Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Map: Buenos Aires cafe culture

April 19, 2012
Before moving to Buenos Aires, I liked the idea of a cafe culture. But Boston's version of a cafe culture is the laptop loungers at Starbucks. (Of course there were some cool cafes in Boston, but most people I knew didn't frequent them often.) Two French friends in college used to talk fondly of afternoons spent drinking coffee in cafes. I didn't drink coffee or spend much time in cafes, so I couldn't conjure up that same wistfulness.

Now when I go back to the U.S., I'll be the one dreaming of cappuccinos, medialunas and a city that knows how to do cafes. To be honest, we work from home more than we should, especially since the cafes are expensive. We try to get out every so often, so here are some of the best and the worst of Buenos Aires cafes, based on our entirely scientific analysis.

Disclaimer: It's more like the best and worst of Palermo cafes, since who wants to commute 45 minutes for a cup of coffee. But we're open to suggestions farther afield.

I don't remember the details of many of the places we've been, so we'll add more as we visit them.

The good:

COCO MARIE CAFE — Armenia 1764, Palermo Soho
  • Beautiful outdoor patio tucked away through a bikini shop. And with turquoise blue furniture, a rusted out bathtub, and ivy on brick, the place has character.
  • I haven't tried the coffee yet, but for about 9 pesos ($2.05), the ginger scone was delicious. Ben hasn't been, I need to bring him soon.

FLORENTINA —Soler 4501, Palermo Soho
  • Cafe con leche: 12 pesos ($2.72)
  • We saw this cafe on our way home from the supermarket and couldn't wait to come back. It's brightly painted with a recipe written on the cafe walls and colorful chalkboards for menus.
  • The coffee was good, the scones and toast were typical of BsAs, and they have working wifi. A good spot overall.
  • The bad: There's a really annoying echo when someone talks too loudly.

Just OK:

BAR SEIS — Armenia 1676, Palermo Soho
  • Cafe con leche: 16 pesos ($3.66)
  • This was one of the first cafes we visited after arriving, and we loved it with its high ceilings and vintage couches. But we've gone back twice since, and the most recent time, the service was terrible. Since the food and the coffee aren't anything special, we won't be going back anytime soon.

The bad:

CRONICO BAR — Jorge Luis Borges 1646, Palermo Soho
  • More of a bar than a cafe
  • We tried to have Spanish lessons here, but it was way too noisy and we could never get the waitresses' attention. We haven't been back in months.

- Steph

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