I recently found this mostly complete but unposted draft so I’m posting it here albeit late in the hopes it’ll help others. Hopefully, enjoy.
July 1st through 16th, 2014
We were in Rio de Janeiro for the first half of July 2014 to attend World Cup 2014. Naturally as a result we were able to eat at a lot of different restaurants during our stay. Unfortunately, I was constricted on time and being sick a good portion of the time so I didn’t really have the time nor energy to put together detailed individual reviews of each restaurant. So I thought at the minimum I should share some thoughts about each place to perhaps help point others towards places to try themselves.
Please bear in mind we spent by far the bulk of our time in the Ipanema Beach area so a lot of the places are located there. Particularly around the Praça General Osório. Incidentally there is a metro stop right there in the Praça making it easy to access these restaurants from other areas of the city.
Lanchonete e Bar Nabuco
Rua Joaquim Nabuco, 127 – Ipanema
This is the first place we ate at here in Ipanema. We were looking for a pizza place our landlord recommended but we couldn’t find it walking around the entire block. We had just flown in from Porto Alegre and were tired and hungry and stumbled onto this on the beach so dinner it was! Seems a bit more oriented towards a bar at least at night but they do serve a decent range of food throughout the day. I ended up eating a steak that was pretty good, nothing great, got the job done. Drinks are nice and stiff so that made me happy. I might go back.
Lanchonete e Bar Nabuco: OK
Casa da Feijoada
Rua Prudente de Moraes 10
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22420040, Brazil
We popped in here as it was right across the street from our rental apartment and my wife loves Feijoada so this was a natural first fit for lunch. The feijoada was good. Some of the best we enjoyed while in Brazil. The bean juice they bring to you as a cocktail is pretty killer albeit just a bit salty. I guess that’s why it tasted so good with the Caipirinha. Overall it was a good lunch but it was definitely on the pricey side of the ledger. Beware.
Casa da Feijoada: Good but seemed a little pricey
R. Visc. de Pirajá
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22420-010, Brazil
We ate dinner here one evening. It was weird. First up you got a card at the front door and I guess if you didn’t get your butt out of there before the band started playing or I presume spent a certain amount of money eating and drinking then you got popped with a cover charge for watching the band. Next up is the concept. The place looks like a Bennigans meets Outback meets Applebees meets Whatevertheheck. At first I was kind of stoked after spending 4 weeks in Brazil to see some guilty pleasures like chicken wings, burgers and beer. Unfortunately they failed miserably at executing any of the above. The wings were like triple breaded tempura wings. I asked for a medium burger and got a stone cold burger. Told them to warm it and got a surface of the sun burnt piece of shoe leather. Apparently cooking in grades is foreign to these guys. Anyway, the food was not good. Fortunately we got a “Saida” card for getting out of there before the band started and didn’t have to pay for that as well.
Banana Jack: I will not go back
Avenida Atlântica, 3806 – Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
We walked down to Copacabana Beach and this was the first place that popped up on the radar before hitting the beach so we hit it for lunch. I had a simple hot ham and cheese sandwich with fries and a couple of namesake Chopp beers. First impression was “eh, not that great” but in retrospect it was decent. Basic fare with a pretty good view. Pricing was acceptable given service and location.
Sindicato Chopp: I’d give it a second shot for lunch
Rua Gomes Carneiro, 30 – Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
We noticed this place our first night here in Ipanema but didn’t bother to step inside. That was a mistake. We finally ate dinner here and I have to say this is easily one of the best restaurants we’ve eaten at in Rio de Janeiro. The focus is pretty much Italian with a few twists around that. I had a traditional ravioli dish in a tomato sauce that I’ll call “New York City Gravy”. That’s exactly what it reminded me off and I was all over it. Loved it. Definitely one of the best pasta dishes if not the best yet basic pasta dish I’ve had so far in Brazil. Plus the bonus here is they have a cocktail list that is patterned after an American bar list and they actually know how to make the drinks on this list. For the first time since I arrive over 4 weeks ago I finally got a dry vodka martini that actually tasted and smelled like a dry vodka martini. Well done. Naturally I had a few more in celebration.
The food was good, the drinks good, the service good, the prices good. Good enough we ate here twice in one week. Enough said.
Felice Caffè: recommended
Didn’t even bother to take notes. No recommendation.
Stambul Bar Arabe
Rua Domingos Ferreira
Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This place was on the corner near our apartment in Ipanema. It was a nice change in pace to eat some food with a strong Middle East influence. The food was good quality with good flavor. Prices good. Service good. I’d stop in again at some point for a lunch but probably not much more.
Stambul Bar Arabe: good for a lunch at least
Brasinha de Ipanema Galetos
Rua Gomes Carneiro, 112, Loja A
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22071-110, Brazil
+55 21 2247-3778
This place was pretty much a repeat of the place above. It was on the opposite corner down the street from our apartment in Ipanema. This place serves basic Brazilian cuisine, ice cream and sundries like candies, gum, papers, etc… The food was decent flavor, decent quality and inexpensive. Once again not a bad drop in for a quick and inexpensive lunch.
Brasinha de Ipanema Galetos: good for a lunch at least
Pão de Açúcar
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22210-260, Brazil
+55 21 2275-8925
This bar is located atop Sugar Loaf (there are two stops to Sugar Loaf and this is the first before heading to the “top”). Nice little bar with really good drinks and decent, light snacks. Definitely worth popping in for a drink while visiting Sugar Loaf but not a destination until itself.
Bar Abencoado: good for a drink and snack while visiting Sugar Loaf
Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32
Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20050-030, Brazil
+55 21 2505-1500
Austrian Konditorei located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. The restaurant has been here over a 100 years and for good reason. Good quality lunches, reasonable prices, excellent Old World ambience. Obviously the strength here is the desserts washed down with a great cup of hand pulled coffee.
Confeitaria Colombo: Definitely recommended for at least one lunch during your visit
Rua Jangadeiros, 28
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22420-010, Brazil
+55 21 2247-6797
This Italian inspired restaurant is focused mainly on seafood. Located one block over from our apartment it was easily in the top two restaurants we ate at during our five week visit to Brazil. Excellent, fresh seafood with inventive as well as classic preparations. Extensive wine list with good quality stemware to match. High level service. Good ambience. The restaurant basically has everything right. The only problem is what you would expect with a place of this caliber: price. It is pricey but not enough that it chased us away. We ate here twice in one week we enjoyed it so much. We weren’t alone. The place was busy both evenings we were there, completely full one of those two evenings.
Terzetto Ristorante: Definitely recommended for a nice evening out
Rua Jangadeiros, 14
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22420-010, Brazil
+55 21 2247-9600
This is a little casual place next to Terzetto Ristorante. They typically serve Brazilian food, sushi and pizza. Yeah, quite the eclectic mix. On busy nights, particularly weekends, they setup a casual outdoor restaurant across the street in the park. That’s where we ate. We focused on pizzas and such. The food was good, tasty and fairly inexpensive. Definitely worth checking out at least once.
Fazendola: worth a quick drop in when you have no other plans and you’re wearing shorts
Rua Barão da Torre, 248 – Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
We popped in here for lunch after a long walk around the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The restaurant and the menu looked interesting and I wouldn’t mind going back again to try some different fare. Saturdays they prepare Feijoada much like many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. prepare Menudo on Saturdays. So we went with the Feijoada despite saying we were done with it having it so many times already on this trip. I’m glad we did it. It was easily one of the best Feijoada we had during our stay.