Originally Posted by mack11211
Magoo: Please relate any shopping/consuming experiences.
First, the food and drink are fantastic. Food in BsAs is outstanding, from the casual cafes and bars to the tourist traps (e.g., Cabana Las Lilas) to the bright and hip (mostly in Palermo). They really know their grub down there. Steak is famous, but the Italian is superior to what you'd find in the US, NYC included. Also, plenty of creativity, especially in Palermo Viejo. You really can't go wrong.
Second, wonderful handicrafts there. They have a solid indigenous tradition of handicrafts in the western and northern parts of the country, with a very sharp eye for design in BsAs. It means you can get great handmade items that you're unlikely to see anywhere else. Leatherwear, paper, weavings, etc. I picked up some very nice gifts for people -- e.g., unique leather gifts that would cost $250 in the US, were $50 in Argentina.
Third, is the clothing. As stated before, the t-shirts and jeans are first rate and their upper end clothing tends to be relatively conservative. I'm not a big t-shirt and jeans buyer, but it'd be a great place to pick up some unique designs at Felix or Bolivia or other spots, especially in Palermo. I found some good things at Balthazar (the Paul Smith of BsAs) in Palermo, James Smart in Recoleta (one of their upper end spots), and a small "polo"-ish store in the Jockey Club building in Recoleta who's name alludes me. Very, very good prices, but few things so unique you wouldn't see versions of them in the US or Europe.
I did not partake in bespoke, which can be a challenge when you speak the same language -- my Spanish is woeful. But I saw some nice spots -- a shirtmaker at Santa Fe and Callou, a tailor with beautiful things in the window in Arenales. If you have the language skills, it would be a great souvenir. Given that their economy has picked up, I doubt the artisans' schedules are as free as they were a few years ago, so I bet you need a good chunk of time. Any particular questions, feel free to ask.