Historic cafes
Known as "bares notables", many of the city's beautiful historic cafes and bars remain richly preserved, offering a journey back in time.

Buenos Aires has long had a thriving café culture and its many historic cafes were the meeting places for illustrious literary, musical and political figures, including the likes of Jorge Luis Borges and Carlos Gardel.

Today the city has over 70 listed historic cafes declared bares notables, recognised for their importance to the city's culture. Their decors are carefully preserved and passing through their doors may feel like stepping back in time.

Guidebooks will direct you to Café TortoniEl Faro or Confiteria las Violetas for a typical cortado (espresso with a dash of hot milk) and medialuna (croissant), but there are dozens more to explore throughout the city, some with daily tango shows. 

Download a full list of the city’s most historic cafes, or check out our selection below.

Note that cafes are usually open every day for breakfast, lunch snacks and the traditional merienda, a late afternoon snack which might include a coffee and a piece of cake. Some close at around 7pm, but many of these historic venues open (sometimes very) late into the evening offering alcholic drinks and dinner as well as coffee and soft drinks.

Bar Saint Moritz

One of the favourite cafes of the writer Jorge Luis Borges and his mother Leonor Acevedo.

Bar Seddon

Worn chequerboard floor and wood panelling create a warm atmosphere

Bar Sur

Atmospheric bar named for its location on the south of the original city limits.

Barbaro bar

Bar founded by the artist Luis Felipe Noé in 1969 as a "cultural provocation"

Boston City

Located in the Galería Güemes, where the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry lived.

Café de los Angelitos

One of the city's most popular cafes.

Café El Banderín

Historic cafe and museum of football flags

Café Margot

Legend has it even president Perón dropped by here to try the famous turkey sandwich

Café Ocho Esquinas

Historic cafe famous for its cured ham and German specialities.

Café Retiro

Classic train station cafe brought back to its former glory

Café Tortoni

Pop in for a coffee steeped in history at the city´s oldest cafe.

Casa Watson (ex Capisci)

Located in a building that dates back 150 years.