You’ll find historic La Biela Café in the upscale neighborhood of Recoleta. La Biela is thought to be the oldest café in Buenos Aires, dating to the mid-19th century when the area was mostly farm fields. The café started serving refreshments to wealthy citizens from San Telmo who were traveling by horse and buggy to their vacation homes further north. La Biela is very close to the Recoleta cemetery and the Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
The place is very popular with locals and tourists. In the past seventy years it has taken on a car-racing theme because it was a meeting place for motoring enthusiasts in the early days of car travel, and later with racing car champions — Biela means ‘connecting rod’ or ‘crank’. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by a statue of racing driver Oscar “the Eaglet” Galvez (photo below).
The interior is bright and charming, as you can see from these photos. The comfortable chairs and relaxed atmosphere invite one to linger. Service was prompt and excellent. We were only there for refreshments, which we greatly enjoyed. Coffee and pastries seemed the speciality, but alcoholic drinks, sandwiches and cooked meals are also available.
There is also a large outdoor seating area, shaded by a large rubber tree, which on a pleasant day is delightful. From the terrace you overlook the park in Plaza Francia and have views of the Recoleta Cemetery and Pilar church. And you likely won’t be alone. Besides all the humans, there’s a lot of feral cats who love to sun themselves on these tables.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshows)