The Shelter Coffee

Getting a decent cup of coffee was really only something you could easily do on your weekend Palermo excursion or on those rare adventures in San Telmo’s market. That seems to be changing though. The specialty coffee panorama has been expanding all over town as of late with Retiro and Microcentro playing host to the third wave of the coffee shop expansion Buenos Aires was so ready for. Here’s the new caffeinated city lay out.

The Shelter | Arroyo 940

Photo via
Photo via

Definitely one of the coziest places in town. Unlike most specialty coffee houses that are feel a bit cramped and serve up coffee to go, Shelter invites you to stick around for a while. Grab a spot on one of  their comfy couches for a good coffee-fueled reading session, or sit at one of their bistro tables if you’re looking to get some work done. Their wifi connection works great, making this the ideal digital nomad hangaround.

The setup is great so let’s get to talking about the important stuff here — coffee. Shelter works with a unique blend of beans specially created by fellow specialists from Coffee Town combining beans from Colombia, Zambia and Bolivia. Their lattes have the right amount of foaminess while their intense flat white is served on a larger cup than in most places. The pastries come from nearby French Bakery L’Epi and are without a doubt a must-try.

Our favorites are the almond croissant and the chausson aux pommes, an apple filled puff pastry. This is one of the few coffee places in the area that stay open on Saturdays, making it your ideal brunch spot to boot.

Saturnina Coffee | San Martín 898

Photo via

Saturnina, lead by Lab trained barista Jonathan Moraiz, specializes in organic varieties, all coming from Coffee Town. You can pick your favorite and try it via the many espresso varieties offered or get even more hardcore and opt for one of their filtering methods. Their macchiatos are something special, but if you’re looking for something sharper we recommend you try one of their blends on Aeropress.

If you’re into organic coffee you’ll be glad to know their beans are up for sale. Prices vary according to the origin of the beans but are still pretty accessiblefor specialty coffee standards. Saturnina also cares about food and offers healthy, vegetarian (and sometimes even vegan) options for breakfast, lunch or merienda.

Their banana-chocolate chip bread is something you’ll want to try. Although the place is small, there is enough room for you to comfortably work or even have a quick meeting.

La Unión Café | Esmeralda 266

Photo via

This modern but cozy coffee spot serves out a product that is as comforting as their service is good. La Unión has chosen to work with Puerto Blend’s best beans for both espresso and filtered methods. We highly recommend you try their ‘Kenia’ beans in the Chemex, especially if you’re into fruity and citrus notes.

There isn’t much space to hang around, making it your ideal take away cafetería. They offer some solid classic pastries like chocolate chip cupcakes and traditional alfajores, but their almond-pear cake is definitely something you won’t  be able to find anywhere else.

There are also a couple of sandwiches available midday, making this the ideal place to grab a healthy lunch to go. This little specialty coffee shop is offering a 5-day barista course for those looking to boost their knowledge of everyone’s favorite bean.

Santa Café | Moreno 818  

Photo via

If you are a Lattente regular you might remember Laura as being one of the sweetest, more welcoming baristas. You probably haven’t seen her around for a while, and there’s a (good) reason for that. Recently she spread her wings and, along with her husband, decided to open her own little coffee temple — Santa Café. Santa specializes in Lattente’s Colombian beans and offers a large range of espresso drinks along with three brewing methods (Aeropress, V60 and Chemex).

We really liked their mochachino. It had that right level of intensity you’re looking in your espresso based drink, sweetened up with a punch of cacao. On the filter end, V60 is the best method to appreciate the fruity-acid house bean. Their lunch offer changes almost daily, giving you the perfect excuse to come back throughout the week. Sun-dried tomatoes salad, bondiola sandwich and Mexican fajitas are some of the options that had been available over the past few weeks. There is one though that got us drooling and wishing we worked in Monserrat (yes, we’re cheating and redrawing our own lines of Microcentro here) their cheese arepa with guacamole.


Coffe Town is without a doubt one of the leaders in town when it comes to specialty coffee. In order to enjoy a cup of their many specialty beans we had to travel all the way to San Telmo, but Coffee Town has a little brother in Recoleta now. Find all the coffee love and magic at their newest coffee house located in Libertad 1260.

Negro, Cueva de Café was one of the first specialty coffee places we spotted in the microcentro area. We really like the deco and the fact you can stick around to work or have business meetings as the sitting space is comfortable. You’ll be glad to know there is a second Negro now located in Marcelo T. 790.