Av. Pres. Manuel Quintana 596, Recoleta
While the service at this long-standing café can sometimes be a little lax, sitting outside on an elegant Recoleta street with a coffee in hand is the quintessential Buenos Aires experience. La Biela has occupied this leafy, shady corner for decades and is much-loved by the neighborhood's occupants. The people watching—both inside and out—is pure gold and the old-world interior filled with bustling, white-shirted waiters and automobile paraphernalia doesn't hurt. Stick to beverages and pastries here, save a full meal for one of Recoleta's incredible steakhouses—like Fervor, for example—instead.
Arroyo 900, Recoleta
Farinelli has the feel of a traditional French bakery and the appearance of a thoroughly modern operation. Small but mighty, the menu is loaded with healthy options, and given that Farinelli is a determinedly seasonal café—everything is homemade. Choose from sandwiches, salads, cakes, juices, and signature desserts (anything Dulce de Leche). Portions are small but the flavors are assertive, leaving you feeling satisfied. Inarguably chic, the interior is covered in white tiles and walls with red trim, which feels clean, pared-back, and contemporary. The few seats out front are made for sitting back with a strong coffee (or juice) and watching the locals go by.
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