UPDATE: Unfortunately, Cafe Retiro closed its doors. There is a Burger King on that spot now.
Café Retiro takes you back to the elegance of turn-of-the-century Buenos Aires However, you have to find it first because it hides inside a bigger structure. That structure is the Retiro Railway Station. Be adventurous, go seek hidden places!
This splendid station was opened in 1915 and is one of the main transport hubs of the city. The building was designed in the elegant Beaux-Arts style. The platforms area, however, is pure Industrial Revolution with its iron and glass structure. Urban, suburban and intercity trains connect Buenos Aires with the the northern suburbs and beyond. Every day, hundreds and hundreds of people pass through the station hurrying to work on time in the morning and hurrying home in the afternoon. I’d like to know how many of them notice Café Retiro.
Once inside the café, the decor transports you to an era where skillful hands worked with fine materials to create long-lasting beauty. The wood panelling on the walls, the parquet floors, the spectacular glass-stained dome in the middle, the electric station clock, the brass fittings create an elegant and relaxed atmosphere despite the hustle and bustle of the surroundings.
I never heard of Café Retiro until I read about it last year. I planned to go on my next trip, which I did. I took my mother with me, as she likes to explore the city even though she lives there. My mum confessed she had never set foot on Retiro Station. You see, we live in the western suburbs and use a different station. There’s no reason for us to use Retiro at all. She loved the experience, as did I.
If you’re in Buenos Aires, make time to visit Retiro station avoiding peak times. Have a look at the architectural details and then enjoy a quiet coffee in the café
Ramos Mejia 1358. Walk into the station and turn left in the main hall.