Rio de Janeiro Restaurants

The Choices are Endless!

A wonderful thing about Rio de Janeiro restaurants, is that there are virtually unlimited dining options for a wide variety of restaurants to fit almost any budget.



The most popular types of Rio de Janeiro restaurants include Traditional, Modern or Fusion, Churrascarias (steakhouses), Sushi, Por Kilo (buffet food by the weight), Botequins (traditional taverns with table service), Sucos Bars, Botecas (serving snacks and fast food), and Kiosks (outdoor informal cafes).

Chefs in modern Rio de Janeiro restaurants have managed to successfully incorporate regional cuisine from all over Brazil, into a fusion of gastronomic delights. At the same time, traditional Brazilian cooking has been preserved in many Rio de Janeiro restaurants all over the city.

Whether you are on a shoestring budget and use restaurant coupons, or you are looking for haute cuisine, you won't be disappointed with the choices you will find in Rio de Janeiro's restaurants, cafes, bars, and botequins.

Price ranges per person for dinner and drinks:

$$$$ Expensive ---- more than R$ 75
$$$ Moderate ------ R$ 50- 75
$$ Inexpensive ----- R$ 15 - 25
$ Budget ----------- less than R$ 15

The above price estimates include taxes and tip. A 10% tip is customarily added to the bill in most restaurants, and tax is always included in the price of the dish. Many restaurants serve plates that are often big enough to feed 2 people.

YOUR  Rio de Janeiro Restaurant Review Please see our "Insider's Dining Tips" on each page, for valuable information that will help you make the most of your dining experiences in Rio - especially if you don't speak Portuguese!

Below we provide an overview of each type of restaurant, followed by a link to more information about our favorite restaurants in each category. We review each restaurant, indicate in which neighborhood it's located, provide a price range, and whenever possible we include a link to the restaurant's website.

Traditional Brazilian Restaurants

Chicken with shoestring potatoes and peas

Traditional Rio de Janeiro restaurants serve food that most Brazilians make at home.

Chicken, beef, and seafood cooked in the Brazilian styles make up the bulk of the dishes. These meats are often cut thinly, lightly breaded, and pan fried.

Brazilians pride themselves in the quality of their meats, most of which is raised "free range" and is hormone free. As in most Latin American countries, common dishes are invariably accompanied by rice,beans, fresh vegetables, and salad.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Traditional Brazilian Restaurants page.


Modern Brazilian Restaurants

A dish at Gula Gula Restaurant

Modern Brazilian Rio de Janeiro restaurants create a fusion of culinary delights blending regional food with styles from all over the world. Sao Paulo has the market cornered for the most outstanding fusion restaurants, but many of their chefs have recently been lured away to cook in Rio de Janeiro restaurants.

Included in our list of modern Brazilian restaurants, are those that specialize in Pizza. These are not the typical pizza parlors you find in Europe and in the USA, rather they tend to be more trendy places, often open air, that attract people who are starting a night out on the town. The pizzas served in Rio de Janeiro restaurants are thin crust, made with a wide variety of fresh ingredients, and most often baked in wood burning brick ovens.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Modern Brazilian restaurants page.



Churrascaria Restaurants (Brazilian Steakhouses)

Picanha- the Brazilian special cut!

A Churrascaria Rodizio restaurant (pronounced "choo-rah-scah-ree-ah") is a Brazilian steakhouse, with a unique grilling and serving style that is fast becoming famous the world over. These Rio de Janeiro restaurants offer "all you can eat" steak, other meats, and large buffet bar for a fixed price. Drinks and desserts cost extra. If there is one type of dining experience you should absolutely have while in Rio - it's the Churrascaria Rodizio!

Altough a churrascaria is a meat lovers dream come true, they also offer a wide variety of other Brazilian dishes on their buffet tables.

On our Churrascaria Rodizio restaurants page, we list many of the different cuts of meat. It's good to learn some of these names, so after your first sample, you can remember what you liked the best. We also provide tips on how to make the most of this unique dining experience.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Churrascaria Restaurants page.






Brazilian Sushi Restaurants

Tuna (Atun) at a Rio de Janeiro Sushi Restaurant

Cariocas (Rio natives) are just crazy for sushi. With thousands of miles of coast line, there is large abundance of fresh fish which makes for very affordable sushi.

