Rio de Janeiro has its share of local fast food restaurants as well as first class gourmet dining. Some of the best restaurants are not always the most expensive.
Cheap Can be Good
Do not be afraid to try out some of the street vendors. These local Cariocas out on the street with their charcoal braziers are usually selling some of the tastiest meals to be found in Rio. On Rua Ouvidor a street vendor sells fresh prawns on skewers. He cooks them with lemon and salt and has a line of Cariocas stretching around the corner to taste his cuisine. To find some first rate make sure the vendor’s appearance is acceptable and the cooking equipment looks clean and sanitary. Watch the Cariocas and see whom they are purchasing their food from. If there is a line, chances are the food is delicious.
Where To Go
For the best food in Rio visit Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblon. The restaurants on this street have the reputation amongst the locals as having some of the best dining in Rio. Some of the best vegetarian fare can be found at O Celeiro where you pay by the weight. Doce Delicia has some of the best grilled meat and Quadrucci has the best Italian food around. For seafood try Zuka and sushi is first rate at Sushi Leblon.
What to Eat
When dining out at the best restaurants in Rio focus on three specific specialties. The best tasting feijoada, the national dish of Brazil, can be found at Confeitaria Colombo in the Centro district or Galani at Caesar Park Hotel in Ipanema.
A good and popular option to try the feijoada is Bar do Mineiro, in Santa Teresa, not only for food also worth a visit to the charming neighborhood. Seafood is a natural specialty given the city’s proximity to the sea. For some of the best seafood try Margutta and Satyricon in Ipanema. Marius Crustáceos is one of the best seafood buffets in Leme and Marisqueira in Copacabana has been serving Portuguese seafood dishes for 50 years.
Rodizio steakhouses are the third specialty in Rio de Janeiro. The Churrascaria Porcão is the best option for steak for rodízio system, with restaurants in Ipanema, Barra and other neighborhoods. The best on being Porcão Rio’s, at Aterro do Flamengo (Flamengo Part), which boasts a breathtaking view of Guanabara Bay. Other option is Esplanada Grill in Ipanema a very quaint and romantic steak house with a la carte service.