Brazilian Sushi Restaurants
It's all About the Superb Fresh Fish!
As compared to the USA and perhaps Europe, there seems to be less variety of rolls in Brazilian sushi restaurants, as more emphasis is placed on the quality of the fish. The tuna is caught off the coast of Brazil, and most of the salmon comes from Chile.
It's time for Brazilian
Sushi in Rio de Janeiro!
In Rio de Janeiro sushi restaurants, "sushi" is called the raw fish over a small ball of rice, as is known in the USA as Nigiri. "Sashimi" is the raw fish alone, and sushi rolls are called "enrolados". Sashimi is often diced and deliciously spiced.
There are several fine traditional Brazilian sushi restaurants that serve sushi ala carte or by the entree with accompaniments. Less common are sushi bars with limited table seating.
Some Brazilian sushi restaurants in Rio de Janeiro also serve lunch buffets and for dinner in the "rodizio" style, offering all-you-can-eat sushi for a fixed price. At a sushi rodizio you are given a menu card that lists the available rolls, sashimi, sushi, soups, and various Asian accompaniments. Check off several items and the food is prepared per each order. Once you have finished, order some more!
Churrascaria Steak Houses and Por Kilo buffet restaurants also serve sushi, but in far less variety than traditional sushi restaurants.
Insider's Tip- Unlike their churrascaria rodizio counterparts, at Brazilian sushi restaurants you must eat all that you order. Otherwise you may pay an additional per roll price for what is left uneaten. Ordering in smaller amounts as the night proceeds will reduce the chances of left over sushi. The restaurants are pretty relaxed about it, they just don't want to see perfectly good sushi go to waste.
"Fast food" sushi is the most recent arrival to the Rio de Janeiro sushi restaurants scene. You can now walk up to a sidewalk sushi bar and order a Temaki (hand roll) for less than R$ 10. There are several of these joints popping up in Ipanema, Leblon, and Copacabana. They are especially popular for a quick lunch, and with the younger set in the evenings before or after hitting the clubs. See information Koni Store and Temaki Mania below.
Favorite Rio de Janeiro Sushi Restaurants
Nik Sushi $$$
Location - Ipanema, on the corner of Rua Garcia D'Avila and Rua Visconde de Piraja. Tel - 55 21 2152-6446
This small restaurant is located on a tree lined side street in the fashionable part of the Ipanema neighborhood, just 2 blocks from the beach. It's very popular and you may have to wait for a table during peak dinner hours.
The draw is the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and dinner sushi rodizio (where you make selections from the menu). The fish is of excellent quality and the sushi variety is very good. Don't miss out on the excellent soups and appetizers that are also included.
Insider's Tip- What to do on a rainy afternoon in Rio? Hit the lunch buffet at Nik Sushi, then have an afternoon nap in your hotel room or apartment!
Link to Nik Sushi restaurant website
Sushi Leblon $$$ - $$$$
Location - Leblon, at Rua Dias Ferreira 256. Tel - 55 21 2512 7830
Sushi Leblon has been one of the most popular and highly rated Rio de Janeiro Brazilian sushi restaurants for the past few years. It's located an upscale part of the Leblon neighborhood, in an area where there are several good restaurants and nice bars.
It's become a bit pricey, but if you are a sushi connoisseur, then this is the place for you. The sushi served here is world class quality. It's worth spending the taxi fare to come from Copacabana or Ipanema.
The atmosphere is real "Bento Box", with rich dark wood paneling and perfect lighting, making this both a trendy and romantic dining spot. The rich and famous will dine here, and there will be no shortage of opportunities for people watching.
After dinner visit the Zona Sul Supermarket across the street,as this branch is probably the nicest grocery store in Rio de Janeiro. Grab a nice bottle of wine, cheese, and snacks to take back to your hotel room or apartment.
Link to Sushi Leblon restaurant website
Dombri Edo $$$
Location - Ipanema, at Rua Prudente de Moraes 1117, at the corner of Rua Maria Quiteria. Tel - 55 21 3201 1104.
This excellent Brazilian sushi restaurant is located in the very nice Everest Rio Hotel, and sits next to the lobby overlooking the street. The atmosphere is rather "hotel" but the great fish makes up for it.
An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is served daily, along with a dinner rodizio. You can instead order ala carte from the menu. Dombri Edo is known for it's eclectic Asian dishes, so it's a good place to eat more Asian dishes than just sushi.
Dombri Edo is well sought after by even those who are not staying at the hotel, and is popular with Cariocas (locals).
Link to Dombri Edo sushi restaurant website
Benkei Sushi $$$
Location - Ipanema, Avenida Henrique Dumont 71, at the corner
of Rua Visconde de Piraja.
Tel: 55 2540 4829.
Other locations in Barra da Tijuca.
Lunch buffet and dinner rodizio. This casual Brazilian sushi place is popular with "after beach" or "before club" crowd. Its smallish narrow restaurant with some outdoor seating on a slightly busy side street. The head chef has more than 30 years of experience. Ala carte dishes are offered, but the buffet or rodizio is in high demand here.
It's one of the newer sushi joints in Ipanema, so you can usually get a table without waiting very long. The lunch buffet is a bargain.
Link to Benkei Sushi restaurant website
Temaki Mania & Koni Store - $
Temaki Mania - Location - Ipanema, on Rua Visconde Piraja near Rua Anibal de Mendonca. 2 blocks from the beach.
Temaki Mania is one of several fast-food sushi bars popping up around Rio. Here, you can take out or dine in at the counter, and grab a quick tuna or salmon hand roll for R$6 -R$10.
The quality of the fish is surprisingly good, and the hand rolls are quite large. Young servers move about the restaurant as you order from the limited menu.
Koni Store- locations - Ipanema on Rua Farme de Amoeda, Copacabana at Rua Constante Ramos 44, and other locations. Koni Store first opened in Leblon and is becoming a very popular sushi chain restaurant. It has has branched out to several locations in Rio de Janeiro, and in other cities throughout Brazil. Try the Poke Roll that has tuna, salmon, roe, with onion, sesame, and crunchy flakes - $R 8.50.
Link to Koni Store Sushi Website.
Click on Lojas at the bottom of the screen for restaurant locations.
Togu - $$$
Togu - Location: in Leblon at Rua Rua Dias Ferreira, 90-B. Tel 21 2294 2749. In an upscale neighborhood that's full of shops and restaurants.
Togu is a family owned restaurant situated in a trendy area of the wealthy Leblon neighborhood. Just a short cab ride from Ipanema, dining at Togu is worth the trip. The restaurant serves decidely Japanese fare and is known for its outstanding Brazilian sushi offerings. However, they also have numerous delicious non-sushi Asian dishes on the menu as well.
The atmosphere (ambiente) is upscale modern and at the same time understated and elegant. The lighting in the place just right - ideal for romance or for relaxing with friends.
Togu is not nearly as crowded and expensive as its famous neighbor Sushi Leblon, but the fish is every bit as good, and many diners claim it's the best in Rio.
In addition to the main dining room, Togu has a cool little sushi bar and has limited seating outside on the sidewalk.
Link to the Togu Japanese Restaurant for more information.
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