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Rio Recs

Rio Recs

Central + South America,
Rio de Janeiro

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Porcão, Brazil

218 Rua Barão da Torre, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: 55 21 3202 9158

This churrascaria chain is a hungry-man institution—after all, the name charmingly translates into "big pig." Come starving, and don't burn out too soon. First up is a massive buffet "salad" bar, with cold cuts, sushi, hearts of palm, salad, cheeses, and seafood casseroles. Meanwhile, waiters push around carts of drinks and make fresh juice-and-alcohol concoctions. Then come the meats, delivered tableside: pork, chicken wrapped with bacon, chicken hearts, all manner of beef preparations (including a sumptuous cheese-rubbed one). The best cut of all is picanha—the equivalent of filet mignon. Sides include black beans, french fries, farofa, onion rings, and cheese balls. You can only stop the onslaught by flipping your coaster from the green side to the red. Except for drinks and dessert, it's all included in the per-person price. Don't plan anything afterward—except a nap. There are locations throughout the city, but this one, in Ipanema, is consistently the best.

Open Mondays through Thursdays noon to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays noon to 12:30 am, and Sundays noon to 11 pm.


Restaurante Aprazível, Brazil

62 Rua Aprazível, Santa Teresa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: 55 21 2508 9174

Nestled in a private jungle of jackfruit, mango, and star fruit trees, this artfully designed eatery became Santa Teresa's first gourmet restaurant when it opened in 1996. Its terraces, patios, and Amazonian-style thatched huts all afford commanding views of Guanabara Bay. The menu creatively interprets traditional dishes from northeastern Brazil: prawns grilled with saffron rice, fresh crab salads, and tropical fish sautéed in orange sauce, served with cashew-and-coconut rice and a roasted banana. It's a perfect lazy lunching spot. Get in the mood with a custom-designed, devilishly potent cocktail—we recommend the Carambela, which combines sparkling wine, rum, star fruit, and mint—and save room for one of the exotic ice creams whipped up from the cacaolike cupuaçu, the energy-giving açaí palm fruit, or Brazil nuts.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays noon to 1 am, Sundays noon to 7 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.