What better way to take in the best of Brazilian culture than with food? The country is famous for its vibrant personality, and the bright colours and flavours people associate with the Brazilian people translate all the way down to the traditional dishes they serve. As the city gets ready to play host the biggest sporting event in the world, more and more people are flocking to Rio de Janeiro to see this fascinating city for themselves and enjoy the many wonders on offer.
From traditional dishes to street food and elegant dining experiences, all over Rio de Janeiro you can sample mouth-watering cuisine and taste ingredients you’ve never seen or heard of before. Between exciting flavour combinations, rare ingredients and concept dining, Rio’s top restaurants are the perfect place to try something new and indulge yourself on holiday.
Rio de Janeiro’s best restaurants
If you’re looking for a meal that’s a little out of the ordinary in Rio you won’t have to travel far; the vibrant city has its fair share of innovative restaurateurs who are reimaging classic dishes and inventing their own bold new flavours. A few of the highlights include:
Espírito Santa – Fill up on traditional Brazilian cuisine with an Amazonian twist at Espírito Santa, one of Rio’s most popular watering holes. Don’t forget to try their signature starter, tambaqui – this popular Amazonian fish is lightly breaded and served with herb pesto.
Cine Botequim – If you’re looking for casual but delicious dining, Cine Botequim is just the ticket – the restaurant doubles as a film house during the way where local students and directors show off their work, and by night you can admire the movie-themed décor as you eat.
Oro – This award-wining restaurant between Lagoa, Humaitá and Jardim Botânico is leader in contemporary Brazilian cuisine. A window looks into the open kitchen where you can see the chef hard at work preparing dishes with everything from traditional spices to liquid nitrogen.
Casa da Feijoada – No trip to Brazil would be complete without sampling the country’s national dish, and where better to do that than the Casa de Feijoada? This Ipanema restaurant cooks up the traditional weekend favourite with style, and on the menu you can choose from pork, dried beef, sausage and pig’s ear for this bean-based dish.
Booking a reservation
If you want to find a special restaurant to eat at while you’re in Rio or are simply looking for the best in authentic local cuisine, there’s plenty of places you can use to glean inspiration; Condé Nast Traveller has published a comprehensive guide to Rio, and on it features a well-rounded list of the best places in the city to eat and drink. Similarly, popular online city listings magazine Time Out has a dedicated section to Rio’s restaurants, where you can browse by price, cuisine and location.
Services like Table Grabber also make it easy to find and book a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro before you get there. Most hotels in central Rio will also have their own concierge, and will be able to help you book a reservation for any restaurants you’d like to try when you arrive.
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