Top 5 Places to Eat in Rio

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Brazilian cooking, while it has many similarities with that of its South American neighbours, is distinct. Differing greatly by region, Brazil’s multi-cultural flair is reflected in its gastronomic heritage – indigenous crops, a strong Portuguese influence, and other European immigrant cultures are all represented in the nation’s unique cuisine.

Today one of our guides in Rio de Janeiro, the lovely Letitia, is here to share with us her suggestions for the best places to enjoy traditional Brazilian meals in Rio.

Brazil has a large cultural influence reflected in many areas, including gastronomy. Visitors who like to experience local habits should definitely try some of the best Brazilian dishes to get a better sense for who we are!

Here are some of my favourite places known for their Brazilian specialties:

1. Aprazivel – located in the charming neighborhood of Santa Tereza, this restaurant uses regional ingredients for the preparation of all its artistic dishes. A must-try of the restaurant is the heart of palm served as a great starter for 2 people.

2. Porcao – Brazilian steak houses have crossed the country`s borders along the years and now can be experienced in some of the big European and North American cities. Still - trying the best ones while in Brazil is a must-do. Porcao is a churrascaria (a chain) and can be found in different areas of Rio. The most beautiful location is called Porcao Rio’s. It’s by the water, and has a lovely view.

3. Bracarense – It`s a typical “carioca” restaurant used by locals to have the best appetizers and chopp (beer) in town. Best tries are: “bolinho de aipim com camarao” (Fried manioc flour dumpling filled with shrimp), “empada de queijo” (cheese pie), “bolinho de feijao” (bean dumpling).

4. Casa da Feijoada – A typical Brazilian dish cooked in families’ homes and traditionally a Saturday dish in restaurants can be tried in Casa da Feijoada from Sunday to Saturday. A good tip is to ask for a “light felijoada” where the beans will be served with the finest meat.

5. Colombo – located in Downtown, this cafe is part of the historic visit in Rio. Founded over 100 years ago, it began as a traditional tea house. Now it is still a must among locals who like to stop to enjoy a coffee in the middle of the day with a Brazilian snack called “coxinha” (chicken filled snack) or one of the best sweets of town.

Thank you so much for your local insight, Letitia. It was a mistake to read your suggestions right before lunch, as I’m now craving a Brazilian Steakhouse meal! For anyone traveling to Rio de Janeiro this winter, keep these handy dining tips on hand – and consider getting in touch with Letitia for more of her great ideas before you go.
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