Where to eat in Rio de Janeiro
Eating and drinking in Rio de Janeiro can be as informal and early (a 10am breakfast beer isn’t considered drinking as such) or chic and late-night (‘until the last customer’ is a popular official closing time) as you wish.
Hole-in-the-wall pé sujo (literally ‘dirty foot’) bars are found in every neighbourhood, but it’s hard to beat Copacabana’s Pavão Azul for an ice-cold cerveja (bottled beer) and a fried shrimp pastel. Almost as prevalent is the boteco bar, of which Aconchego Carioca is one of the best outside of Zona Sul, and the Belmonte chain (no website) is the most dependable citywide, endlessly serving refreshing chopp draught beer. In Santa Teresa’s atmospheric Bar do Gomez, locals and the occasional tourist mix under the spell of its simple yet abundant charms. Or for somewhere a little sharper, look down the hill to Lapa, where Barzinho’s cocktail menu and DJs keep things moving until late.
Like drinking beer, dining out is an everyday occurrence for most cariocas, with the huge array of por kilo (self-service buffet) restaurants offering the best value for money. The ever-popular Olympe and Le Pré Catelan’s tasting menus provide the opposite end of the palate-pleasing, wallet-bothering scale, while a new breed of chefs are bringing a more affordable spirit of adventure to the city’s tastebuds. Irajá Gastrô and Oui Oui are among the best to have opened in recent years and continue to draw crowds to the offbeat gastro-hub on the edge of Botafogo and Humaitá. The terrace at Amazonian fish specialist Espírito Santa is a perfect way to finish a day spent exploring bohemian Santa Teresa’s hills and meat lovers will find the perfect steak just across from the stunning botanical gardens at File de Ouro or at the timeless all-you-can-eat churrascaria (barbecue house)Porcão.
Restaurant and bar venue details
Pavão Azul Rua Hilário de Gouveia 71, Copacabana. +55 21 2236 2381.
Aconchego Carioca Barão de Iaguatemi 379, Maracanã. +55 21 2273 1035.
Belmonte Praia do Flamengo 300, Flamengo. +55 21 2552 3349.
Bar do Gomez Rua Áurea 26, Santa Teresa. +55 21 2232 0822.
Barzinho Rua do Lavradio 170, Lapa. +55 21 2221 4709.
Olympe Rua Custódio Serrão 62, Jardim Botânico. +55 21 2537 8582.
Le Pré Catelan Avenida Atlântica 4240, Copacabana. +55 21 2525 1160.
Irajá Gastrô Rua Conde de Irajá 109, Botafogo. +55 21 2246 1395.
Oui Oui Rua Conde de Irajá 85, Botafogo. + 55 21 2527 3539.
Espírito Santa Rua Almirante Alexandrino 264, Santa Teresa. +55 21 2507 4840.
File de Ouro Rua Jardim Botânico 595, Jardim Botânico. +55 21 2259 2396.
Porcão Rios Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Flamego. +55 21 3461 9020.
For in-depth and up to date coverage of all that’s going on in Brazil by local experts – from food and drink to arts and entertainment – visit our local edition at Time Out Rio de Janeiro.