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Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires

March 31st, 2009 · No Comments

CIMG5972 CIMG5978 CIMG5971 CIMG5967 Up there with the rest of the world’s famous cafes – Les deux Magots, Cafe Select, Cafe Greco, the tea room at Fortnum & Mason, Cafe Florian – Cafe Tortoni is Buenos Aires’ oldest and most famous cafe. It certainly has the atmosphere and the pedigree to be in the list of the World’s Top Ten.

Founded in 1858, it is still a great place to go for a coffee, maybe a pastry or a sandwich or beer, and to while away the afternoon, watching and being watched.

Located on Avenida de Mayo, one of the grand boulevards of Buenos Aires, Cafe Tortoni’s old-world and ornate old wood interior welcomes you – and with one quick look, cafe travelers of the world know what they’re in for. It won’t be the best coffee, the best food, or the most delicious cocktails of your life. But there is something about the atmosphere in these places – something a little ‘better’ that makes you feel a bit ‘better’ – about everything. While the coffee at Tortoni is the same price as the coffee at the cafe down the street, when you’re at a place this established, you feel like you want to be on your best behavior, like you want to make sure your hair is a little tidier, like the knot in your tie is a little straighter – just to honor the many famous people who came here and drank the same coffee out of the same cups before you.

For the price of a cup of coffee – to sit in the same seat as Gardel or Borges and maybe feel a little bit of their greatness – to think that maybe somewhere inside you something could be great as well – well, that’s a cup of coffee worth every penny.

In short, the food and drinks are fine as is the service. In fact, the service is much more pleasant and charming than at most of the cafes that I listed at the start. But that’s not why you should go to Tortoni – you should go there to watch, be watched, and maybe feel that spark of greatness inside. Like I said – worth every penny.


Cafe Tortoni
825 Avenida de Mayo
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: 4342-4328

Tags: Argentina · Buenos Aires · Cafe

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