Tucked in next to the Palacio Barolo, a few metres from Avenida de Mayo, with a plain, non-descript facade, there is nothing to indicate that La Embajada is a bar. No name above the day, no stickers in the window, just some large wood-framed windows through which a few tables and a marble bar can be seen – a world in difference from the garish, brightly-lit Starbucks next door.
The waiter wears the red jacket and black trousers often seen in the more humble bars and even at 3pm there are still a few people finishing off a late lunch. The empty tables nearly all have a bottle of wine and a soda bottle, the mixture being a popular refreshing drink here (to the horror of many Europeans), and the remains of a part eaten milanesa. We’re in true classic territory here.
The bar is 100 years old this year, and there is absolutely no fanfare being made. No “Established in 1913” signs on the wall, in fact, nothing on the walls. Originally the space was the back rooms of the shop of the same name on the street corner. La Embajada sold the finest hams, cheeses and wines from the Old Continent and customers would often ask for a place to sit down and try the wares on-site – and the back room opened up.
The shop seems to be shut these days, but the bar still continues on. One nice touch is that La Embajada has its own brochure giving its history and pedigree as a Notable Bar. They either don’t give many out, or were given too many of th as the mayor of the city listed on the back is Aníbal Ibarra who left power in 2006.
Like many of its fellow Notable Bar, La Emabajada has kept many of its original fittings, from the goose-neck water tap to the bar made from 4 types of Italian marble. What sets it apart however, is that it does so in a very low-key manner, drawing no attention to itself, just getting on with the important job of keeping the milanesas and soda coming.
La Embajada: Santiago del Estero 88
Subte: Saenz Peña, Line A
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.