Getting off the bus in La Boca, we headed straight for Café Roma. I had high hopes for this one – on my way to Caminito on the tour I had passed by the bar many times and would nearly always catch a glimpse of an old boy sitting at a window table with the cortado, reading the newspaper.
To begin with however, our quest was hindered by the fact that whilst the bar was obviously not shut, a large group could be seen inside singing and dancing, it was a private party and we were not on the list. Undeterred we headed off into darkest Boca and visited La Perla and El Estaño, before returning a couple of hours later.
The party hadn’t quite finished, but was certainly winding down, and we were quickly found a couple of tables and we settled in. The organiser of the party, a 70 year-old Boca resident called Titina explained that she and a group of friends got together every month in a different bar for food and karoake. She invited us to come to her birthday party next month.
The bar itself had everything I hoped for from the usual dark wood fittings, chairs and tables, old metal signs on the walls and most importantly a real sense of character. Any bar that closes to the public and hires itself out to a group of locals on a Saturday afternoon for 3 hours is OK with me.
Café Roma: Olavarría 409
Colectivos: 152, 29, 64
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.