By: Anne Jones
Whenever I travel, one of my main concerns is end up eating in a tourist trap. No one likes to pay a fortune for a disastrous dinner. After a busy day exploring Rio’s attraction or watching the Olympics, you’ll want to relax and enjoy a good meal at a decent price.
While in Rio, if you want to eat like the locals – aka Cariocas – you should buy the Globe biscuit from a street vendor. It is delicious and free gluten. Do not forget to grab a bite of the classic Carioca Cuisine dish, Oswaldo Aranha Steak, a mouthwatering filet mignon with garlic & sauteed potatoes. Also, reserve a day to try the famous Feijoada that according to historical records was born in the city.
Some of the Best Places to Eat in Rio de Janeiro
ACONCHEGO CARIOCA – Brazilian Food
If you want to try authentic Carioca food in authentic Carioca environment, you must visit the Aconchego Carioca. Try the bolinho de feijoada (feijoada dumpling) and the pork ribs with guava sauce. The main dishes are well served and fair priced as their beer menu is quite extensive for such a small restaurant.
WHERE: Rua Barão de Iguatemi # 379 , Praça da Bandeira www.aconchegocarioca.com.br/
Botequim Informal – Feijoada
The pleasing little black cauldrons in which the Informal’s feijoada components arrive immediately give off the air of something that’s going to be tastier than your average dish. Pork, farofa, rice, carne-seca (dried beef), little chunks of fresh crackling and sausage quickly fill the table, or if you prefer to go it alone then Saturdays at the Ipanema branch offer an all-you-can-eat option (R$29.90) with pumpkin mash, fried aipim and some other nice little extras to overdose on.
WHERE: Rua Domingos Ferreira # 235, Copacabana (check other locations) www.botequiminformal.com.br
CT BOUCHERIE – Steak
The attention to detail of this place is what stands out, from start to finish everything was very well done. In CT Boucherie you order the meat, or fish and then you have a “all you can eat” of side dishes, they keep coming and serving the most varied local recipes and interesting combinations. The name, CT, stands for Claude Troigros, one of the best Chefs in Brazil who move from France long ago.
WHERE: Rua Dias Ferreira # 636 , Leblon http://ctboucherie.com.br/en/
.ORG BISTRÔ – Organic Vegan
Eating healthy never tasted so good. I am not a veggie person, but have to say that this place worth the visit. The dishes are creative, delicious and very well executed. The salads are R$30 each and are very much worth it. Desserts to die for! Try one of their incredible juices: organic, freshly made and bursting with flavour,
WHERE: Avenida Olegário Maciel # 175, loja G, Barra da Tijuca http://orgbistro.com.br/
FERRO E FARINHA – Pizza
It’s a tiny gem hidden in Catete and it’s as no fuss as it’s name. If you don’t get there early, do expect to wait to find a seat as they don’t have many.
The menu’s are hand-written and the pizzas are thin based, with original and ingenious toppings and are cooked in a wood-fire oven so come with those delicious blackened edges. Many creative pasta options from R$ 32 to R$ 43 = US$ 9.6 to US$ 13.
WHERE: Rua Andrade Pertence # 42, Catete
CONFEITARIA COLOMBO – Pastries
This belle époque beauty is indisputably one of the world’s most elegant cafés. Check out the old photos and the glass cabinets full of silverware from a bygone era.The vaulted ceiling of the Confeitaria Colombo is a reminder of Rio’s elegant high society era. The list of desserts is overwhelming and the pastries are best chosen by pointing to the glass counters. Try the tartelette de chocolate e avelã (hazelnut and chocolate tart, U$2), or the classic Portuguese pastel de nata (custard tart, same price).
WHERE: Rua Gonçalves Dias # 32, Centro www.confeitariacolombo.com.br
Barraca do Uruguai – Beach Stand
Made famous by No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, its a must do if you are strolling down Ipanema Beach. Barraca do Uruguai is a sand-based stand at Posto 9, the most desirable stretch of beach in all of Ipanema or Copacabana. It’s where the gorgeous people play. As Mr. Bourdain says, it’s where you go to “look at women you’re never going to sleep with”. He also implores one to “run, don’t walk, to the ONLY place for sandwiches on this beach”. The sandwiches are prepare to order and consist of meat, sauce, onions and roll range, prices are from BRL $12 – $18 (about $3 – $4.50 US). Needless to say, great caipirinhas, cold coconuts and beers.
WHERE: Ipanema Beach, Posto 9
Anne Jones is editor for Brazil & U.S. Biz with broad experience in reporting about fashion, travel, lifestyle & entertainment.