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The Best Bars in Buenos Aires

Due to sheer numbers alone, it's a tricky task to choose the best cafés and bars in Buenos Aires. (First, a point regarding language: the words "café" and "bar" are practically interchangeable here.) From the city's most old-fashioned watering holes to contemporary coffeeshops and afternoon tea service at a palatial hotel, Buenos Aires is packed with places to caffeinate or unwind over a glass of wine.
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Carlos Calvo 599, C1102AAK CABA, Argentina
For a little old-school San Telmo atmosphere, you can’t do much better than this classic corner bar. Dating from 1864, the antique building started out as a pulpería (general store), the seedy center of a gambling ring and even a brothel before it...
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Buenos Aires, C1122 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Don't let the 'Afternoon Tea' title fool you: at the Alvear Palace's lavish service, you'll be having far more than a cup of Earl Grey. Guests are pleasantly stuffed here, in fact, with beautiful little cakes, homemade scones, tiny tea sandwiches,...
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Av. Rivadavia 3899, C1204AAD C1204AAD, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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...
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AAK, Libertad 505, C1012 CABA, Argentina
Teatro Colón, considered one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, is a must-see for architecture fans and ballet enthusiasts alike. Around the corner is Petit Colón, one of the city's most elegant cafés — and a perfect spot to stop for...
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Av. de Mayo 591, C1084 AAA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is filled with historic bars and cafés, but London City, recently reopened after significant restorations, is worth seeking out for two reasons: its literary pedigree and its fantastic location. The café was the particular favorite of...
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An observer from the sidewalk might puzzle as groups of people march into this pretty flower store—and don’t emerge shortly with bouquets. The customers are not here for the blossoms but for what lies below. A door at the rear of the...
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Francisco Acuña de Figueroa 1790, C1180ABH CABA, Argentina
For serious wine enthusiasts, this is the closed-door dining experience of choice. On Wednesday through Saturday at at Casa Coupage, a pair of sommeliers serve a seasonal tasting menu with wine pairings to nine tables inside their elegant Palermo...
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Chile 502, C1098 AAL, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Founded in 1982 by local poet Rubén Derlis, this café once served as a meeting place for writers, artists, and left-leaning thinkers anxious to speak freely after years of fear and oppression under Argentina’s late-’70s...
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Av. de Mayo 825, C1084 CABA, Argentina
More than a local institution dating back to the 1850s, the Café Tortoni ranks among the world’s most famous salons. As vintage photos here show, the columned establishment has hosted more literary figures than you can count. Play...