Best cafés in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the most populated city of Argentina. Due to its history and varied origins, there is a lot of cultural diversity. One of these varieties has increased a lot in the last decade: the coffee culture. Even though the most remarkable hot drink in Argentina is the “Mate” (the “tea” that people drink through a straw), locals also love to have a coffee at a break on their jobs, or to socialize with friends, family or, if you have just met too! Not always matter the quality of the coffee, but always is a good reason to have one!
But Cafes in Buenos Aires are not only about the coffee itself. Cafés are places for encounters, for storytelling, where the people have met for decades to share thoughts and feelings. Some of them are iconic, legendary spots, worthy to be visited for anyone interested in experiencing the rich cultural heritage of Buenos Aires.
Such a big and beautiful city has of course an enormous amount of offers of coffee places, so let´s talk about the most traditional and famous, and show you which are the best ones:
This is the most antique coffee shop in Buenos Aires. Opened in 1858, its architecture is impressive, and its atmosphere is bohemian and elegant. Café Tortoni was the first one to put tables on the street. A lot of famous people spent time in this place, like painter Quinquela Martín, writer Jorge Luis Borges, and tango singer Carlos Gardel -who had his own table always reserved for him, on the right side next to the window at the entrance of Rivadavia avenue. At night, the café offers tango shows too. In general, is plenty of people so we suggest you go early.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid
If you love books or just want to have a coffee in a different place, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is perfect! Located at Recoleta Neighborhood, it was opened as a theater in 1919, then it was converted into a cinema; and in 1929 there were showed the first sound films presented in Argentina.
In 2000 the building was renovated and converted into a book and music shop. The architecture has been conserved, preserving the original theater features such as balconies, ornate ceilings and the stage, where the café is situated!
EL Ateneo Grand Splendid has been named by The Guardian as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
Location: Santa Fe Avenue, 1860.
Opened in 1884 and remodeled on the 20’s, it was closed only for a few years and re-opened in 2001. Located in Almagro Neighborhood, in 2017 was chosen as the best notable bar in Buenos Aires. The “notable cafés” of Buenos Aires is a category that gathers the most famous Cafés of the City, and you can find the list here: Bares Notables.
Las Violetas has beautiful stained-glass windows and curved doors and its floors are made of Italian marble. Its name is due to the flowers that used to decorate the front of the shop.
In the morning or in the afternoon you can delight tea or coffee with sweet doughs, sandwiches or delicious cakes. The croissants are unique here! Also, if your plan is to have lunch or dinner, you can try the exquisite plates, and the options go from meat to pasta on a very high-quality level.
Location: Rivadavia Avenue, 3899
This historical place started in the middle of the XIX Century. It had many names until it reached the name La Biela. It is one of the other most historical places of Buenos Aires. It is located in Recoleta, in front of the famous Recoleta Cemetery and it has been witness of a big portion of the history of Buenos Aires. It has a special table reserved “for life” for two of the most famous writers: Jorge Luis Borges and his friend Adolfo Bioy Casares who used to be regular clients.
Café La Biela is also known for its traditional Argentine cuisine, including empanadas, milanesas, and asado. The café is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also serves a variety of pastries and desserts.
Location: Quintana Av, 600.
El Gato Negro
El Gato Negro was founded in 1920 by Victoriano López Robredo “Don Victoriano”, who was a Spanish immigrant that opened his first spice business in Buenos Aires. After a year, he decided to move to a larger and more distinguished location, where the cafe still operates today. It has maintained its elegant style and remarkable display of high-quality spices, aromatic seeds, condiments, herbs, coffee, tea, and packaged products.
El Gato Negro is famous not only for its spices, but also because of coffee, and tea. The coffee is still traditionally toasted using the same machine as when the cafe was established.
Location: 1669, Corrientes Av. – San Nicolás Neighborhood
Café de los Angelitos
Bar Rivadavia was originally named by its Italian founder Batista Fazio in 1890. At the beginning of the opening, the regular clients were not good people: “malandras” in the local lunfardo, which means bad-living people. “Real angels” said the police, without knowing that they were giving the final name to one of the most popular places in the city.
Over the years, Café de los Angelitos became a popular spot for politicians and artists; specially tango. It hosted many notable figures throughout its history, including Carlos Gardel, who lived at a walking distance from this place.
This amazing place offers Tango performances which take place throughout the week. Visitors can enjoy dinner and a show, or simply stop by to watch the tango dancers perform while sipping a coffee or a glass of wine.
Location: 2100, Rivadavia Av.- Monserrat Neighborhood
Café La Poesía
Café La Poesía (The poem or The Poetry) was inaugurated in 1982 by the poet Rubén Derlis, it closed in 1988, and was reopened in 2009. Their owners have managed to maintain its bohemian atmosphere with the relics of the Café, like the mural by Juan Manuel Sánchez, the gallery with 120 portraits of masters of Argentine literature, the early 20th-century piano, the bronze beer tap, the reminder signs on the tables, the wooden counter, and the collections of antiques, cans, bottles, and soda siphons.
Also, the famous tango musician Astor Piazzolla met his wife here and the meeting was immortalized in his song “Lulú”.
Location: 502 Chile st. San Telmo neighborhood.
LAB – Lab tostadores de Café
This is a modern café located in Palermo neighborhood. Opened in 2014, LAB offers a great variety of filter-style coffee. LAB is known for its high-quality coffee beans, which are sourced from around the world and roasted on site. You can have a different experience in this place, by learning about coffee beans and extraction methods while you seat at the bar that surround the coffee machine.
Location: Humboldt st, 1542. Opened from Monday to Fridays 9am – 6 pm.
This stylish cafe and bakery was opened in 2013 with the purpose of continuing an Armenian family love for food and good cuisine. Ninina was the nickname of the founder’s grandmother. In 2017 Ninina ventured into the specialty coffee roasting industry, offering fresh, pleasurable, and versatile coffee options.
This place is known for its delicious pastries, cakes, and breads, as well as its excellent coffee and brunch menu. It’s a great place to come for a relaxed breakfast or lunch in a chic setting.
4738, Gorriti st. – Palermo
2464, Holmerg st. – Villa Urquiza
3415, Presidente Figueroa Alcorta av. (MALBA Museum) – Recoleta
Full City Coffee House
This little café has its own brand of Colombian coffee. It is a specialty coffee shop and their owners were pioneers on this type of café, and it was a challenge for them to enter a market used to a type of drink and traditional menus.
Full city Coffee House has also a varied menu that includes tasty Caribbean cuisine that includes from avocado toast to waffles and bacon. Also, they have burgers, salads, and great beverages! Its relaxed atmosphere and interesting decoration will let you enjoy one of the most tourist places of Palermo neighborhood.
Location: 1535, Thames st. – Palermo
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