Typically associated with small eateries on the Parisian streets, bistros and their simplicity appeal to people around the globe. Although many of the bistros in Rio de Janeiro diverge from French cuisine, they still feature many of the characteristics – a homely atmosphere in a cosy setting with delicious slow-cooked foods. Embrace the joy of a traditional dining experience at these bistros in Rio de Janeiro.
Zazá Bistrô Tropical
Bistro, Restaurant, Moroccan, Asian, Beer, Wine, Fast Food, $$$
An innovative take on the classic bistro, Zazá Bistrô Tropical serves up carefully prepared and impeccably presented Moroccan-inspired cuisine. The shredded lamb and the organic chicken curry are highlights on the menu, best enjoyed with any of the venue’s flawless cocktails. The restaurant aspires to a bistro vibe with carpeted floors, futon seating and intricate decorations such as hanging fairies and twinkling lights.
Set inside an imperial building dating back to the time of the Brazilian emperor, Bistrô do Paço is known for its European cuisine, bringing fine wines and dishes such as goulash to Rio. The airy ceiling and large arched doorway are well-preserved from the empire ages, creating an historical yet homely feel. Try the traditional Swiss pies just like the ones from Switzerland or the slow-baked quiche.
The warm colors and tiled floors set a homely atmosphere at the Lorenzo Bistro, while the perfectly laid tables add an element of intimacy and class. The bistro combines classic Italian dishes with French techniques to create a menu rich in flavors. Highlights include the tender roasted chicken with mushrooms and the selection of mouthwatering desserts.
Jojo Cafe Bistro makes an ideal spot for a quiet brunch after a morning exploring the nearby Botanical Gardens. Located on a quiet street in the Jardim Botanico neighborhood, the surrounding peace and tranquility of the forest enhances the outdoor terrace, wooden furniture and table flowers adding to the homely feel. The freshly baked bread with roasted vegetables is delicious, as are any of the gourmet sandwiches which pair wonderfully with the chilled champagne on the menu.
Located in Centro, Bistro Ouvidor brings some classic French style to downtown Rio. The exposed brickwork and rows of imported wine add a charming, continental feel. Food is of the essence here, with a menu that combines Brazilian ingredients with French techniques to produce showcase dishes such as the exotic meats terrain, slow-cooked duck and flawless steaks.
This charming bistro is located just a couple of blocks from Rio’s famous Ipanema beach. The yellow and blue exterior framed with palm trees reflect the city’s tropical nature, yet the menu is distinctly French-inspired. Menu highlights include the steak tartare, the toasted bread with a rich goat’s cheese, and the smooth and creamy creme brulee. The delicious food, extensive wine menu and affordable prices make it a great option for a special night out.
Located in upscale Leblon renowned for good food, Sawasdee Bistro doesn’t miss a beat with its intriguing menu that brings authentic Thai cuisine to Rio. Although there are few Thai restaurants in the city, Sawasdee Bistro is one of the best. It has a range of vegetarian options and showcase dishes such as the green Thai curry that bring a complexity of flavors with each mouthful. The wine menu helpfully pairs certain wines with specific dishes to create the perfect dining experience.