The leading café in Buenos Aires is undoubtedly the Café Tortini opened by a French immigrant named Touan in 1858. He took the name Tortoni from a Parisian café frequented by the cultural elite. Later the café was owned by another French man who made it the headquarters of the Agrupación de Gente de Artes y Letras (Association for Arts and Letters).
Great artists like Jorge Luis Borges, Luigi Pirandello, Frederico García Lorca, Julio Cortázar, Arturo Rubinstei, Carlos Gardel all came to the Café Tortini contributing to its reputation. The café's interior with its paintings, sculptures and poems illustrates the cultural history of Argentina, while the delicious leche merengada (milk with meringue) recalls the pleasures of yesteryear.