Bar Sur
About
This sultry bar is another popular tango landmark.
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The area
Neighborhood: San Telmo
Characterized by cobblestones and narrow streets, San Telmo is defined by the tango, the dance that made Buenos Aires world-famous. Tango is a fusion of many different cultures: a true child of immigration, much like the city itself. Nowadays, it comes alive after dark in the milongas (dance parties) attended by both locals and visitors alike, who dance until the wee hours of the morning. During the day, the antique shops and classic cafés and bars around Plaza Dorrego dominate the scene. The emblematic Bar Plaza Dorrego, with its green awnings, checkered tile floors, and wooden interiors, takes you back in time the moment you step inside. For true porteño traditions, San Telmo is the place to be.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
216 reviews
Excellent
117
Very good
53
Average
11
Poor
10
Terrible
25

Ted M
Vancouver, Canada1,030 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
Having a drink across the street we stopped by Bar Sur to ask about the show. Starts at 9PM, ends around 1 AM. Small intimate space with seating around a small dance floor plus a couple of tables on a raised platform at one end of the bar. Price was $3,500 per person. We reserved tickets for the following night and chose our table - the one at the edge on the platform for its better overall sightline. However, the room is so small where you sit is not overly important. Fee was paid at the end of the show (or when you decided it was time to go). Credit cards accepted.

Show performers were three musicians - a piano, a bass fiddle and accordion. The others were two tango dance couples and two male singers - in Spanish, and canned music. The performers rotated throughout the evening. We enjoyed the musicians and tango dancing. The two older gentlemen singers were not our favourites. Part of it may have been a language barrier as we understand little Spanish.

The payment includes one drink, food is available for a charge. We ordered a bottle of wine (Alamos Malbec) for $1,600, very pricy. We did not try the food.

We were satisfied going to Bar Sur as it was near our San Telmo lodging. We probably could done more research before choosing here.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RJG
Henley-on-Thames, UK33 contributions
Jan 2023 • Couples
Bar Sur is a small intimate place with great tango dancers, singers and live musicians. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening there - it was very full of entertainment. We were made very welcome and it felt like stepping back in time. We recommend this!
PS would suggest having dinner before you arrive
Written January 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

karinad762019
Los Angeles, CA6 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
The show was totally amazing. My husband and I, wanted to experience the tango show and we found the Bar Sur's information in Google. It caught to my attention that they have been in the business for many years, so we decided to go. As soon as we got there, the staff was super friendly and attentive. The show started at 9 pm with a pianist and a violinist, their music was very romantic and beautiful. Then the tango dancers, they were very professionals, elegant, and super friendly. They took pictures with us and they even teached us some tango moves, and last but not least the singer with his pianist, they sang beautiful tango songs. We stayed until passed midnight and had a wonderful night. We definitely come back if we have the opportunity to be in this beautiful city again. If you are in BA do yourself a favor and plan a visit for a wonderful night in Bar Sur in San Telmo.
Written January 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Doordoor
3 contributions
Dec 2022 • Solo
Went there last night due to a famous Chinese movie and good reviews here. Experience was horrible. Owner/waiter put colored guests ( Latinos and chinese) in the corner far away from the center stage. They didn’t care how you bought the tickets. I asked 8 people around me if the reason was we didn’t make reservations online. Some told me they
did make reservations. One couple even came there when the bar opened the door! Owner didn’t let them pick the seats and just reserved all the good seats for American/European white people. One white couple came very late. No more tables available near center stage. Wow, smart owner moved in two extra chairs. Problem solved perfectly. It’s ridiculous to see what happed there last night. Can’t believe it’s real. Thought those racists all died in the last century. So disgusting.
Written December 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Natalie F
2 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
We went for the show on a Thursday night - live music and tango dancing. Was it a little expensive and slightly touristy? Yes. Was it incredible and absolutely worth it? VERY MUCH YES. The bar itself is super intimate, drinks cheap, and the show had some of the best tango dancers I've ever seen. 10/10 wold recommended for anyone going to BA
Written November 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BrendaHou
Hong Kong, China168 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
We booked the dinner and show which started at 9pm. We came to this as it’s famous for being the scene shown at the Hong Kong movie ‘Happy Together’ 春光乍洩 produced in 1997. The place is very cozy and actually quite small with only a few tables on both sides. The center is open for tango show and music performance. The vibe was great carrying the oldies of 60s. Dancers performed really well and professional. The dancers would come to invite guests for photo-taking which was one of highlights too. A drink was included in the show price so we ordered wine! This was an enjoyable night. We stayed until midnight before heading back to our hotel! Well worth visiting!
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brad522
Houston, TX58 contributions
Sep 2015 • Solo
This place was recommended by a friend that is extremely well traveled, so I trusted her judgment.

