Confeitaria Colombo in Rio de Janeiro is not only a landmark of the Cidade Maravilhosa but also one of the most beautiful cafes in the world, besides Cafe Central in Vienna, Cafe de la Paix in Paris, or Caffe Greco, in Rome.
A reminder of Rio de Janeiro’s glamorous colonial past
Founded in 1894 by two Portuguese immigrants, Joaquim Borges de Meireles and Manuel Jose Lebrao, Confeitaria Colombo soon became an essential part of Rio de Janeiro’s colonial lifestyle. In 1912 the interiors were renovated with art nouveau elements. In 1922, the Cafe expanded with a second floor, whose large opening allows the ceiling, decorated with stained glass, to be visible from the ground floor.
Confetaria Colombo’s opulent interior resembles grand European cafes, with marble-topped tables, carved wooden furniture, and large crystal mirrors brought from Belgium, France, and Portugal. It was the place to be in the 20th century, the meeting point for upper-class people, writers, artists, and state personalities. Many afternoon teas, aristocratic balls, or other cultural events brought together here Rio de Janeiro’s glamorous elite. Along this time, many personalities visited the coffee house, among them Queen Elizabeth II and King Albert I of Belgium.
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Home of the Brazilian pastries
Currently, Confeitaria Colombo has two locations in Rio de Janeiro: the first one is located in the city center (Centro). The second one, which opened in 1944, is in Fort Copacabana (with a stunning panorama of Copacabana Beach).
Step inside one of these two Colombo cafes and experience the exotic taste of many sweets, pastries, tropical jams, and Brazilian and Iberian dishes. Try Brigadeiros and Pastel de Nata, two traditional Brazilian sweets, pastel de avela (hazelnut pastry), Torta Bombom, pistachio tart, or dulce de leche cookies. Or you can have brunch or dinner (choose for dinner the Copacabana location, and you’ll also get the amazing view) with traditional Brazilian cuisine: Feijoada (one of the best in Rio de Janeiro), Bolihnos de Bacalhau, Coxinha.
Today, Confeitaria Colombo is a favorite with locals and tourists, a place that lets you taste a bit of Rio de Janeiro’s elegant past. And a delicious cake, of course!
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