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Rio de Janeiro obviously offers a huge variety of different cuisines throughout the city.
There are expensive hotel restaurants where the owners are dedicated to serve wonderful food, but if you are on a budget, check out the more economical restaurants selling out great food at great prices. The main thing at these dining bargains is the amazing, lively and buzzing atmosphere, very rarely offered at big hotels.
There are many small cafes and restaurants lined up along the beaches and in the neighbourhoods where the menus are sometimes limited, but the amazing food and friendly face more than make up for it.
One of the best lunch buffet restaurants in Rio, Da Silva offers Portuguese food, salads, seafood and meats dishes as well as many bacalhau dishes.
Da Silva is already a household name in Rio de Janeiro, with restaurants in the trendiest parts in town; Leblon, Botafogo Shopping, Ipanema and Barra. The restaurant chain is proof that Portuguese cuisine is going from strength to strength in Rio. For those wishing to venture into an a-Kilo, but of great quality, Da Silva offers a gourmet buffet at lunch, paid by weight, and serves a la carte dinner.
For locals who enjoy authentic cuisine, (feijoada bean stews and dover sole) as well as fresh seafood, including Bacalhau (traditional Portuguese codfish), I recommend this restaurant. The restaurant is owned by the same owners as Antiquarius, one of the most acclaimed fine dining restaurants in the city. The general concensus is that Da Silva offers the same quality food as Antiquarius for more affordable prices.
For Portuguese food at it's best, a highly recommended dish is the duck rice served in a generous portion and is a delight. For fish lovers, the restaurant serves countless types of Bacalhau (salted cod), prawn and crayfish risotto. To drink, the restaurant offers several brands of both local and imported beers and fruity caiprinhas.
Portuguese traditional desers such as siricaia (sour cream, condensed milk and eggs gratin) and pastels de nata (cream tarts) from heaven make up the desert menu. With a well-lit and decorated large lounge with a beautiful backdrop of the Botaogo bay, Da Silva offers a delightful dining experience.
Star Rating: 3/5
Cuisine: Local & Portuguese
Opening times: Weekdays & Saturdays: 10:00-22:00 Sundays: 12:00-21:00
Siri Mole & Cia is very popular with the Brazilian young crowd as well as celebrities. It also serves a Lunch Buffet on Saturdays which attracts a lot of customers. Diners visiting this Bahian restaurant should try the moquecas either with coconut milk and cilantro or with prawns, fish or octopus.
Considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Rio, the food at Quadrifoglio is really tasty and service is immaculate. Desserts from this restaurant are also very popular. Try the unusual raviolis like the ‘ravioli de maçaaocreme e semente de papoula’ which includes apple ravioli with cream and poppy seed sauce.
The restaurant offers Thai, South American and International cuisine. Try their namorado fish fillet served with a purée of banana and palm heart or prawn ravioli served with grilled salmon in a saffron sauce. The Arabian designed restaurant with classy interiors and decadent food make for an enigmatic and romantic evening. It feels like a place from the Arabian nights where everyone sits on the floor on silk pillows for a unique eating experience.
Located on the second block from Ipanema beach, Zaza Bistro is the number one stop for lunch after a morning on Rio's most famous beach. The restaurant is the first contemporary restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, as such it has been succesfully since 1999, offering a streamlined menu of the best tropical cuisine.
After experiences in Sao Paulo and London, chef Lucio Viera returned a year ago as the owner of pavelas. Inspired by his journeys all over the world, in search of interesting scents and flavours, Zaza perfectly embodies the traveller's ethos. A bistro specializing in spices, with the perfect combination of exotic, sweet and sour flavours, the menu enhants all senses. As chefs recommendation, try the boiled egg at low temperature, served with meat concentrated sauce (demi-glace), roasted asparagus, silky mashed potatoes and bacon crumbs to finish (R$ 32.00).
For those wanting to try a bit of everything, the starters and desserts can be ordered in tasting portions. For starters, try the smoked octopus samosas (Indian origin pastels) accompained with a kiwi chutney. For the main, the beetroot tortelloni with goats cheese sauce, toasted almonds and watercress (R$ 59.00) melts in the mouth. If that isn't enough, visitors will be blown away by the selection of inventive desserts. To name a few, Rio pate meets bullet coconut (delicious), tapioca ice-cream, dehydrated orange kin kan and sago soaked in rum (R$ 36.00).
Despite the high level cuisine, the atmosphere is relaxed. With a fairy-tail esque balcony and an interior filled with diverse coloured lanterns and vibrant cushions, the atmosphere makes you feel like you are stepping out of Brazil and into Arabia. There is also a second foor for special dinners.
With inventive and ecclectic tropical dishes and delicious cocktails, a visit to Zaza Tropical Bistro makes for an adventurous dining experience. Perfect for a romantic evening, a girls night out or for all of the family.
