Hailed as the cosmopolitan capital of South America, Buenos Aires is a city known for its passion, music, and good food. When people think of Argentine cuisine, most picture succulent steaks and robust bottles of red wine and would be surprised to learn of the thriving café culture that has become a staple of the Buenos Aires food scene.
Art galleries and sidewalk cafés line the cobble stone streets in the popular neighborhood of Palermo and evoke a very New York Soho feel. While New Yorkers are trained to maximize time with “quick-to-order” meals, porteños can be seen leisurely sipping lattes and savoring each bite of their lunch.
From savory Argentine dinners to pastries that are almost too beautiful to eat, Palermo proves that cafés can do so much more than offer a choice of decaf or caffeinated. Whether nestled in the back of an old bookshop or boasting one of the city’s best cups of coffee, Palermo’s cafés run the gamut from charming and rustic to chic and stylish. Of the many cafés that rest along Palermo’s tree-lined streets, the following nine have been regaled as the best by travelers and locals alike.
Libros de Pasaje
Nestled at the end of a colorful side street rests Libros de Pasaje, a charming bookshop that doubles as a café. By far one of my favorite cafés in Palermo, walking in feels as though you’ve been inducted into a secret literary community. Complete with stacks of classic novels and lively conversation centered on authors and writing, Libros de Pasaje is the ideal place to lose track of time with a good book. Order a cappuccino and the Torta Antonia, the café’s homemade specialty dessert of assorted nuts, red fruit, and chocolate.
With its minimalist décor and communal seating, Ninina Bakery has the speed and efficiency of a New York restaurant on a Friday night. The recently opened café offers an extensive list of teas and unique juices as well as sandwiches and salads. For vegetarian travelers looking for a safe haven in a meat-obsessed city, Ninina Bakery also offers a popular vegetarian burger option.