Micasa Pimp your pad

Interior design mecca Micasa doesn’t have a problem standing out from the crowd. You’ll guess as much before you’ve even set foot in the place. Sandwiched between two grey flat blocks, the slick, frosted-glass fronted building—designed by Triptyque —in which they’ve made their home, is a mid-20th century rose between two dreary and faceless thorns.

The impressive architecture doesn’t stop at the exterior either. Once you’ve made your way inside, you’ll catch an eyeful of unique design flourishes—bare concrete walls, a spacecraft snap-hatch entrance and a retro ‘60s airline ramp. All these touches combine to form a fitting surround for Micasa’s impressive array of locally made interior design gems that reference a range of creative mediums—from music to fashion and cinema to architecture.

Bar Secreto Incognito all-night indulgence

Blessed with a talent for haute nightlife espionage, Bar Secreto is a dab hand at keeping itself undercover and exclusive. That name is designed to throw people off for a start. This ain’t a bar, it’s very much a club, and a damn swanky one at that. And Secreto stays that way thanks to the mysteriously named ‘Hostess’, who presides over the entrance with a searchlight gaze and a watertight guest list.

Once you’ve managed to negotiate your way past her (whether it be by charm, privilege or secret password), you’ll be welcomed into a candle-lit cavern of a room stylishly—and opulently—furnished with cocoa-dark leather couches, paintings, chandeliers and a ‘casually’ placed piano. A soundtrack that ranges from rock to electro, meanwhile, drifts out of the incognito speaker system for fashionable and famous feet to move to. Just take care not to tread on any of those trendy toes while you’re two-steppin’ or you could find yourself back outside on the kerb.

Cartel 011 Off the bandwagon, onto the cart(el)

Don’t try to pigeonhole this place. Part art gallery, part design store, part restaurant, part co-working space, we could go on…but basically it’s exploding with ideas and energy. From product launches to music sessions, there’s always something going on at Cartel 011. Founded in 2009 with the intention of transforming the urban environment, it’s a case of so far, so bloody brilliant.

Z Carniceria Now that's a hook featured

And now, a bit of folklore to accompany your drink. Locals will impart stories about how the owner of this once-meatpacking shop walled the place up after hearing cows mooing. The space was only accidentally rediscovered after workers knocked down a wall a few decades later.

It sounds a bit morbid, but Z Carniceria takes advantage of its bloody history by stringing hooks and shaking out meat-themed drinks like the Mad Butcher to an amused clientele. It’s now a ‘50s rockabilly bar cast under serious red lights. The carnivorous carnival is all tongue-in-cheek though: the biggest surprise here is the menu’s very tasty vegetarian fare.

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