A Sunday Morning in San Telmo: Defensa Street Market/Feria de San Pedro Telmo and El Banco Rojo

Defensa Street Market Buenos Aires Mafalda
Parrilla at the market

Sunday morning, we set out on an excursion to San Telmo to eat the famous spicy fried lamb empanadas at El Banco Rojo. On our way there, we stumbled upon the San Telmo Market on Defensa Street which spans about 13 blocks between 10:00-16:00. While it’s not listed in many guidebooks that we read (or perhaps we missed it), the Feria de San Pedro Telmo began in 1970 and is a pedestrian friendly market offering arts, crafts, clothing, antiques and food and brings together locals and visitors to shop, people watch, and enjoy a leisurely Sunday.

View from street level

What caught our interest the most as we meandered, were the parking lots that were transformed into spaces to get asado, drinks (wine, beer, non-alcoholic) while listening to so live music or watching some tango. We decided to get a choripan each and sit to watch some tango.

Tango dancers


Chori pan being prepared

We also noticed a long line of people lining up to take a photo at the Mafalda monument and decided to do so ourselves. In case you didn’t know, Mafalda is an Argentine comic strip between 1964-1973 and remains very popular to this day with young and old.

Mafalda y soy

We eventually arrived to El Banco Rojo and shared some spicy fried lamb empanadas with a couple of beers on their nice patio. If you like lamb, spice, and crispy dough, these are a tasty little snack to be enjoyed in small quantities. El Banco Rojo is a dinner that serves empanadas, tacos, fries, burgers, etc. in a quirky setting. It has a great patio and nice collegial atmosphere with locals, lots of families and dogs here. We went to try to spicy fried lamb empanadas and they were pretty spectacular.

Spicy lamb empenadas with beer
El Banco Rojo

We needed to walk off the food and made our way to Mercado de San Telmo, which has antiques, produce, and prepared food. We were also scoping out where Nuestra Parrilla is as it was on our lists of places to try choripan but it was closed for renovations.

As petty crimes such as theft and pick pocketing is very common in Buenos Aires, we recommend packing light and being aware of your belongings as you move through the crowds.

Overall, it was a nice day and we really enjoyed taking a leisurely stroll and enjoying snacks along the way. The sites, sounds, smells, tastes and culture provided us with a unique and Argentine experience that we recommend for anyone who wants a taste of how Portenos live.

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