On our way to Patagonia we spent a few days in Buenos Aires. I had already visited the “Paris of South America” – as the city is nicknamed – ten years earlier and now enjoyed re-visiting my favourite places and exploring new locations. The grand houses lining many Avenidas and smaller streets remind me of the architecture found in cities like Madrid or Paris.
For short breaks in between all the strolling and sightseeing, here are three coffee places in Buenos Aires I remember fondly for their locations or architecture:
Food places in train stations often are build to feed people quickly. But the Cafe Retiro is a place of tranquility in the buzzing world of the Retiro train station (Cafe Retiro at Estación Retiro, Av. Ramos Mejía between Av. del Libertador and Av. Antártida Argentina, Retiro, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Recently renovated, this cafe with its high ceilings and Art Deco decor invites to a nice coffee break.
The crown for most unique location goes to the cafe in the book store El Ateneo Grand Splendid (Av. Santa Fe 1860, Recoleta, Buenos Aires). The book store itself is a must visit for every book lover, even without knowledge of the Spanish language (there are only a few English books): The book shop found its home in an old theatre, where books are being displayed all over the audience area, even in the balconies. The central part of the theatre, the stage, invites visitors to a drink or other small refreshments. The drinks were fine, the little snacks such as Alfajores not the freshest, but for me the location made up for it. Where else can you sip a cup of coffee or other refreshment on the theatre stage, delve into a book or watch other people select their books, grand curtain and backstage view included?
The market Mercado San Telmo (in the block cornered by the streets Bolivar, Carlos Calvo, Defensa and Estados Unidos, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a covered by an impressive iron-glas ceiling, selling fruits and vegetables but also things like hats, bags and antiques. In the center of the markets there are a few small food places selling freshly squeezed juices or coffee – perfect for a short break.
What are your most memorable food spaces in the world?