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.

Claridge Hotel

Hotel bar redolent of old English clubs.

Confitería del Hotel Castelar

Popular meeting place for cultural figures in the 20th century.

Don Victoriano (formerly El Gato Negro)

Cosy cafe and spice shop that takes visitors on a journey through time and space

El Faro

Traditional 1930s cafe.

El Hipopótamo

With a strategic location in the neighbourhood of San Telmo, this bar offers warmth and good service.

El Querandí

Classic tango-orientated bar dating back to 1920.

El Viejo Buzón

Neighbourhood bar with a lot of character

Esquina Homero Manzi

Cafe where the great poet Homero Manzi wrote the tango Sur

Hotel Alvear bar

One of the city's most traditional and distinguished bars

La Biela

Historic cafe, with a motoring pedigree.

La Embajada

Traditional store in historic Monserrat.

La Flor de Barracas

Historic bar that has withstood changing times