Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. And one of my favorite things to do there is spend an afternoon, or end a day of sightseeing, or begin an evening out, at one of their wonderful cafes.
If, like me, you are a fan of Paris cafes, then Cafe Tortoni is your place to hang out in Buenos Aires.
Established in 1858, the cafe is known as a gathering place for artists, musicians, writers and polititicians. The cafe's walls are adorned with art as well as life size statuary of its most famous patrons. So, yes, it is a destination tourist attraction. But it's also a popular hangout for locals.
The wood paneling, the marble floors, the small black tables, are all perfectly reminiscent of the cafe experience. The menu is extensive, I recommend the chocolate and churros ( a wonderful tube shaped doughnut), or the Sandwich Tortoni, an open faced cheese, tomato and ham sandwich.
I had the chocolate and churros during my visit. The churros are warm and crunchy. Who doesn't like fried doughnuts! Quite honestly, I wish I'd taken a picture of it, that's how good it was!
The only downside of Tortoni Cafe....the ability of the waiters to completely ignore your presence, even when surrounding tables are empty....makes Parisian waiters look like cooing nannies.
Luckily, we found one who waiter who was not only attentive, he actually smiled! My only regret is that I didn't have more time. Like any cafe, Tortoni is a place to savor, over hours and books read and journals written in.
Bonus points: the cafe sells a variety of souveniers....I brought home a pair of coffee cups and saucers, and every time I have my coffee with them I'm transported back to Cafe Tortoni.