What can I tell you about the café Tortoni (map). Well, it is probably the most famous café in Buenos Aires. It is a tourist attraction for people who aren’t even going to sit down to have a cup of coffee.
El Tortoni is located a few blocks west from the Casa Rosada (the government building) (map), on Avenida de Mayo, one of the most important avenues of the city, the most representative of the city’s culture and also one of the most beautiful paths.
The café was founded in 1858 by Jean Touan, a French immigrant who took the name of a successful café of Paris. Originally, the Tortoni was around the corner, where the plaza Roberto Arlt is currently located. Then, it was moved to calle Rivadavia and its entrance on Avenida de Mayo was opened in 1880. Due to its decoration and architecture composed of high columns, old photos, paintings and sculptures, as well as the waiters and the traditional city’s clients, this place became the most famous café of Buenos Aires and one of the city’s symbols.
In 2008, The Tortoni celebrated its 150 years. Besides the extensive list of famous guests which every notable bar must have, such as Borges, Pirandello, Rubinstein, Cortázar, García Lorca, the Kings of Spain, Hillary Clinton, Francis Ford Coppola, and many others, the Tortoni is frequented by office workers of the downtown area, politicians, artists, tango people and, nowadays, thousands of local and international tourists.
Lining up is necessary in order to visit the Tortoni. Tango and Jazz bands play almost every day. Within the menu of the bar, the most typical dishes of the city’s gastronomy are found, but also some products which are not found in other places, such as the leche merengada (whipped milk) and chocolate con churros (hot chocolate milk with a local pastry).
Anyway, you are not really coming here for the food, are you? Of course not, you come here for the ambiance, the history and to be able to tell your friends back home you had a drink at one of the coolest cafes in the world.
Check out thing enlightening video or for more info go to www.cafetortoni.com.ar
Avenida de Mayo 825 – Monserrat
Photo credit: Christian Haugen and sonic jorge
, famous cafés
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