Feast like a carioca: 17 must-visit restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

From upscale churrascarias offering endless rodízio to trendy kilos restaurants, here are my recommendations for the best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, all curated from my one year of living here!

From living in Rio de Janeiro, I learned that most people love to cook at home as they don’t really find eating out for Brazilian food is a thing.

When dining in Rio (or in Brazil in general), expect to find more French and Japanese influences but in this Rio de Janeiro restaurants guide, I also included the most traditional Brazilian restaurants like churrascarias and kilos.

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Prices for dining in Rio de Janeiro restaurants have a lot of range but compared to other countries I’ve been to, you can easily have a tasting menu here for as low as $75 USD.

If you ever make it to Rio and need more restaurant recommendations, leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer more questions or introduce you to my local friends!

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🍲 Brazilian restaurants in Rio de Janeiro (dining types)

When visiting Rio de Janeiro, it is essential to know the two Brazilian dining cultures in the city which are:

Rodízio or churrascaria restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

In Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, Rodízio isn’t just a way to dine; it’s a memorable experience and a must-do when dining in Rio de Janeiro restaurants.

A rodizio takes place in churrascaria restaurants in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a type of a barbecue restaurant where waiters come to your table carrying skewers of various grilled meats, from beef and pork to chicken.

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil
How churrascaria restaurants in Rio de Janeiro work.

You get a small card that’s green on one side and red on the other. When you display the green side, the waiters will offer you a slice of meat right off the skewer. Turn it to red when you need a break.

This style of service continues until you decide to stop. Most rodízio restaurants also offer a buffet of salads and traditional Brazilian side dishes like farofa (a type of toasted cassava flour mixture) and vinagrete (a Brazilian vinaigrette).

Dining rodízio style in Rio is not just about enjoying great food; it’s a lively — asocial affair that provides an authentic Brazilian atmosphere which is a must-do for travelers!

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Here are my recommendations for the best churrascaria restaurants in Rio de Janeiro:

  1. Fogo de Chão
  2. Carretão
  3. Churrascaria Palace
  4. Pampa Grill
  5. Majórica
  6. Braseiro da Gávea
  7. Estrela do Sul

Kilos restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

Another unique dining option you’ll find in Rio de Janeiro is the “Kilos” restaurant.

In these establishments, you’ll encounter buffet tables filled with a wide variety of dishes, ranging from traditional Brazilian fare to international options like sushi and pasta.

The catch? You pay for your food by its weight.

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

After filling your plate with whatever you want to try, you take it to a register where it’s weighed and you’re charged based on the total weight of your selections.

This pay-by-weight system offers a cost-effective and flexible way to dine. It’s especially popular at lunchtime among both locals and travelers.

The “Kilos” restaurant concept allows you to explore a multitude of flavors at your own pace, making it a perfect choice for those looking to experience the diverse culinary landscape of Brazil without breaking the bank.

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Below are my recommended kilos restaurants in Rio de Janeiro:

  1. Graça da Vila
  2. Ráscal
  3. Aipo & Aipim
  4. Delírio Tropical
  5. Rio Brasa
  6. Frontera
  7. Refeitório Orgânico

🗺️ Map of Rio de Janeiro Restaurants

Below is a map of the best Rio de Janeiro restaurants for you to check how far these restaurants are from your current location.

rio de janeiro restaurants

🇧🇷 Need help in planning your trip to Rio de Janeiro? Get on a 1-1 call with me and I’ll help you plan your itinerary, recommend affordable accommodations, and book cool things to do! [Book a call with Trisha]

🥘 The best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

1. Oro

📍 Av. Gen. San Martin, 889 – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
💲 Tasting menu from $85 USD
⭐ 2 Michelin stars

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil
Oro is one of the restaurants in Rio de Janeiro with 2 Michelin stars.

Oro, in Rio’s upscale Jardim Botânico neighborhood, is more than a restaurant—it’s an experience. Spearheaded by the culinary wizard Chef Felipe Bronze, the venue gives you a front-row ticket to avant-garde Brazilian gastronomy.

The interior is a blend of organic and industrial vibes; think wood and stone meeting modern metal fixtures. If you’re going for the whole nine yards, aim for counter seating, where you can watch culinary magic unfold.

As for the menu, we’re talking about everything from inventive takes on classics to gastronomical experiments.

