I love my Latin culture. I truly do. And Buenos Aires brings vast memories to me specifically, the time I resided there during the 2014 FIFA. Argentina came out second after Germany. It was exciting, riveting, suspenseful and cold. Yes, very cold. July and August are the winter months in South America and the perfect time to enjoy a cup of jo while hibernating in a café spot with a good book or great conversation. And in the beautiful spirit of fall, I am well reminded of Argentinian winter months and the cafés I enjoyed. Here are a nine you need to visit.
1. Café Retiro: Located on the left to Recoleta is el barrio Retiro and it is here where you will find El Café Retiro. I could be exaggerating, but stepping in here reminded me of a scene from the Phantom of the Opera. Super grand and very eye catching. It carries history and value in Buenos Aires and a must-stop-and-visit café for all visitors of the city. Be it you enjoy an Argentinian breakfast, want to entertain your eyes or a engage in a conversation with an employee, you'll enjoy every ounce of this place and may even treat to another visit.
2. Británico: So after you've experienced the barrio of San Telmo or walked Parque Lezama, this café-type-bar-restaurant is a great stop-by for a meal or a drink. In general, I can say this place has a crowd from time to time and a great ambiance for any visitor wanting an authentic Spanish vibe in the midday. The dishes are ample and the prices are unbelievably low (trust and believe, you will leave full and satisfied). And if you're lucky, you may even witness an authentic Argentinian music performance that can really set a great mood. A definite spot to visit when in San Telmo!
3. El Hipopótamo: Literally, right across the street from Británico is El Hipopótamo. Not as populated as the previous, so perfect for those who want the quiet-laid-back Argentinian bar feel. If you are the read-in-newspaper-type individual who appreciates great food for affordable prices, Spanish coffee or mate, this is a great café-type-bar for you.
4. Bar del Alvear Palace Hotel: In Buenos Aires, I resided in the barrio Recoleta and am so glad I did. There was one Starbucks then (not sure how many there are now) with thirty other cafés, bars and restaurants to choose from (no excuses not to explore other places). Now....okay. This one is rather pricy, and a place to lavish in if you want to lavish in the Argentinian-posh-like atmosphere. I'll be honest, I walked in, had tea, and walked out. I was twenty, studying abroad, and on a tight budget (just goes to say that you can make it work with money and travel). El bar del Alvear Palace Hotel es absolutamente magnifico. The place has great scenery, interesting history and an open welcoming settling for visitors. You'd probably may not even want to leave.
5. Café Nostalgia: On the corner of Honduras, Mario Bravo and Soler you will find this little beauty. Her names says it all. This café is in a great setting, lively and always buzzing. What I love is the welcoming sign "Vivir...¡Aqui y ahora!" (To live...here and now), a true and vibrant line that truly depicts Buenos Aires. The food is great and the atmosphere is beautiful. Great for a gathering with friends and perfect for tourist and if you want to get to know the capital through food and café.
6. La Biela: This was probably my favorite café in Recoleta in terms of sight seeing and free-spiriting Buenos Aires in photos. Like many of these amazing cafés, La Biela has a great atmosphere and is perfect for tourist who want to take pictures with some local writers whose lives left a mark on Argentina as a country. Inside, you will find Borges and Bioy Casares, two of Argentina's famous writers, storytellers and authors, sitting and chatting, in figure of course. I'm guessing Borges wasn't much of a smiler in his days...but his stories are impeccable. Walk in and take a picture with them as if you three where in a conversation. #travelingpics
7. El Preferido de Palermo: On Jorge Louis Borges street himself, you'll find this café in Palermo, the biggest barrio in Buenos Aires. I remember stopping by this place shortly before class because my friend and I heard great things. And being the students we were, our pockets and bellies were so grateful, although, the atmosphere was pretty quiet (I do hear that it gets packed in the late evenings). The tortillas de patatas here are filled with the fillings you want. Meats, veggies, or plain (man....so good) the three Argentinian choices. I was naughty and stuck with deserts (my sweet tooth is for real you guys. Rice pudding, dulce de leche, crêpes... the whole bit). Being that we attended school in Palermo we were able to eat and jet. Authentic food, wonderful prices (academic student on a budget yo), filling plates (you may need to take some home in tupperware to be honest), great company and an amazing neighborhood.
8. El Gato Negro: This one is located right below the barrio of Retiro. An eye catching bar-restaurant whose walls are filled with history and stories. It was convenient to visit this spot because Corrientes was an avenue I spent a lot of time on. And with my sweet tooth, it was pretty tempting to not walk in. This place is well known for its cafés, sweets and teas, three of my favorite deserts. Definitely a place to visit and learn more about when visiting the capital.
9. Café Tortoni: This Café is a famous tourist sight because this was practically the go-to spot for Borges himself. It's a place everyone wants to visit with a line outside the door to prove it. Huge café that could be a bit pricy on some things, but great to catch some breakfast with friends.
There are plenty of cafés in Buenos Aires, so let me know which one is your favorite. And if you choose to visit one of these cafés leave a comment below!