It's served in a variety of Rio de Janeiro restaurants including Traditional Asian, Por Kilo buffets, Sushi Rodizios (all you can eat for a fixed price!), on the buffet at the Churrascarias, and from open air sidewalk Sushi Bars.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Sushi restaurants page.


Por Kilo Restaurants

Por Kilo restaurants are another Brazilian invention, and are a favorite of tourists because they are fairly inexpensive and offer an easy way to select your food. For tourists who don't speak Portuguese, there are no surprises after ordering your food, because you choose what you want from a buffet table and salad bar.

In a Por Kilo Rio de Janeiro restaurant you pay for food by the weight, instead of the "all you can eat" set price buffets that are popular in the USA. It's a great concept that encourages you from overeating while at the same time allows you to sample many different dishes.

Por kilos can range from the very simple places with just a few food choices, to the more upmarket restaurants that serve sushi and have a counter serving grilled churrasco (steak). Most places have a good selection of meats, traditional Brazilian and Portuguese dishes, and a wide assortment of soups and salads.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Por Kilo restaurants page.


Rio de Janeiro Botequins

Botequim

A Botequim (“bo-tech-kym”) is a perfect place to get a feel for the real Rio de Janeiro restaurants. These bar/restaurants are located throughout the city, and every few blocks you will find a neighborhood favorite.

Because of the tropical climate, most botequins are indoor-outdoor and are covered from the sun and rain. Waiters serve up ice cold chope (pilsner draft) to thirsty Cariocas and sunburned gringoes. They serve food and drink from lunch until the wee hours of the morning .

Botequins are very casual places. Tourists walking back from the beach to their hotel or apartment will stop for a chope and pestiscos while wearing nothing but havaianas (flip flops) and their swimwear. Men can go shirtless in some Botequins, but it's preferred that they sit at a table out on the sidewalk.

For more information and restaurant reviews, visit our Botequim Restaurants page.


Rio de Janeiro Sucos Bars

Fresh Juice Blended at a Sucos Bar

Sucos Bars serve non alcoholic fruit juices, light snacks, and sandwiches. These are a great place for breakfast, lunch, or to get a quick bite on your way to or from the beach.

Don't miss a trip to a sucos bars as they serve up an amazing variety of cold blended tropical fruit smoothies, including the very popular acai (pronounced aah-sigh-ee). The acai fruit has more vitamins than just about anything on earth, and the servers can mix it up with just the right amount of sugar or sweetener according to your taste.

Sucos bars, are usually open to the street and have a walk up counter Some bakeries will also have a snack counter and serveSucos. These fast food bars do not serve up processed McDonalds style fare. Their offerings are almost always made from scratch.

For more information and reviews, visit our Rio de Janeiro Sucos Bars page.



Kiosks and Barracas

A Kiosk (Barraca) on Ipanema Beach

Kiosks are small outdoor Rio de Janeiro restaurants often located along the beaches, and may also be called Barracas. These places are usually just a small open sided structure with snack bar and some umbrella covered tables next to it.

Many of these beach kiosks are not in guide books and are unnamed. They tend to be located near the Postos, and are a good meeting place as you leave the beach.

They serve soft drinks, beer, tropical mixed drinks, and Água de Côco (coconut water). Also served are light snacks and fruits. Green coconuts are kept chilled, and the top is chopped off on demand with a machete. A straw is inserted and voilà!, you have icy cold Água de Côco, which is great to have on a sweltering day at the beach.

Another favorite drink that is often served at a kiosk, is Brazil's national drink the Caipirinha (pronounced kai-pee-reen-ya). It's the Brazilian version of the margarita, made with the potent sugar cane liquor Cachaça (pronounced kah-sha-saw), sugar, fresh limes, and crushed ice. It's best to drink Caipirinhas in moderation, especially during the heat of the day, as they pack quite a wallop.

Incidentally, caiparinha translates to "little hick or little hillbilly", and derives it's name from the country peasants who probably invented and first drank it. Cachaça is sold by the bottle and is cheap to buy. In recent years Cachaça has become all the rage, and a wide variety of types and qualities are available.

Kiosks can also be larger outdoor restaurants that serve drinks and meals at reasonable prices. An example are the numerous Lagoa Kiosks that are set up in 2 areas on the large salt water lagoon in the Lagoa neighborhood. These kiosks are very popular in the summer with families. You'll find decent food, a festive atmosphere, and often live music here. In December, you can sit and admire the beautiful Lagoa Christmas tree that lights up in the middle of the lagoon.


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