One of the most visited cities in Brazil, the vibrant metropolis of Rio de Janeiro is loved by the world for its extravagant carnival, huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, hang-gliding opportunities and picturesque views atop Sugar Loaf Mountain. Traditionally known more for drinking and partying than for fine cuisine, we update our list of incredible restaurants that demonstrate the culinary prowess of Rio.
Perched on the edge of the picturesque neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, Aprazivel offers its guests fabulous views over Guanabara Bay from its rustic outdoor eating areas. Whilst sat on carved wooden chairs shaded by handmade thatched awnings, diners can indulge in a delicious meal of artisan Brazilian cuisine whilst watching the sun go down over the sea. Tuck into a generous helping of cheese and sausage pasties with homemade tomato chutney; order a plate of hinterland style chicken risotto with sautéed kale, beans, baked plantain and red chili jam; and refresh the palate with a dessert of succulent mango, infused with lemon-grass. Soft background music completes the romantic ambience and the choice of 100 different cachacas sourced from all over Brazil is all that’s needed to ensure the night will continue long after dinner is complete.
Aprazivel, Rua Aprazivel 62, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2508 9174
Situated on the edge of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Palaphita Kitch is a little haven of countryside beauty amidst the city of Rio de Janeiro. A great place to go with friends, all of the dishes on offer are ideal for sharing whilst enjoying a refreshing drink in the early evening. Stuffed camembert, roast beef with gruyere cheese and wild boar with artisanal toast are just a few of the most recommended dishes carefully prepared. The real star of the menu is the caipirinha – the caipirinhas at Palaphita Kitch are hand-mixed works of art. Choose between one of the many fruity flavours including mango, passion fruit, tangerine and mixed fruits but just be sure not to drink too many – the alcohol and sugar contents are incredibly high. Photo Courtesy of Rio Scenarium
Made up of four varied eateries, the Confeitaria Colombo has a solution for every dining need. Restaurante Cabral offers delightful lunch options for those in a hurry. The soup buffet is perfect for smaller appetites and the choice of daily lunch specials are available both to dine in and to take away. Bar Jardim is more suited for those with a time on their hands to relax in the idyllic al fresco setting. Guests can sit at century-old patio tables, be served drinks and snacks by the attentive waiters and listen to the beautiful background music whilst enjoying the view. Cafe do Forte has the most pleasing view of all as it looks out over Copacabana Bay. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, stop here to sample a deliciously sweet waffle or enjoy a light salad or sandwich. Finally, for something slightly fancier, the Restaurante Cristovao is located on the second floor of the Confeitaria Colombo and serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese-influenced dishes.
Perfect for anyone on a health kick or for those who have over-indulged at the churrascarias, the Refeitorio Organico is an eco-conscious vegan restaurant in the hip neighbourhood of Botafogo. Open for lunch daily, diners can choose between the great value all-you-can-eat buffet upstairs or the a la carte menu options downstairs. Dishes on offer include rice with raisins and chestnuts, okra stew, Moroccan couscous, leek burgers and bean salads. On a particularly hot day, it’s worth popping along to try one of the deliciously refreshing fruit juices. An abundance of flavours are available but for something typically South American, opt for the guava, watermelon or papaya.
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