Cafe Tortoni is one of the most famous cafes in Buenos Aires. Opened in 1858 by a French immigrant. What is the best time to visit Cafe Tortoni Buenos Aires? Avoid long waiting lines and get to know the history of Buenos Aires iconic cafe.

Read also: La Boca Buenos Aires, the complete visit guide

History of Cafe Tortoni: why so famous?

Cafe Tortoni was founded in 1858 by a French immigrant. The name of the French man is unknown. Afterward, in 1880 the cafe moved to its current location on Avenida de Mayo. The wide avenue between the presidential palace (Casa Rosada) and the Congres became the perfect meeting point for politicians, musicians, and artists.

Argentinian tango singer Carlos Gardel and writers Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar often visit Cafe Tortoni. A true hotspot in that time.

Nowadays, the cafe is one of the best-preserved cafes in Argentina from the 19th century. When visiting you will get thrown back in time. The marble tables, dark oak wood against the walls, the old-style toilets, and more. The atmosphere of 1880 will get in your clothes.

When to visit the iconic cafe?

In general, we can say that it is calmer during office hours. The waiting line will grow as soon the offices are closed.

Best moments to visit Cafe Tortoni:
Mo – Su: 08 a.m. – 4 p.m. / 8 p.m. – 01 a.m.
Saturday is busy all day until 8 p.m

Waiting line cafe buenos aires

Cafe Tortoni Tango shows 

How nice isn’t it to see a tango show in Buenos Aires famous cafe? From Monday till Friday at 20h in the basement of Cafe Tortoni. Buy your tickets in advance at the cafe. Price around USD 13.

How to get to Cafe Tortoni?

Cafe Tortoni is located on Avenida de Mayo 825 in Buenos Aires. It is only some blocks away when you visit the presidential palace “Casa Rosada” and Plaza de Mayo. So take a stop at Cafe Tortoni.

  • Walking from Plaza de Mayo to the cafe: 600 meters (0.37 mile).
  • Subway line A: stop at “Piedras”.

Read also: how to use public transport in Buenos Aires

Our honest review

Cafe Tortoni has become a small tourist trap. It is nice to imagine yourself in the atmosphere of the past, but it is not more than this. You should definitely order the churros and chocolate milk or coffee. In general, the food is not that special and somewhat overpriced.

Either way, you must have seen it so that you know what we are talking about.

Do you want to avoid the long waiting line at Cafe Tortoni? And experience the same atmosphere? There are a couple of other iconic cafes in Buenos Aires. We made a list for you.


Founded in 1884, Las Violetas is the cafe in the neighborhood Almargo. Besides that Las Violetas is a famous cafe, it is also sometimes the meeting place for the Grandmother of Plaza de Mayo. They hold the birthdays of their stolen grandchildren that disappeared during the Junta period. Las Violetas and Cafe Tortoni are both cafes supported by the government for their cultural value.

Av. Rivadavia 3899


At the edge of San Telmo district, you find El Hipopotamo. Founded in 1909, the cafe is a local place for residents. Local food, beer, and café. All for a local price. The bar is open until 3 in the night. Even at midnight, you will find local residents having a beer or coffee after their dinner.

Avenida Brasil 401


More into a tea with a wide range of cakes? Than El Gato Negro is the place for you. The aroma of the tea and herbs will find tempt you. Founded in 1928 located in the famous theatre street Avenida Corrientes.

Avenida Corrientes 1669


At Avenida Rivadavia you find Café de Los Angelitos. Also a cafe ideal for coffee with medialunas. Also in the evening, it’s a place to see a tango show.

Avenida Rivadavia 2100


My roots in Buenos Aires started as a tourist. After some great adventures in Argentina, I moved in 2017 to the metropolitan city of Buenos Aires. I felt a need for correct and honest information for tourists. That's why I love to write to you. Sharing my discoveries in Buenos Aires. I hope you enjoy the city as much as I do! Buenos Aires ❤️

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Secrets of Buenos Aires