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Rio has its fair share of excellent Italian restaurants. Fiorino on Avenida Heitor Beltrão in Barra da Tijuca is one fine example of this. Serving an authentic Italian feast made with the freshest ingredients available, the joint is associated with Bologna's prestigious organization Accademia Italiana Gastronomica. Housed within a romantic, old house in a residential neighborhood, Fiorino offers a delectable grub that is both visually and gastronomically appetizing. Needless to say, a visit here warrants a happy customer!
Hachiko in Downtown Rio is one of the most popular sushi bars in the city. Serving a wide range of Japanese food with pan-Asian undertones and a strong western influence, the restaurant is essentially a contemporary, fusion affair. Uber chic meets the exotic East at this joint, which features traditional-looking bamboo bar-stools, wooden tables and chairs against a backdrop of intense crimsons. Buzzing with people and positive energy, Hachiko is a great place for amazing food and interesting conversations.
Cachambeer is where you should head to, if you wish to spend a casual evening out in Rio. A brainchild of Marcelo Novaes, Cachambeer replaced a former eatery and has been entertaining guests since its establishment in 2002. Cachambeer has become renowned for its small plates accompaniment, with the highlight being the ribs. The menu also includes delicious meat, seafood and chicken preparations. This is an ideal place to relax with food, drinks and friends.
Zuka offers a smart but relaxed dining experience without pretension either in the restaurant itself, nor on the menu. The lunchtime menu changes regularly but the reassuringly ever-present burgers are some of the best you will find anywhere in Rio. By night as the mood changes and the lights dim, complimentary starters of soup shots' get this started nicely. Excellent seafood, pastas and risotto make Zuka an excellent destination on a street that isn't short on options.
The prime location, relaxed ambiance and delicious bar snacks have combined to make Jobi one of the best-loved bars in Leblon. And you've no excuse not to visit the place – with opening hours that extend from 9am to 4am (5am at weekends), there's always a chance to fit in a drink here. The bar has been a favorite post-beach haunt since it opened in 1956, and its location in the lively nightlife strip of Baixo Leblon means Jobi remains packed right into the small hours. Many people rate the bar snacks here as the best in the city – don't miss the bolinhos do bacalhau (deep-fried cod and potato balls).
One of just a scattering of good Thai restaurants in Rio, Nam Thai is located at the heart of Leblon's dining scene. Chef David Zisman has created a menu that combines traditional Thai cuisine with a dash of Brazil thrown in. The dim sum here are excellent, particularly the version with shrimp, shiitake mushroom and pork, while adventurous foodies might want to try unusual dishes such as sliced filet mignon with coconut milk and peanut sauce, served with a cinnamon-spiced curry. The lunchtime set meals are good value and include an entrée, main course and dessert.
Restaurant Siri prides itself in being one of the best in the city to offer delicious seafood. Guests can expect sumptuous meals prepared with fresh catch from the sea. The walls of the restaurant are painted in bright shades of orange and yellow, creating a vibrant ambiance. With multiple branches in Rio, this one is located on Ilha do Governador, popularly known as Governador Island. It is in close proximity to the international airport and makes for a wonderful pit-stop before entering the city.
Located amidst a quiet, sedate woods in Vargem Grande, Don Pascual is a charming place serving up delicious rustic Italian feast. Done up in whimsical, almost fairytale-like fashion, the restaurant is actually a part of a Bed and Breakfast with the same name. Often reserved for private events, Don Pascual is a delight, both, visually and gastronomically!