Start with the Fermented Cassava and dive into the tasting menu that comes with expertly chosen wine or cocktail pairings.

Tip: Reservations are a must, especially on weekends. Don’t forget to dress smart-casual.

2. Oteque

📍 Rua Conde de Irajá, 581 – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
💲 Tasting menu from $120 USD
⭐ 2 Michelin stars
🏆 No.47 The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil
Oteque is not only one of the best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro but in the world!

Oteque, located in the buzzing Botafogo district, is where the energetic youthfulness of Rio meets high-end cuisine. The ambiance is as eclectic as the food, combining concrete and art installations to achieve a unique aesthetic.

Seating is deliberately sparse to maintain an air of exclusivity. Chef Alberto Landgraf masterfully uses local ingredients to construct his narrative on the plate.

If you’re a first-timer, the tasting menu is the chef’s symphony. As for drinks, the cocktails made with Brazil’s local spirit, cachaça, complement the flavors on your plate.

Tip: Arrive early and kick back with a drink at their bar. It’s a mini-social event on its own.

3. Lilia Cafe

📍 R. do Senado, 45 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $20 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

Lilia Cafe is one of the cheapest restaurants in Rio de Janeiro with a Bib Gourmand award.

Tucked away in the bustling streets of Lapa, Lilia offers a retreat into the modern facets of Brazilian cooking. The ambiance is casual but still manages to convey a sense of special occasion.

Chef Lucio Vieira hand-picks seasonal ingredients to offer dishes that range from traditional to adventurous.

The Feijoada, a contemporary spin on the Brazilian classic, is a must-try. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, live music adds another layer to your culinary journey.

Tip: Wednesdays and Saturdays often feature live music, making those the best nights for a dining adventure.

4. Alloro Al Miramar

📍 Av. Atlântica, 3668 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $25 USD

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Imagine a space where Italian sophistication meets Brazilian informality by the ocean—that’s Alloro Al Miramar in Copacabana.

This venue boasts panoramic ocean views to pair with their expansive Italian menu.

The seafood linguine is a slice of Italian heaven, and their wine selection is all about Italian classics, though they make room for Brazilian wines. Prosecco at sunset is almost a rite of passage here.

Tip: Snag a window table during sunset. Trust us; it elevates the dining experience from memorable to unforgettable.

5. Miam Miam

📍 Rua General Góis Monteiro, 34 – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Miam Miam is your retro sanctuary amid Botafogo’s modern landscape. Its vibe is nostalgically chic, with 60s-style armchairs and an ambiance that exudes charm.

The kitchen churns out modern Brazilian dishes tinged with global influences. Don’t leave without trying the Black Rice with Shrimp and Mango Chutney. For drinks, the ginger caipirinhas are legendary.

Tip: Stick around post-dinner. The atmosphere shifts into a relaxed bar scene, making it a two-in-one deal for your night out.

6. Aprazível

📍 R. Aprazível, 62 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $29 USD

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil
Looking or restaurants in Rio de Janeiro with a view? Aprazível is the place!

Perched in the hills of Santa Teresa, Aprazível is an ode to Brazil’s tropical bounty. The restaurant sprawls like a treehouse village, offering stunning panoramic views of Rio below.

It’s wrapped in lush foliage, making you feel like you’re dining in a Brazilian rainforest. Owner Ana Castilho’s curated menu focuses on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers.

Think farm-to-table, but make it Brazilian. Seating here is a blend of rustic and comfortable, and you can even snag a table in a private gazebo.

The Moqueca Mista, a stew of fish and shrimp, is divine. Wash it down with the Aprazível Caipirinha made from cachaça aged on the premises.

Tip: Consider going for a lunch to soak in the daytime views; it’s a whole different vibe compared to the enchanting nights.

7. Lasai Restaurante

📍 Largo dos Leões, 35 – Humaitá, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $20 USD
⭐ 1 Michelin star

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Lasai is where farm-to-table meets luxury dining in Botafogo. The restaurant, helmed by Chef Rafa Costa e Silva, has a minimalist design, featuring muted tones and elegant woodwork.

Seating is intimate, with a limited number of tables and an open kitchen layout. The tasting menus here are the star, featuring produce from Lasai’s own garden and local markets.

Opt for the “Festa” menu for a truly immersive experience, and pair it with natural wines.

Tip: Book well in advance and try to secure a seat at the chef’s table for a closer look at culinary craftsmanship.