Star rating: 4/5
Cuisine: Thai, South American and International
Opening Times:Mondays and Tuesdays 19:30 to 00:30
Wednesdays and Thursdays 12:00 to 00:30
Fridays 12:00 to 1:30; Saturdays 13:00 to 1:30
Sunday 13:00 to 00:30
Contact: (21) 2247-9101
Yoruba is a treat for those seeking local culinary adventure. The restaurant serves unusual dishes typical to the Bahian cuisine such as moqueca with shrimp and coconut blend. Moreover, the restaurant presents an incredible atmosphere with candles flickering along with leaves scattered across the ground.
Cipriani is a traditional Italian restaurant having some innovative dishes like ‘Carpaccio with classic Cipriani’s sauce’, ‘Eggplant gnocchi with tomato and basil sauce’ and ‘Carlina’s style scampi with rice and curry’, on its menu.
The restaurant is part of Copacabana Palace Hotel. Among its special attractions are the romantically designed interiors with hanging chandeliers and high ceilings and candle light dinners.
A carioca winner. Cafe Lamas is a centrally air-conditioned Barbecue restaurant that serves seafood and steaks. The interior is traditionally designed, with simple yet artistic decor. One of the oldest restaurants in Rio, presidents, writers, actors and poets are only a few of the expansive network of guests that the restaurant attracts.
Since its founding in 1874, Cafe Lamas has always been one of the most famous culinary establishments in Rio de Janeiro. Although the entrance to the restaurant is simple, entering verifies an environment like no other. With a rustic décor and greeted by old-fashioned waiters in white coats, stepping into Cafe Lamas feels like a step back into the Brazilian 70s. The food, perfectly embodies this traditional feel.
Since the early days, with its internationally reknown kitchen, the restaurant became a meeting point for the most interesting gentry in town; intellectuals, politicians, writers, bankers, directors, art expodents and actresses in cinema theatre and television. Many of the restaurant's regulars consider it their second home due to its cosy atmosphere and diligent waiters.
The price, at first glance, may not seem so inviting, with prices being similar to most chic restaurants. That said, with huge Brazilian style portions easily shared between two, food of excellent quality and phenomenal service, the prices become more reasonable. With the best breaded chicken scallops in the city, make sure to ask for the Brazilian manioc flour and plump chips.
Food aside, the restaurant also boasts of an extensive International wine list. With extremely attentive waiters helping to make choices and suggestions, wine, red or white, is the highly recommended. The range of authentic Chilean Reds accompany any meat dish perfectly.
For those who enjoy the simple and traditional things, a visit to Cafe Lamas is a must.
Star Rating: 3/5 3/5
Opening Times:Sun-Thurs: 09:30-02:30 Fri & Sat: 09:30-03:00
Contact: (21) 2556-0799 Price: $$$$
Satyricon is famous for grilled seafood served in flavoursome sauces. Try the ‘couvert’ which can turn out to be a whole fulfilling tasty meal. It makes one of the best tiramisus in Rio. On Saturdays, the restaurant also serves a seafood buffet. Businessmen, artists and politicians are frequent diners at this restaurant. Valet parking is available.
Opened in 2007, Braz is known as the best Pizza restaurant in the neighbourhood. It dishes out delicious pizzas made from the freshest and finest ingredients.
Known as the most traditional pizza restaurant in town, everything is designed to give you the best and most authentic dining experience to enjoy with both friends and family. Braz Pizzaria makes pizzas the classic Neapolitan way: thin, crispy and baked in a wood-fired oven.
In the art of making pizza- the philosophy “less is more” comes into play. No excesses. This includes the careful selection of ingredients, such as delicious peeled tomatoes imported from Italy with a traditional style hand-rolled dough. A highlight from the menu is the Neapolitan bread which is simply irresistible.
The environment is also true to tradition. The chique white tiled walls, the wooden shelves covered with spices and bottles of wine, the beautifully presented menu and the waiters uniform perfectly resembles the old canteen of the late Braz, the cradle of Italian immigration in Sao Paulo.
Visitors are advised to arrive early to avoid queuing. However, the outside waiting area make it the perfect location to enjoy any wine from the varied wine list or an ice cold chopp (draught beer) before vacating to the main dining area.
Although the pizzas may be on the expensive side, with the impeccable service, quality of ingredients, variety of types, preparation and seasoning, the price begins to seem more reasonable
With the relaxed atmosphere, classic and delicious pizzas to suit all tastes-a visit to Braz pizzeria makes for an ideal evening to enjoy with friends, family and couples.
Opening times:Weekdays:18:30-00:30 Fridays & Saturdays: 18:30-01:30
Serving Brazilian cuisine, the meat served at Marius Degustare comes from organically fed cattle. There are 30 different meat dishes available on the menu which includes grilled meat dishes and steaks of all sorts. The restaurant has introduced a separate salad bar with where one can experiment with fresh seafood and veg combos.
With a rustic-chic atmosphere, the property facing leme beach offers salads, antipasti, cold and more robust dishes such as paella and salmon. The restaurant operates on an all-you-can-eat carvery system with fresh meat, fish and seafood at a fixed price of R$ 170. It includes a cold buffet (fish, oysters, salads, sea carpaccio), hot (bobo, stew, chips, polenta), aphrodisiacs that will stimulate your imagination and a full rotation around the room.
