Café Tortoni is One of Buenos Aires’ Best Hidden Secrets

Would you like to check out a café that once counted the likes of Albert Einstein and Carlos Gardel among its visitors? Well, that’s just the kind of experience offered by Café Tortoni! It’s one of Buenos Aires’ best-hidden secrets and it will allow you to see this city in a whole new light.

Café Tortoni opened its doors in 1858, and its official website describes it as “the oldest café in Buenos Aires”. Its founder, Monsieur Jean Touan, opted for this name as a way of paying homage to the Parisian café of the same name, which served as the meeting place of the French capital’s cultural elite during the 19th century.

Café Tortoni quickly gained a similar reputation, becoming the favorite haunt of Argentina’s cultural elite. Jorge Luis Borges, Juana de Ibarbourou, and Arthur Rubinstein were some of its many frequent visitors, but international figures such as Albert Einstein, Federico García Lorca, and Francis Ford Coppola also walked through its doors over the years.

Café Tortoni was initially located on the corner of Rivadavia and Esmeralda, but later moved to its current location at 825 Avenida de Mayo, and its doors are open every day between 8 am and 10 pm. It brought the spirit of French coffeehouses to Buenos Aires, but with a touch of Argentinian culture through its performances of jazz and tango artists.