Lately, my posts have been quite serious and philosophical but here is one more practical. I got a request to write about brunch places in Rio. Here are some of my favorites:
1) Escola do Pão – Located in an old rustic house just by the Lagoa. They offer something like a 5 course brunch, with delicacies such as papaya puree with granola, mini gourmet sandwiches, artisan breads and homemade jam. My favorite thing was the heart-shaped waffles, something I’ve never seen before. Last time I went there, one of the two chief chefs was walking around the tables and forcing apricot jam down people’s thoughts (literally, she wasn’t willing to accept No for an answer).
2) Cafe Carandaí – also in Jardim Botanico is located inside a delicacy shop / bakery. It serves a buffet brunch on weekend and carries “american” breakfast stuff such as pancakes and Eggs Benedict. This one is my favorite both because of the food but especially because of the welcoming and attentive service (VERY rare for Rio).
3) La Bicyclette -2 locations, both equally busy on weekend. Great pastries and sandwiches. The owner is french so one gets a bit of this flavor with the food and style.
4) Le Pain du Lapin – quick, simple and not expensive brunch option. They bake everything freshly and have different options for brunch food ranging from yogurt and granola to more sophisticated french brioches. The cafe is located on Rua Maria Angelica, which has other great culinary options such as Braz Pizzeria, La Carioca Cevicheria, and Gula Gula.
5) Maya Cafe – extremely cute little cafe, just in heart of the Laranjeiras neighborhood. They have 10 different brunch combination options plus a full menu of salads, sandwiches and many other options. They great benefit is also that they have a separate area for families with kids, with some toys and space for the little ones to run around.
6) Talho Capixaba – Bakery / little grocery store in Leblon’s most popular spots. It seems quite chaotic and simple but their sandwiches are to die for. Fresh ingredients with interesting combinations such as raisin bread with smoked salmon or brie with peach marmalade that just melt in your mouth.
Writing this post made me hungry already. Night brunch anyone?