By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Cafés from all over the world have been increasingly attracting people who look for a nice place to work, and in Rio de Janeiro it is not any different. For Rio residents who are still not familiar with the city’s best cafés, below is a selection of great venues in Zona Sul that can easily become one’s “second office”.
Right next to Largo do Machado station is Café Secreto, a trendy go-to café among the neighborhood’s residents. Situated in the discrete Vila do Largo, on Rua Gago Coutinho street, Café Secreto, as the name suggests, makes one feel as if they are entering a secret place. Those who need a quiet environment to work will certainly find it at Café Secreto, which also offers free wi-fi.
Café Secreto’s menu is another reason why one should check out the venue: it has homemade snacks like “pão de queijo”, cakes, cookies, artisanal bread, among other delights. The coffee is definitely the highlight at Café Secreto and offers many selections such as espressos and macchiatos. Café Secreto is open from 10AM to 6PM.
“I really like Café Secreto. It’s set inside an alleyway that is just off the main street and is a quiet and peaceful setting to work in. Most importantly for me, it has good wi-fi and amazing coffee,” says Sarah Brown, a British journalist who lives in Flamengo.
Those looking for a place to work in Botafogo should go to Colab situated on Rua Fernandes Guimarães. Founded under the concept of the collaborative economy, the house is characterized by collective tables and a minimalist interior design. Even though it is bustling in the evenings, Colab is usually very calm in the afternoon – perfect for a professional meeting, for example.
Among Colab’s tasty culinary treats are the homemade cinnamon rolls, huevos rancheros with rustic bread, and artisanal burgers. Although they serve great coffee at Colab, it can easily be replaced by their kombucha tea and artisanal beers. Colab is open from 10AM to 12:30 AM.
In the neighborhood of Urca, it is possible to combine work and a touristic experience while visiting the Caffetteria Del Cassino, the café inside the European Institute of Design. Charming and cozy, the café is located in the former casino of Urca, founded in 1932.
With a quiet environment and sophisticated interior design, Caffetteria is not only known for its Italian cuisine specialties, but also its deserts and coffee. Caffeteria is open from 9:30 AM to 10PM.
Vegans in search of a nice café with delicious plant-based dishes must check out Gaia Art & Café, located in Leme. At Gaia, one will find a mouthwatering menu with carefully prepared vegan dishes, such as a seven-grain rice dish with shiitake mushrooms and teriyaki sauce, Sunday’s vegan “feijoada”, and the natural lemon and mint sodas.
Coffee lovers will absolutely indulge in Gaia’s coffee, made of organic grains and served both as an espresso and cappuccino (the latter is blended with Brazilian nut milk). Gaia Art & Café is also a great option for chilling on weekend nights, when it hosts MPB, jazz and chorinho shows. The venue is open from 12PM to 10PM.
In Copacabana, a favorite café among expats and Cariocas to work from while enjoying a good coffee is Sofa Café, a franchise that is also found in São Paulo and Massachusetts (United States). Located on Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana avenue, Sofá Café was born from the idea of a café that make people feel at home- in other words, their homely cozy sofa.
The venue stands out for offering a diverse variety of coffee beans and delicious brunches. Opening at 8AM, Sofá might be the best option for those who prefer working in the early morning.
According to Rachel Brabbins, a British researcher who lives in Copacabana, “Sofá’s menu is good, the service is excellent and the ambience is chilled so you can be productive. It is popular, though; sometimes you have to be lucky to find a seat”.
Working surrounded by books can be quite inspiring, especially at Bazzar Café, located inside the Livraria da Travessa, a huge bookstore on Ipanema’s high street. The spot offers reliable wi-fi connection and is perfect for those who seek quietness and need to concentrate for a study or work session.
Among the options from Bazzar’s sophisticated menu are the breaded steak with tomato and rocket risotto, its homemade bread with eggs and black garlic and not forgetting its orange cake for dessert. Bazzar is open from 10AM to 11PM.