Armazém do Café (Rua Maria Quitéria 77, Ipanema, tel. 21/2522-5039, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat.), a chain of gourmet cafés, currently has eight locations around Rio , including four in Ipanema. Since Brazil is the land of coffee, Armazém, which takes its beans quite seriously, is a great place to learn about and savor different homegrown blends. One of the most popular is frevo, made with an organic bean from the state of Pernambuco. For noshing, there are sandwiches as well as sweet and savory pastries.
Located on the mezzanine of Ipanema’s Livraria da Travessa , there’s nothing at all bookish about B! (Rua Visconde de Pirajá 572, Ipanema, tel. 21/2249-4977, www.livrariadatravessa.com.br , 9 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 1–11 p.m. Sun.). B! serves breakfast, creative sandwiches, and bistro-style meals along with desserts, coffee, and drinks, and is an appealing place to hang out at any time of the day.
Talho Capixaba (Av. Ataulfa da Paiva 1022, Leblon, Loja A/B, tel. 21/2512-8750, www.talhocapixaba.com.br , 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.) originally opened as a neighborhood butcher shop in the 1950s. Over the years, it kept expanding, adding a fine food delicatessen, cheese shop, and one of the best bakeries in town. Choose from more than 20 types of bread and then design the sandwich of your dreams.
For the most divine pastries in town, head to nearby Kurt (Rua General Urquiza 117, Loja B, Leblon, tel. 21/2294-0599, www.confeitariakurt.com.br , 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.). Rio ’s oldest pastry shop opened in the 1940s when Kurt Deichmann fled to Rio from Nazi Germany, armed with recipes for French mousses, Austrian and Hungarian tortes, and other sweet delights. Particularly sought-after is the picada de abelha (“bee sting”): a torte filled with vanilla cream and topped with a coating of honey, walnuts, and crunchy caramel. Since this is body-conscious Leblon , there are sugarless diet tortes as well.
If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be able to resist Mil Frutas Café (Rua Gárcia d’Avila 134, Ipanema, tel. 21/2521-1384, www.milfrutas.com.br , 10:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 9:30 a.m.–1:30 a.m. Sat.–Sun.). Nostalgic for the exotic fruits of her youth in northeastern Brazil , Renata Saboya abandoned her journalism career to make all-natural gourmet sorbets from the exotic likes of açai, bacuri, cupuaçu, jabuticaba, mangaba, and pitanga. The results—icy bursts of pure distilled flavor—were an immediate success. Since then several Mil Frutas Cafés have opened around town, and though there are not yet mil (a thousand) flavors, there are close to 200, including the decidedly non-fruity white chocolate with pimenta, absinthe, and jasmine. Ipanema ’s Mil Frutas Café also serves snacks and light meals.