La Biela, in the heart of Recoleta, is considered to be the oldest cafe in the city. Dating back to before Recoleta existed as a neighbourhood, it originally served refreshments to the passengers of horse-drawn carriages that passed by on their way from San Telmo to country homes north of the city.
Inside, the cafe is decorated with traditional wooden panelling and many references to motor sports - a biela is a crank, and the cafe took on this name in the 1950s when it became the meeting place for a club of motoring enthusiasts (look out for the statue of former racing driver Oscar “the Eaglet” Gálvez outside.) The cafe was also popular with writers and intellectuals.
Outdoor seating offers views over the greenery of the Plaza Francia, Recoleta Cemetery, Pilar church, and the Centro Cultural Recoleta. Impeccably attired and waiters serve the tables with an incredible efficiency.