Our Favorite Traditional Brazilian
Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

Traditional Brazilian restaurants are considered by many people to be the best places to eat in Rio de Janeiro.

YOUR Rio de Janeiro Restaurant Reviews Traditional Rio de Janeiro restaurants serve the type of food that most Brazilians eat at home. It's the cuisine that the family most enjoys and has been prepared for generations.

Bar do Beto- Restaurante & Pizzeria $$

Location - Ipanema, at Rua Farme de Amoedo 51, near Rua Visconde de Piraja. Tel- 55 21 2623 1105.

Bar do Beto is a small relaxed traditional Brazilian restaurant with about 20 tables, located 2 blocks up from the beach on a side street that has numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes. Bar do Beto is one of those restaurants that serves unpretentious yet perfectly prepared dishes.

Attention to detail in presentation and service is provided by very professional bow-tied waiters. The manager may entice you with the extensive wine list.

Dishes range from R$ 26- R$80. Frango (chicken), carnes steaks), and Peixes (Fish) dishes are the specialties. Most dished are "bem servido" (large portions) usually enough for 2 people.

The Frango Cubano Milanese (Chicken breasts lightly breaded and fried) and Frango Francesa (grilled chicken breasts) are excellent and a bargain at $R26 - $R28 each.

Bar do Beto is also a pizzeria, and serves wonderful thin crust pizza with a wide variety of fresh toppings. The pies are pretty large at about 15 inches across.

You can spend a lot or a little, and either way enjoy a wonderful meal at Bar do Beto.

Insider's Tip - On a hot evening, ask if the upstairs air conditioned dining room is open, or sit downstairs at a table by the large casement windows and catch the breeze coming up the street from the beach.

Antiquarius $$$

Antiquarius Restaurant -  Rio de Janeiro

Location - in Leblon at Rua Aristides Espinola 19.

Antiquarius may be considered a traditional Brazilian restaurant, as the Portuguese influenced dishes have been blended into exquisite Brazilian versions of these dishes. However, Antiquarius offers many typical Portuguese specialties served in the traditional style.

Their extensive menu includes over 300 items, with over 20 cod dishes, other seafood dishes, and numerous meat dishes including Portuguese styles of beef, pork, and goat. Italian plates are also abundant.

Antiquarius has long been considered a top Brazilian restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, and is certainly serves some of the best Portuguese fare in Brazil. The restaurant's setting in a colonial style building, lends to it an "old world" ambiance.

If you are staying in Copacabana or Ipanema and are looking for the best in Portuguese food, with a hefty price tag to go with it, then a cab ride to Antiquarius in Leblon is your ticket for the evening.

Link to menu at Antiquarius Restaurant website

Casa da Feijoada $$-$$$

A Feijoada!

Location - Rua Prudente de Moraes 108, next to Praca General Osorio. Tel- 55 21 2247 2776.

The traditional Brazilian restaurant Casa da Feijoada serves the classic Feijoada seven days a week versus the usual Saturdays and Sundays.

For first time visitors to Brazil, eating a Feijoada is an absolute must. Casa de Feijoada serves it up right, with all the accompaniments including Farofa, orange slices, couve (kale).

Casa de Feijoada makes a decent Caiparinha, a drink that goes hand and glove with Feijoada. Kick back and make an afternoon out of it!

Casa da Feijoada has gotten a bit pricey over the past couple of years, as it caters to more and more tourists. It's now $R49 per person for the complete meal. Many smaller traditional Brazilian restaurants in Rio serve decent Feijoada, mostly on weekends, for lower prices.

Bar Lagoa $$

Bar Lagoa

Location- Lagoa, at Avenida Epitacio Pessoa 1674, walking distance from Ipanema. Tel- 55 21 2523 1135.

Bar Lagoa, may have started out in 1934 as an Art Deco style bar, but it's evolved into an excellent traditional Brazilian restaurant and meeting place for residents of Lagoa and Ipanema. In the 2nd World War, "Bar Berlin" as it was known then, was stoned by students rebelling against the owners who were sympathetic to the Germans.

The restaurant's name may have changed, but the tradition of serving large portions of superbly prepared German food has continued. Pork dishes, potatoes, and potato salad are their specialties. The fillet appetizer is very good as well.

Bar Lagoa

The waiters are known for being a bit surly, but several of them have have worked here for more than 20 years, and they are extremely efficient.

Bar Lagoa gained fame for it's excellent Brahma Chopp served with a creamy head. So it's also a great place to stop for a beer after an afternoon walk around Lagoa Rodrigo Freitas, or in the later evening when a younger more raucous crowd takes over.

If you are in Rio in December, don't miss seeing the world's largest floating Christmas tree in the Lagoa neighborhood.

Visit the Bar Lagoa website

Bar Luiz $$

Sausage plate at Bar Luiz

Location - Rua da Carioca 39, Centro; and Kiosk located on Copacabana Beach near Posto 3. Tel- 55 21 2262 6900. Open noon until midnight Monday - Saturday.

Bar Luiz is known for its cold draft beer and excellent German food, including Kassler (smoked ribs), white bratwurst, Vienna sausage, Eisbein (pork), and other sausage varieties. Try the mixed sausage appetizer.

See our full review of Bar Luiz on our Rio de Janeiro Bars page.

Bar Urca $$

Pimenta (hot peppers) for your Bolinho Bacalhao

Location - Urca, at Rua Candido Gaffre 205, a short taxi ride from Copacabana or Ipanema. Tel- 55 21 2295 8744.

If you take a walking tour of the lovely and very safe Urca neighborhood, you must stop at Bar Urca for a snack or a meal.

