Ipanema is one of the fantastic neighborhoods of Rio with its beautiful beach and vibrant vibe. Whilst it has all the buzz of a city, it also has the coziness of a small town so its easy to fall into the local lifestyle. It has plenty of good food joints to choose from; we round-up the best 10 restaurants in Ipanema that are a must-visit.
Restaurant, Japanese, Brazilian, Fast Food, $$$
Fazendola offers both inside and outside seating in abundance so you’ve got plenty of options for all weather conditions and preferences. A solidly good restaurant with consistently good food, this place has a wide selection on offer for all tastes. One of its best foods is made for sharing: the fondue. Fazendola has three types of fondue which can be ordered separately or together; the classic chocolate, the cheese and finally the meat. All of them are highly recommended but come with the following advice: go with an empty stomach and a big appetite, you will need it.
Bar, Restaurant, Steakhouse, Brazilian, Fast Food, $$$
Garota de Ipanema is the most famous restaurant in Ipanema. Named after the famous song by Vinicius de Moraes, this restaurant is a must-go for checklist purposes due to its popularity and historical significance in the area, but also for its delicious food choices and good drinks. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the picanha, a cut of tender steak, that comes served on a hot grill so it cooks at the table, allowing you to decide how well, or how rare, to cook the meat.
For a healthy, organic alternative, Delirio Tropical is the best option in Ipanema, arguably in Rio. The food is fresh, tasty and offers a wide selection to give diners exactly what they want. There are always queues lining up outside but that is not only from popularity, it’s from the style of the service. It’s not table service but a pass-the-counter and select what you want, hence the queue moves quickly. Drinking options include a variety of organic juices for the ultimate health kick.
A small tapas restaurant with huge popularity, this contemporary and high-quality haunt offers great food and a memorable dinner experience. Whilst a bit of a squeeze inside it is comfortable and cozy without feeling too claustrophobic. The food is pricey compared to other restaurants but you’ll be paying for quality with all the classic Spanish tapas dishes on the menu. The sangria is one of the most ordered drinks on the menu with the standard red wine sangria being an obvious choice. Don’t skip the white wine or rosa sangrias though as they are dangerously good.
A large restaurant which offers two options of foods; self-service or buffet style with one fixed price yet all you can eat. The food selection is widely varied and of high quality including various salads, rices, potatoes, fish, chicken, and meats. You can also get freshly cooked meats from the barbecue which includes one of Brazil’s finest cuts, picanha, as well as a huge variety of other choices. The sophisticated environment contrasts the casual attire of beach-goers dropping in to fill up after a day of sun, sand and surf.
The most popular spot on the gay scene of Rua Farme, this bar-restaurant serves good food all day that is both satisfying and delicious. At night it moves into a drinking spot, popular for the younger crowd for pre-club drinks or just all night drinking. During the afternoon and evening it is a great place to sit down and people watch over a light lunch or a wholesome dinner. The seafood broth is divine with generous chunks of fish, heaps of muscles and plenty of squid rings, accompanied with crusty bread.
This is a large bistro that serves Asian and Moroccan food, giving a novel experience away from typically Brazilian food. The space is bright and laid back with a buzzing vibe, making the atmosphere just as good as the food. Each dish is spicy and delicious and offers great alternatives for vegetarians, something that is hard to find in Rio de Janeiro. It is a place for romance with hot and cold starters to share and delicious cocktails so makes for a fantastic date; likewise, it is casual enough for a meetup with friends.
Restaurant to the rich, famous and classy, this place exudes elegance and sophistication like no other restaurant nearby. The interior is classically decorated with every last detail taken care of and is guaranteed to make diners feel special and transported to a night of pampering. The service is phenomenal and the food is five-star quality. Of course the prices are not cheap and will require a slightly deeper pocket but for a holiday treat it’s worth it.
Not quite a restaurant but definitely one of the most popular places to eat in Ipanema, Polis Sucos is the drop-in spot for both pre- and post-beach food. With a huge selection of typical Brazilian snacks and light lunches, it provides the necessary fuel to spend the whole day on the beach and gives a boast for those feeling sleepy after a day of sun. Some of the best snacks include the classic pão de queijo (cheese bread) or açai, a purple fruit mixed with ice and sweetened with sugar: a must-try in Brazil.
This upscale joint has an indoor garden and a fish counter to provide the best and freshest seafood in Ipanema. Whilst on the pricey side, the food is top quality with delicious seafood dishes and an extensive wine menu. The desserts are well worth saving room for, with the creamy and smooth Tiramisu one of the most popular sweets on the menu.