. However, Argentina makes them the best.

These savory pastries are typically filled with a mixture of meats, cheese, and vegetables, then baked or fried to perfection.

You can find empanadas as cheap as .50 cents each.

Foodie Heaven: The Diverse and Affordable Food Scene

The trifecta of Latin American capital cities with the best food scene are Mexico City, Lima, and Buenos Aires. Mexican, Peruvian, and Argentine cuisines are the select few with a global reputation for the region.

You don’t see many Bolivian or Colombian restaurants in other countries for a reason.

Palermo Hollywood has several Argentine restaurants if you want an authentic local dining experience. You won’t go wrong with medialunas at Don Blanco for breakfast, vacio con provoleta baked empanadas from La PulperĂ­a de Francisco for lunch, or a bone-in Ojo de Bife at Hierro for dinner.

That combination is a perfect day!

But the foodie fun doesn’t stop at Argentine food. The neighborhood has one of the best selections of international restaurants in Buenos Aires.

Living in Palermo Hollywood means splurging on high-end sushi with the chef’s tasting menu at Uni Omakase or grabbing some homemade fresh ravioli at Fabrica de Pastas Lourdes, all within walking distance.

Where to eat in Palermo Hollywood

Here are my favorite restaurants in Palermo Hollywood:

Traditional Argentina Cuisine

Ribeye steak from Hierro Parilla in Palermo Hollywood Buenos Aires Argentina
Ojo de Bife at Hierro Steakhouse
  • Hierro- one of my go-to Argentine parilla. For $30 US dollars, I can get a 1.5 pound / 750 gram ribeye steak big enough to share. This is one of the neighborhoods most popular restaurants. Reservations are recommended. 
  • Dandy Grill- another steakhouse (hey, don’t judge). If I want beef for lunch, I come here for their $8 – $9 menu del dia, which comes with an entrada, plato principle, postres, and bebida. That’s an appetizer, main dish, dessert, and drink for the non-Spanish speakers 🙂
  • La PulperĂ­a de Francisco- I’ve eaten empanadas at dozens of places in the city and this is still my favorite. Try the roquefort de jamon, bondiola, or caprese for about $0.705 cents (USD) each.

Asian Dining Options

Nigiri Sushi at Mirutaki
  • Mirutaki Ramen- quality Japanese food at reasonable prices. For $10 USD, you can get a $10 bowl of Tonkotsu ramen or pay $9 for ten pieces of nigiri sushi.
  • Cang Tin- this place is really close to authentic Thai and Vietnamese street food. The pho isn’t my favorite (they need to cook the broth longer), but koh soi ($20) and bahn xeo ($6) are fantastic.
  • Sudestada- this is another menu del dia spot. For $6- $7, you can choose from three Asian fusion main dishes, a soup, and a glass of the famous Argentina Malec wine.
  • Baoland- Their menu only has three items. You can order steamed bao filled with Korean-style bulgogi, braised pork, or panko-crusted oyster mushrooms. Stuffed bao with meat and vegetables are $5 each.
Steamed Bao sandwiches at Baoland

Cafes and Coffeeshops

  • Don Blanco- I come here almost exclusively for the medialunas. You can order a dozen medialunas to go ($2.75) or get a breakfast promotion with two pastries, espresso or cappuccino, and a fresh-squeeze orange juice for $3 USD.
  • La Garage- a hipster-chic cafe specializing in gourmet sandwiches and pastries. The prices reflect the trendy crowd but are still tasty. Sandwiches are about $4, and their unique spin on traditional pastries are about $2.
  • Montecarlo- the coffee is good here, and the outdoor seating is fun for people-watching, but the menu del dia is why I come here often. For a lunch special under $7, they frequently have matambrito de cerdo (a particular Argentina pork rib cut), salad, drink, and either dulce de leche, house flan, or tiramisu for dessert.
Menu del Dias typically include a postres (Spanish for dessert) like flan, dulce de leche, or tiramisu.

Ice Cream and Gelatos

  • Antiche Tentazioni- honestly, I have never been to their location in Hollywood. I like the outdoor terrace at the Soho location. Additionally, if you use Pedidosya, you can often get a 50% discount on a 1/4 kilo (about a pint) of gelato ice cream. You can choose up to three flavors and pay about $4 dollars.
  • Alchemy- I like Antiche more, but Alchemy has alcoholic ice cream when you want a boozy treat. You can get a Moscow mule, Campari and orange, or Espresso martini scoop on a cone for $2.
Alcohol infused ice cream treats at Alchemy

INSIDER TIP: Local Verduarias, Fruterias, and Farmers Markets- I don’t shop at typical big supermarkets and grocery stores like in the US. I shop locally and support our small neighborhood businesses. When I need groceries, I walk around the barrio to visit my favorite fruit and veggie market, specialized butcher shop, and go-to bakeries.

This way, I get fresh, handpicked produce and choice, high-quality meats at great prices while keeping the business local.

The neighborhood also has a weekly organic farmers’ markets (Feiras de la Ciudad) on Emilio Ravignani Street between Guatemala and Soler Streets, which is popular among locals and expats who want fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

Sports and Recreational Activities

You’ll find nearly every type of fitness studio and sports club in Hollywood. The exception is that I could not find a CrossFit box in the area. I ended up with a combination of calisthenics and boxing with some weight training squeezed in.

Here are my go-to gyms:

Core Calisthenics– Monthly passes start at $20. Classes are six days a week. Some instructors speak English, but you can jump into a class and watch the physical demonstration to get an idea of the exercise.

