Rio de Janeiro is a great city for foodies, and while dining out can be pricey the top fine dining options really do deliver a memorable experience (tip – restaurants with a view are always a good bet in this stunning city).
For a real treat, try the culinary tricks at our Michelin-starred top pick, Oro, or sample Brazil’s famously good beef at a churrascaria such as Fogo de Chao, which has expanded internationally. Operating according to the rodizio system, the restaurant’s smartly-clad waiters flit between tables, offering cut after cut of meat. With a staggering array of salads and sides at the restaurant’s heaving buffet, vegetarians won’t go hungry here either.
For informal dining, head to one of Rio de Janeiro’s many ‘botecos’ – casual bar restaurants where food and drink provide the focal point for social activity. It is rare for Brazilians to drink without eating, and classic bars such as Bar do Mineiro, in Santa Teresa, are as much about the culinary offering as they are about the lively ambience and free-flowing beer.
Fine dining tends to have a European air in Rio – a good case in point being the upmarket Olympe, manned by celebrity chef Claude Troisgros.
Tapas and other small eats are becoming big news on Rio´s dining scene, too. Hip Spanish restaurant Venga! blazed a trail for small-plate dining, while at the other end of the scale the enduringly popular Bar do Arnaudo serves mammoth portions of hearty dishes from Northeastern Brazil.