For more than 150 years Brazil is the biggest coffee producer in the world. However, don’t expect cool coffee shops at every corner of the street in a city like Rio de Janeiro. You’ll need to look for them. Here are some of our favorites in town.
Founded by a former teacher of the French school in Rio (Liceu Français do Rio), La Bicyclette is a French-style bakery and coffee shop. It started in the garage of the owner, Henri, whose first customers were his old colleagues from the French school. Located in the Botanical Garden neighborhood, La Bicyclette is a great place for croissants and good coffee. It’s a popular hangout for journalists because of the wide variety of newspapers and magazines available in the shop.
Rua Pacheco Leão, 320 loja D, Jardim Botânico. Tel: + 55 21 3256 9052
In the heart of Botafogo, hidden in a silent back street, Grave Café might a bit difficult to find, The residential vibe of the area and the building, an old colonial style villa and the patio, make this an excellent place though to consume some freshly brewed coffee. The word Grave also refers to the recording studio located in the villa. Besides coffee, you can also eat lunch here.
Rua Prof. Alfredo Gomes, 33, Botafogo. Tel: +55 21 2285 0223
If you’re planning to take the van to the Christ statue, and leave from Largo do Machado, do make a stop at Café Secreto, across the square where the vans leave. The small coffee shop is in a narrow, wonderful ally, full with art galleries and tiny shops. It can get busy during lunch hours, but you can also sit outside. Hot coffees, cold coffees, they serve it here.
Rua Gago Coutinho, 6 Casa 8, Largo do Machado
A bit of newcomer in Copacabana, Sofá Café is located on the busy Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana. The brick and tiled walls and the colorful chairs give the café a relaxed vibe. They also have an exchange of books, where clients can pick up and leave books. On their menu is a wide range of coffees on offer, from Café Mocha to Irish Coffee. All the coffee is locally produced.
Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 300, Copacabana. Tel: +55 21 2543 9107
In the past Brazilian presidents would come to drink their coffee in Confeitaria Colombo. You’ll still find waiters here with colorful stories about Brazilian politicians who frequented the place when Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of Brazil. Founded in 1894 Colombo is the oldest coffee shop in the city, a cultural heritage site. The Portuguese tiles, the French stained glass and big jacaranda-framed mirrors from Belgium, are among the art nouveau decor’s features. In the food, especially the sweet and salty pastries, the Portuguese influence is unmistakably present.
Rua Gonçalves Dias 32, Centro. Tel: + 55 21 2505 1500