Tag Archives: cafe

Cafe Rivas, Jazz, and an Umbrella

4 Jun

A Romantic Night at Cafe Rivas in San TelmoWe were standing on the cobblestone in San Telmo at midnight. It was wet, but not raining, and after an amazing dinner, it was simply the most natural thing to do. We paused to soak in the romance of the evening before heading back home. Then we heard a man calling out to us from down the street. We had forgotten our umbrella in the restaurant and the waiter trailed after us to return it.

Oddly, it was the perfect conclusion to our evening spent at Cafe Rivas.

Of the four or five times we’ve dined at Cafe Rivas, not once have we left disappointed. With live, talented musicians jiving on old standards almost every night, and a gorgeous building and ambiance nodding to an earlier era, it’s easily become our favorite restaurant in the city.

Inside Cafe Rivas

Cafe Rivas Traditional Menu

Cafe Rivas Pear & Gorgonzola Salad

The menu is also smartly done. For less than $40-50 pesos a person, you can have a consistently delicious and filling meal. The prices grow steeper as you tack on wine, starters, and dessert, or opt for the Rib Eye steak. Which, by the way, has surprisingly been the best meat (not just steak) I’ve had in Buenos Aires, only second to the ribs at Estancia La Candelaria.

On Thursday nights during the warmer months, the jazz trio sets up outside on the street sweetly complementing the charm of the San Telmo neighborhood. On a previous visit to Cafe Rivas we also hung around outside after dinner — dancing on the opposite street corner — hesitant to end the evening.

Cafe Rivas Jazz Trio

Cafe Rivas Jazz Trio


Part Two: Dinner with Friends

As a farewell dinner for our friends, Galen & Laura, who will be returning to Canada on Thursday, and Scott & Ashley, who will be in Santiago, Chile, for a month, our normal crew of eight went to Cafe Rivas at our recommendation. They loved the food and atmosphere, and since it was a Thursday night, the jazz trio was playing upstairs as we ate like royalty. Here are some photos of the amazing night with great friends.

Left to right: Kara, Matias, Stephen, Galen, Laura, Scott, Ashley, & Maggie.

The Rib Eye (“Ojo de Bife”). Seriously, the best steak I’ve eaten in Buenos Aires.

So good!

Kara (and Laura) celebrating their gazpachos in a glass.

Good ol’ Matias, the only Porteño in the crew. He teaches us so much, but especially to not ask, “So, how you do say … in Spanish?” too many times in one night.

The Mango Flan. Unique and delicious.

Chocolate Marquis: the most amazing bite of chocolate Maggie has ever tasted. No exaggeration.

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A Buenos Aires Coffee Guide (with pictures)

5 Feb

La Helvetica in Buenos Aires

There is a procedure to ordering coffee in Buenos Aires – part explicit, part understood.

While living in San Cristobal, our favorite hangout was La Helvetica, a top-of-the-line café and confiteria. There, and with the help of some Porteño friends, we received our B.A. coffee education.

With one week left before a move to Las Cañitas, we decided to compile a list of the variations of coffee that are ubiquitous in all cafes around the city. In our efforts to assist fellow travelers, we put in our due diligence and helped ourselves to a different type of coffee every day this past week.

Most Porteños know what they want as soon as they sit down. As a result, menus aren’t usually offered, you have to request them (“Podrías traerme la carta?”). While extensive, it doesn’t offer much in the way of descriptions or sizes. Here’s some information the menu doesn’t include, which we found helpful:

Coffee Sizes in Most Buenos Aires Cafés

First, the sizes (left to right):

Chico – small, popular for afternoon or evening drinks

Jarrito – probably the most popular size

Doble – double the pleasure (of the chico)

Café con leche – An odd name for a size, but only café con leche (or crema) drinks are served in this cup.

Cappucino – Similar to the café con leche, only cappuccino is served in this cup – although you’ll see many places get creative with the sizing and style of this drink.

The glasses in the back don’t have names that we know of. They are used to serve specialty drinks like the submarino listed below.

Next, the drinks:

Café – Espresso, straight-up. (Comes in chico, jarrito, and doble)

Café Chico in Buenos Aires

Cortado – ¾ espresso ¼ milk. Means, “cut with milk.” (Comes in chico, jarrito, doble)

Café con leche – ½ espresso ½ milk. (Comes in one size)

Café con crema – ½ espresso ½ cream. (Comes in jarrito and café con leche)

Coratdo en Jarrito and Café con Leche in Buenos Aires

Lágrima – 1/10 “a tear” espresso 9/10 milk. (Comes in chico, jarrito, doble)

Café Lágrima (Doble) in Buenos Aires

Cappucino – espresso, cream, milk, and cinnamon (Comes in one size)

Capuccino in Buenos Aires

Submarino – milk, chocolate on the side – a Porteño hot chocolate, genius! (Comes in one size)

Submarino (Hot Chocolate) in Buenos Aires

Submarino (Hot Chocolate) in Buenos Aires

If we’ve left anything out, please let us know about it here.