Bar de Cao
If you believe the guide books, Buenos Aires may well be the Paris of the South, but Avenida Independencia in San Cristóbal sure ain’t the Champs Elysées. Walking down on it on a sunny, but cold July afternoon is a bleak experience. Not much seems open, there are very few people on the streets and those that you do see are scurrying, heads down, with other places to be.
Bar de Cao provides relief from the bitter wind and, once inside, the sun streaming through the windows combined with the warm wood and smell of cafe soon make me forget the cold outside.
Opened in 1915 and named for its founders, Spanish immigrants the brothers Cao, their bar doesn’t feel like it’s changed much in the last 10 decades. Fitted out with the original bar and spice cabinets (which are purely for show) from the 1950s, Bar de Cao has a relaxed feel, the sort of place you could sit and read your paper in peace surrounded by your neighbours all doing the same.
Interestingly, given its location well away from the tourist trail, prices here don’t seem much less than in bars in the centre (10 pesos for a coffee, compared to 12 in a more central bar), but I like the overall feel which is similar to Bar El Federal and La Poesia in San Telmo. The menu is the usual standard fare of most Porteño bars, but the decoration and barrio feel of the makes it worth a trip.
Bar de Cao: Avenida Independencia 2400
Subte: Venezuela, Line H
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.