The distinction between cafés  and bars is more a continuum than a dichotomy. Some of the more stylish (or pretentious) bars call themselves pubs, pronounced as in English, though many call themselves Irish.
Relocated to Monserrat  after the demolition of its classic Microcentro  locale, Bar Seddon (Defensa 695, tel. 011/4342-3700) has made a successful transition to the capital’s oldest neighborhood. Behind its street-side restaurant, La Trastienda (Balcarce 460, tel. 011/4342-7650, www.latrastienda.com ) has recycled a Monserrat warehouse into an attractive theater that hosts both live music and drama.
Downtown Matías (Reconquista 701, tel. 011/4311-0327, www.matiaspub.com.ar ) is the Microcentro  branch of Buenos Aires’s oldest Irish-style pub; there’s live music in various styles, including Celtic, and a 7–11 p.m. happy hour.
San Telmo’s Mitos Argentinos (Humberto Primo 489, tel. 011/4362-7810, www.mitosargentinos.com.ar ) has retooled as a rock nacional pub that hosts live music Friday and Saturday nights. Bar Plaza Dorrego (Defensa 1098, tel. 011/4361-0141) makes an ideal break from Sunday flea-marketeering or for a beer on its namesake plaza any other day.
In new quarters, the artsy Foro Gandhi (Avenida Corrientes 1743, tel. 011/4374-7501, www.casonadelarte.com.ar ) is a hybrid bookstore-coffeehouse–cultural center whose offerings include films, poetry readings, tango shows, and theater.
Buenos Aires ’s ultimate sports bar is the Abasto’s Café Bar Banderín (Guardia Vieja 3601, tel. 011/4862-7757, www.elbanderin.com.ar ). Decorated with soccer pennants dating decades back, it recalls the era when porteños argued about rather than gawked at fútbol. There’s TV now, but the mid-1950s setting survives.
Retiro ’s Bárbaro (Tres Sargentos 415, tel. 011/4311-6856, www.barbarobar.com.ar ) takes its punning name from a lunfardo (street slang) term roughly translatable as “cool.” And it is, but unpretentiously so.
Bordering Barrio Norte , Milión (Paraná 1048, tel. 011/4815-9925, www.milion.com.ar ) is a tapas bar occupying three stories of a magnificent 1913 mansion; minimally altered for its current use, it offers garden, patio, and interior seating. There’s a 6–9 p.m. happy hour, for beer only, on weekdays; it keeps late hours Monday–Saturday, but closes at 1 a.m. Sunday.
The nearby Gran Bar Danzón (Libertad 1161, tel. 011/4811-1108, www.granbardanzon.com.ar ) is a sophisticated wine bar that doubles as a restaurant, with a sushi special at happy hour (7–9 p.m.), though the sushi chef takes Mondays off. Drinkers can lounge on the comfy chairs and sofas or at the long bar; the dining area is separate. The music could be better and the volume lower, but the staff is cordial and the wine selection impressive.
Recoleta’s Buller Brewing Company (Presidente Ramón Ortiz 1827, tel. 011/4808-9061) is a brewpub that produces seven different types of beer served with tapas, seafood, and pizza.
The nearby Hard Rock Café (Avenida Pueyrredón 2501, 011/4807-7625, noon–3 a.m. daily) is the barrio branch of the worldwide hamburger and rock-and-roll memorabilia chain.
PalermoHollywood’s cavernous Niceto Club (Niceto Vega 5510, tel. 011/4779-6396, www.nicetoclub.com ) has become one of the area’s top live music venues over the last several years; it’s open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The musical offerings cover many styles, including electronica.
In Las Cañitas, Van Koning (Báez 325, tel. 011/4772-9909) is an Amsterdam-style pub that capitalizes on the Argentine fixation with all things Dutch since the country acquired its own royalty with the marriage of Máxima Zorreguieta to Crown Prince William in 2002. Dutch expats gather here the first Wednesday of every month.
Restored to its old Palermo location, beneath the railroad tracks in Parque Tres de Febrero , The Roxy (Avenida Casares and Avenida Sarmiento, www.theroxybsas.com.ar ) traditionally draws performers of the stature of Charly García. It also operates Palermo Hollywood’s Roxy Live Bar (Niceto Vega 5542), down the block from Niceto Club.