From lush locations situated inside of Rio's metropolitan rain forest to bohemian hills and posh patios, Rio has some of the best places to break bread in the morning. See our top breakfast picks around the city.
Step off the busy streets of downtown Rio and into the Belle Epoque period designed stained glass ceilings, dazzling mirrored walls and marbled floors of Confeitaria Colombo. A grand dame of café houses, Confeitaria Colombo dates back to the times when Brazil was ruled by the King of Portugal. Aristocrats would fill the café and patisserie discussing the latest politics, events, and gossip of the time while eating and drinking on refined imported china. Minus the aristocrats, not much has changed until today. Visitors can still expect the most delightful european-style pastries and cakes served on fine china. Or take the antique elevator upstairs where the cafe also offers a suitable lunch. Try the Camarão Recheado, fried shrimp in a seasoned batter recipe that the Confeiraria Colombo has been using since 1910. This place gets quite packed, which makes the already delayed service even slower. But no worries, just order another cup of strong coffee or champagne and linger in 19th century Rio just a little longer.
Parque Das Ruinas
Parque Das Ruinas or Park of Ruins is a great place for visitors interested in seeing art in beautiful surroundings. The park contains the remains of a mansion which belonged to the Brazilian heiress Laurinda Santos Lobo. The house had been a meeting place for many great intellectuals and artists before the heiress’ death in 1946. Now the site is an architectural mix of old and new. Some of the original brick construction of the mansion remains and has been restored with brick, steel, and glass additions. There is a small gallery on the ground floor which generally displays work of Brazilian artists. Sometimes the park hosts other forms of artistic expression like music, dance or film viewings.However, the greatest draw of the park is the viewing platform. A splendid view of Rio is awaiting visitors that climb the steps to the top of the viewing platform, probably the most enriching “permanent exhibit” of the park.
Parque Lage of today is like a Taj Mahal of Rio, it was created in homage to a lover. The park changed hands several times before it was finally acquired by businessman Henrique Lage. Lage fell in love with Italian opera singer,Gabriela Besanzoni, married her and constructed their home drawing inspiration from Rome. The home is enveloped by lush gardens that are a part of the Tijuca National Park. It even features 12 huge fish tanks showcasing fish species native to Brazil. The couple became known for their lavish parties. Now the building is used as the visual arts school EAV, which often has art expositions at their gallery. Because of the beautiful surroundings, the breakfast a Parque Lage's Café du Lage, is also becoming somewhat of an institution
This garden had grand beginnings as a royal garden to the Portuguese colonizers in 1808 and two hundred years later, it's still equally as regal today. A visit here would be following in the footsteps of distinguished visitors such as Queen Elizabeth II and Albert Einstein. Here you will find 54 hectares of some of the most diverse tropical vegetation of any city park. There are over 900 species of palm trees, 600 orchid species, and over 140 species of birds. This is nature's Disneyland. The gardens are usually packed on weekends with families and tourists, for a more intimate experience it would be wise to go during the week. Jardim Botanico is also the site of the Museum of the Environment, a museum dedicated to education about the environment and sustainable practices. Don't forget insect repellent and allergy medications.
Argumento is a lovely bookstore perfect for finding art, photography, and history books with a focus on Rio de Janeiro. While many bookstores around the world seem to be becoming obsolete, Argumento is thriving. The bookstore has been around since 1978. Argumento made its mark by offering books banned by the military dictatorship which weren't present on the shelves of other stores. Now their shelves are lined with all kinds of international authors. Also of note is what lines their walls- photos by notable photographer Pedro de Moraes, who is the son of poet Vinicius de Moraes. Argumetno often hosts events and booksignings, which are detailed on their website. Their cafe, Café Severino also packs the house, The breakfast at Café Severino is outstanding. Try the waffles which are offered as a savory version with parmesan or a sweet version with chocolate sauce. Or the crepes which come in many varieties including apple with port wine and gorgonzola sauce, Salmon Crepe with Gruyère cheese, and chicken with a mushroom and herb sauce. The misto quenche is the perfect option for those looking for a quick and simple Carioca favorite to go along with their cerveja (beer).
La Florentina is an Italian restaurant that has been in Copacabana since the glory days of the 1950s. Legend has it that owner, Sylvio Hoffmann met Picasso in Europe. He paid for the then struggling artist's dinner and Picasso drew on a napkin in appreciation. According to the legend, Hoffman bought the restaurant with the sale of this napkin. Picasso isn't the only famous connection to La Florentina. The restaurant is a notable hangout for intellectuals, journalists and artists. You will spot the signatures of some of the most well-known names on the walls. However, the demeanor of the place remains classic and unpretentious. One of their outdoor tables is a good place for people watching while enjoying the well-done risottos, pizzas, and oysters made with ingredients from Italy.
Santa Teresa is the bohemian heart of Rio de Janeiro, and many original and creative goods can be found throughout its cobblestone streets. As is true for most bohemian enclaves, the area is popular with artists and intellectuals. And its hills make it one of the most scenic places to shop. Much of the original architecture and the character of the neighborhood have been preserved and it offers views of the entire city below. The best place to start is Largo do Guimarães, which can be viewed as the social center of the area. Largo do Guimarães often (but sporadicly) has individual craftsmen in the plaza setting up shop selling handmade jewelry, paintings and t-shirts. From there you can go walking from shop to shop. From the central point of Largo do Guimarães (the train/bus stop, walk across the street and up the stairs to the whimsical shop alongside the popular cafe Cafecito(http://www.cafecito.com.br/). Here you'll find interesting honey, jellies, coffee, beers, wines. After Cafecito, walk north and visit the other shops along Rua Almirante Alexandrino. Don't leave without visiting Vereda (http://www.lavereda.art.br), which is packed with high-quality art and goods by local craftspeople and artists.
Forte de Copacabana
There was a time when instead of it’s beach, the site most emblematic of Copacabana was the Forte de Copacabana. The fort was inaugurated in 1914 as a military base located on the south end of Copacabana beach.t’s main purpose was to the aim of strengthening the defense of Guanabara Bay. At the time was considered the most impenetrable site in South America. In 1987, the Fort de Copacabana ceased using the Coast Artillery Batteries. And today the fort is open to the public as a Museum of the History of the Army (or Museu Historico do Exercito). The museum features photos, sculptures and artifacts that chronicle the history of the Brazilian military and also stages non-military related events, often having groups like orchestras play with the sea in the background. There is also an artillery park which houses 19th and 20th century artillery pieces which were used by the army on the base.