In Brazil, rodizios are all-you-can-eat restaurants, usually of a specific kind of food. The three most popular types encompass pizza, sushi, or Brazilian barbecue. Arrive armed with a hearty appetite and brace yourself for a stream of non-stop delicious food. We’ve complied a list of our favourite rodizio restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, covering each of the three types.
A restaurant inspired by authentic gaucho-style cooking, Fogo do Chão offers tender cuts of meat that are cooked in the Argentinian and Southern Brazilian style: slowly, and over smouldering wood embers or coals that yields a tender, soft meat in the end. Waiters glide through the restaurant with large skewers of meat, stopping at each table to present the offerings to the guests. The food is a relentless stream that relies on a simple card that each guest is given at the beginning; flip to the green side when you want to eat, swap to the red side when you want to take a break. Fogo do Chão is expensive but undoubtedly one of the best Brazilian barbecue rodizios in Brazil.
Estrela do Sul is one of the more affordable churrascarias (Brazilian barbecues) and is a good option to consider if you are on a budget. With over 30 different cuts and types of meat, including beef, chicken, pork and lamb, there is no shortage of choice. As part of the rodizio, there is also an open salad bar and various side options. Be sure to try the chicken hearts – it may not sound particularly appealing but they are a Brazilian barbecue classic, and surprisingly tasty.
Carretão Ipanema is a traditional churrascaria with a huge range of meats include the classics such as beef, chicken and pork, to more exotic choices such as wild boar. The complete and varied salad buffet will help ease the meat overload and the friendly, welcoming service helps diners feel at home. Its location on the main street in Ipanema – close to the metro – makes it a convenient destination, too.
Appetito has an extensive menu including a wide range of pasta dishes and meat choices, yet it is most famous for its rodizio of pizza. The thin and crispy bases are ideal to keep eating for longer (after all, that’s what a rodizio is all about), allowing guests to try a larger range of the many flavours on offer. Classic toppings such as cheese and tomato, and pepperoni are on the menu, along with more unusual flavours such as chocolate and strawberries.
Among the 70 choices of toppings at this destination spot are the more unusual combinations such as stroganoff pizza and burger pizza, as well as the classics such as cheese, tomato and basil. The dessert pizzas are worth a mention, with highlights including the banana split pizza. The rodizio of pizza here is reasonably priced and includes all-you-can-eat chips and a constant refill on soft drinks.
Restaurant, Brazilian, South American, Vegetarian, $$$
The good service and consistently high quality food at Graça da Vila are evident from the crowds that gather there every day. The thin-crust pizza is fresh and served with plenty of variety. Try the pizza with brigadeiro (a Brazilian sweet made with condensed milk and chocolate powder) and ice cream, or the pizza with chocolate and strawberries; they’re worth saving room for.
Manekineko is located on Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblon, Rio’s hottest area for quality restaurants and thriving bars. This sushi joint is no exception with delicious and freshly-made sushi that is varied and complete. Although not included in the rodizio price, the soft, melt-in-your-mouth brownies with rich ice cream is a satisfying dessert.
The name itself is a giveway – Planet Sushi in English – that the main focus at this restaurant is, well, sushi. With excellent service and a wide range of sushi options on the menu, Planeta Sushi attracts almost as many regular customers as it does new ones. The harumakis come recommended, as do the hot filadelfia and the kappamaki.
The modern, intimate environment of Sushimar in Laranjeiras makes it one of the most popular venues from the whole Sushimar chain. The sushi here is regarded as authentic and fresh, with the chefs carefully preparing each piece with considerable eye for detail. The rodizio is complete and varied, with plenty of choices for all tastes.