Brazilians like to drink their coffee quickly and standing up. Nonetheless, Salvador has its own charming cafés where you can put your feet up, have a quality coffee and tuck into some scrumptious food. Whether you want to browse the bookshelves, have an ice cream or treat yourself to a decadent slice of cake, take a look at our guide to the best cafés and coffee shops in the city.
Cosy, full of character and with a picture-perfect view of the sunset, Cafélier is ever popular with visitors to Salvador. It is possible to move seamlessly from coffee to cocktails, or combine the two by trying a coffee with cachaça or with brandy, chocolate liquor and chantilly. The café com cravo e canela is another local speciality, made with cloves and cinnamon, and best accompanied with a pastel de nata (sweet Portuguese tart).
The delightful Café Conosco is set in an 18th-century house in the heart of Salvador’s historic centre, making it an ideal pitstop for weary sightseers making their way around the Pelourinho. Customers are given a warm welcome and encouraged to choose from the homemade quiches, pies, cakes and tarts that are displayed. Colourful patterns are painted on the pavement outside and local paintings and pictures decorate the walls.
Dona Xícara is a calm and airy coffee shop on the main street, set back from Praia Farol da Barra. It is adorned with tea cups, hinting at the name of the establishment – Mrs Cup. Sweets and savouries are baked daily and the cappuccino is one of the better ones in the city.
Set in the grounds of Salvador’s Aliança Francesa (a French NGO) Café Terrasse is a lovely spot that has a privileged view of the Bay of All Saints. Take on the hottest of days with an indulgent mocha-coffee shake or iced cappuccino accompanied by a bowl of açaí heaped with banana. Jazz and samba musicians play regularly on the spacious terrace, which is also ideal for watching the setting sun.
Boto-Cor-de-Rosa is a bookshop boasting a small café with a friendly, contemplative atmosphere that makes it the perfect for catching up with friends or to while away an afternoon with a book. They serve espresso and tea, along with beer, wines, and small bites to eat, and dispense fantastically wise advice on what’s best to read.
Shaded by the vibrant-yellow cloisters of the Instituto Goethe, the Berlim Café is a quiet haven to retreat to. The institute promotes German language and culture abroad so the café specialises in some German dishes alongside more international fare. Try the salsicha Alemã (German sausage) with a bottle of beer for a taste of Europe.
Not only does Mondo Gelato Artesanal serve up creamy scoops of all kinds of flavours of ice cream, but its coffee comes with a crema fit for Italians too. Only the best beans are used, many of which are sourced from nearby Chapada Diamantina inland in Bahia.