On weekends, the line to get into Las Violetas stretches halfway around the block. (A little much, you say, in a city that's filled with lovely cafes?) No, in fact, the locals know what they're doing. This gem of a corner cafe may be the most beautiful in the entire city, and coming here for weekend breakfast or afternoon tea is a proud tradition.
Once you do have a seat—it's much easier to pull off on a weekday—admire the stained-glass windows and old brass fixtures, and the prim and proper porteño couples of a certain age, out for their daily merienda. You're off the tourist track here, in a barrio with few other attractions for travelers, so catching a glimpse of the neighborhood's residents is part of the fun.
On the way out, stop in the chocolate shop, located in one corner of the huge cafe, for a little souvenir to take home. But who are we kidding, those chocolates aren't going to make it much further than your hotel room.