Gùsto! How · What · Where Locals Eat (And Drink) In Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a city known for many things, but food is usually not one of them. Nonetheless, Rio's food scene is not to be ignored. From açaí to steak, Rio has it all.
Rio de Janeiro, famous for its beaches and nightlife, is a city that is not often appreciated for its dynamic food scene. But its weakness for the good life, and its rich history and culture, means that Rio has plenty to offer on the cuisine front.
With a newfound appreciation for its own history, Rio’s culinary experiences are now more focused on local ingredients and traditions, while also embracing other flavors from across the world. These must-try restaurants combine creative cuisine with traditional Brazilian flavors to create a comprehensive understanding of Rio de Janeiro’s culinary offerings.
Casa do Açaí
While açaí has found fame across the world, particularly in the U.S., for Indigenous communities of Brazil, it has long been a diet staple. Casa do Açaí serves refreshing açaí bowls along with sandwiches and smoothies. According to Casa Livre, it's a great place to start your day.
Oteque, a restaurant boasting two Michelin stars and a rustic, yet modern, atmosphere, as stated by the publication exame, it is a must-visit on the Rio de Janeiro food scene. With ethical farming at the forefront of its mission, the restaurant offers a tasting menu subject to change as different ingredients go in and out of season.
Some dishes that have been on the menu include grilled octopus with tomatoes and pork belly and pineapple sorbet with parmesan and rare “jatai” honey. Oteque’s offerings are unique, fresh and innovative, making it a necessary stop in Rio de Janeiro’s food scene.
A crayfish dish from Oteque.
Braseiro da Gavea
Visiting Rio de Janeiro without indulging in traditional caricoa Brazilian cuisine would be a waste. Braseiro da Gavea, recommended by Brazilian journalist Renata Araújo’s blog, “You Must Go,” specializes in barbecue and steak dishes.
With an extensive menu including traditional chicken dishes, cod steak, and of course, sliced picanha beef, this restaurant is a great place to celebrate the vast flavors of Brazilian caricoa cuisine.
A spread from Braseriro da Gavea.
Barraca da Chiquita
With roots as a street stall, Barraca da Chiquita serves traditional Brazilian cuisine focused on meat recommended by Brazilian magazine Veja. With an atmosphere of live, local music, bright colors and a general sense of celebration, this restaurant is an experience that both locals and tourists can enjoy. With its well-crafted menu at the forefront of the experience, Barraca da Chiquita is the perfect place to celebrate and indulge in Brazilian culture and cuisine.
Spotlight Dish: Coxinha
This teardrop-shaped snack traditionally consists in shredded chicken meat covered in dough, battered and fried. Although they are thought to have originated in Limeira, near São Paulo, coxinhas have now become ubiquitous in Brazil.
Readers of Diário do Rioswear swear by Fornalha's coxinhas, in Rio's Humaita district.
Where to Drink in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is known for its focus on celebration, and drinks are at the heart of that. After a long day of exploring the city, engaging with Brazilian culture, and trying new food, going to the pubs that have been staples of the city for years is a must.
Bar Jobi has been around in Leblon, Rio, since 1956, and, as stated by Viajali, it has a reputation for its draft beer, cheese steak and codfish cake. With a comprehensive drinks menu that includes everything from beers to cocktails to non-alcoholic beverages, Bar Jobu has something for everyone. Its food menu, too, is large, with a long array of options to choose from such as pizzas and sandwiches.
The exterior of Bar Jobi.
John Surico/Bon Appétit
Liz Cocktails, included in exame's list, specializes in creative drinks with roots in various iconic films, as described in its menu. With cocktails ranging from a Manhattan inspired by Some Like It Hot and a Daiquiri inspired by The Godfather, Liz Cocktails is the perfect place for movie fans or those looking for a fun, innovative atmosphere.
The exterior of Liz Cocktails.
Must-try activity: Sunset sailing tour
After spending a day in Rio exploring all it has to offer in terms of food and drink, and indulging meat dishes or açaí, what better way to round out the day than with a sunset sailing tour, exploring the city's famous beach side.
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