Upstairs at Bar Urca is a traditional Brazilian restaurant that overlooks a quiet part of Guanabara Bay where small fishing boats bob in the sea. The small dining room has been renovated and has several nice tables as well as a narrow bar where you can look directly out into the bay.

Bar Urca serves excellent Pestiscos (appetizers) and Pastels. Pastel de Camarao (Shrimp turnover), fried Sardines, and Bolinho de bacalhau (deep fried cod balls) are among the favorites. Dinner entrees include typical Brazilian fare, as well as seafood dishes. Try the "Bacalhau a Portuguesa" (Codfish Portuguese style).

Cariocas gather and sit on the sea wall adjacent to Bar Urca, and are served cold bottled beer and snacks by waiters who dash back and forth across the narrow tree lined street. It makes for a colorful yet idyllic neighborhood scene on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Insider's Tip - After riding the cable car up and back from Pao de Acucar, take the short walk over to and through the picturesque Urca neighborhood. End up at Bar Urca for a late lunch, early dinner, or just snacks and beer. Then catch a taxi back to your hotel or apartment.

Go to menu at Bar Urca website

Shirley $$

Location - Copacabana/Leme, at Rua Gustavo Sampaio 610, 1/2 block from the beach. Tel 55 21 2275 1398.

Unique Spanish style food is served at Shirley by the 83 year old owner Estrella Sanchez who is from Galicia Spain. She runs the restaurant with the help of her grandson Mario Alphonso. The professional waiters wear white suits which are common in upscale traditional Brazilian restaurants.

Generous plates are offered for good prices in the rustic and tight dining room. The place gets packed on weekends with a waiting line. Get there early or call ahead to make reservations.

The delicious couverte ($R7) served with bread, is mussels in a vinaigrette sauce along with marinaded sardines.

Shirley's is known for their traditional Valenciana Paella ($R 44 for two people), made with shrimp, crab, seafood, pork, and ox.

Prawns (almost 100 grams each) made in the house style are stuffed with catupiry (cream cheese) and served with rice and raisins. ($R55)

Paz e Amor $-$$

Camarao (Shrimp) dinner at Paz e Amor

Location - Ipanema, at Rua Garcia D' Avila 173, a quiet very fashionable side street. Tel - 55 21 2523 0496 .

You won't find this traditional Brazilian restaurant in most guide books, but don't let that fool you, as this simple open air cafe serves excellent comida Brasileira (Brazilian food)at great prices.

Try the "Camarao com Arroz a la Grega"(Breaded and lightly fried shrimp with Greek style rice). It's advertised as a 1 person dish, but is enough to feed 2 people. There are reasonably priced daily lunch specials advertised as "Pratos Executivos" (executive plates), however you won't find any business executives dining here!

Paz e Amor means "Peace and Love" and at night it turns into a "friends and faimly" cafe and restaurant for the neighborhood residents. We recommend having a late lunch or early dinner here as it's more quiet and the service is better than in the late evenings.

Paz e Amor also serves a traditional Feijoada on Saturdays and Sundays at mid day, only R$61 for 2 people, until the food runs out. They also serve an excellent "Cozida" (Stew) on Sundays.

Insider's Tip - although it's not on the menu, order "Frango Milanese com Fritas e Aroz ala Grega" (Chicken Milan with fries and rice), for 2 people ($R 44) as it's one of their best meals and is a bigger than the similar "Frango empanada" dish. These lightly breaded and pan fried chicken breasts will make you want to dine here again.

Alvaro's $$

Alvaro's Restaurant in Leblon

Location - Leblon, at Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva 500. Tel - 55 21 2294 2148.

Alvaro's is one of many laid back traditional Brazilian restaurants, whose dining room shelters regular older customers who drink whiskey with their meals. Leblon families also love the place, as the portions are large (most often enough for 2 people) and the entrees are delicately prepared.

For starters try their renowned Pasteis (R$2.00 - $2.50) including shrimp, catupiry (cream cheese), and palmito (heart of palm).

Alvaro's offers daily specials that vary Monday - Friday such as Carne Seca (Smoked beef) with pumpkin; Tu Tu with greens $R25 a traditional Brazilian dish of beans and manioc flour); or Rabada $R28 (Oxen tail) with water cress, polenta, and rice.

Feijoada (R$40) is served on Saturdays, and Cozida ($R40) on Sundays.

A real treat is the grilled codfish "Porto" style with pan fried potatoes, bell peppers, olives, egg, and onion. $R79 for two people.

Aconchego Carioca $$

Bolinho de Feijoada with a Caipirinha & a beer

Location - Rua Barão de Iguatemi 379 (at the Praça da Bandeira, Centro. Tel 55 21 2273-1035.

This unique little restaurant, located between Maracana Stadium and Centro, made its name by recently winning awards at Rio's "Comida do Boteco" (Bar Food) Brazilian restaurants festival. Since then, it's been packed daily with Cariocas and tourists alike.

Aconchego Carioca takes unique twist on several classic traditional Brazilian dishes, by creating pestiscos (appetizers) out of them. This is great for the tourist who wants to sample numerous Brazilian dishes.

An examples includes the exquisite "Bolinho de Feijoada". Bolinhos (pictured t right) are deep fried balls of goodness, which in this case include ingredients found in a traditional feijoada (the Brazilian national dish). Also outstanding are Bolinhos de Bacalhau (made from codfish). Try a "Mini Moqueca", which is a small version of stew which you find in the north of Brazil.

Other full sized plates include Camarão na Moranga (Shrimp with pumpkin) and Costelo com Guava (beef ribs in guava sauce).

You'll need to take a taxi to and from this restaurant, as it's not near the tourist areas. You might combine it with a day spent sightseeing in Centro. Call ahead and make reservations, as it's a one of the most popular Brazilian restaurants in the neighborhood.

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