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Among the many wonders of Rio lies the opportunity to get to know what is considered one of the most beautiful cafés in the world.
But it is much more than that; this café is a symbol in Copacabana, and in 1983 it received the title of Historical and Artistic Heritage of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
It has been serving up sweet delicacies to locals and visitors for over 120 years. Its story begins in 1894, when it was founded by Portuguese immigrants Joaquim Borges de Meirelles and Manoel José Lebrão, to whom cariocas attributed the famous phrase "the customer is always right".
In 1913 they reformed it and gave it its wonderful art nouveau style.
It features huge Belgian mirrors whose frames are made of finely carved jacaranda, like the spectacular display cabinets. The tables and bars are made of Italian marble and blend perfectly with the chairs and other antique furniture. It boasts beautiful glass and wrought-iron lamps. And a huge skylight with art nouveau style painted glass gives the whole place a unique splendour.
It was a meeting place for the poets and artists, journalists, politicians and intellectuals of the time. The Confitería Colombo can boast of having served banquets for such illustrious figures as King Albert II of Belgium in 1920 and Queen Elizabeth of England in 1968. It is much loved and appreciated by cariocas and hosts all kinds of celebrations, from coffees and business meetings to the most exclusive weddings.
Delicious sweets, tasty savoury snacks... You can enjoy everything from a magnificent coffee, traditional Portuguese sweets made to centuries-old recipes, or a traditional delicious feijoada. It features different areas for drinking and eating.
The Bar Jardim, which is at the entrance, is the most famous. With its beautiful old tables, it will transport you to the past while you sip a delicious coffee. The atmosphere is lovely and its menu is even lovelier. Delicious sweet and savoury pastries and pies. It has space for 150 people.
It also has the Cabral restaurant, an art nouveau marvel decorated with mirrors, marble, and richly carved woods, the Cristovao restaurant, located on the second floor, from where you can get a better view of the stained glass window in the ceiling, and the Bilac, which is designed for a quicker visit. The name is a tribute to Olavo Bilac, a poet of the Parnassian movement, considered one of the greatest poets to have written in Portuguese and even dubbed the prince of the Brazilian poets. He was a regular at the café. According to the newspapers of the time, his last words before he died on 28 December 1918 are said to have been "Get me a coffee! I'm going to write!"
There is also a small space dedicated to the history of the café, the Espaço Memória, a corner where you can admire various items such as packaging, chandeliers, and the original crockery and glassware that form part of the history of the café.
One recommendation: order the Copa Fio de Ouro (gold thread), ice cream with sweet egg threads, an ancient and spectacular recipe.
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