I really tried to avoid the phrase “oasis in the middle of the city”, one of the cheapest pre-fixed sentences in contemporary writing. I really-really tried; but you’ll have to believe me, in this case it’s 100% justified and accurate.
The beauty and majesty of La Abadía (or the Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos) haven’t received enough attention, in my opinion. The place is a restored Benedictine Monastery that functions today as an art center with exhibition halls, art shop, library and auditorium. In these gardens -which will take to a different continent and a different century- there is a small, discrete café.
The menu is very simple, so no big surprises there. For merienda: coffee and tea, cookies, muffins, cakes. Lunch: a few burgers, sandwiches and pizza. Wine and drinks are available too. But who are we kidding? We didn’t come here for the coffee or the food. We’re here for the overwhelming peace, the gentle breeze moving the hundred-year-old trees, the birds singing and the sunlight painting symmetrical shapes through the heavy concrete columns.
Yes, it’s your regular cafe con leche, but in a nextraordinary setting.
(You may want to take a deep breath before leaving because suddenly you’ll be facing all the city noise, traffic, moody people and the McDonald’s Logo just across the street)
UPDATE: Sadly, this place closed in 2018. I’m waiting for news about what’s going to happen.
Café BA in La Abadía
Gorostiaga 1908 (Las Cañitas– Buenos Aires)