Peralta Boxing- This place is slightly confusing at first because two different owners share the same space. During the day, it is Peralta Boxing, and at night, it is Leo Boxing. Each one has different prices and schedules. I never tried Peralta, but Leo Boxing was a good workout. The coach spoke English, and classes were $20 USD a month.

Outdoor Activities and Leisure in Palermo Parks

Outdoor parks and green space are one of the few places Palermo Hollywood needs to improve. While you are surrounded by green trees lining every street, the neighborhood has no parks.

The good news is you are just a 20-minute walk away from some of the largest green spaces in Buenos Aires. The nearby Palermo Parks provide a massive area for weekend family picnics, friendly futbol games, and just a break from the city center.

If you’re into outdoor fitness, the park’s network of paths and trails caters to early bird joggers, leisurely strollers, and cycling enthusiasts alike.

Weekends are a family affair on the aptly named Galileo Galilei Planetarium’s lawns, with picnics under the open sky. The nearby polo fields offer the excitement of a high-energy match. The Hippodromo is not only for racing fans; it’s a venue for experiencing the thrill of the sport amid a historical backdrop.

Take time to explore the Paseo El Rosedal Garden, an exquisitely manicured rose garden perfect for a tranquil escape or a romantic walk. Additionally, the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden, a verdant oasis of horticultural diversity, invites you for a quiet stroll and a chance to marvel at the myriad plant species from around the world. Best of all, entry to both gardens is free of charge.

Not too far away, the Jardín Japonés (Japanese Gardens) is a splendid cultural gift from the Japanese community. If you time your visit right, you can marvel at the precision of its landscaping, the serenity of its koi ponds, and the stunning beauty of blooming cherry blossoms.

While the place is pretty, unlike the previously mentioned gardens, the Japanese garden charges an entrance fee. Given the other gardens are free of charge, the experience here is not worth paying for.

Palermo’s green spaces are the city’s lungs—offering a refreshing break from the buzz of neighborhood life and a chance to engage in various recreational activities amid nature’s charm.

Public Transportation Connectivity: Metro and Bus Tips

Making your way around Palermo Hollywood via public transportation is not only eco-friendly, but it’s also insanely cheap.

Metro Stations

The Subte D line, Buenos Aires’ underground subway system, is your gateway to the area. Ministro Carranza and Palermo stations are the metro stops making up the two ends of the Palermo Hollywood district. Even with the latest increased rates, tickets for the metro only cost 0.75 US cents / 757 Pesos.

Additionally, two Metrobus (Rapid Transit Bus) routes support Hollywood.

Metrobus Norte goes along Santa Fe and connects the Subte D line with the Carranza train station (a Mitre commuter railway line) and the MaipĂş Station of the Tren de la Costa, a coastal train you can take all the way to Le Tigre.

Metrobus Juan B. Justo- Connects 21 bus stations, including the Sarmiento and San MartĂ­ railway stations, Subte B and D lines, and the Pacifico public bicycle station with 12 km of exclusive bus lanes.

metrobus map for the bus lines in Palermo Hollywood Buenos Aires Argentina
Photo Credit

The barrio is further supported by several city bus lines with an average ticket costing $0.27 US cents / 270 ARS.

Is Palermo Hollywood a safe neighborhood for expats to live?

I would only recommend living here if the neighborhood was safe. Sure, like any big city, something can happen. However, my girlfriend felt comfortable walking around the neighborhood at night, and my 70+-year-old mother and father had no issues walking the barrio alone.

Every building has either a locked gate or a doorman to restrict entry. Break-ins are rare. I haven’t heard anyone mention a burglary since I have lived here.

There are homeless people in the area, especially with the recent economic downturn. Still, they are generally non-aggressive and keep to themselves. They may ask you for money, but a simple no usually means they will move on.

But don’t be surprised to see people dumpster diving.

INSIDER TIP: Cell Phone Theft In Buenos Aires- The one safety caveat is cell phone snatching is a big thing in Buenos Aires, and Palermo Hollywood, with its high concentration of foreigners and upper-middle-class locals, is a target.

The good news is that, unlike in Medellin or Rio de Janiero, phone thefts are not violent. However, thieves will snatch the phone out of your hands and run off or drive off on a motorbike.

If you need to check directions on a map or respond to a text, step into the doorway of a business or apartment building, or at the very least, turn your body toward a wall and hold your cell phone close to your body.

Palermo Hollywood’s Arts Scene and Nightlife

Murals, Street Art, and Galleries

Neighboring Soho gets the reputation as the arts and creative district, but that doesn’t mean the Hollywood neighborhood lacks a creative spirit.

Artists use the barrios’ walls as a canvas for some fantastic urban art.

If you’re looking for art to hang on your walls vs. painted on a wall, several independent galleries dotting the district, like Atelier Genovesi, Wosco Art Gallery, and PARED, showcase the cutting-edge of Argentina’s art scene.

These spots are not just places to view art but vibrant community spaces where new artists find their footing and art lovers gather to chat about the latest trends.

Nightlife In Palermo Hollywood

Honestly, Hollywood is great for many things, but one of my favorite characteristics is the area’s chill vibe. There are several speakeasy-style bars, intimate wine bars, and a couple of dance clubs in the area, but nowhere near the concentration of Palermo Soho. Hollywood is a more laidback and quiet barrio, but that is a good thing.

Sure, the energy of Soho’s nightlife is exciting, but big crowds, drunken foreign tourists, and noise come with the buzzing nightlife.

Here is another benefit to living in Hollywood. If you still want a thriving bar scene or to hear the thumping beats and loud music, Plaza Serrano is just a 15-minute walk away.


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About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive . [view press...]


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