Six days a week, Plaza Dorrego is a quiet shady square where porteños sip cortados and nibble lunches from nearby cafés. On weekends, though, it swarms with Argentine and foreign visitors who stroll among dozens of antiques stalls at the Feria de San Pedro Telmo, the most famous and colorful of the capital’s numerous street fairs. Items range from antique soda siphons to brightly painted filete plaques with piropos (aphorisms), oversized antique radios, and many other items.
The plaza and surrounding side streets also fill with street performers like the ponytailed Pedro Benavente (“El Indio”), a smooth tanguero (dancer) who, with various female partners, entrances locals and tourists alike—even though his music comes from a boom box. Up and down Defensa, which is closed to cars on Sunday, there are also live tango musicians and other dancers, not to mention puppet theaters, hurdy-gurdy men with parrots, and a glut of estatuas vivas (costumed mimes, some original and others trite).
The Feria de San Pedro Telmo takes place every Sunday, starting around 9–10 a.m. and continuing into late afternoon. Even with all the antiques and crafts stands, there’s room to enjoy lunch and the show from the sidewalk cafés and balconies overlooking the plaza.