I started reading TA reviews, some positive, but quite a few negative. Most of the negative centered around the cover charge. Look people, don't be cheap. It's 600 pesos or 50USD and is clearly stated by the Maître D at the door and then again on the menu. Many people said they weren't warned, so they must be illiterate. Now for the price. My guess is that those that complained spend that much money at the local pub/bar in a weekend, so quit your whining :) Not to mention that the other shows are even more expensive!

The venue: A very old bar that is extremely intimate. There are about ten tables. It's dark and feels like you walked into a time warp. It's just amazing. Quick note on the location. I was a bit nervous after speaking with a few people about San Telmo at night. I took a cab there, and the Maître D called me a cab to go home. No issues.

The show: You can expect three rotating performers. A three piece band (cello, piano and accordeon), a male singer, and a couple dancing tango. They alternate sets and sometimes combine them. Yes, it's just one couple dancing, but you feel like you're in their living room, they are incredibly good, and the dancing is different each set. They even invite you up to take pictures as well as give you a quick dance lesson (which I failed miserably).

The food/drink: I'd eat dinner beforehand, but the empanadas are amazing. Selection of wine, etc. I paid 280 pesos for a bottle of white, so cheap in my mind.
All in with water, a bottle of wine and three empanadas (Inc cover), I spent about 110 USD for three hours of incredible entertainment.

The service: Impeccable and wanting to cater to your every need. Sure, he was diligent in reminding me to tip at the end, but it's probably because the cheap assess that wrote the negative reviews didn't tip him. It's expected!

Yes, they have Wifi, but put your phone down and enjoy the show.

So sure, you don't know me. I'm pretty cheap myself, but I would recommend that you absolutely go here and avoid the more Vegas - type tango shows. Hope this helps.

Oh and when you see the female tango dancer, ask if she's single for me and reply to this review :)
Written September 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suyangi G
Milton Keynes, UK189 contributions
Feb 2014 • Friends
Together with my husband and 4 other friends we recently visited Bar Sur. What can I say about Bar Sur. Let me start with the positive - cosy with intimate atmosphere, good dancing and singing and a lot of interaction with the crowd. We had a great time until we were presented with a bill of about 35,000 pesos and as all we had was A bottle of red wine we were concerned. Our agent in Buenos Aries had made reservations for us at this place on the basis that all we had to pay for was our drinks and no charge would be made for entrance.

