This cafe has formed part of the Porteño landscape since 1858. A shrine to local tango culture, it houses the Academia Nacional del Tango and ... More
This cafe has formed part of the Porteño landscape since 1858. A shrine to local tango culture, it houses the Academia Nacional del Tango and stages performances as well as literary events in the basement. Legendary literati such as the disquieting poets Argentine, Alfonsina Storni and Spanish Federico García Lorca gathered here. Porteño bohemia and nostalgia fuse here over a game of chess, domino and billiards. Chocolate con Churros (hot cocoa and deep fried batter) are a traditional Argentine breakfast. A small coffee costs ARA2.
In early November 2012 we visited this cafe with another American couple. One of us put his knapsack on the floor next to his foot, and five minutes later it was gone. The pickpockets and thieves in this town are smooth-- four of us at a table, near the back of the cafe, and none of us noticed the thief. What was most infuriating was that the waiters were neither surprised nor concerned. So I would boycott this cafe, which takes so little interest in the security of its patrons. The food wasn't anything special, anyway.
I went to Tortoni's yesterday mostly out of nostagia--my last visit was more than 15 years ago and I loved it then. The food is substandard nowadays. The Russian salad unedible, the sandwiches something you expect to buy from vendors on train paltforms, the postres pitiable.
There is a long line--at least on weekends, of tourists waiting to go in. I suspect the avalanche of tourists have a lot to do with the drastic lowering of standards, the way they did in many once famous restaurants inNew Orleans, LA and many other places. If there is no percentage in pleasing the one-shot customer, why bother.
My advice: go there to see it, take pictures but eat somewhere else.
The "tango" show was more of a cabaret Las Vegas
style. We were in the show downstairs and saw much
better shows elsewhere especially the Piazzola theatre.
We did not have the dinner but other friends said it
was not worth it. Beautiful salon to have a drink on the ground level. May 2008
Cafe Tortoni gave you the feel of how it must have been in BsAs in the olden days. Great tango show for the price. Book the show early, seating is not first come, first serve, but when you bought the tickets. Service was good and waiters were extremely friendly. If you must eat, have dessert and coffee. Definitely, skip the food.
I went to Cafe Tortoni in 1999 after I had just graduated high school. I went with my "sister" Regina. She was showing me around town and we went in for a quick soda and sandwich. I loved the place...I would have eaten there everyday if I could :)
Okay, I admit, I didn't eat here at night, it was for lunch. But it was very, very touristic I could tell; as the wait staff didn't care to serve you. There are so many better places in Buenos Aires, and wonderful service that you shouldn't have to settle for this place. Plus, the lunch options are slim, sandwiches and stuff. I think you'll find in Buenos Aires they typically are very service oriented, and this place is too touristic to follow with the service.
I also don't know if the other reviewer got this place confused with another, because I can't see how there was any room for an open-pit B-B-Q. It sits in the middle of downtown on the main street between the Congreso and the Casa Rosada. It is a crowded street and the restaurants' door empties directly to the sidewalk. Inside it is packed with hardly any room. Perhaps at night they clear some space, but I can't see them setting an open-fire b-b-q pit in the place without the ventilation!
We stumbled into this restaurant by accident as we were going to a Tango show up the street. There was an open fire BBQ pit at the front and it was the first open restaurant we could find in the area. Interesting menu. We had steaks that were wonderful and a great Mendoza Malbec. The place had seen better days but the service was good and we enjoyed it.
*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.