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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


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Best Lodging Options Near Cafe Tortoni

See all 1,346 Properties near Cafe Tortoni
Savoy Hotel ¥11,187
Savoy Hotel

Savoy Hotel

Av. Callao 181, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palace of the Argentine National Congress, Obelisco, and Teatro Colon. Florida Street and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 1 mi (2 km). Congress Station and Callao Station are within a 5-minute walk.

    NH City Buenos Aires ¥7,256
    NH City Buenos Aires

    NH City Buenos Aires

    Bolivar 160, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps from Cabildo, Plaza de Mayo, and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. Casa Rosada and Florida Street are also within 5 minutes. Bolivar Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cathedral Station is 2 minutes.

      Claridge Hotel ¥6,325
      Claridge Hotel

      Claridge Hotel

      Tucuman 535, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this romantic hotel is steps from Florida Street and Galerias Pacifico. Teatro Colon and Luna Park are also within 10 minutes. Florida Station and Lavalle Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Hilton Buenos Aires ¥20,338
        Hilton Buenos Aires

        Hilton Buenos Aires

        Av Macacha Guemes 351, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Puerto Madero, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Women's Bridge, Presidente Sarmiento Frigate Ship Museum, and Centro Cultural Kirchner. Coleccion de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat and Casa Rosada are also within 15 minutes. Buenos Aires Corrientes Station is 7 minutes by foot and Leandro N Alem Station is 11 minutes.

          Unique Art Madero ¥4,222
          Unique Art Madero

          Unique Art Madero

          Chile 80, Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Puerto Madero, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Presidente Sarmiento Frigate Ship Museum, Plaza Dorrego, and Women's Bridge. Casa Rosada and Cafe Tortoni are also within 1 mi (2 km). Buenos Aires Independencia Station is only a 3-minute walk and Buenos Aires Belgrano Station is 7 minutes.

            Tango de Mayo Hotel ¥9,193
            Tango de Mayo Hotel

            Tango de Mayo Hotel

            Av. de Mayo 1396 , Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this boutique hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palace of the Argentine National Congress, Obelisco, and Casa Rosada. Saenz Pena Station is only a 2-minute walk and Lima Station is 4 minutes.

              Centuria Hotel Buenos Aires ¥4,216
              Centuria Hotel Buenos Aires

              Centuria Hotel Buenos Aires

              Suipacha 30, Entre Bartolomé Mitre y Rivadavia, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, and Cabildo. Obelisco and Plaza de Mayo are also within 10 minutes. Piedras Station is only a 2-minute walk and Mayo Avenue Station is 3 minutes.

                NH Collection Buenos Aires Centro Histórico ¥9,662
                NH Collection Buenos Aires Centro Histórico

                NH Collection Buenos Aires Centro Histórico

                Bolivar, 120, Buenos Aires
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Buenos Aires Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps from Cabildo and Plaza de Mayo. Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada are also within 5 minutes. Bolivar Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cathedral Station is 3 minutes.