A factor of both a healthy lifestyle and convenience, popping by a juice bar for a freshly squeezed fruit juice or a quick snack is an everyday norm in the Carioca (resident of Rio) culture. The snacks are usually ready to eat and satisfying, and with Brazil’s exotic selection of native fruits, the juices are superb. Next time you’re on your way to the beach, drop by any of these juice bars.
Restaurant, Juice Bar, Brazilian, South American, Vegetarian, $$$
Acai with extras
With several chains dotted throughout the city, Bibi’s has developed a mass following of loyal, local fans and effortlessly draws in the foreign crowd too. Every day and night it’s a struggle to get a seat, and the feeling of arriving there to an immediately available table is one of pure satisfaction. It’s worth the wait though, with a complete, varied menu and plenty of juice options.
What to order: Try the acai mixed with granola or the make-your-own salads. To drink, the avocado juice sounds unusual but is delicious.
One of the most popular juice bars in Rio de Janeiro, Polis Sucos has stood the test of time by serving Cariocas for years. It’s a traditional type of juice bar where guests stay stood up and gather around the counter to eat and drink. It’s the ideal place to make a pitstop to fill up on well prepared food and some of the best juices in town.
What to order: The filet mignon (beef steak) with cheese is one of the most-ordered sandwiches on the menu. For juices, try the apple with strawberries, or a regional juice made with jack fruit. The mango juice comes thick, sweet and almost needs a spoon to consume it.
BB Lanches is a highly popular juice bar in Rio that always receives excellent praise from both locals and tourists. Located near to the beach, it is an ideal stop for a quick bite to eat or drink before heading down to Leblon’s sandy shores. The juices are varied and are made fresh on the day using locally-sourced fruits wherever possible. This juice bar is a little more pricey than others but that’s to be expected being in one of Rio’s most expensive neighborhoods.
What to order: Try the X-tudo if you’re looking for something more filling, which is a burger with everything including egg, cheese and salad. For a lighter snack, try the meat and egg empada (pie). The watermelon and lime juice is sweet and refreshing.
A traditional juice bar in Rio, Beach Sucos is a cheap and cheerful place to stop by for a hearty snack and a fresh juice. The service here is quick and efficient, a quality that sometimes gets overlooked in other juice bars during peak, busy times. They are also willing to adapt food for vegetarians – just ask and the friendly staff will customize the order.
What to order: Go for a traditional joelha – a thick, soft pastry with a cheese and ham filling. For a juice, try the traditional orange juice which is freshly-squeezed using sweet, local oranges.
Located in Flamengo where juice bars aren’t as common as they are in more southern beachside neighborhoods, Boomerang Mix is a popular haunt with the locals. The menu offers a wide range of options from breakfast and lunch choices to crêpes, potato rosti and desserts. This juice bar has tables to sit down at and the atmosphere is friendly and lively.
What to order: Try the special sandwich with chicken that is served with caesar salad, rustic chips or onion rings. The potato rostis are also worth sampling. The red fruits juice is fresh and delicious.
Big Nectar is just a couple of blocks from Ipanema beach. While not winning points on innovation, it serves honest, straightforward food that is hearty and fulfilling. For a traditional lunch of rice, beans and meat, there are tables scattered on the pavement to sit down and enjoy, or just simply lean on the counter to wolf down a quick snack before heading to the beach.
What to order: The combination deal of pastel with caldo de cano (sugarcane juice) is a Brazilian classic and a wonderful match. The pizza is cheesy and gooey with a thin, soft base and heaps of toppings. For a sweet kick, try the pudim, which is like a Brazilian version of a flan; and for a juice, order the pineapple with mint for a refreshingly sweet taste.
Natural e Sabor is a small juice bar tucked away on a busy commercial street in Ipanema with a stand-up counter and a cozy environment. It’s quieter than other chains but has a steady stream of loyal customers, efficient service and consistently good food.
What to order: Try the Brazilian snack staple, the misto quente – a hot toastie of bread or croissant – which is generously filled with ham and gooey, warm cheese. The vitaminas – fruits blended with milk and sugar – are delicious, especially the banana one, and a great alternative breakfast option.