Merienda: Medialunas and cafecitos in Buenos Aires

As a break from tweeting pointlessly about drinking coffee in service stations in uninspiring locations like the M5, I thought I’d blog about drinking coffee in much more interesting places. The coffee break seems to be a bit of a revered tradition here, which I can only applaud. There seems to be one (if not two) cafes on every street corner and the portenos (residents of Buenos Aires) have the enviable knack of whiling away hours in them, often hunkered over a single tiny coffee (cafecito: how cute does that sound), chatting, reading, or just sitting and contemplating life. Such a shame then that the coffee is on the whole pretty awful.

My mission, which I´ve chosen to accept, is to find the best place for a coffee break.  So far the best cafe con leche (a much stronger version of a latte) I’ve had has been in Cafe Classico on a rainy Sunday morning in San Telmo, the old part of town where I’m living.  Bar Giralda comes a close second on the coffee, and wins hands down on atmosphere. It’s on Avenida Corrientes, a major thoroughfare of the central district, packed with book shops, theatres and cinemas and is opposite the wonderfully old-fashioned Cinema Lorca. I saw Julie and Julia there the other day, and I’d thoroughly recommend the film to all you foodies out there, though like supermarket shopping, not on an empty stomach. Sweet, moving, funny, mouth watering.  The film, not the coffee. Apparently Bar Giralda is more famous for chocolate y churros, which I love, so I will report back when I’ve sampled them. There´s a lovely old bar in the heart of San Telmo called La Poesia, with a long literary tradition and stocky hams hanging above the bar, but their coffee is bitter, overpowering, and not to be ordered again. Nestled in the shifting maze of streets  that is San Telmo is a tiny little coffee and cake shop called Matilda’s, which wouldn´t look out of place in Notting Hill. The coffee there is OK, but the real draw is their absolutely delicious key lime cup cakes: the cup cake craze is clearly international!

My research on this is not over …

If you liked this you might be interested in some of my other coffee posts:


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