Although Brazil grows more coffee than anyone else, and produces some fantastic coffees, the experience for many coffee-loving visitors to Rio is often disappointing. Mainstream coffee drinking culture here is still in the process of taking off, so you’ll need to be targeted in your hunt for decent coffee. Common complaints are that coffee is served with sugar already mixed in (whether you like it or not); the coffee is too weak; the beans are so heavily roasted that it tastes like burnt toast; the only options are filter coffee or espresso.

However, coffeephiles take heart! There is great coffee in Rio – you just have to know where to look. Below are my top picks (most of these places will also sell you beans).

Mini Joe Café

Newly opened (2020) on the site previously occupied by the excellent Sofá Café, Mini Joe is continuing the tradition of its predecessor of taking coffee seriously. Various preparation methods, friendly staff who will talk you through the various options and fantastic food for those who are looking for more than just a cup of coffee. They also sell coffee (both as beans and ground), so a good place to pick-up some coffee to take home.

Map – Site 

Mon-Sat 10am – 7pm

Curto Cafe

I was first bowled over by Curto Café back in 2015 (read my old blog post here). Founded on the concept of excellent local produce and great coffee (sold on premises and also as beans to take home), it was a great loss when they closed, like so many places, due to the pandemic in 2020. Well they’re finally back!

As well as offering beautifully made coffees, they also have tasty cakes, brownies, cookies, sandwiches, and an adjoining restaurant if you want something more substantial. And they have an excellent range of coffees to take home – from light to dark roasts, various micro-lots and specialty beans (including Conilon).

Please note: Curto Café has just moved again! The new, new Curto Café is not that easy to find! Head to Rua da Assembléia, 10 (in Centro), find the staircase that leads up into the entrance of the university building,  go up the stairs and go straight ahead. You’ll see the café on the right. They don’t make it easy on themselves (or us!), but it’s worth it for the coffee.

Map – Site 

Mon-Fri 8am – 8pm

Slow Bakery

Slow Bakery was part of the new wave of places that opened in Botafogo over the last few years that blended a hipster vibe with really excellent food and drinks. Their sourdough bread is absolutely delicious (buy a loaf to take away or simply take a seat and enjoy some delicious bruschetta or a fat sandwich). But back to the coffee: it’s very good, they have various different preparation methods (they are big fans of the different filter methods such as Clever, Hario v60, Aeropress)


Tue-Fri 9am – 7.30pm; Sat 9am – 3pm

Aussie Coffee

Super-friendly staff, headed up by Aussie owner, Daniel Hobbs. It’s all Brazilian coffee of course, but if you are hankering after a proper flat white (and all the other variations you could dream of) in the heart of Ipanema, Aussie Coffee is the place. It’s got that laid back, co-working vibe going on, with comfy corners, people tapping away on laptops and a very international crowd. If you’re freaking out because it feels like no one in Rio speaks English, pull up a chair, order something delicious to go with your coffee and start chatting.


Open everyday 9am – 5pm

Fazenda Paradiso Café

Tucked away on a street that links Lapa to Centro, this is not where I was expecting to find good coffee. Yet Paradiso Café exceeded all my expectations. The family that owns and runs this two story café also owns the coffee farm on which all the coffee they serve is grown. These guys take their coffee very seriously – they grow 5 strains of arabica (for the coffee nerds out there: Bourbon, Icatu Amarelo, Icatu Vermelho, Catucaí and Topázio) and they take care of the entire process from growing, processing, roasting and finally serving. This is one of the few places I know where they’ll sell you green beans (in case you want to have a go at roasting them yourself). They also do some really delicious cakes and savoury snacks and luches.


Weekdays 8am – 7pm