In any one of the hundreds of cafés in Buenos Aires, you can order a cup of coffee and sit all day without anyone asking you to leave, or you can dance the sexiest tango with a perfect stranger without implying that you'll be spending the night together. There are residents of this city who spend most of their waking lives in cafés. Not long ago, I spent most of a waking day going from café to café and neighborhood to neighborhood to sample the life of a café denizen. I rubbed elbows with the most fashionable porteños, as the residents of this city are known, and I hung out in waterfront pasta-and-beer halls. In Buenos Aires, there's a café in every pocket of the city, and one for every pocketbook, too.
9:30a.m. Skip breakfast
Yes, it's the most important meal of the day, but since most porteños dine at around midnight and stay out until the early hours, breakfast is not a big deal. You can go to any café in the city for a good café au lait and croissant, although you might find yourself in the middle of a squadron of businessmen barking into cell phones.
Noon BarBaro, in La City
My first stop sees me diving into the hurly-burly of downtown Buenos Aires, known as La City. BarBaro, a café where every wall and even the ceiling is covered with art, was a hangout for the famous painters and poets of the Sixties; many still meet here every Saturday.