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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.
Zozô Rio certainly makes the most of its enviable location at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain because the roof is retractable, allowing for unspoiled views of the famous peak. However, this chic restaurant has plenty to offer besides the view. Chef Michael Tanus has headed up kitchens in Sao Paulo and New York, and his French-inspired dishes are a real treat. The emphasis is on French sophistication, with truffled mushrooms, tartins and other elaborate dishes prepared with love and presented with style. Moreover, the wine list here is a major selling point too, with some good Brazilian wines to be found among the more expensive imports from South American wine-producing neighbors Chile and Argentina. There is a good lunch buffet, and a-la-carte dinner, and a romantic spot for a dinner date, so Zozô is pretty hard to beat.
Candlelit tables, an intimate atmosphere, and delicious food combine to make Le Blé Noir a favorite spot for romantic types to bring their dates. French chef Alain Caro has taken the idea of a creperie to new heights-here there are almost 80 varieties, all created with Blé Noir, a type of dark flour that is naturally gluten-free. The result is deliciously light, and the choice of fillings will have you pondering the menu for quite some time. One indulgent choice combines French mushrooms with white wine, cream and palm hearts, while dessert fillings include seasonal fruits with toasted almonds.
For handcrafted jewelry that stands out from the crowd, look no further than Sara. Established in 1977, the famed boutique is one of the city's best bets to find something stunning and unique to accentuate your wardrobe's treasures. From elegant and classical designs to cutting edge modern pieces, the boutique caters to pretty much every taste. If watches are your thing, the store has some of the best brands on offer from Rolex and Hublot to Cartier and Breitling. With huge following among the rich and famous, Sara is one of the city's most respected jewelers.
Diamond, gold and platinum jewelry is something that we have all heard of. But a neck-piece or a bracelet made of tree barks and seeds is something definitely strange. However bizarre that may sound, the final product looks absolutely gorgeous. The brand Maria Oiticica does just that. It makes natural items look spectacular in the form of jewelry. All these elements, which contribute to making a beautiful piece of jewelry, come from the Amazon. Colorful earrings, vivid neck pieces, cute little rings and bracelets are some that you would go gaga over. Just pick up a chunky piece of jewelry to complement your outfit and you are good to go. A selection from their collection makes for a great gift for your special lady.
A combination of wine bar, store and bistro, Grand Cru is much favored by Rio's wine connoisseurs. As many as 1200 labels are on offer, all of which can be enjoyed by the glass. At the restaurant upstairs, patrons can complement their meal with a fine wine from the store. Decanters, wine glasses and other such items can also be bought here.
If you've got a hankering for sweet treats, Kurt is the place to come. Specializing in deliciously indulgent tarts, this Leblon coffeehouse and confetería (cake house) offers goodies to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. With a total of 50 different varieties of tart to choose from, reaching a decision will take some time. One of the most popular options is the tart filled with praline, caramelized nuts and whipped cream. There are also 30 different types of biscuits offered, just waiting to be dunked in one of Confetería Kurt's specialized coffees. - Lucy Bryson
Colorful ceramics, beautifully-embroidered textiles, intricately-fashioned figurines and more of such delightful objects will catch the eye at the delightful arts and craft store Brasil & Cia. Just one block back from Ipanema Beach, the shop features pieces from local artists and is a real treasure trove of brightly-colored arts and crafts, all of which have been fashioned to resemble some aspect of Brazilian life, from hand-painted wooden parrots to sunbathing beauties fashioned out of recycled cards and paper. Should you find your choices are bigger than your suitcase, the store can arrange to have larger items packaged and shipped.
Part deli, part bakery, and part coffee shop, Talho Cabixaba has been serving up superior sandwiches and delicious desserts for over 60 years. Sandwiches here are made to order - customers can take their pick from a mouthwatering array of ciabattas, croissants, focaccias and other specialist breads. Choices of fillings include smoked salmon, buffalo mozzarella, Parma ham, grilled eggplant, brie and more. Fresh salads are also popular options, while quiches and savory pastries are convenient orders to go. Desserts here are also excellent – try the tart of chocolate mousse and nuts for a real treat.
BB Lanches is considered by many to offer the best fresh juices in Rio-quite the achievement in a city with a juice bar on every street corner. Popular with the young and trendy due to its very late opening hours and location in upscale Leblon, BB Lanches offers over 50 varieties of fruit to its customers. Particularly good here are the vitaminas (fruit juices mixed with milk) and the acai, a type of Amazonian berry that is served icy cold with fruit and/or granola. Feeling peckish? There's also a good range of simple snacks, from cheese and turkey sandwiches on wholemeal bread, to well-made hamburgers.
Delírio Tropical is a restaurant of varied foods, to say the least. It has a menu with over 200 items to choose from! Unlike the menu, the food is light and a perfect option for people looking for a healthy meal with great taste. For the traveler on a strict diet, there is no better option than Delírio Tropical. The salads are excellent, but hot plates also make up the menu with house favorites like roast beef, Salmon burgers, and salty pies. The sweets here are also an attraction for the tastebuds, serving a variety of crepes, pies, fruits, cakes and ice creams.