Rio de Janeiro restaurants
Rio de Janeiro's restaurant scene trails a poor second to the world-class gastronomy available in São Paulo: Serious foodies decry locals' willingness to put up with lazy technique, unimaginative menus, and indifferent service. The exceptions we've found are listed here, but dining in Rio is best enjoyed without casting a critic's eye over everything. What fits the local vibe are the botequim bars where traditional petiscos (tapa-size mini-dishes) are served without frills and always with plenty of ice-cold beer. The city's ubiquitous churrascaria grill houses also provide good value, the waiters circling with endless skewers of meat flavored with rock salt then grilled over the fire. Other highlights include delectable black beans (feijão), the weekend-only bean-and-meat stew feijoada, and spicy dishes from Bahia and other northeast Brazilian states. Sushi is a good option in Rio, given the plentiful fresh seafood and Cariocas' obsession with healthy living. Look out also for the streetside juice (suco) bars, which serve tropical and Amazonian fruits such as açaí, a purple palm fruit, fruta do conde (sweetsop), and graviola (soursop). They're liquefied before your eyes and are shockingly inexpensive.