Buenos Aires Cafe Culture

What’s Buenos Aires’ cafe culture like? Let’s just say lingering over a café con leche and a medialuna (a mini-croissant, for the uninitiated), while people-watching, chatting with friends or reading the newspaper is a daily, civilized ritual for most Porteños, or Buenos Aires locals. But sumptuous pastries and strong coffee are the tip of the menu iceberg for many of the famed capital’s cafes. From iconic, 100-year-old venues to trendy, hipster hangouts, Buenos Aires cafes offer inventive and traditional menus to delight all manner of cafe cravings.

Oui Oui
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Valerie Conners
It's inevitable that diners fall madly in love with French-style Oui Oui. The cafe's charm factor is off the charts: hand-scrawled menus on blackboards, whitewashed brick walls, pink picnic-style tables and chairs, and pitchers of lemonade with fresh mint. Enjoy fresh-baked baguettes, gooey pain au chocolates and brunch favorites like poached eggs with salmon.
  • Nicaragua 6068
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Pani
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Pani Cafe
You'll feel like a kid in a frilly candy shop upon entering Pani. This tiny cafe delights diners with displays of decadent desserts, wrought-iron decor, striped wallpaper and all kinds of colorful bric-a-brac that line the walls. Join the trendy crowd here and order a monstrous cinnamon roll or a savory Club Waffle: smoked ham, fried egg, cheddar, caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on a waffle. Yowza.
  • Nicaragua 6044
  • Buenos Aires, C1414BWN Argentina
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Las Violetas
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Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images
A Buenos Aires institution for more than 125 years, Las Violetas is a must-visit, but better come early; lines form well before the cafe's opening hour, as locals and tourists vie for a marble-topped table. Diners are treated to a breathtaking, curved stained-glass portico, gilded columns and servers donning white jackets. Arrive at tea time and order the María Cala, a platter overflowing with cakes, sandwiches and pastries, as well as fresh juice and tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
  • 3899 Avenida Rivadavia
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
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In Bocca al Lupo Caffè
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Alexander Lazar, PickUpTheFork.com
Tucked behind an unassuming stone facade lies one of Buenos Aires's most character-filled cafes, complete with 2-story-high ceilings, skylights, an inviting outdoor courtyard and funky chandeliers made with coffee mugs and spoons. Run by Italians, the cafe serves up strong coffee, airy homemade cornettis (fluffy croissants), fresh salads and giant sandwiches.
  • 1965 Bonpland
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Cafe Tortoni
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Gallo Images / Getty Images
A veritable Buenos Aires institution, Cafe Tortoni has been serving strong coffee and tasty snacks to stylish Porteños since 1858. The café’s classic decor of stained glass windows, rich woods and cool marble speak to its long history. Pro tip: Arrive early in the morning when locals start filling the tables; the place has turned into a tourist draw in recent years.
  • 825 Avenida de Mayo
  • Buenos Aires, 1084 Argentina
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Decata
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Just when you thought Decata's funky, thrift store-chic ambiance, strong-like-bull coffee and monstrous pastries oozing dulce de leche-filled delights were reason enough to come to Decata, we've found another one: the Caesar salad. In a city known more for beef-tastic entrees, enjoying a bona fide Caesar salad with copious, salty chunks of parmesan crumbled atop is a true revelation.
  • Soldado de la Independencia 670
  • Buenos Aires, C1426BTF Argentina
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