A typical Brazilian breakfast includes corn cake or toasted bread and a rich, black coffee with heaps of sugar. However, if you’re craving something healthy to start your day, there are plenty of venues that serve delicious acai bowls, fresh tropical fruit, and organic bread. Here are the best spots in Rio de Janeiro.
Located in the hillsides of Santa Teresa, Cultivar has earned the quasi-official title of having the best pão de queijo
(cheese bread) in Rio de Janeiro. Made from cassava flour, they are the perfect breakfast item for those looking to eat gluten-free. The menu uses only organic ingredients and includes gluten-free cookies and freshly-made acai.
Cafe, Brazilian, $$$
Café Secreto hides in a charming, artistic alleyway near the metro Largo do Machado. It’s tucked away so discreetly that most people pass by without noticing it, yet for those in the know, the coffee shop is a secret gem for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Try the yogurt with granola and fresh honey, or the toasted sourdough bread with local Canastra cheese for a wholesome meal paired with one of the best coffees in town.
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Just one block from the Copacabana beach
, Sofa Café is set in one of Rio’s most popular districts making it a hit with the tourists. With Paulista (born in São Paulo) owners, Sofa Café brings a breath of cosmopolitan life to the beach-chic Rio scene with comfy sofas, delicious brunch options, and a bustling international crowd. For a substantial brunch, try the scrambled egg with a doorstep-thick slice of fresh bread, or the omelets with a salad garnish. For coffee lovers, Sofa Cafe’s creamy cappuccino is a must-try.
Cafe, Contemporary, French, $$$
Talho Capixaba provides a sophisticated and pleasant setting for a hearty brunch or a delicious coffee in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro’s wealthiest neighborhood
. The venue combines a deli with outdoor and indoor seating so guests can enjoy freshly-made bread with imported French products such as paté and sweet jams, as well as a wide range of cheese. If you categorize healthy as freshly-made with natural ingredients, then make the most of the mouthwatering cakes as a naughty-but-nice brunch treat.
Surrounded by exotic forest and located in a former mansion next to an indoor pool, Plage Café in Parque Lage provides possibly one of the most tranquil and visually-striking settings for a café in Rio. For breakfast for two, try the ‘Combinado Completo’ which includes fresh baguettes, jam, butter, cream cheese, cold cuts of ham, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, yogurt and granola, and with fruit juice and coffee. This breakfast option is served until 4pm and can also be paired with a bottle of bubbly for a celebratory brunch.
Bakery, Cafe, Brazilian, Contemporary
Confeitaria Colombo in Copacabana Fort overlooks Copacabana beach
to provide an idyllic brunch spot with a view. The breakfast for two is a treat that includes fresh bread, cold cuts of ham and cheese, tropical fruits, and other healthy breakfast items which also makes a filling brunch option too. To get the highly sought-after seats on the outdoor terrace, head there early to avoid a queue.
Bakery, Brazilian, $$$
A classic Brazilian bakery with all sorts of excellent breakfast and brunch options including eggs, acai
, and fresh bread. The simple design inside creates an informal and homely environment where you can pull up a stool and settle down to eat at the counter. The locals there normally start their days with a strong black coffee with plenty of sugar (opt for sweetener or honey for a healthier version) and a pão na chapa
Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary, British, $$$
This cozy cafe is the ideal spot for a healthy breakfast or a mid-morning brunch. Decor such as the potted plants on the wall and a bike hung up behind the counter, all add to the hipster feel of Bastarda
. The modern version of the traditional English breakfast comes complete with all the classic items such as fried eggs and grilled tomato with a couple of modern extras such as slices of avocado. Coffee-lovers will appreciate the fact that Bastarda was awarded for having the best coffee in Rio.