For those who think of packing it in and going home to sleep, the food coma is yet to commence; be aware that meat comes next. With carefully selected cuts derived from an ancient Japanese breed called Wagyu and organic ox. Meat being fed with natural pasture, vitamins, beer and high-calorie food, visitors can be assured that they will be tasting meat of a unique flavour; greater tenderness and juiciness, causing a great sensation to the palate. Considered the best beef in the world, served in the perfect environment.
The programme follows the environmental standards and international reference standards. The kitchen masters of the Maruis Degustare, are inspired by Brazilian and Mediterranean cuisine, exercising the perfect mix of healthy ingrediatents, combining flavour, beauty and seduction of the senses.
It is not only the special cuisine which makes a visit to the restaurant such a spectacular affair. The medieval décor is magical. Steakhouses generally opt for a clean decoration. Marius does the opposite. The atmosphere of the restaurant is unique and unusual using original parts of old vessels amd centennial farms. There is no free space on the ceilings or on the wall. Visitors will feel like vikings, where the room appears to be below sea level, in a large ship, studded with shells and nautical items. Art nouveau furniture, ropes and crockery adorn the place creating a feeling of fantasy.
Although the décor may be considered a bit OTT to some visitors tastes, a visit to the restaurant enables visitors to step out from the leme beach front to a magical medieval haven. With such passion and flare from both the waiters and kitchen staff, visitors are guaranteed an adventurous dining experience.
Star Rating: 2/5
Cuisine: Mediterranean and local
Opening times: 12:00-00:00
Contact: 21 21049000
Address: Avenida Atlântica, 290, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Porcão Ipanema is a barbecue and steakhouse restaurant serving different kinds of beef, pork, mutton and chicken dishes. Seafood and salads are also available. It has branches all over the world which include cities like New York, Miami and Brazil. This place is a favourite of many celebrities.
A luxurious culinary and aesthetic treat, offering gourmet contemporary Brazilian cuisine. Urban, discreet and elegant--Laguiole is the perfect address for a business lunch or a delicious dining experience inspired by a visit to the museum's exhibits.
Embedded in one of the most emblematic buildings of Carioca modern architecture (The Museum of Modern Art) and known for an inventive and tasty cuisine, the Laguiole exudes freshness. From the lounge, one can see sights such as Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and Guanabara Bay. The only one in town, the house is a materialization of the two greatest passions of its creator Marcelo Torres; super cuisine accompanied by fine wines.
A mouth-watering customized menu- The Laguiole kitchen, in collaboration with the “Best Group” restaurants caters for over 2000 guests daily. With the birth of new chefs of national cuisine; Leonardo Pereira and Henrique, the restaurant has always stimulated the creativity of talented young chefs, valuing the excellence of its daring and modern menu.
The menu signed by chef Ela Scranum, is based on classical French cuisine with contemporary interpretations, such as foie gras (with marinated torchon in acai, mango chutney and passion fruit), semi-grilled vieras with seaweed salad. The chefs' inventive manifestations has resulted in awards for the most original Beef Stew in Rio, your famous Oxtail rice and other dishes that make up a creative and elegant menu every season.
On the sweet side, the restaurant boasts of heavenly and delicate desert delights such as the chocolate and hazelnut sphere, melted in front of the diner with a thick ganace. Ask for a cafe which comes accompanied with a Belgian truffle.Considered the largest wine collection in Rio de Janeiro, the house has more than 600 labels and eight thousand bottles of all nationalities. In 2014, for the 14th consecutive time, the cellar received the best wine award in Latin America by the prestigious American magazine Wine Spectator.
With beautiful and extremely tasty dishes, a visit to Laguiole makes for an indulgent dining affair.
Star Rating: 5/5 Cuisine: Local & French Opening times: Weekdays from 12.00-17.00 (Except bank holidays) Valet parking: R$ 15,00
Address: MAM - Museu de Arte Moderna, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, 85 - Parque do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20021-140 (Centro), Closeby Metro: Cinelandia Phone: +55 21 2517.3129
A classic in Rio de Janeiro, Cervantes has been serving what many consider the best sandwiches in Rio since 1959. Topped with a slice of pineapple, trust these wild Brazilians when they say “abacaxi” (pineapple) adds a sensational tropical twist. Go hungry as you’ll struggle to finish a portion alone.
Cervantes Cervantes offers more than 30 options of sandwiches; including diverse slowly roasted meats, fish and chicken all accompanied with cheese and a slice of pineapple. A favourite along the Cariocas is the “Pernil” (Gammon steak) along with the Chef’s suggestion: an iced cold chopp (draught beer).
Cervantes sees a rush of punters. Artists, musicians and poets, all make up the interesting list of clientele that the restaurant attracts. Customers should be warned that getting in and out can sometimes be a challenge. Another thing is deciding what to order from the impressive list of options.
With sandwiches that are served quickly and delicious – a visit to Cervantes is almost obligatory in Rio de Janeiro.
Address: Rua Barata Ribeiro, 7-Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro- RJ, 22011-001 Closeby Metro: Cardeal Arcoverde Copacabana Beach: Posto 2
Opens: 24 hours (except Mondays)