Brazilians love all things sweet. In the recent past, even coffee was automatically served with sugar. While nowadays people know better, their love for cakes and other sweets is undiminished. A stop at one of Rio’s bakeries or patisseries, therefore, is a must. Here are some of our favorites.
Alda Maria Doces Portugueses
If you’re in the mood for a more intimate experience, check out the family-run bakery Alda Maria Doces Portugueses. It’s one of those hidden gems, located in the charming neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Popular with locals, and covered in Portuguese tiles, this bakery and cafe is specialized in classic Portuguese pastries. From Fridays until Sunday they open up their living room, that serves as a small museum of sweets, with vintage bakery equipment on show.
Address: Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 1116 – Santa Teresa. Tel: +55 21 2232-1320
Cake & Co
Located in the hipster neighborhood of Botafogo, Cake & Co is a great address for pastries, pies, and cakes. With more than 30 flavors the bakery’s cakes and pies, lots of them based on old family recipes attract a faithful local crowd. Every day there are freshly baked pies on display, while you can drink a coffee in their cafe with its farm style design.
Address: Rua Conde de Irajá, 132 – Botafogo. Tel: +55 21 2286-4769
Colher de Pau
With more than 40 years of experience, Colher de Pau is loved for its brigadeiro, a traditional Brazilian dessert. Made of condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder, and topped off with chocolate sprinkles, the brigadeiro is originally served at birthday parties for kids, but nowadays also eaten at regular get-togethers of grownups. Besides the brigadeiro, the cheesecake of Colher de Pau is another mouthwatering dessert.
Address: Rua Rita Ludolf, 90 – Leblon. Tel: +55 21 2274-8295.
Le P’tit Café
Hidden in a gallery in the trendy quarter of Ipanema, is the confectionery Le P’tit café. Run by Patrícia Lombardi, who did her training at the Le Cordon Blue in France, Le P’tit Café is famous for its cakes. Think of delicious cakes made of pistachio, caramel or Belgian chocolate. The place is such a success that owners opened another franchise in shopping Leblon.
Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 444 – Ipanema. Tel: +55 21 2267-7546.
Confeitaria Colombo is an institute in Rio de Janeiro. A grand café and patisserie where politicians and the elite of Rio would meet each other. Opened in 1894, the place still exhibits with its belle époque architecture the grandeur of the past. It is probably the oldest confectionery in town, still in the same building. Colombo is considered a cultural and artistic heritage site, serving only the best cakes, and other pastries in the city. Insider tip: try their pastel de nata, an egg custard of Portuguese origin.
Address: Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32 – Centro. Tel: +55 21 2505-1500.