A Guide to Rio de Janeiro – Part I – Confeitaria Colombo
A friend and I recently returned home from a 25h quick getaway to Porto, departed Brussels on Saturday morning, back home for dinner on Sunday night. We had our laughs, shared some drinks, relaxed and had a great time without a care in the world..
Not really did we plan anything in advance, seeing as we both were thinking the other would be the guide through the city.. However we did do some research and came across “Top 10 Most Beautiful Cafes in The World” and let our Concierge at the hotel book us a table for lunch at Café Majestic. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet our expectations. A bit of a disappointment in fact.
The list also features one of the places I visited during my trip in October 2012: Confeitaria Colombo. Located in a narrow street in the city center of Rio de Janeiro, it has been an important part of the city’s Historical and Artistic Heritage since 1893 as a major belle époque symbol. Not only are you able to see your own reflection in one of many Belgian mirrors, you are actually walking in the footsteps of King Albert I of Belgium when he was visiting Brazil for six weeks in 1920 during which he received a doctoratus honoris causa awarded by the city’s University. History lies within these walls and therefore in 2002 Espaço Memória was created, where they display a part of their beautiful collection of old menus, china-ware and Portuguese silver plates. Confeitaria Colombo is also often the center stage for memorable wedding receptions.. (link)
On the left side of the ground floor you can find the Pastry shop with its delicious fine delicacies and Bar Jardim as the second focus of interest, is located in the back.
On the right side is restaurante Cabral which operates as a perfect host for a casual lunch or simple cup of coffee. The restaurant Cristóvão is located on the second floor and has influences from Spanish and Portuguese cuisines, I believe reservations are advisable. The interior design of Confeitaria Colombo as briefly mentioned, is dominated by stunning Art Nouveau décor with mirrors, marble and rosewood furniture to create a perfect suitable environment.
The menu of Bar Jardim, which you may find here, is quite extensive. The waiting staff running around with orders intended for other customers only makes the mouth water even more.. My lunch consisted of an enormous Club Sandwich with an ice cold Coca Cola Zero (better go easy on the calorie intake you know) and for dessert a Brigadeiro, of which I wish I had taken a picture, accompanied by hands down the best Cappuccino ever.. Don’t be surprised if you are having a hard time finishing your heavenly dessert, I was on the verge of asking if they could hand it to me in a doggy bag-to-go-please…
No, Confeitaria Colombo is not a tourist trap, it’s frequented by locals but tourist & travellers do find their way as well. It’s not on every “Top 10 things to do in Rio de Janeiro” list, it should be, but thankfully it is not.
Prices are fair, service is how we like it and appetizing food & enjoyable atmosphere are the things that make a visit worthwhile.
Located: Rua Gonçalves Dias 32 – Centro – Rio de Janeiro
I really like this phrase on their website: “Delicious specialties that have been sweetening the lives of our customers for over 100 years”
Note: The other Colombo “Café do Forte” is located at Copacabana Fort and faces one of the most talked about beaches in the world.. I did not have the opportunity to visit, but perhaps see you there for a piece of ‘Fatia de Bolo’ during the World Cup ’14?