I Got 99 Problems But A Café Ain’t One: The Best Coffee in Buenos Aires

coffeee

For a city with such a vibrant café-going culture, overall Buenos Aires certainly does serve quite a shitty cup of coffee. Burnt beans, sugar roasted, poor quality, all probably made in a machine that hasn’t been cleaned since 1998, coffee snobs aficionados that long for a cup of the good stuff may no longer have to drown in watered down and milked out poor tasting coffee. We can now join Argentina’s cafetero revolution and stick a caffeine IV in our arms to check out some of the best spots to drink coffee in Buenos Aires.

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No one in their right mind can knock the absolute greatness of the Buenos Aires bares and cafés notables, the old school cafés that are pieces of the city’s cultural history. I’d gladly sit for hours in one of these beautiful cafés, drinking on a cortado and soaking up porteño life in a jarrito. But sometimes (like every time), a strong morning pick me up is somewhat crucial to get through the day, and here’s where you should be going to sip on some of that black liquid gold.

LATTENTE 

lattente

Let’s recite a special prayer and say a massive gracious gracias to the beautiful coffee gods for bringing us this c-word mecca on Thames. Daniel Cifuentes, the Colombian born barista champion, might be somewhat of a coffee nazi (in the best possible way), but his love for the aromatic bean has helped transformed the coffee scene in Buenos Aires. Lattente houses a team of the top baristas in the city, making it the ideal spot to perch onto a bar stool, watch the masters do their thaaang, and exhale a great cracked out caffeinated sigh of relief for finally drinking a properly made coffee. 

Thames 1891, Palermo Soho

COFFEE TOWN

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A trip to San Telmo isn’t complete without a pop in to San Telmo market’s Coffee Town for a quick espresso + people watching session. The CT crew are also revolutionaries in the Buenos Aires coffee mundo: they traveled the world learning about the trade and sourcing the good stuff before opening up the city’s first coffee institute Centro de Estudios del Café. If you’re lucky, you’ll get your coffee made by head barista Agus Román, Argentina’s barista champion in 2013, who is also about to head to Italy to compete in the world barista championship.

Bolivar 976, Mercado de San Telmo

Hot tip: Ninina Bakery (Gorriti 4738, Palermo Soho) also serves and sells 60 Granos, Coffee Town’s coffee brand.

FULL CITY COFFEE HOUSE 

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FCCH’s story is like many others: foreigners missing foods from home and bringing some edible/drinkable nostalgia to BA. Colombian-English couple Victoria Angarita and Allan Dorgan were tired of the shitty low quality coffee, and since Victoria has coffee running through her veins, (her father’s head of a coffee institute in Colombia) instead of fleeing to more palatable destinations, they decided to open up shop here. Not only is it the place to go for a great strong cup of coffee, but café enthusiasts and wannabes can partake in workshops and classes to learn the barista basics, or even how to draw pretty bleeding hearts with milk. 

Thames 1535, Palermo Soho

BARRIO CAFETERO 

IMG_2471The microcentro has been given an extra jolt of caffeine inside this tiny but powerful galería coffee bar on Calle “cambio cambio” Florida. Barista Rodrigo Rochas, who learned the craft in New Zealand and traveled to the best coffee houses in LA, Seattle, Portland and New York, opened up shop in 2013 and plays a major role in the city’s revolución cafetera. Barrio Cafetero uses Café Puerto Blest‘s premium line, Alquimia, with an impressive Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II espresso machine.

Florida 833, Centro

BIRKIN 

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It’s like a little piece of New York in Palermo Botánico. Birkin brings a modernly vintage coffeehouse to Buenos Aires serving quality coffee that has be known to induce a slight addiction in its drinkers. Owner Lucila Zeballos got her inspiration from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in NYC, and created pretty much a replica with everything down to the lighting fixtures and hipster hat uniforms. Birkin uses Lattente’s coffee, where the baristas went through extensive training by Lattente staff to perfect their trade. A cappuccino is the best thing to order, not only for its taste, but it’s pretty latte art (most likely made) by Natalia Montoya, the recent champion of Buenos Aires’ first ever latte art competition.

República Árabe Siria 3061, Palermo Botánico

IN BOCCA AL LUPO CAFFE 

in bocca breakfast

You know what’s pure Buenos Aires perfection? A quiet morning in In Bocca al Lupo’s inner courtyard, downing a fresh squeezed orange juice, nibbling on a ham and cheese sandwich or nutella croissant, and sipping a textbook made macchiato. Italian owner Enrico Aguggiaro worked as an educator for Illy coffee, bringing that knowledge and education through a beautiful San Marco Leva espresso machine.

