Top Spots for a Delicious Brunch in Rio de Janeiro

In beautiful Rio de Janeiro, there are few better ways to spend a lazy morning than lingering over over a meal that crosses the breakfast/lunch divide with style.

Brazilian breakfasts tend to be feasts in themselves, with cakes, fresh fruit, freshly-baked breads, cheeses and sliced cold meats all present and correct, alongside fresh-squeezed juices and wonderfully strong Brazilian coffee.

Brunch is a concept that has been slow to take off in Brazil - in fact, there's no Portuguese word for it, but nobody will bat an eyelid if you order breakfast items at noon. Our top pick,  Da Casa da Tata, offers indulgent breakfast and lunch spreads as well as a-la-carte sandwiches, soups and the like, while the cakes and cookies here are legendary across the city.

One restaurant that has picked up on the brunch concept is Pergula, Copacabana Palace hotel´s famously chic poolside restaurant, the Sunday brunch is appropriately grand (smoked salmon and Champagne are both part of the indulgent offering.) It comes at a predictably eye-watering price, too, but it makes for a memorable experience.

More accessible prices can be found at Cultivar Brasil, up in the hills of Santa Teresa. This tiny organic cafe has delicious vegetarian-friendly snacks, including the best Pao de Queijo (little rolls made from manioc flour and cheese) in town.  For brunches with a sea view, it's hard to beat Copacabana's Cafe 18 de Forte, which has some extremely good cakes and pastries as well as fruit salads and the like. Meanwhile, visitors hankering after hash browns, waffles or other home style North American goodies, meanwhile, can join the hordes of ex-pats who flock to Ipanema's  Gringo Cafe for a taste of home. 

Whether you're a staunch vegetarian, a health-food enthusiast or even a carnivore who has tucked into one steak too many, this cosy corner restaurant in Leblon is just the ticket. Healthfood and organic eating is a growing sector of Rio's...  Read More

Located a few blocks from Ipanema beach and right next door to the strip of backpacker lodgings dubbed 'Hostel Alley', this health food store, buffet restaurant and snack bar offers a huge range of wholesome ingredients for self caterers as well...  Read More

For a taste of Rio's Belle Epoque past, head to this historic cafe-restaurant in downtown Rio. Ornate chandeliers and jacaranda wood mirrors make an elegant setting for breakfasts, brunches and afternoon teas, and this is the ideal place to...  Read More

Given its abundant supply of coffee beans, Brazil has been surprisingly slow to pick up on the coffee bar trend, but Cafeina is one spot where caffeine boosts are more inventive than simply with-or-without-milk. Alongside a range of...  Read More

For the ultimate indulgent Rio experience, head to the Pergula, the elegant poolside restaurant at the enduringly elegant Copacabana Palace hotel. Less formal than the hotel's fine dining Italian restaurant, Cipriani. at Pergula you can dine in...  Read More

Occupying a corner building on Santa Teresa's liveliest square - Largo do Guimaraes - Cafe do Alto has carved out a reputation for serving delicious dishes at fair prices, in a wonderfully colorful setting. The emphasis is on food from Brazil's...  Read More

Your leisurely brunch comes with a refreshing sea breeze and stunning sea views at this al-fresco spot in the grounds of Copacabana Fort. Breakfast is served at several outdoor table and, while service can be a little on the slow side, who's...  Read More

Aimed squarely at North Americans with a hankering for taste of their homeland, Gringo Cafe does a roaring trade in US DIner-style favorites such as hash browns, bottomless coffees, pancakes, waffles and French toast, as well as delicious cakes,...  Read More

Cultivar Brazil
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This small, unassuming, unsigned little lunch and brunch spot is a great option for anybody with an aversion to gluten or a preference for natural, organic ingredients. Alongside a range of wholemeal sweet and savory tarts and pies and some...  Read More

A welcoming spot where staff go out of their way to make customers feel at home, Da Casa da Tata frequently crops up in food and drink magazines' 'Best of' lists, with its breakfasts in particular garnering rave reviews. The range of...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.