Feature of the Week-er: Rapanui Ice Cream

My Buenos Aires ice cream place is better than yours.

(I dare you to disagree)

Buenos Aires is known for its ice cream. It feels like there is a shop on every corner just waiting for you to ask them to trot over to your doorstep with some of the cold stuff in a freezer bowl  (shout out to badelivery!!). There is even an (popular AND expensive) Argentine ice cream joint, Dolcezza, in my native Washington, DC that really does know what it’s doing. Their salted caramel ice cream is ohmyfkwqkba.

So my second Feature of the Week-er is dedicated to Rapanui. It wins the prize for the “Place you Want to Live Next to but Shouldn’t” spot in the city.

In definite Pick Up the Fork  style, I played my own game of “This Why You’re Fat” and enjoyed a 1/4 kilo with a friend on a recent Saturday afternoon. (Don’t expect Rapanui to deliver to your house; they are too classy for that). The flavors I generally salivate over (of the ones I can remember) are maracuya (passion fruit) and kiwi sorbet, lemon pie with meringue (which tastes soo much like key lime pie it hurts), any of the ddl ones, one that tastes like nutella, and the raspberry sorbet. But I should mention that I never met a Rapanui ice cream that didn’t make my heart skip a beat.

So why is this my Feature of the Week-er? Because this place is cheaper (and better) than the most well known ice cream shop in Argentina, Freddo. A 1/4 kilo at Rapanui comes out to 27 pesos while the same size is 33 at Freddo! And of course, in ingenious argentine style, you get to try 3 flavors per 1/4. Sweet.

Rapanui is also an adorable spot for a coffee or chocolates (it’s originally known as a chocolate shop from Bariloche) with ample seating and even a communal table. I’m thinking this would be perfect ice cream date spot, in fact. I have also been lucky enough on TWO occasions to be offered a free chocolate, so they really have won me over.

If all that doesn’t convince you then know this: I don’t even really LIKE ice cream that much. Please, just try it.

So celebrate “Every Day Should be Ice Cream” day (if President Cristina FK can make up random holidays why can’t I?) and swing by Rapanui. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Rapanui, Arenales 2302 (corner of Azcuenaga), Recoleta

Update: I tried Jauja. No comparison.

Going to the Movies for Cheaper in Buenos Aires

It’s a Sunday or its raining and you feel like a nap movie. You could browse the options on your favorite movie site, but you feel the need to leave the house. An obvious option? The movies, of course! Here are a couple of ways to see movies without using all of your entertainment budget in one go.

CouponStar

 You may have seen the signs for this in the subte. The premise is simple: send a text, recieve a coupon. The great thing is that the coupons are things you would actually spend money on anyway. Couponstar has 2×1 deals at Cinemark, Multiplex, Showcase, and even IMAX Showcase theaters. When I originally saw it I immediately wanted to know just how many spam texts would flood my box after that coupon. Three weeks later I can say that I haven’t gotten any. Each coupon costs AR$ 1.20 + minimal taxes for Movistar, Personal, Nextel and Claro, which is how they make their money. Please, do me a favor and never pay full price again.

Espacio INCAA, Congreso

 If your Spanish is on the rise, and especially if you have already achieved some gold stars in your lunfardo class (please see El Tano Pasman for examples) this is the place for you. This heavily goverment-subsidized theater boasts Argentine films at extremely low prices. A ticket rarely if never goes abouve AR$ 10 and usually floats around AR$ 8. Its also even cheaper for students, averaging a whopping $AR 2 pesos less. So if you can’t wait to see the new Darin movie, this is probably your spot.

Club La Nación

 If you are interested in staying up to date on the news and getting some discounts at the same time then this is your best option. With a subscription to La Nación (can be just the newspaper once a week and a magazine per month) you have unlimited access to the company’s discounts. Many movie theaters throughout the city (the theater in the Abasto Mall, for example) give you a 2×1 price that is rarely available without an Argentine credit card.

Village Cinema

 This is a little chip off the price and good for those who feel the need to buy movie snacks. The movie theater at the mall in Recoleta and Caballito gives students, teachers, and retirees the possibility to apply for a card that gets a bit of a discount. The card costs AR$ 5 for administrative fees but it gets you the Wednesday matinee ticket price (AR$ 32 instead of 42) throughout the week and before 4 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You also get some sort of discount in popcorn combos (hence why this one is particularly good for you pochoclo fiends). All you need is proof of your status. If you are a retiree or teacher from Argentina I can imagine you know more than I do about this. For students, I know that you can get an offical letter declaring your status at a student (I’ve used this sort of letter to get some really nice dicounts on long distance bus travel) from your Argentine University quite easily, especially the private ones. If you are up for a little bureaucracy maneuvering, try this one out!

Showcase Belgrano 2×1

If you have internet access you can do this. Fillout the form and get 2×1 everyday and 2×1 in 3D movies on Thursdays using your very own scannable code. I saved the image in my iphone, ready for when I need it. Also 2×1 in 1/4 kilos of ice cream at Chungo. Nice. 

Cuevana

 If you really don’t feel like leaving the house afterall and you just want to curl up on your couch/bed/floor with your laptop then this is your best friend. Its self explanatory and entirely free so I’ll let you browse on your own. cuevana.tv

One final tip: If you’ve really gotten into this frugal thing, pop your own instant popcorn at home and buy a box of candy at the kiosko down the street. A good backpack or an over-sized purse will cover your tracks.

Happy Movie-ing!