Cafés Notables de Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires most traditional coffee-bars

Cafes Notables de Buenos Aires: Cafe Tortoni

Coffee-bars are an importat part of Argentinean traditions and institutions. The expression « Café Notables » (literally Notable coffee-bars) designates the most emblematic coffee-shops in Buenos Aires. They played a prominent role in the city’s cultural life and are now part of its Cultural Heritage.

Coffee-bars in the early 20th century

Most notable bars are from the early 20th century. At this time, coffee-bars used to be quite large. The typical coffee-bar architecture included wooden and glass decoration. Beveled crystal mirrors covered the walls. A large wooden counter separated the dining room from the cashier and the barman. More elegant bars also had bronze table and marble floors. Some featured an orchestra’s balcony were music – often tango – played on the evenings.

Cafés Notables de Buenos Aires:  downtown vs. neighborhoods bars

Most famous notable bars can be found in the city center. Café Tortoni, on Avenida de Mayo, is probably the most renowned one. Petit Colón is always full just before next-door Teatro Colón opera and music performances. The hustle and bustle in Florida Garden, in the busiest part of Florida Street, never seems to stop.

Farther from the city center, the atmosphere is quieter. In Villa Devoto, Café de García maintained a unique charm. El Preferido de Palermo, now in the middle of hip Palermo Soho, still looks like an ancient grocery store.

Cafés Notables de Buenos Aires: our shortlist

Cafés Notables de Buenos Aires: Confitería Las Violetas

Confitería Las Violetas – Av. Rivadavia 3899, Almago


Café Tortoni – Av. de Mayo 825/29, Montserrat

Bares Notables Buenos Aires: Clasica y Moderna

Clásica y Moderna – Av. Callao 892, Recoleta


Café de los Angelitos – Av. Rivadavia 2100, Balvanera

Café La Biela Buenos Aires

La Biela – Av. Quintana 600, Recoleta

El Gato Negro Buenos Aires

El Gato Negro – Av. Corrientes 1669, San Nicolás


El Preferido de Palermo – J.L. Borges 2108, Palermo


El Federal – Carlos Calvo 595, San Telmo

 Bar El Hipopotamo San Telmo

El Hipopótamo – Brasil 401, San Telmo

 Bares Buenos Aires: Varela Varelita

Varela, Varelita – Av. Scalabrini Ortiz, Palermo

Cafés Notables de Buenos Aires: the complete list

You can find the complete list of the 73 Notable coffee-bars of Buenos Aires here:

Enjoy your cortado in one of these coffee-bars with history and feel as time has stopped in Buenos Aires.

Other articles you might be interested in:
Top 10 Parrillas in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Museums Mile: 16 museums in Palermo, Recoleta and Retiro
Tango Show Buenos Aires: Where to see a good tango show

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This blog about Buenos Aires is written by Palo Santo Hotel team. We are passionate about culture, gastronomy, our Palermo neighborhood and Buenos Aires in general!
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