Mendoza’s Avenida Sarmiento, near Plaza Independencia, is a pedestrian street filled with restaurants and cafés with sidewalk and indoor seats. It is the best part of town to look for a coffee shop, relax and enjoy people watching.
Mendoza is known for its wineries and Malbec. It’s not just the wineries that keep tourists coming by the millions each year; it’s also the outdoor adventures and culinary experience. Francis Mallmann, the famous Argentinian chef has a restaurant in the city.
For coffee, go to Havanna Café on Avenida Sarmiento. Havanna Café is the Starbucks of Argentina.
Havanna Café started out selling alfajores, a type of chocolate dessert and dulce de leche (caramelized milk) desserts. The company that makes the best alfajores in Argentina started opening coffee shops around the country and parts of South America like Peru and Uruguay.
There is bound to be one Havanna Café in every mall and busy street in Argentina and the neighboring country of Uruguay.
When having coffee at a Havanna Café you must try the alfajores or havannets. This is one way to enjoy coffee like the Argentinians. Havannets are white or dark chocolate covered coned shaped desserts filled with dulce de leche. Alfajores are sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche, chocolate or jam. Dulce de leche is to Argentinians as peanut butter is to Americans unless you are allergic to peanuts.
Two types of coffee you must try are the café bombon and cartado. Café bombon has a layer of condensed milk topped with espresso. Cartado is just like French café au lait- coffee with lots of warm and creamy milk.
Coffee is usually served with a complimentary cookie and a shot glass of carbonated water. It is cheaper to order from the ‘set menu’ that includes coffee with alfajores or havannet instead of ordering them separately.
Note: Many either have a love or hate relationship with Havanna just like Starbucks. We happen to love Havanna Cafés in Mendoza, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Montevideo, Punta del Este in Uruguay and Miraflores (Lima) in Peru.
Location: Sarmiento 68, Mendoza, Mendoza
The café accepts credit cards and cash. Free WiFi is available.