Brazil is known for being the coffee capital of the world, yet much to visitors’ surprise, Rio hasn’t got a big coffee shop culture. Brazilians tend to drink coffee black, strong, and with heaps of sugar at local padarias (bakeries). There are, however, some hidden gems located across the city that serve creamy, smooth coffees. Here are some of the best coffee shops in Rio.
Cafe, Coffee, Tea , Brazilian, Fast Food, Street Food, $$$
Curto Cafe sits in the back of a small, commercial gallery, and its concept is built around a responsible economic system where customers only pay what they feel they should. All the company’s expenses are written up on the wall, giving the customers an idea of what would be a sustainable price. Each week, the coffee beans arrive from Espirito Santos, and the friendly staff use them to make some of the most delicious cappuccinos and espressos in the city.
Just a block away from Ipanema Beach, Kraft Café has a varied menu tailored around great brunch options, healthy and fresh juices, and smooth coffees sourced sustainably. The coffee beans come from a farm in Minas Gerais, Rio’s neighbouring state, and the owner processes them at a roastery in Cosme Velho. Unlike many coffee shops in Rio that use long-life milk, Kraft Café uses fresh, locally sourced milk, and the taste is all the better for it.
Confeitaria Colombo is one of the oldest coffee shops in Rio de Janeiro. There are two: one in Centro and one at Forte de Copacabana. Elegant décor and floor-to-ceiling mirrors create a regal ambience at the one in Centro, which has stood the test of time for over a century. The one at Forte de Copacabana lacks the splendour of its Centro counterpart, yet it makes up for it with pleasant views over the Copacabana beach and bay. Settle down to enjoy the delicious breakfast spread or a creamy coffee with an irresistible pastry or cake.
The ageing walls and cracked floor of Casa Cavé add to its colonial charm and remind of its long-lived presence in Rio’s city centre. Dating back to 1860, Casa Cavé is one of the oldest coffee shops in the city; its success comes from sticking to what it does best – traditional, homemade pastries and cakes just like the ones you find in Portugal. The coffee packs a punch, and the pastel de Belem and Bolo Rei is to die for.
The little Café Secreto hides in a charming, artistic alleyway near the metro Largo do Machado. It’s tucked away so discreetly that most people pass by without noticing it, yet for those in the know, the coffee shop is a secret gem for quality coffee, warm toasted sourdough bread, and their famous pistachio, chocolate, and salt cookie. The coffee comes from local coffee beans, and the menu has a diverse selection of both hot and cold coffee beverages.
A relatively new addition to Copacabana, Sofá Café is all about the exposed brickwork, colourful furniture, and quirky décor, which give the place a bright and breezy feel. The breakfast options are great for a light snack or something more substantial, and the sandwiches packed with gourmet fillings are perfect for lunch. The coffee is locally produced and includes cold coffee options, something that is surprisingly uncommon in tropical Rio.