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In Buenos Aires, cafés aren’t just about coffee.
Most intersections have at least one corner café-bar and each just has that look. You know the quintessential Buenos Aires street scene?
A corner building with tables on the sidewalk to savour the morning caffeine hit with the daily papers under the shade of a leafy tree. A couple dancing the tango beneath lamplight as onlookers sip Malbec into the small hours.
Well, it isn’t a figment of a painters minds-eye. These places actually exist.
Old advertising signs for cigarettes, camparis and sewing machines adorn the walls. Braids of garlic and cured meats hang from the ceiling. Weighing scales and meat slicers taking more than their share of counter space wouldn’t look out of place in San Telmo’s antique stores.
Perhaps more than any other of San Telmo’s cafés we’ve visited, El Hipopotamo feels like a living history museum.
A café has stood here since 1909 and on a corner position with a great view of Parque Lezama.
Less busy than the cafés on Plaza Dorrego, grabbing a window seat or even an outdoor table isn’t so difficult.
It’s a perfect spot for people watching from behind the fileteado decorated windows with good quality coffee.
This is a little further out of the centre of San Telmo. The owner of our Airbnb tipped us off to it, claiming they offer the best coffee in the neighbourhood.
Unlike Coffee Town in the market, this place didn’t disappoint on that front. Although the accompanying water was from the tap (so with a complimentary hint of swimming pool), the coffee was definitely the best we had in San Telmo, hands down. And at ARG $ 75 for a café solodoble it was the cheapest too.
Caburé is first and foremost a bookstore so the walls are lined from floor to ceiling with literary works. There’s s definite slant to the left with revolutionary works proudly displayed.
If you want great coffee in San Telmo, come here. If you’re looking for something with a little ambience, perhaps choose somewhere else.
Hot tip | Caburé has a diary of (usually) free talks, so if your Spanish is up to it, check out their schedule.
Address | Mexico 620
Opening times | Monday to Saturday - 9am to 9pm | Closed on Sundays
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