Rarely mentioned by its official name, Balvanera subsumes several smaller neighborhoods with scattered sights: The bustling area commonly known as Congreso overlaps Monserrat  and San Nicolás, while the Once and Abasto neighborhoods have their own distinctive identities.
Once, the garment district, is also the capital’s most conspicuously Jewish enclave, where men and boys in yarmulkes, Orthodox Jews with their suits and beards, and even Hassidic Jews with their side curls are common sights.
There are several Jewish schools, noteworthy for the heavy concrete security posts outside them—Once suffered the unsolved terrorist bombing of the Asociación Mutualista Israelita Argentina (AMIA) (Pasteur 633), which killed 87 people in 1994.
West of Once, Abasto was the home of tango legend Carlos Gardel, whose restored residence is now the Museo Casa Carlos Gardel (Jean Jaurés 735, tel. 011/4964-2071, www.museocasacarlosgardel.buenosaires.gov.ar , 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon. and Wed.–Fri., 10 a.m.–7 p.m. weekends and holidays, US$1, free Wed.), a tango museum dedicated to the barrio’s favorite son.
In Gardel’s time, the magnificent Mercado del Abasto (1893), bounded by Avenida Corrientes, Anchorena, Agüero, and Lavalle, was a wholesale produce market that fell into disrepair before its rescue as a modern shopping center by international financier George Soros in the late 1990s. Its food court features a kosher McDonalds.