Buenos Aires Café con Leche
La Biela is the cafe to have a leisurely afternoon coffee should you happen to find yourself in Buenos Aires in good-weathered months. Located on the central promenade area of Recoleta, a shi-shi barrio featuring many worthy sites of interest, La Biela feels oh-so-European, and is one of Buenos Aires top spots for people watching.
Jose, my Buenos Aires driver and Guru with an alarmingly vast treasure chest of Buenos Aires trivia, explains that the name, La Biela, refers to a mechanical car piece associated with the motor. (Who knew?)
The name was taken for the café in the early 60s by its founders, who, along their guests, would meet here for a bite to eat prior to heading out for drag-races (in Spanish, picada) through the streets of Buenos Aires. Incidentally, picada, in case you should bump into it, is the same name that Argentines use for “tapas,” or Spanish style finger-food delicacies.
La Biela was the rendezvous site for the 60s and 70s jet-set of Buenos Aires, and though today its clientele feature tourists and locals of less pretentious roots, there is definitely that je-ne-sais-quoi hint of its racy roots of yesteryear.
This cafe is also located smack next to a tourist info booth!
Deb Miller writes for Travel Jewish in from Ithaca. She can be reached at deb at traveljewish dot com.