Restaurants in Rio De Janeiro
Brazilian cuisine is famous for its use of red meat, a fact deliciously confirmed when eating out in Rio. Churrascarias (Brazilian barbeque) is a simple beef dish, normally spiced only with salt, and often accompanied with feijão com arroz (rice and beans). Other meat may end up in feijoada, a traditional stew made with black beans. Local taste runs toward oily, sweet, and salty food, with a noticeable lack of spices. A popular treat is bacalhau (salted cod), which is usually imported from Norway. Good restaurants in which to look for traditional Brazilian food include Bar do Arnaudo in Santa Teresa and Brasileirinho in Ipanema.
Lunch in Rio is an adventure for those on a budget. A range of street vendors selling everything from fruit to grilled prawns to cheese bread offer options for everyone. Use your own judgment regarding food safety by gauging the cleanliness of the stall (and vendor) and how popular it is with locals. The beach has many similar options, including oysters or shrimp tarts, and drinks like fresh coconut water out of the shell and bright purple açai juice. The Brazilian equivalent to MacDonald's, Bob's Burgers, will take your order and deliver to you right on the sand.
One popular type of Rio restaurant offers a pay-by-weight system where the customer selects food from a buffet, bringing it to the chef to be cooked. This is a great way to sample a variety of different dishes, taking as much or as little as you like, while the waiters mark your receipt. Take care to keep your receipt safe, though, as the fee for losing it is often very high. Frontera in Ipanema is a good example of this type of restaurant, as is Fellini in Leblon.
Most restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are open from 11am to 4pm, and from 7pm to midnight. Some stay open all day, especially on Saturday when people stream in from the beaches at all hours. Restaurants usually add a 10 percent service charge to the bill, but waiters will appreciate another five percent if their service has been good. If the service is truly terrible, you can ask not to pay the service charge. Some restaurants do not take credit cards, so it's best to ask up front if you don't have cash.
Copacabana Palace Hotel Restaurants
The Copacabana Palace Hotel houses three of Rio de Janeiro's most elegant restaurants. The Hotel Cipriani Restaurant serves excellent north Italian cuisine, while the poolside Pérgula Restaurant offers a buffet breakfast and delicious South American meals. Serving exotic pan-Asian cuisine, MEE is one of the first restaurants in South America to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star. Cipriani is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, while MEE is open daily from 7pm, and Pérgula is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday with a buffet lunch on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. Reservations required.
Address: Avenida Atlântica 1702
Telephone: +55 21 2548 7070
Not only does Fellini offer a variety of international cuisine, with everything from Japanese to Mexican food available, but it's all sold 'by the pound' allowing diners a choice of exactly how big their portions should be. Fellini has a funky, laid-back atmosphere and look to match. Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: Rua General Urquiza 104, Leblon
Telephone: +55 21 2511 3600
The Confeitaria Colombo acts as an homage to an age long passed. Established in the late 1800s, this Victorian style hall-turned-restaurant hasn't changed much in over 100 years, so they must be doing something right. This is considered to be a perfect lunch spot for executives doing business in the city. Tea service is complemented by breads and condiments, while the meals are filling and appetising.
Address: 32 Rua Gonçalves Dias
Telephone: +55 21 2505 1500
Revel in merriment with the locals at this affordable eatery, where authentic Brazilian cuisine is served in generous portions. Sardine sandwiches are a good bet for your taste buds. Have a plate or platter depending on how hungry you are, the price difference is negligible. The Paladino is always popular and beer flows steadily from the taps. Open Monday to Friday from 7am to 8.30pm. Reservations and credit cards are not accepted.
Address: 226 Rua Uruguaiana
Telephone: +55 21 2263 2094
With its rustic, eco-friendly décor (couches, wooden tables, and lots of palm trees) and its candlelit dining area, Palaphita Kitch has a romantic atmosphere, backed by excellent views of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The menu offers a selection of exotic Amazonian cuisine, with its carpaccio being a favourite. Open every night for dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: Avenida Epitacio Pessoa S/N, Quiosque 20
Telephone: +55 21 2227 0837
Originally from France, celebrity chef Claude Troisgros and his son Thomas blend French cuisine with Brazilian ingredients at one of Rio's top restaurants. Intimate and sophisticated, Olympe offers guests seasonal tasting menus and creative à la carte dishes such as scallops with tucupi and caviar, water yam, and coconut purée, or açai crusted lamb loin, yucca gnocchi, and sumac butter solids. Open Friday for lunch, and Monday to Saturday for dinner. Reservations essential.
Address: Rua Custodio Serrao 62
Telephone: +55 21 2537 8582
Near the beach, this small and comfortable restaurant has an idyllic, rural atmospherem decorated with handmade arts and crafts. The menu offers authentic, homemade Brazilian cuisine such as a plate of rice, beans, farofa (toasted manioc flour), steak and French fries, or the traditional caldinho de feijão soup, with beans and bacon. Reservations recommended.
Address: Av. Atlântica, 3564, Copacabana
Telephone: +55 21 97134 9211