"It’s easy to go on TripAdvisor and find the opinions of others, but these opinions can be a collection of one-time experiences and not give an accurate representation. I encourage you to look at TripAdvisor when it comes to finding places to eat in Rio, but I want to make a list of places that I went all the time. These places became where I would take all of my visitors, and where I would go out to eat on any given night of the week. You will notice that the majority of these places are in Ipanema and Leblon. If you are a Norwegian moving to Rio, you will most likely live in these areas or visit them frequently. I will break up all of the restaurants by genre and link them to their TripAdvisor page.
· Mexican: Brazilians do not like spicy food, which is why Mexican food is not very popular in Rio. There are Mexican restaurants in Rio, but most are bland and can’t make a margarita to save their life. My recommendations are,
o Azteca in Ipanema. It’s a small place but has a great burrito.
o La Calaca in Leblon. They have great food, Taco Tuesday, and an amazing happy hour.
· Italian and French: I would normally not pair these two together, but it should be warned that the restaurants in Rio have a lot of trouble making sauces properly.
o Quadrucci is in Leblon. They have amazing lunch specials.
o Zuca is in Leblon. The food is French inspired, and it is good dependable place to go.
o CT Boucherie is in Leblon. This is one of the best restaurants in Rio, and was one of my favorite dinning experiences.
o Brigit’s is in Leblon and is French inspired.
· Pizza: Remember what I said about sauce? Yeah, that applies for pizza too. The pizza in Rio is usually covered with layers upon layers of cheese, but there are two really good options.
o Vezpa is throughout Rio and is my favorite pizza for delivery.
o Braz is in Jardim Botânico and is my favorite pizza for dining out.
· Thai: There are two great Thai restaurants in Rio.
o Nam Thai is in Leblon, and is one of my personal favorites. I went there almost every single week. It’s that good.
o Sawasdee is in Leblon and Ipanema, and is also really fantastic. It has a better atmosphere than Nam Thai, but the food is not as good.
· Japanese: There are several Japanese and sushi restaurants throughout the city, but they all very in quality. If the place is cheap, the sushi is probably not going to be that amazing.
o Origami is in Leblon and Gávea and was my go-to place for sushi. It was delicious, charming, and had a decent price.
o Sushi Leblon is in Leblon and is the place that everyone will recommend. I personally do not like Sushi Leblon, but there are many others who love it.
· Indian, Vietnamese, and Chinese: There is not a huge representation of “exotic” foods in Rio. I never found an Indian or Vietnamese restaurant in the four years that I lived there.
o Mr. Lam is in Lagoa and is the only Chinese restaurant worth going to. It’s expensive, but I think that it is worth the price.
o Outback Steakhouse is throughout Rio and is extremely popular. As and American, I was shocked. Outback is not a place you go in the US, but it is really good in Rio. I ended up eating at Outback all the time.
o TT Burger is in Leblon and Ipanema. TT Burger is another restaurant that I did not like all that much, but other people loved it. As an American, I know how to make a really good burger, so I am maybe a little too critical in this area.
o OMG Lounge is in Leblon. It is a burger restaurant, but it has a cool vibe and great drinks.
o Yalla is in Leblon and has quick delivery.
o Amir is in Copacabana and was my favorite Arab restaurant in Rio. It was worth the trip to Copacabana.
o Garota de Ipanema is in Ipanema. It looks a little run down, but I guess that adds to the charm. This is the place I would go if I wanted Picanha.
o Restaurante Diagonal is in Leblon and is never crowded. I went here constantly and got to know the waiters. It was just a great place to people watch and eat good food.
o Via Sete is in Ipanema and is one of the most dependable places to eat. It’s always good.
o Aprazível is in Santa Teresa and is one of my favorite places in Rio. I will write more about it in another post about the best night out in Rio.
o Fogo de Chão is in Botafogo. Yes, it is a chain restaurant, but the food and atmosphere are better than the other churrascarias in Rio.
· Pastel and Juice
o BB Lanches is in Leblon. GO IMMEDIATELY!!!! The pastel com carne will change your life. I have a friend who freezes the Pastels and brings them to her children when she travels to Norway.
· Kilo Lunch
o Delirio Tropical is in Shopping Rio Sul, Ipanema, and Gávea, and is the best kilo restaurant in the city. It’s also really healthy.
o Icaro is in Shopping Rio Sul. It was the kilo restaurant that my husband went almost every day for lunch.
o Juice co. Lounge is in Leblon. They have good dependable food. You can take anyone there, and they will be able to find something they like on the menu.
o Jaeé is in Leblon and is the healthy option for fast food. They have good wraps and juices.
o Bar Astor is in Ipanema and is mostly a place to drink. They have great drinks, but their food is also good.
o Colher de Pau is in Leblon and is where I ordered my birthday cake every year. They have the best brigadeiro in town.
o Tilho Capixaba in Leblon and Gávea
Written by Nicholas Williams, blog columnist at Culturas. American citizen with a Master in International Marketing Management, Nicholas worked in Rio de Janeiro for four years and is currently living in Oslo.