Beginning of main content

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


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Cafe Tortoni

See all 629 Properties near Cafe Tortoni
Mérit San Telmo $46
Mérit San Telmo

Mérit San Telmo

Adolfo Alsina 801, Buenos Aires
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 364 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in El Centro, 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.

    NH Buenos Aires Latino $45
    NH Buenos Aires Latino

    NH Buenos Aires Latino

    Suipacha 309, Buenos Aires
       
      4.3
      of 5, from 231 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in El Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gran Rex Theatre and Obelisco. Teatro Colon and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 10 minutes.

      Globales Republica $47
      Globales Republica

      Globales Republica

      Cerrito 370, Buenos Aires
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 1,056 reviews
        3.5 out of 5.0

        Located in El Centro, this hotel is steps from Republic Square and Obelisco. Teatro Colon and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

        NH City Buenos Aires $41
        NH City Buenos Aires

        NH City Buenos Aires

        Bolivar 160, Buenos Aires
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 282 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located near the airport, steps from Palace of the Buenos Aires City Legislature, Plaza de Mayo, and Cabildo. Casa Rosada and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 5 minutes.

          Unique Executive Central $46
          Unique Executive Central

          Unique Executive Central

          Diagonal R. Saenz Pena 1174, Buenos Aires
             
            3.5
            of 5, from 491 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            This boutique hotel is in the heart of Buenos Aires' business and fashion district, and within walking distance of Teatro Colon and Avenida Corrientes.

            Hotel Madero Buenos Aires $149
            Hotel Madero Buenos Aires

            Hotel Madero Buenos Aires

            Rosario Vera Peñaloza 360 – Dique 2, Buenos Aires
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 900 reviews
              4.5 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located near the boardwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Casa Rosada, and Plaza de Mayo. Presidente Sarmiento Frigate Ship Museum and Cabildo are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Hotel Boca by Design $91
              Hotel Boca by Design

              Hotel Boca by Design

              Tacuari 243, Buenos Aires
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 500 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Cafe Tortoni and Cabildo. Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada are also within 15 minutes.

                Alvear Art Hotel $161
                Alvear Art Hotel

                Alvear Art Hotel

                Suipacha 1036, Buenos Aires
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 431 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Buenos Aires hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Florida Street and Plaza San Martin. Teatro Colon and Obelisco are also within 15 minutes.