Founded in 1894 by Portuguese immigrants, the magnificent coffee house of Confeitaria Colombo is a true belle époque spectacle, of the sort rarely found elsewhere in Latin America. Its high ceilings, tall mirrors, sourced from Belgium, and stained glass have resulted in its art-nouveau decor becoming something of an independent attraction in Rio. Diners will not be disappointed by the variety of excellent sweet and savoury pastries on offer, from the Portuguese pastel de nata, made with egg custard, to shrimp and heart of palm. Those getting into the belle époque grandeur can have the complete set, with high tea served in the afternoon. Later in the day, customers are treated to live music to complete the atmosphere.
Celebrated local chef Felipe Bronze opened Oro in 2010 to integrate Brazilian ingredients and recipes with avant-garde cuisine of the highest order. Oro has made its mark and won numerous awards since it was founded, with everything from the wine to the crockery carefully selected. The design is centred on a warm combination of bricks and wood, with a 10-meter mural on the second floor. The food itself experiments with typical Brazilian flavours, açaí, the popular Amazonian berry, served with foie gras or tempura fish served with oyster mayonnaise; while capricious desserts are served with liquid nitrogen, to complete the spectacle.
Oro, Rua Frei Leandro, 20, Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2266 7591
Pérgula enjoys an exclusive poolside setting inside Rio’s legendary Copacabana Palace hotel, the pinnacle of Rio’s luxury scene. The restaurant is suitably casual yet doesn’t skip on its fine-dining obligations and is known for its Sunday brunch, with salads, club sandwiches, cold cuts and, not least, caviar and oysters washed down with Prosecco. All in all, a perfect place to relax in truly palatial settings.
In the exclusive Leblon neighbourhood and one of Brazil’s finest sushi restaurants, Sushi Leblon is so popular that booking in advance is advised. A dark, sleek and atmospheric interior prepares you for the host of excellently crafted sushi on offer. As a starter, try their variation on tamagoyaki, the ubiquitous omelette roll, made with a fried quail egg. As well as traditional sushi made to perfection, Sushi Leblon offers creative variations, such as the the sushi batera, rice with furikake, salmon, capelin, wasabi cream and lemon, or the foie gras roll marinated in red wine with capelin.
Sushi Leblon, Rua Dias Ferreira 256, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2512 7830