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Buenos Aires Café Hopping

Soak up authentic barrio spirit through Buenos Aires’s cafés, bakeries, ice cream parlors, and pizzerias.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  Buenos Aires might be synonymous with beef, but Porteños don’t live by steak alone. In a metropolis defined by the character of its... more »

Tips:  Summers are hot and humid, winters are rainy, but spring and fall—especially March and November—can be absolutely perfect. Long, warm ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Café des Arts

The spare, sleek building, designed by three young Argentine architects, holds this airy, glass-walled café—open at night Thursdays through Saturdays—that’s perfect for a post-visit caipirinha or delicious dessert. In warm weather, sit outside under a huge jacaranda tree and order the “Argentino”: tender lomito (beefsteak) wedged between... More

Tucked away in Recoleta, this rustic nook with red leatherette booths is home to the town’s best empanadas. Flash-baked to order, the pastries arrive blistered and plump with creamed corn, mozzarella and basil, or hand-chopped beef sweetened with onions. You’ll eat surrounded by Porteño matrons impatiently waiting by the tiled takeout counter,... More

The oak-fueled ovens at Filo churn out wispy, chewy marvels in a nineties-kitsch space steps from Calle Florida. Long-haired diners nibble on elegant arugula-and-Parmesan salads while trying to decide among some three dozen toppings. Should it be palm hearts and bacon or something more classic, say the “Mediterraneo,” zesty with oregano, anchovies... More

Stuck in a late-Modernist time warp amid the Microcentro bustle, this 60’s café is for certain media and politico types an office, living room, and caffeine-emergency ward. Behind the 42-foot-long vintage wood-trimmed marble counter, bow-tied baristas reverentially tend the copper coffee machine while snappy-suited customers check fútbol scores on... More

5. La Cupertina

This tall, airy storefront in Palermo Viejo is presided over by the colorful Cecilia Hermann, who could have stepped out of a magical-realist novel. Guardian of Argentina’s culinary traditions—with a penchant for angel figurines—she presents a nearly anthropological display of sweets. She also makes sure that the humitas (corn tamales) and guisos ... More

The 1998 shuttering of this 124-year-old café caused such an uproar that within six weeks the city legislature gave it historic protection to save it; a 2001 restoration of the over-the-top elegance of the interior, with its three 19th-century stained-glass windows and marble bar, returned the French-style building to the splendor of Buenos Aires’... More

7. Un Altra Volta

Evoking the laboratory-style new wave Italian gelateria, this high-design mini-chain keeps it cool with 65 intensely flavored creations under gleaming stainless-steel lids. Try several scoops: aromatic maracuyá (passion fruit), studded with crunchy seeds, and rich, silky cremas in flavors like nougat or marrón glacé. The snazziest branch is on... More