As any seasoned Carioca will tell you, the vida boa of Rio consists of several ingredients;  among them is the city’s underrated culinary scene. Iconic quiosques, stationed strategically just as you step onto the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema, will bring you any multitude of tapas-style porções to beliscar in between games of frescobol. Their late-night counterparts, the butecos, keep the delicious and laid-back momentum going with Brazilian staples like coxinhas and pão de queijo, and the classic caipirinha. But if you’re looking for a more elevated gastronomic experience that still maintains the essence of the Cidade Maravilhosa, this is your 8-stop guide.


Part 1: Turistando with a gourmet edge


1. Confeitaria Colombo

Arguably the most iconic bakery in the country, this 125 year old landmark is an unmissable part of the Centro of Rio. Built during Brazil’s Belle Époque, the Art Nouveau decor paired with an éclair (or five) and a cafézinho makes for the perfect mid-afternoon break.


2. Cipriani, @ Copacabana Palace

Located inside one of Brazil’s most legendary hotels, a visit to the Copa would be worth your while simply because of its architectural beauty. However, with its unmissable bellinis and carpaccios waiting inside, Cipriani makes this a feast for both your eyes and your tastebuds.

3. Casa do Saulo, @ Museu do Amanhã

After visiting the “Museum of Tomorrow,”a science museum that explores the possibilities of the future, be sure to stop by their in-house restaurant: Casa do Saulo. Bringing the very best of Amazonian cuisine to the shores of the Baía de Guanabara, it doesn’t get more Brazilian than that.

4. Escama, @ Jardim Botânico

As you step out of the real-life Oasis that is Rio’s Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens), and find yourself wondering how your day could  possibly get better, step into Escama. The lucent ambiance and contemporary seafood menu perfectly encapsulate the restaurant’s key ingredient: freshness.

Part 2: Main Attractions


5. Sushi Leblon

This Rio staple has maintained its popularity for nearly 40 years for good reason. The go-to Japanese spot in the city is known for creative spins on traditional, high quality sushi, and its revolving door of celebrity patrons.

6. Lasai

Translating to “tranquil” in the Basque language of Euskera, this Michelin-star gem is driven by seasonality and local produce. A modern take on Brazilian cuisine with vegetables at forefront, all dishes are sourced between their two nearby farms.

7. Chez Claude

For a casual ambiance that maintains fine-dining level dishes, look no further than Chez Claude. With all the charm of a French Bistro, the intimacy of an open kitchen and the familiarity of sharing plates, it's no wonder the chef is a local Brazilian celebrity.

8. Oro

Innovative cooking with a local twist - think oysters, but served with a caiprinha and Churrasco-style crackling pork - and you’ve got Oro. Brasa (“Flame Grilled”) is the word of every day here, with the menu bringing Brazilian comfort-foods to the world of elevated cuisine.

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