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Café Tortoni

Soak up the elegance of Buenos Aires’ oldest café: a meeting place of literati, a treasure-trove of art and the host of live tango shows.

A visit to Café Tortoni often features high on a Buenos Aires itinerary. Come to this coffeehouse to sip a hot drink, admire elegant furnishings and artwork or watch a tango. Established by a French immigrant in 1858, it is the oldest and most famous café in Buenos Aires.

As soon as the doorman opens the grand brass-handled doors you’ll begin to appreciate the café’s 19th-century charm. Wood-paneled walls, marble tables, chandeliers and a stained-glass ceiling present a sophisticated and bohemian ambiance. Sit at a table and imagine the time when Argentine literati would convene over a cortado (espresso with warm milk). Among many famous former visitors are legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel and Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. 

Browse the artwork scattered around the main room, including a painting by local artist Augusto Marteau and a life-size bust of Borges. Check out the Sala Eladia Blázquez, a billiards and game room named after a tango singer who dedicated a song to the café. 

Try the traditional Argentine café food, such as croissants, toasted sandwiches and cheese selections. You must taste the simple, but special churros con chocolate; dip the fried pastry into the rich, not-too-sweet hot chocolate for a memorable treat. You may find prices here slightly higher than at other restaurants, but you are paying for a bit of history with your food. 

Walk down the narrow staircase to La Bodega, an intimate theater where from Monday to Friday you can watch twice-daily tango shows. On weekends, shows take place in the Sala Alfonsina Storni. Adorning its walls is a series of paintings that make up the Homenaje al Tango (Tribute to Tango). A complete schedule of events is available on the café’s official website.

Café Tortoni sits on Avenida de Mayo, one of Buenos Aires’ most recognizable streets, and is just a few blocks from Plaza de Mayo. The café is easily accessible via public buses and the metro. A hop-on hop-off tourist bus also stops nearby. The café is open daily. Visit in the morning or late in the evening to avoid lines and tour groups. 


Guide to Exploring around Cafe Tortoni


Map

Lodging Near Cafe Tortoni

See all 585 Hotels near Cafe Tortoni
$101
Savoy Hotel

Savoy Hotel

Av. Callao 181, Buenos Aires
4.3
of 5, from 335 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in El Centro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Martin Cultural Center, Obelisco, and Teatro Colon. Argentine National Congress and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$69
Claridge Hotel

Claridge Hotel

Tucuman 535, Buenos Aires
3.9
of 5, from 475 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This white-columned hotel is in the heart of the Buenos Aires' central business district, a half-block from the vibrant Calle Florida pedestrian-only shopping street and 5 blocks from Puerto Madero.

$250
Alvear Art Hotel

Alvear Art Hotel

Suipacha 1036, Buenos Aires
4.8
of 5, from 137 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco, Teatro Colon, and Plaza San Martin. Obelisco and Torre de los Ingleses are also within 15 minutes.

$68
Conte Hotel

Conte Hotel

Carlos Pellegrini 101, Buenos Aires
4.0
of 5, from 69 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in 9 de Julio Avenue, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buenos Aires Outdoors, Obelisco, and Teatro Colon. Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada are also within 15 minutes.

$135
Regal Pacific Buenos Aires

Regal Pacific Buenos Aires

25 De Mayo, 764, Buenos Aires
4.5
of 5, from 359 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Regal Pacific Buenos Aires is a 5-minute walk from the gleaming high-rises and posh steakhouses lining the Puerto Madero waterfront. Guests can shop for tango memorabilia on pedestrianized Florida Street, a 5-minute walk from the hotel, or take a 6-minute cab ride to historic Plaza de Mayo.

$48
Mérit San Telmo

Mérit San Telmo

Adolfo Alsina 801, Buenos Aires
4.4
of 5, from 49 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Microcentro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cafe Tortoni, Plaza de Mayo, and Casa Rosada. Cabildo and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 10 minutes.

$140
Intercontinental Buenos Aires

Intercontinental Buenos Aires

Moreno 809, Buenos Aires
4.5
of 5, from 69 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Illuminated Block, Plaza de Mayo, and Cabildo. Casa Rosada and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

$101
725 Continental

725 Continental

Av. Pte Roque Saenz Pena 725, Buenos Aires
4.0
of 5, from 97 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de Mayo, and Obelisco. Casa Rosada and Cabildo are also within 10 minutes.