Cafe Ayllu: A classic coffee shop in Cusco

December 29th, 2009

Although it sadly no longer exists, it’s nice to be reminded of the once iconic Cafe Ayllu of Cusco, thanks to photographer Scott Vanthoff.

The Cafe Ayllu has been serving the hungry of Cusco for 38 years now. I have been going there for over 20 of them and it hasn’t changed. It still is the best cafe in Cusco. Its location smack bang on the plaza with it’s huge windows allow for a fine view where you can sit and enjoy what is happening outside, while partaking in fine drinks and food. It is famous for it’s baked custard and hot chocolate, but all of its pastries are good and the pancakes with fruit and honey absolutely delicious.

The Ayllu still with it’s original furniture, service and food.

The Ayllu still with its original furniture, service and food.

Its prices are local prices so you are not paying the tourist premium you do in many other places on the plaza. The Ayllu is where all the intellectual and arty set in Cusco go to hangout. Often jam packed even at 10pm at night it is definitely a must visit place if you are heading to Cusco. Just order a coffee and my favorite treat an alfajor (a large shortbread biscuit with caramelised condensed milk inside)… Kick back and watch the world go by.

Sadly the Ayllu no longer exists – there’s a Starbucks there now – but thanks to photos and blogs like those of Scott, this little cafe lives on in memory.

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