The Best Cafés in El Chaltén, Argentina

Rancho Grande
Rancho Grande | Courtesy of Rancho Grande
Will Lees

Spend a few days exploring the trails in El Chaltén, and no matter who you are, you will be craving a day to relax and recuperate. Maybe it is because the wind and rain has set in and the world outside pales in comparison to the cozy indoors, maybe it is to rest your weary bones, or maybe it is just to spend a hiccup of time in the actual town itself and watch the world go by. Whatever reason fits you best, you have a lot of cafés to choose from in El Chaltén, Argentina.

1. Mathilda

Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Tea , Coffee, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Argentina, Vegetarian

To have this tight but cozy café named after a person seems to fit, as when you enter you feel like you are enjoying tea or coffee and cakes in the front room of a friend’s humble home. Stop in to fuel up before or after your hikes with some eggs, have a sandwich on their artisan breads made in-house, or a hearty cup of coffee.

2. La Wafleria

Restaurant, American, Argentina, Vegetarian, Vegan

Courtesy of Wafleria, El Chalten

As you pass along the road towards the Fitz Roy trail, you will see the sign of La Wafleria saying “before or after the mountain” and once you visit, you may be thinking “before and after the mountain.” Sweet or savory waffles are done every which way with ice cream, fruit, or even bacon toppings, just to name a few, and scrumptious coffee to accompany that will awaken all the senses.

3. Panaderia La Nieve

Bakery, Cafe, Tea , Coffee, Pastries, Dessert, Vegetarian, Fast Food

This café and bakery, named The Snow, was given its title after one of the largest snowfalls in El Chaltén, when the café opened. Snow, rain, sleet, or shine, it is a great place to warm up with a cup of coffee, soup, or their delicious oven-baked empanadas with in-house made chimicurri sauce to dollop on top.

4. Cafe Bar 9301

Coffee Shop, Tea , Coffee, Vegetarian

Frothy Coffee
© Camila Tamara Silvia Sepulveda / Flickr

Sit inside in a comfortable booth if the wind is blowing, which it probably will be, but if it lets up, you can sit outside on the hardwood patio to enjoy a meal or coffee in the center of town and watch wide-eyed backpackers arrive and exhausted trekkers depart. Previously called La Morena, this is also a great option if you want to grab a bite to eat with your coffee or get something wrapped up to go if your bus is leaving soon.

5. Chocolateria Josh Aike

Restaurant, Argentina, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

This raised up log cabin might look like someones personal home when you pass by, until you see the Chocolateria sign and you realize this is Josh’s place. They serve hot chocolates that are exactly that, hot melted chocolate, great treats—usually chocolate based—and other warm drinks to heat you up, in a great environment that is all wood with a glass area to look out at the gravel streets below.

6. Rancho Grande

Hotel, Hostel, Budget Hotel

Rancho Grande
Courtesy of Rancho Grande

An easy place to spend a full day inside if the weather is forcing you to, the Big Ranch is both a 24-hour restaurant hosting filling pub grub with a quaint little café in the corner. Relax upstairs on the couches in this massive lodge with a cup of coffee, and come downstairs to the restaurant when you are feeling a bit peckish.

7. Lo De Haydee

Cafe, Tea , Coffee, Vegetarian, Argentina

In the mornings, you will see a lot of locals entering and exiting this panaderia (bakery) getting their fresh bread for the day, and also you will find it filled with people when you enter. This is one of the best options for families, as they have milkshakes and chocolate milk for kids, and tasty cappuccinos and espresso for the adults.

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