Two of the best breakfasts in Rio

When Daniel and I visit Rio, we always stay with his grandmother in Leblon. The neighborhood is one of Rio's nicest with lots of boutiques and restaurants, and the beach is just a few blocks away. But some days, it's hard to even leave the apartment, thanks to all the good food Dagmar likes to feed us.

Take breakfast, for example. Each morning, her dining room table is decked out with fresh juice, coffee, hot milk, guava paste, bright yellow butter that's so soft you could swim in it, honey, jam, marmalade, requeijão, mini baguettes, sliced wheat bread, and queijo minas, a light, fresh cheese that sort of squeaks as you eat it.

But some mornings, we find the strength to get dressed and go out for breakfast.

And luckily, one of our favorite places for café da manha is literally just seconds away. Part padaria (bakery) and part mercado (market), Rio Lisboa is a great place to sip a cup of coffee, buy fresh bread, or have a casual meal. Many customers even stop by on their way to and from the beach, so it's not uncommon to see a few speedos.

When Daniel and I have breakfast at Rio Lisboa, it's always a 2-course affair. We start by splitting um misto quente (grilled cheese) and um pão na chapa (a mini French baguette that's grilled and slathered with butter).

And for "dessert," there's always um pão doce, a thick, brioche-like bread that's covered with an egg and sugar glaze.

Paired with an extra milky café com leite, it's a wonderful way to start the morning.

And on the days when I'm feeling really motivated (or maybe still full from a dinner the night before?), we postpone my favorite meal of the day just a little bit longer and walk (very quickly!) to Confeitaria Gavea, about 15 minutes away.

And upon arrival, we sink our teeth into these deliciously soft and pudgy sweets.

Another bready breakfast treat, meia-luas are stuffed with an egg an sugar filling and covered with a sweet and sticky glaze. They too taste great with a cup of coffee, and as I learned while studying Portuguese at PUC, a university just a few blocks away, they're good at just about any time of day.

If you'll be in Rio soon, make sure to visit some padarias. You can mingle with locals, pick up freshly baked bread, drink coffee, and satisfy your sweet tooth. And of course, they're the perfect place for breakfast.

Rio Lisboa
On the corner of Rua General Artigas and Ataulfo da Paiva

Confeitaria Gávea
On Marques de São Vicente, in between PUC and Shopping da Gavea

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Luisa said...

Querida Lia
Rhys and I are so very sorry we missed all this wonderful food!! Your blog makes me even more homesick...
Still, I am sure we will be eating together again very soon. It's what we do best... Rememeber that lovely night in a boteco in Santa Tereza?
beijos enormes

Patricia Scarpin said...


Breakfast is my favorite meal! Unfortunately, I have to leave the house so quickly every morning that I'll have just one toast with cream cheese and café com leite. Real fast, without even enjoying it as it should be.

All those amazing types of bread makes us drool, don't they? lol

Lia said...

Our trip to Rio just wasn't the same without you! But hopefully we will be eating together again soon.

And thanks for reminding me about our evening at Goyabeira in Santa Teresa. I actually just uploaded a great photo from that night on my post about beer and botequins.

Patricia, breakfast really is the best, isn't it?

Judith said...

Lia, I am not sure I could ever swim in butter, no matter how soft. I had to tell you that.

AnnieKNodes said...


I could totally swim in butter. But then, I consider butter its own food group.

Those meija-lunas look divine. I can almost taste how great they'd be with a milky coffee.


Lia said...

Ohhhh JUDO, really? Come on, doesn't swimming in butter sound at least a little bit fun? :)

Anne, I knew we'd see eye to eye on the whole swimming in butter thing. Now if only we could get Judith to walk on the wild side with us.

gledwood said...

What do you think of all that vulgaridad to do with the drugs gangs and the paid protection vulgarians having that vicious turfwar over the favellas of Rio/Sau Paulo ...? It was all over BBC World Service news last night ...

Well I only found your blog quite by chance on my travels today... I'm at gledwood2.blogspot.com. Why don't you pop by?? You're most welcome to. It's very "different" though ...

All the best now


Lia said...

Gledwood, violence in Rio is definitely a problem and it of course upsets me and everyone who lives there. I am hopeful though that some day these issues will get resolved. But only time will tell, I guess.

Linda said...

my goodness. those croissants are mouthwatering!


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