Modern Brazilian Restaurants
in Rio de Janeiro
Upscale, Trendy & Eclectic!
What we refer to as "Modern Brazilian Restaurants" include a wide variety of restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We describe these restaurants as being modern, as their chefs most often serve traditional Brazilian fare in a unique and updated style, or they "fuse" cuisine of different types into something extremely new.
Modern Brazilian restaurant settings can also range from upscale trendy to the extremely eclectic. Combining delicious Brazilian food with great atmosphere, in an exotic tropical urban setting, can make for a delightful and rewarding dining experience.
There are so many excellent modern Brazilian restaurants in Rio de Janeiro and we could fill many web pages with information about them. As we've done with our other restaurant listings, we've reviewed several of the best ones that are mostly located in the Ipanema and Copacabana Beach neighborhoods. We update our selections from time to time, when we dine in the restaurants or hear more about them.
Our (current) Favorite
Modern Brazilian Restaurants!
ZaZa Bistro Tropical - $$$
Location- in Ipanema at Rua Joana Angelica 40 at the corner of Prudente de Moraes. Tel -55 21 2247 9101
"Zaza" has been open since 2001 in this upscale Ipanema neighborhood, but it manages to keep its modern flare by serving "delicious and surprising combinations of inspired contemporary cuisine from tropical regions of the planet..."
This modern Brazilian restaurant serves fusion dishes with a decidedly southeast Asian flare. The food is well seasoned with both Brazilian and African spices. Curry is also a favored spice at Zaza Bistro Tropical.
Zaza serves only organic dishes, prepared with all natural ingredients and fresh spices. Some of their spices are grown on their upstairs balcony! The chefs take great care and deliberation in preparing their dishes.
You have 3 dining area choices; outdoors, on the covered front porch (quite a bit of street noise); inside, on the first floor with smallish candle lit tables or; upstairs, sitting on pillows in a romantic Moroccan like setting, surrounded by modern graffiti covered walls.
For more information visit the ZaZa Bistro Tropical restaurant website.
Location- Copacabana Palace Hotel, Avenida Atlantica 1702. Tel - 55 21 2545 8747
Cipriani is regarded as one of the best modern Brazilian restaurants in the city, and serves fine Northern Italian cuisine. It does so with typical Brazilian style, adding peppers and other spices when called for.
Most dishes are certainly more Italian than Brazilian, but some local influence prevails as with the "Tornedos au Gratin",
which are served with black beans puree, manioc flour, and Jabuticaba salsa (a Brazilian berry).
The setting is elegant, and the dress code is "smart casual" for both lunch and dinner. The prices here, for both food and
wine, are "muito caro" (very expensive) by Brazilian standards, and your fellow diners will be mostly wealthy jet setting
tourists and the occasional foreign dignitary.
For more information visit the Cipriani Restaurant website.
Location- In Ipanema at Rua Vinicius de Moraes 134, and in Copacabana at Rua Domingo Ferreira 187; other locations in Barra and Jardim Botanico.
Capricciosa is the place to enjoy a decent bottle of red wine and gourmet pizza, baked in a wood burning stove. Beautiful young people and couples tend to gravitate to this relaxing, yet trendy, restaurant. Diners linger, while enjoying good food and intimate conversation. You can find equally good pizza at lower prices elsewhere in Rio, but the atmosphere in this modern Brazilian restaurant is worth the extra price.
Capricciosa serves a large variety of pizzas, including Gourmet, Le Pizza Rosse (made with tomato sauce), and Le Pizza Bianche (white). Try the "Scarola" gourmet pizza that comes with tomato, mozzarella, Calabresa sausage, black olives, endive, and peppers.
They also serve excellent pasta; try the Tortelloni with ricota cheese and spinach or the Lasagna with Shitake mushrooms.
For more information visit the Capricciosa restaurant website.
Alessandro E Federico $$ -$$$
Location - in Ipanema at Rua Garcia D` Avila 151 and Rua Garcia D` Avila 134. Tel 55 21 2522 5415
Alessandro E Federico is another Ipanema favorite bistro known for serving excellent thin crust Pizzas, made in wood burning ovens and other light dishes.
There are two locations, nearly across the street from each other, with the more upscale crowd dining at the 151 two story restaurant, where the wine cellar is more extensive (with prices to match). The 134 location serves sthe imilar fare in a more relaxed outdoor cafe setting. Each location has both indoor and outdoor tables.
Alessandro E Federico is located on the best block of the most upmarket part of Ipanema, and this is the dining place to see and be seen. Waiters are professional and a bit pretentious, but that goes along with the atmosphere. The place really gets going about 9pm and is especially popular Thursday - Saturday evenings.
Gula Gula $$- $$$
Locations: Rua Henrique Dumont, 57, Ipanema: Rua Rita Ludolf, 87, Leblon: Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 270, Leblon; and other
locations in the city.
Gula Gula opened in Ipanema and became such a hit that it has franchised info other parts of the city. The charming Ipanema location, located on a rather quiet side street, makes it popular with locals and tourists alike. It is walking distance of nearby rental apartments and hotels.
Gula Gula's fare tends to be trendy and light, serving quiches and salads, but they also serve traditional Brazilian dishes
with a modern twist. The dishes are quite artful, and the menu changes, offering "experiments" such as "Nossa Baiao de Dois",
made with black rice & beans cooked together, collards, jerked beef, sausage, etc. Also, the "Queijo Minas" quiche is excellent, and is made with a popular white cheese that originated in the state of Minas Gerais.
The list of choices goes on and on, and if your pallette calls for something fresh and trendy, you will find it at Gula Gula.
For more information see the menu at the Gula Gula modern Brazilian restaurant website.
Gringo Café $$
Location: Rua Barao do Torre 240, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro.
Located on a tree lined street in an upscale part of Ipanema, the Gringo Café recently opened its doors to fill a niche market by serving North American style cuisine.
"Gringo" is slang for a foreigner of typically North American or European origin. The term Gringo is less derogatory than one may think, as many ex-pats living in Rio de Janeiro often refer to themselves as being Gringo (masculine) or Gringa (feminine).
The Gringo Café is operated by an American from California, who has set out to differentiate his restaurant from others in the area not only by offering American style breakfasts and hamburgers, but by also providing free Wi-Fi access and unlimited refills on your cup of coffee.
The Gringo Café is frequented by ex-pats who long for a traditional egg and pancake breakfast, but also by tourists looking for a familiar restaurant setting, and by Cariocas (Rio natives) who come for the truly fantastic cheeseburgers.
The prices for breakfast and lunch are a bit steep when compared to most traditional Brazilian restaurants in the area, but you not be disappointed with the overall dining experience.
Link to the Gringo Cafe Website for more information and to view their menu.
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