Cafe Tortoni dates back to 1858 and moved to its present location in 1880 but has long been a part of Buenos Aires history. A French style place where artists and scholars visited in the early 1920s it now hosts regular tango shows as well as serving up coffee, alcohol and a good variety of fresh pastries and snacks. But this did not seem to be a place to have a meal, more just a drink and snack and people watch or to absorb some of the atmosphere. It is typical to find a line to get in but the line moved quickly and we were in soon. I read about a large basement room but didn’t get to see it. There was a room more like a library filled with books and mementos. The whole place was filled with stuff – photos, trophies, books, stained glass lamps, art and small marble tables. There is a Tiffany glass ceiling and a collection of Tiffany lamps on top of the service area. If you need to take some of the place with you there is a large number of souvenirs for sale.
We had a café con leche con medialunas (coffee with milk with croissants) and a coffee. The coffees were both fine and the croissants topped with a sticky sugary coating that made them really good. They were fresh and soft but more doughy than flakey. But as I said the coffee was just an excuse to come inside and look around.