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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.

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Zazá Bistrô Tropical, Ipanema

The contemporary menu at this hot spot for post-beach lounging shamelessly mixes its metaphors—ceviche to dim sum to ravioli. The terrace is sweet, but...more

Editors' Pick
Restaurante Aprazível, Santa Teresa

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...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Porcão, Ipanema

This churrascaria chain is a hungry-man institution—after all, the name charmingly translates into "big pig." Come starving, and don't burn out...more

Editors' Pick
Polis Sucos, Ipanema

There are hundreds of juice bars in Rio, but Polis Sucos, just two blocks from Ipanema beach, regularly wins prizes for its fresh Amazonian fruit juices and...more

Editors' Pick
Nova Capela, Lapa

One of the few places to eat well in Lapa, this century-old Portuguese restaurant has become an institution, much loved for its award-winning baixa gastronomia...more

Editors' Pick
Miam Miam, Botafogo

Tourists tend to skip the Botafogo district, a heavily residential area edging the Guanabara Bay shore, north of Copacabana, but Miam Miam makes it worth at...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Gula Gula, Ipanema

Housed in a 1920s mansion on a side street off Rua Visconde de Pirajá, Gula Gula, the lead outlet of this classy steak-house chain, is a stalwart dining...more

Editors' Pick
Gero Rio, Ipanema

Evidence of Rio's general gastronomic upgrade can be found at the city's latest Italian favorite. Part of the Fasano empire—which made a big mark in...more

Editors' Pick
Espirito Santa, Santa Teresa

Chef Natacha Fink has made this Santa Teresa's most popular restaurant with her creative take on cozinha amazônica, offering a seven-page menu as exotic to...more

Editors' Pick
Bar do Horto, Gávea

You can't beat the location: Set on a quiet corner opposite Rio's Jardim Botânico, Bar do Horto spills out onto a street shaded by tropical almond trees....more

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



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