If you were to spend only 24 hours in Buenos Aires, there is a strong possibility you would come across La Biela; a Recoleta classic, it sits on Avenida Quintana, in the shade of an enormous 215 year-old Ombú and more importantly just steps from the entrance of the world-famous Recoleta cemetery.
Originally known as La Virideta (a slight variation on the word veredita meaning small pavement), and squeezing just 18 seats onto a narrow stretch of pavement, it grew into El Aerobar, and then definitively renamed to La Biela in the 1950’s.
It quickly became the focal point for a mixed group, racing drivers and fans on the one hand (a biela is a crankshaft, a motif cut out of the seatback of every chair) and thinkers and the literary crowd on the other.
La Biela nowadays has a dual function – due to its location its terrace fills with tourists taking a break from the rigours of exploring the cemetery but it also manages to retain a local flavour with many Recoleta residents to be found meeting and talking inside.
La Biela: Avenida Quintana 500
Colectivos: 101, 10
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.