8. Chez Claude

📍 Rua Conde de Bernadotte 26 loja Q e R – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Chez Claude brings a taste of French elegance to the heart of Leblon. Led by Chef Claude Troisgros, this establishment is perfect for those seeking classic French technique with a Brazilian twist.

The ambiance is posh without being stifling, featuring soft lighting and a neutral color palette. The crown jewel of the menu is the Oxtail Ravioli.

For beverages, you can’t go wrong with a bottle from their meticulously curated wine list.

Tip: The restaurant offers a late-night menu; it’s a classy way to stave off those midnight munchies after a night out.

9. Didier Restaurante

📍 R. Vinícius de Moraes, 124 – A – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $28 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Didier is where the classic bistro meets the Carioca spirit, located in upscale Ipanema. The interior is a blend of vintage charm and modern chic, offering a cozy atmosphere.

Choose from tables indoors or at the breezy patio. Chef Didier Labbé orchestrates a menu of French favorites spiced with Brazilian ingredients.

The Duck Confit is to die for, and the Capirinha of Red Fruits offers a refreshing twist to the traditional drink.

Tip: The restaurant has a limited seating capacity, so reservations are recommended. Don’t miss their desserts; they’re masterpieces.

10. Grado Restaurante

📍 R. Visc. de Carandaí, 31 – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD

restaurants in rio de janeiro brazil

Nestled in Jardim Botânico, Grado is an intimate Italian affair with a Brazilian soul. The ambiance evokes the rustic Italian countryside, with exposed brickwork and wooden furnishings.

The seating setup is versatile, catering to both intimate dinners and group gatherings. Chef Pedro de Artagão keeps the menu concise but filled with hitmakers like Ossobuco Risotto.

When it comes to drinks, their Negroni has a cult following.

Tip: If you’re a cheese enthusiast, don’t skip the cheese cart—they offer a selection that pairs beautifully with their wine list.

11. Ristorante Hotel Cipriani Bar

📍 Av. Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $70 USD
⭐ 1 Michelin star

rio de janeiro restaurants

Situated in the iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace, Cipriani gives you a slice of Italian grandeur with an injection of Carioca glam.

The interior screams timeless sophistication, think crisp white linens, classic wooden panels, and atmospheric lighting.

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating options, both equally elegant. Led by Chef Aniello Cassese, dishes like the Black Truffle Risotto are decadent revelations. Pair it with their Negroni!

Tip: The dress code is formal, so leave the flip-flops at the beach and put on some dapper threads.

12. Naga Rio

📍Av. das Américas, 3900 – Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $25 USD

rio de janeiro restaurants
Naga Rio: one of the best Japanese restaurants in Rio de Janeiro.

Naga Rio offers a high-end take on pan-Asian cuisine in the chic Leblon district. The space is an architectural delight—minimalist, with hidden pockets of luxury in the detailing.

Take a seat on their tranquil patio if you’re looking for some outdoor Zen. Try their sushi platter, crafted with razor-sharp precision, and pair it with Japanese whisky.

Tip: Opt for the Omakase menu for a dining experience tailored by the chef. It’s like a personalized culinary tour of Asia.

13. Restaurante Mee

📍Av. Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD
⭐ 1 Michelin star

rio de janeiro restaurants

Another gem in the Belmond Copacabana Palace, Mee is your passport to gourmet Pan-Asian fare. The restaurant exudes opulence, decked out in oriental art and plush seating.

The Sashimi Moriawase is an edible palette of color, texture, and flavor. To drink, try the Jasmine Pearl—a cocktail inspired by the fragrant jasmine tea.

Tip: Mee has a sommelier for sake; take advantage of this and get the perfect sake pairing for your meal.

14. Sud, O Pássaro Verde

📍R. Visc. de Carandaí, 35 – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $55 USD

rio de janeiro restaurants

Sud, O Pássaro Verde is Rio’s haven for Mediterranean cuisine with a laid-back Carioca spirit. Located in Botafogo, the venue is airy and casual with an inviting open terrace.

The Paella Valenciana, a harmonious medley of seafood and rice, is a must-try. When it comes to drinks, their Sangria hits the sweet spot.

Tip: Check out their weekend brunch menu—it’s an unhurried feast that’s quintessentially Mediterranean.