Now for the negative - when we queried the bill we were told that the bill included about 500 pesos entrance fee per person. As we had been told by our agent that there was no entrance fee we refused to pay. This is when it got nasty. Police were called and we were threatened with fraud and were warned that if we did not pay up we would be put in jail. Fortunately for us we had with us the whatsapp conversation we had had with our agent where it clearly stated that there was no entrance fee. However it did not end there. Bar Sur staff refused to acknowledge that our agent had made a booking and we were again threatened with fraud and put in jail where we would be finger printed. We were asked to give a statement which we were happy to do so provided statement was also taken from the Bar Sur manager/owner. Not sure what happened next but the Bar Sur manager/owner brought out the reservation that had been made for us by our agent with his telephone no. on it. Agents name had been crossed out but fortunately for us agents telephone no. was still on it and matched with the whatsapp conversation we had had. All in all this lasted about 2 hrs and at last we were told to go and were excused from paying our bill. A good start to Bar Sur turned very sour.
Written March 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Evan F
New York City, NY476 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
After hearing reports of the deafening, Disney-fied "Señor Tango" tango-gaucho-dinner experience our friends attended, the two of us asked our hotel concierge to recommend some place a little more intimate and authentic. They didn't hesitate to suggest Bar Sur, one of BA's oldest tango clubs, in the heart of historic San Telmo.

We knocked on the door at 9, when the show was scheduled to start and were greeted by an older gentleman in tails and white gloves. The place was otherwise empty, but he assured us that the show would begin shortly and would we perhaps care to sit and order some wine.

We did just that, and while he fetched the bottle, we were left alone in the magnificently creepy space. It really could have been a Hollywood set: checkerboard tile floors eroded by the steps of 10,000 tangos, a carved wooden bar stocked with beautiful bottles and oozing ambience, photos and memorabilia of the great tango crooners of yore.

Shortly, a trio emerged, bass, violin, and piano, and began playing some tunes. Their set lasted about 20 minutes, and still no one else had entered. It felt a little awkward, but we just ordered some empanadas and went with it. Then, a pair of dancers floated onto the tile, saluted us, turned to one another, and proceeded to dance the 3 most sultry, intoxicating dances I'd ever seen. I felt frankly very voyeuristic being in the same space with passion of such intensity. After their set, they chatted with us for a while and invited us to take some poses with them in tango poses. After they left, a crooner with a guitar and Carlos Gardel's hat, came in and sang several earthy, poignant melodies. Still, we were the only ones there.

Realizing each set took about an hour, we resolved to stay for a second, and then see if an exit strategy might develop. We asked the maître d' whether people usually turned up for the later sets, and he explained cryptically that "We do this show every night, regardless of if there's an audience."

Towards the end of the second set, there was a knock at the door. A beautiful young woman, whom we learned was traveling solo from Venezuela, came in, ordered a single glass of cabernet, and began spreading what appeared to be the manuscript for the Great South American Novel out across the tiny, round tables encircling the dance floor. She pulled out an opulent fountain pen and set to work, largely ignoring the live performers inches from her masterpiece, but shushing us when we dared speak a word.

Realizing we were now in either a Beckett play or a Fellini film, we simply had to stay and see this play out.

About an hour later, the maître d' managed to rope a couple of confused Dutch lesbians into the final set. They timidly joined the festivities, visibly uncomfortable at first. The dancers softened the mood considerably by inviting us all to dance with them, and then with each other. It had really turned into a magical evening.

Finally, the man in the fedora came out and took requests (highly recommended that you have the names of at least 3 or 4 tango favorites in your back pocket so you can actually make requests), finishing with the timeless "El día que mi quieras." It was 1am. We'd more than survived the 4-hour show with the awkward start, it had really made our trip.

I'd say the intimate club could hold 30-40 when full, but would have felt lively even with a dozen. Recommended to get together a group of friends, or if you're traveling alone, try to convince some folks from your hotel to join. The performers were of a high quality, and the experience was unforgettable, ultimately in a very good way.
Written July 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ya_Me_Voy
Mendoza1 contribution
How do you get the waitress to come to your table? Hint: making eye contact, waving your hand, or verbal cues do not work. You have to get up out of your seat and approach the waitress who is behind the bar eating your pizza. And then you have to do it a second time as well.

What does the waitress do when you point out that she served your overpriced glass of wine in a glass with a giant booger on it? She takes your glass and your wine. I guess it's just your unlucky day.

The tango show was not bad. The performers comprised over half of the audience.
Written October 12, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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