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.
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.
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.