The Best Restaurants In Rio de Janeiro – A Guide For The 1st Time Visitor

With intense flavours, spices and variety setting apart dishes, are the restaurants in Rio de Janeiro which illustrates the rich history of the city. The Portuguese colonisers and the African slaves from the late 17th century have left a deep imprint on the local dishes.

restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

Here I highlight some of the top restaurants in Rio de Janeiro that celebrate the best of the city’s local cuisine.

Espirito Santa

Address – R. Alm. Alexandrino, 264 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-260, Brazil

Inspired by her Amazonian roots one can find cuisine an Amazonian twist in the Brazilian cuisine made by the head chef Natacha Fink. Featured in the menu are some adventurous flavours with a great attention on detailing.

One must savour the signature starter and a popular Amazonian fish, the tambaqui which is lightly breaded and best served with a pesto of jambu herbs. An impressive view of Santa Teresa from atop the hill comes complimentary with the delectable food served here.

Gula Gula Lagoon

Address – Av. Borges de Medeiros, 1424 – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22430-042, Brazil

Once the disused headquarters of the Lagoa Rowing Club nearby Jardim Botanico, is now the bustling hub for foodies. Today the area boasts five restaurants, a live music venue and a cinema.

Overlooking from an elevated terrace is the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas towards Corcovado is the Gula Gula restaurant. Dedicated to healthy food with a twist in a stylish and tranquil environment the restaurant serves a gamut of gourmet salads and hot dishes.

Cine Botequim

Address – R. Conselheiro Saraíva, 39 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20091-030, Brazil

First opened in 2010 and located in Centro Historico, is this quirky restaurant dedicated to fans of cinema. The cinematic reflections can be seen all through the restaurant from its interior all the dishes and drinks that are named after famous titles of Brazilian releases.

At Cine Botequim one can also enjoy daily films produced by cinema students and new directors.

Rio Scenarium

Address – R. do Lavradio, 20 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-070, Brazil

Housed under a single roof of Rio Scenarium is a club, restaurant and warehouse with antiques at display. This renovated warehouse is one of the most beautiful bars and restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, and played an important role in the revival of Lapa’s nightlife.

As you relish some delectable dishes along with live music samba forró played by local musicians accompanied by gafieira dance. On the menu is the Portuguese inspired cuisine complimented by a full range of Brazilian wines.


Address – R. Aprazível, 62 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-270, Brazil

Set in a hilltop mansion in the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, Aprazivel is one of the restaurants in Rio de Janeiro that offers picturesque views of city’s downtown from its garden and patio seating. Featuring in the menu is some scrumptious Brazilian cuisine that includes starters like fresh grilled palm hearts, and pumpkin cream soup with prawns.

The start of the main course is the tropical grilled fish dipped in an orange sauce, served with coconut rice and baked banana. Today’s Aprazivel was started in 1996 when the owner and Chef Ana Castilho first opened her home for a large dining event.

Palaphita Kitch

Address – Av. Epitácio Pessoa, S/N – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22471-003, Brazil

Located on the lovely shores of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is this Amazonian jungle retreat featuring outdoor seating, and rustic furniture, crafted from reforested eucalyptus with thatch and straw huts.

The highlights of the menu include dishes made with majority of the ingredients found in the rainforest. Featuring yellow alligator, ostrich, wild boar, corned beef, seafood, buffalo mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes is the very exotic dish is the Carpaccios Exoticos served along with a selection of roasted artisan breads.

With this, winds up our foodie delight which took you through the streets of Rio de Janeiro relishing some of the best Brazilian cuisine in town in the most authentic local way. Also don’t miss the tram line sitting right beside Espírito Santa and the many bars and galleries outside the restaurant.

Mohit Agarwal

Mohit Agarwal is a civil engineer by profession & started travel blogging to share his experiences while traveling to new places without any planned itinerary, as it adds up to more adventure & exploring more about the city. He also loves photography to capture natural views with no or minimal filters.

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