Time Out Rio de Janeiro

The Rio food and drink 50 - desserts

The famous Brazilian sweet-tooth is well catered for, but in the city of sunshine, ice-cold cups of açaí are also an essential accessory

Tarts and cakes


Torta Holandesa at Julius Brasserie

R$19. Urca

The Julius in question is a Dutchman and the recipe of the tart in question has been passed down through three generations of his family before currently finding itself served up in possibly Urca's sharpest restaurant. The raisin, nut and apple filling shows that his granny knew exactly what she was doing all those years ago, and the dollops of cream and ice cream on the side add a cooling sweetness to the pleasure.


Tiramissu at Osteria Policarpo

R$15. Botafogo

With two decades of Italian delicacies under their belts, the family team at Policarpo turned what was intended as a short-term hobby into a going concern by virtue of their homestyle cooking. It is the owner's son who is behind the tiramisu, using an original recipe from the motherland (sponge, no champagne biscuits, to help soak up the juices) to such popular effect that he has his own business selling them on the side.


Brownie at Meza

R$18. Botafogo

A touch of Paulistano style landed in Botafogo with the arrival of Meza bar and its sibling doiZ, both serving small, well considered dishes and a host of adventurous cocktails. While the likes of the lemon risotto are well worth a look, it is the brownie that wins the prize; not too big, not too small, arriving in bite-size chunks ready to be shared with friends rather than waistlines. The chocolate is first rate, and the crunch-to-goo ratio spot on.

  • read the full review of Meza

Torta Alemã at Cafeína

R$7.50. Ipanema

Cafeína has outlets all over town, but by virtue of the seats out on Rio's number one gay street in the bristling epicentre of Ipanema, the 'Farme' version takes the biscuit. It may take a little while to bag that table (there are plenty more inside if patience or time is wearing thin), but once in, there'll be no shifting you. There is nothing particularly Bavarian about the Torta Alemã (German tart), but the layers of biscuit, sweet cream and chocolate are hard to beat on a Sunday afternoon when the beach is banished and the body safely covered up.


Torta Catalan at Entretapas

R$12. Humaitá

The traditional Catalan speciality is handled beautifully at this stylish Humaitá tapas joint, and necessarily so with the fashionable Oui Oui and Iraja Gastro either side on this road's new gastro hub. Moist inside, the crust cooked to perfection and served with an unrivalled vanilla ice cream. Best eaten al fresco on the charming outdoor patio.


Açaí and milkshakes


Açai at Big Polis

R$5.90 for 300ml. Leblon

Some like their açaí sloppy, some like it firmer, and Big Polis serves it up in great, thick folds towering out of the cup in all its shining Amazonian glory. The perfect tonic to a hot day or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the legend goes that it is a superfood, but this is just the concept of the slush puppie put through a peculiarly Brazilian, or rather Amizonian, filter.


Açai at Tacacá do Norte

R$9-$14. Flamengo

The sweet, icy version of açai served up in the juice bars certainly does the job, but the no-frills Tacacá restaurant and shop in the heart of Flamengo takes the experience a step further. Virgin-pressed berries are the secret here (a la olive oil they give the purest results), producing a creamier, smoother finish, best taken sprinkled with granola or tapioca and served in a great big china bowl.


Açai frozen yoghurt at Yoggi

R$4.50. Ipanema

Yoggi pioneered the palito (lolly-style) frozen yoghurt in summer 2011 to mop up those beach-based bods that couldn't summon the energy to get to one of the growing number of stores on the high street. The natural and coconut flavours are both decent bets, but the açai version is an absolute must on a steaming hot day, especially tasty when delivered direct to the deckchair by one of the beach vendors.

  • read the full review of Yoggi

Ovomaltine shake at Boomerang

R$14.90 for 500ml. Flamengo

Coming complete with an oversized straw so that the chunks of Ovomaltine (usually served as hot chocolate) can be hoovered up more easily, the snack specialists Boomerang have knocked up a slightly fancier version of the (whisper it) Bob's Burger favourite. Thick, chocolatey and oddly crunchy, it doesn't come cheap but Boomerang's number one seller is, as a once great man once said, a 'pretty fucking good shake'.



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Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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