Bonpland 1965, Palermo Hollywood

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And the best of the rest:

CAFE COLOMBIA EN SAN TELMO – Defensa, Feria de San Telmo –> Great Colombian coffee served by Colombians walking around the San Telmo fair on Sundays.
DELICIOUS - Laprida 2015, Recoleta –> Solid spot for Illy coffee + snacks in Recoleta
FLORENCIO – Francisco de Vittoria 2363, Recoleta –> Beautiful tiny oasis serving Illy and berry cheesecake
ESTABLECIMIENTO GENERAL DE CAFE – Pueyrredón 1529, Recoleta -> Mediocre chain serving coffee beans from around the world since 1999. Nice garden.
IMPORT COFFEE COMPANY – Libertad 1150, Recoleta –> Illy coffee, Twinnings tea, and Lindt chocolate, need I say much more?
NININA BAKERY - Gorriti 4738, Palermo –> Impressive space, open kitchen seating, and serves Coffee Town’s coffee
PAIN ET VIN – Gorriti 5132, Palermo –> wine + cheese + sourdough bread + Alquimia Puerto Blest coffee
OPORTO ALMACEN - 11 de Septiembre 4152, Núñez –> Cool space, great wine, Argie food, Illy coffee
VICTORIA BROWN CAFE – Costa Rica 4827, Palermo –> Lattente’s coffee and killer BBQ bondiola sandwich and brunch

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21 Responses to I Got 99 Problems But A Café Ain’t One: The Best Coffee in Buenos Aires

  1. Reblogged this on THE 5TH FLOOR and commented:
    A useful resource for our guests. Coffee toting immigrants are radically improving the quality of our favourite pick me up and educating the locals about its delights!

  2. Is it too embarrassing to admit I’ve been to all of these? What better place to get Buenos Aires blog inspiration than people-watching and café-con-leche sippin’ in one of these quaint cafes?

    I would add Ninina Bakery to the list however. Maybe next time you’re in to buy some Coffee Town roast, stay a while to sip on a Ninina latte. They are DELICIOUS.

    Keep up the posts. I’m hungry as ever!

    Rachael from thewanderita.com

  3. OMG! Thank-Cofee-You!
    I have known about the one in San Telmo (surely through something else you posted) but I had no idea there were other choices for drinkable coffee in BA! Yaaaayyy caffeiiiiine!
    Also, what an f***ing crazy video, man! Where’d you even find it? haha!

  4. I left Buenos Aires 30 years ago and now live in Cape Town. In those days the coffee in BA was very good, and in South Africa it was like dirty water (not only SA but most countries arround the world except Mediterranean cultures). I think for economic reasons the quality kept going down in BA and at the same time a coffee revolution happend in South Africa and lots of other countries. More and more coffee houses open every day everywhere, and compete to serve the best coffee!
    The same thing happened with food!
    I’m very happy with this changes, especially since BA is catching up again!
    Love your blog, it’s like going for a walk in my city with you. Can’t wait to visit again, me voy a comer y tomar todo!!!

    • Hi Silvana, saw your comment and wanted to say I’m a Capetonian visiting Bueno Aires in August and am on the hunt for great coffee. Cape Town has turned me into a complete coffee snob – but I look forward to what our Argentinian friends have to offer! :)

  5. MMMMM ALL THESE GREAT STRONG COFFEE TURNED ON THE CAPSLOCK IN MY MIND

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about Co.Co espresso? didn´t try it? you missed a awesome coffee!

  7. It’s great to see that there are good coffee options (now) available in BsAs. I last visited in 2011 and was desperate for a cup but all the places recommended by TO were not at all decent (in my eyes). Looking forward to checking out a few of these places when I next visit!

  8. marian says:

    I loved the coffee in Adorado bar (Nicaragua 5600) red walls, I think its Illy. You should try it!

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  11. Pablo says:

    Bueno hicimos la experiencia de recorrer algunos de estos cafés.y me parecen, algunos un con un acidez en demasía, como en Lattente o en Birkin, otros tan convencionalmente flojos como [puede ser un Illy, que de nuevo y bueno le queda nada y poco. Me gusto un poco más el de Ninina, pero no estuvo bien servido. Creo que para hablar de revolución del café en este país, aún es muy pronto,. llegue con grandes expectativas y no las estoy cubriendo

  12. Pingback: Cortado en jarrito con un alfajor, por favor. | WPI | Buenos Aires

  13. just found your blog and i love it! going to be coming back here for all my BA foodie tips.

  14. Gus says:

    There’s a hipster smell all around this post. I don’t need all the fancy stuff to enjoy a good cup of coffee, it’s much better a nice old fashioned “bar porteño” than any of this american-style overrated places.

  15. Luz says:

    Excelente nota para los que amamos sentarnos a tomar un buen café, gracias!!

  16. Thank God! We’ve been here for four days and not found a passable coffee. Got something to look forward to now in the morning. Good job!

  17. Lisa AB Freeman says:

    Its good to see BA picking up their coffee game, you would think it would be better considering its South America but there are far too many cafes with awful just add water coffee. Sadly, I didn’t make it to all of these cafes when I was in the city… next time!

  18. Pingback: Coffee, Anyone? | One Prickly Pear

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  20. byronvampire says:

    one good place to drink good coffe in buenos aires is el gato negro

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