Be a guest of the Gomes family in this pleasant bar and restaurant that specializes in Portuguese and Brazilian food. Bar Urca is is located in the banks of Baía de Guanabara, very close to the entrance of the historical Forte São João. It has an amazing view of Cristo Redentor. Go for the famous bobó de camarão, a creamy shrimp dish, the ‘bacalhau na cataplana’, a cod cooked in the Algarve style, or the caldo de feijão, a seasoned beans soup and toast. Accompany this with one of their caipirinhas or caipvodkas. The house offers flavors such as lemon, strawberry, pineapple, and passionfruit. Also try the large variety of Brazilian beer available.
The Dutch Julius Bijlsma and the Brazilian Marcia Helena are the owners of this cozy Brazilian-French bistro. In the parlor of Julius Brasserie, with its exquisite decor, delicious recipes are served. Be prepared to indulge yourself with a mille-feuille of vegetables made of smoked eggplant and goat cheese, sprinkled with reduced sauce of balsamic vinegar, or the burrata served with caramelized cherry tomatoes. Then try the filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce garnished with fresh white asparagus, pepperoni potato and green salad. For those who prefer fish, the grilled turbot with anise liquor sauce and spinach cream is excellent. For dessert, our suggestion is the petit gateau of dulce de leche with coconut ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Avenida Portugal 986, Urca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3518-7117
Close to the Sugar Loaf, the elegant Zozô combines haute cuisine with its other function, a lively nightclub, a major attraction in tranquil Urca. Initially focused on meats, the restaurant now offers contemporary dishes in a buffet or a la carte. Don’t miss the refreshing ceviche de linguado and the mousse made of Belgian chocolate, a favorite delicacy. To make things even better, the retractable glass roof reveals the view of the Praia Vermelha and the Sugar Loaf. In the lounge, a wall full of saints is the highlight of the interior that was designed by José Neto Possi. On weekends, the house is home to a variety of concerts and parties.
Zozô, Praça General Tibúrcio, Urca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2542-9665
One of our top recommendations in Urca is the Boteco Belmonte, a classic choice in a typical Carioca style. We find other delicious items on the menu, such as emblematic feijoada, empanadas and pastries. Try the seafood varieties like shrimp and cheese – a good starter to wash down with ice-cold beer. The house also serves meat dishes such as chorizo and the very popular Oswaldo Aranha steak. A varied selection of cachaça is a plus.
Boteco Belmonte, Urca, Avenida Portugal, Urca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2543-1268
Flor da Urca
A traditional venue, Flor da Urca dates back to the 1940s and is a must. It brings together a wide-ranging public, from penniless students to journalists who mix together and bring a charming aura to the place. Arrive early for lunch, as getting a table is competitive. Note that they don’t serve appetizers, only a selection of daily specials, thus keeping the rhythm of the old days. So what about Brazilian typical staple dishes like steak with french fries and toasted cassava floor, the farofa? Don’t go unless you’re seriously hungry: the portions are more than hearty.
Flor da Urca, Rua Marechal Cantuária, Urca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 2541-7674
Garota da Urca
This place has a hint of nostalgia. Facing the beach of Urca, this is the former Bar Veloso. It is run by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, and is a very busy place. Make sure you find a place in the porch, it’s the best spot. The staff are friendly and they serve delicious boteco-style food. When choosing a snack, go for the meat croquettes or the bolinhos de bacalhau, fried balls of cod. For a more robust meal the picanha, a special meat cut, is an excellent choice. If you prefer fish, the cod is prepared in Portuguese style, drenched in olive oil and is a delicious treat.
Located on the beautiful Red Beach, Terra Brasilis offers a great view of the Sugar Loaf. To complete the pleasant environment, an almond tree growing in the middle of the room brings a bit of the beautiful view beyond the windows into the dining area. Among the most popular dishes are the picanha and the shrimp stew. Our suggestion is one of the 20 flavors of pizza accompanied by premium beers – to be enjoyed at any time of day. Last but not the least, the restaurant hosts live Brazilian music every day, so nobody has an excuse to be bored.
Despite the lackluster decor, this restaurant serves delicious, generous home-style Brazilian food at very affordable prices. The moqueca for two, served in a colorful casserole, is full of fresh fish, seafood and vegetables, perfectly cooked with a side dishes. Enjoy your meal with a view to the Praia da Urca.
Situated at the first stop of the cable car in Morro da Urca, Abençoado offers one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro. It was opened in February 2010 and since then attracts tourists and locals who go there for a drink, a snack, or a meal, all with a breathtaking view of the Sugar Loaf. The tall picanha hamburger is generous and very tasty. To drink, ask for the local beers and appreciate the moment.
If you go to Rio and don’t sit in a table of a bohemian pé sujo, you missed the point. These simple, popular bars serve staple dishes, blonde beer, and a friendly smile. By the end of the day the waiter will probably be your new best friend. The Urca Grill is one of those Brazilian institutions. We recommend the caldinho de fruits do mar, a seafood broth. The location is great – you can grab your drink and sit on the low wall facing the Marina da Glória. The view is wonderful and the spot is one of the best for watching the sunset that Rio is famous for.
Urca Grill, Rua Marechal Cantuária, 10, Urca Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, +55 21 3209-1623