In a city associated with Carnival, samba, and beaches like Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, Rio de Janeiro is also home to many landmarks and iconic places. When it comes to coffee, Rio comes in a distant second when compared to Sao Paulo. But Rio’s iconic places’ historical backgrounds provide reasons for even the most discriminating coffee connoisseur to stop and linger for awhile.
That’s what we did when we visited Rio. We went to Copacabana Palace Hotel and Confeitaria Colombo.
Coffee at Pergula Restaurant, Copacabana Palace Hotel
Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Madonna and Justin Bieber are just a few of the celebrities that have stayed in Copacabana Palace. This iconic hotel across the street from Copacabana Beach is one of the most talked about hotels in South America. Staying in one of the rooms will set you back $380 per night for two people. And that’s not including tax.
Of course, there are ways to visit the hotel without staying for a night. You can make a dining reservation at one of their restaurants, or hire a local tour guide who knows his way around. We did the former. Honestly, Pergula Restaurant, the poolside restaurant in Copacabana Palace hotel did not wow us. The hotel’s neighbor had unsightly air-conditioning units jutting out from its windows. Every time we looked up from beneath the outdoor umbrella instead of seeing palm trees or clean walls, we saw those units.
The coffee and service at Pergula Restaurant were worth the visit. Below are photos of the macchiato, cappuccino, and caipirinha (traditional Brazilian cocktail). We mention caipirinha here because Copacabana Palace is one of the places in Brazil to get the best.
Location: Av. Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio
Coffee, Pastries, and a Tour of Confeitaria Colombo
Confeitaria Colombo was founded in 1894. You’ll find Portuguese tiles, jacaranda-framed mirrors from Belgium and stained glass from France in the middle of the building. Confeitaria Colombo is Rio’s oldest restaurant and is still located in its original building.
Confeitaria Colombo was the place to be seen for afternoon tea and evening cocktails. Men and women were expected to dress up to get into the restaurant until the early 70s. Today, tourists and locals flock to the cafe for affordable coffee and dessert. Or just to photograph the interior. The place is often crowded. Tours of the building are available to tourists. There were old photos and manuscripts hanging on the wall telling stories of long ago.
Confeitaria Colombo is the place to go to for Brazilian savory and sweet pastries. Remember to get a cup of coffee to go with the pastries.
Location: Rua Goncalves Dia 32, Centro, Rio
Note: Before you leave for Rio, make sure you check out this latest Rio guidebook from DK.
We highly recommended you check out both places. Do you like visiting iconic places even though the coffee is just ok? Please share your thoughts. Thanks.