Every once in a while you find a place that tourists and gringos who do not identify as tourists both love.
That place is the beloved Confeitaria Colombo, a stained glass rainbow of historic awesomeness, coffee and homemade pastries on a little alley in the heart of downtown Rio.
So awesome that Starbucks decided to move in. Three doors down. SERIOUSLY, STARBUCKS?
Confeitaria Colombo: founded in 1894. Locations downtown and in the Copacabana fort.
Cost of a Confeitaria cappucino: R$7.60
Cost of a Starbucks cappucino: R$8.00
It’s COFFEE WARS!
This is Confeitaria Colombo.
This is Starbucks. Starbucks has a security guard in a suit.
Confeitaria has waiters in suits. Also, a stained glass ceiling.
Starbucks ambiance: 10x better than any stateside Starbucks I have ever seen. Note the animal rug to the left. Not pictured: Air conditioning on blast.
Confeitaria FTW! Mirrors. Mood lighting. Woven caning chairs. AND NO WIFI THANK GOD
Confeitaria has a bunch of old china and artifacts on display, and delicious tins of cookies for sale.
And history. According to Confeitaria lore, the co-founders – Portuguese immigrants Joaquim Borges de Meireles e Manuel José Lebrão – created the phrase, “The customer is always right” (O cliente tem sempre razão).
Meanwhile, Starbucks sells recyclable fake plastic iced coffee cups.
And a superior goodie spread to any Starbucks I have ever seen, even if they still look factory issue… check the pão de queijo on the lower right.
Confeitaria has homemade pastries.
And salty pastries!! To the left: deep fried prawns. Center: smoked beef tongue croquettes.
And a bar!
And grandma watching over us. I love you Confeitaria.
Check out more Hot Spots on RioChromatic:
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PARIS IN LIMBO: French hotelier François-Xavier Dussol invites me to capture the final days of abandon at the Hotel Paris before it breathes new life as downtown Rio’s first 5-star hotel. The wreckage is beautiful. We enter an unmarked door next to a mattress store bathed in limelight. Read on.
It rained all night but I woke up bright. Let’s go to Piscinão. Read on.