Café Retiro reveals Buenos Aires’ former glory days like many similar cafes in the Argentine capital, yet here the grand interior contrasts sharply with the chaos found outside its confines.
Whether you’re passing through Retiro, waiting for a train to the suburbs or have come to admire the architecture of Retiro station, it’s worth making a stop at this elegant grand cafe that takes up a large corner of the terminal.
The site, designated of historical importance by the city government, is also a quiet respite from the transitory chaos right outside its doors.
Here time stopped a century ago. The cafe was founded in 1915 and, by all appearances, not a thing has changed since then.
Among the glorious details are the huge columns, intricate moldings, slate wood floors, marble bar with all the brass fixtures and beautiful stained-glass cupola.
The food here is the usual café fare, but a classic Argentine breakfast of a coffee with milk and three sweet croissants can still be had for a reasonable price. A dry or sweet martini won’t put you back much and a picada, a cheese and meat plate, for two is a safe and affordable bet.
Depending on where you sit you’ll either get the old classic aloof waiter or an energetic, chatty younger server.
The Retiro Cafe regularly has events open to the public. On Thursdays at 7 pm there is sometimes a live tango show.
Ramos Mejia 1348
(in the former Mitre Terminal)
• Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:30 am—9 pm
• Cash only