15. Maria e o Boi

📍R. Maria Quitéria, 111 – 1º andar – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $55 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

rio de janeiro restaurants

Ipanema’s Maria e o Boi is the epitome of relaxed sophistication. The interior feels like a chic beach house—light, breezy, and adorned with eclectic décor.

Their charcoal-grilled meats and seafood are spot-on. A glass of chilled Brazilian white wine is the perfect companion.

Tip: The restaurant is child-friendly and offers a dedicated kids’ menu. A win-win for family outings.

16. Pici Trattoria

📍R. Barão da Torre, 348 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

rio de janeiro restaurants

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Leblon, Pici Trattoria serves Italian comfort food with an understated elegance.

The atmosphere is cozy, like an Italian family kitchen, with wooden tables and cheerful ceramic plates.

The handmade Pappardelle with Ragu is a hearty delight. For drinks, their Aperol Spritz speaks of Italian summers.

Tip: They don’t accept reservations for dinner, so either go early or be prepared for a short wait. It’s worth it.

17. Artigiano Ristorante

📍Av. Epitácio Pessoa, 204 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
💲 from $40 USD
🏆 Bib Gourmand

rio de janeiro restaurants

Tucked in Ipanema, Artigiano is where traditional Italian fare meets Brazilian ingredients. The atmosphere is intimate, with muted lighting and art-adorned walls.

Seating options range from plush banquettes to a casual al fresco setup. The house-specialty, Seafood Risotto, is a luxurious feast. Pair it with a glass of Barolo.

Tip: Ask for their daily specials. Chef Cristiano often crafts limited-time dishes based on market-fresh produce.

⁉️ FAQ: Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The most popular food in Rio de Janeiro is arguably “feijoada,” a hearty black bean stew cooked with various cuts of pork and sometimes beef. Often enjoyed as a weekend meal, feijoada is traditionally served with rice, collard greens, orange slices, and farofa.

The dish offers a complex layering of flavors and reflects the rich culinary diversity of Brazil. Restaurants often serve it on Saturdays, making it a social event for families and friends.

Traditional food in Rio de Janeiro includes a mix of native Brazilian ingredients and influences from Portuguese and African cuisines. “Feijoada” is perhaps the most iconic, but other staples include “acarajé” (black-eyed pea fritters), “coxinha” (chicken croquettes), and various seafood dishes. Brazilian rice and beans are also a staple that can be found in most households and restaurants.

While in Rio de Janeiro, try to sample as many local flavors as possible. Definitely try feijoada, but don’t stop there. Street vendors offer delicious options like “pastéis” (fried pastries filled with meat or cheese) and “tapioca” (a kind of pancake made from cassava flour). For something sweet, try “brigadeiro,” a chocolate truffle-like treat. If you’re near the beach, coconut water and “acarajé” are must-tries.

ABSOLUTELY! The food in Rio de Janeiro is not just good; it’s a culinary adventure that ranges from simple street food to high-end gastronomic experiences. With influences from native Brazilian, Portuguese, and African cuisines, the food scene is diverse and full of flavor. Fresh fruits like açaí and seafood dishes like “moqueca” (a fish stew) are also popular.

The main food in Rio de Janeiro is a mix of traditional Brazilian dishes and international cuisines due to its cosmopolitan nature. Rice and beans are a staple, usually accompanied by some form of meat, whether it’s beef, chicken, or fish. Feijoada is another cornerstone of Rio’s culinary landscape. With a vast coastline, seafood is also abundantly available.

The most eaten dish in Brazil is rice and beans known as “arroz e feijão”. This staple is the foundation of many meals and can be found in nearly every Brazilian home. It’s usually served with some form of protein like beef, chicken, or fish, and often accompanied by salad or cooked vegetables. It’s a simple but nutritious and filling dish that encapsulates Brazilian daily dining.

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. Made from cachaça (a spirit made from sugarcane), sugar, and lime, this drink is a refreshing and potent taste of Brazilian culture. You’ll find variations that include other fruits like passion fruit, but the classic lime version remains the most popular.

Meal timings in Rio de Janeiro generally align with Western schedules. Breakfast is usually between 6 and 10 a.m., lunch between noon and 2 p.m., and dinner around 7 to 10 p.m. However, Rio’s vibrant nightlife means that many places offer late-night dining options as well. Snacking is common throughout the day, and street vendors are available for quick bites almost any time.

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