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.
This lively samba club is housed in a beautiful old building that doubles as a storage warehouse for props and antiques used by the city's film industry. As a result, you will find yourself shaking a leg to a backdrop of mannequins, antique furniture and other relics from the past. Spread over three floors, revelers can chose to enjoy a meal from the restaurant, or just strut their stuff on the dance floor among bohemian locals and tourists alike. The club frequently hosts excellent live music, from samba to forro - check the website for listings. Always packed on weekends.
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.
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!
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).
At the Academia da Cachaca you'll learn how to eat, drink and be merry, just like the Brazilians. With over 500 concoctions to choose from, you'll never tire of visiting this elegant, yet casual place. Most drinks are made from the traditional Brazilian spirit of Cachaca. The food, which comprises of North East Brazilian cuisine, is also quite an attraction. Enjoy a Manioc Croquette with Cream Cheese while you sip on a Passion-Fruit Caiparinha (with real fruit floating inside).
Megamatte Rodoviária Novo Rio is a part of the Megamatte brand which is well known in Brazil for their organic and healthy options. This cafe in São Cristóvão serves delicious sandwiches, savories, pastries, juices and mate beverages. Savor their Cheese Stuffed Bread (filled with cheddar, curd and guava), Potato Bread (comes in six flavors), Pastel Integral (fillings such as chicken, cheese etc), Ciabatta and Croissant Integral. Take a sip of their Tropical Energy, a combination of coconut, pineapple and a bit of mint for a refreshing drink. Or fresh juices such as Passionfruit, Peach and Grape, Graviola and Melon. Their Guarana and traditional Mate are also a hit among their patrons.
Filet e Folhas in Cidade Nova has a cozy ambiance due to its wooden accents and light fixtures. Set in a townhouse, this spacious restaurant serves modern Brazilian cuisine with an emphasis on a healthy diet. Get your appetite rolling with a braised French bread and sausage followed by a customized salad or a quiche. Follow it up with a either a choice grilled steak or a pasta such as Spaghetti Gamberi (pasta with cognac sauce of tomatoes and garlic, and prawns). Round it off with desserts like Banana Flamblé or Profiteroles. Complement your meal with beers or Argentinean wines.
Excellent versions of Northeastern Brazilian dishes make Estacao Baiao de Dois well worth a taxi ride to Rio's North Zone. Housed within the confines of the Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas, a vast building dedicated to all things Northeastern, the restaurant serves up hearty, well-prepared versions of the spicy, flavorsome and filling food that is characteristic of Brazil's sun-baked North. Don't miss the acaraje, a kind of pastry made from bean flour is fried, split and filled with shrimp, a gooey but delicious sauce made from okra, and very spicy chili. Vegetarians can ask for the dish shrimp-free, while milder types might want to take it easy on the pepper sauce. Those who like it hot, however, shouldn't be shy about asking for an extra dose of the spicy stuff. Popular mains include the eponymous dish Baiao de Dois, which is made of a heady combination of rice, beans, cheese and pig stomach.
Feedback Steakhouse in Cidade Nova opened in 2012 and is a popular restaurant in the city. Their eclectic menu features a range of meat and seafood. Savor their pork tenderloin, sirloin, wild boar, shrimp, mussels and crayfish. Or opt for the buffet so you can relish a bit of everything. For some Japanese flavor, taste their sushi preparations. Complement your meal with cocktails or caipirinhas.
Rio's vast Feira Nordestina (Northeastern Fair) is well worth a bus ride out to the city's North Zone, and this restaurant is one of the standouts of hundreds of informal eateries serving hearty, spicy dishes from Brazil's Northeast. The fair celebrates the north's music as well as food, and diners taking a seat on the second floor will have a view of two stages, each featuring live forro acts on weekends. Northeastern food is famously hearty, so Barraca Da Chiquita isn't the best place for picky eaters, but it's heaven for meat eaters with hearty appetites. To wash it down, try a chilled Brahma beer, or get yourself in the mood for dancing with a caipirinha cocktail. Alternatively, and somewhat surprisingly, this simple restaurant has its own sommelier on-hand to advise on wine choices.
This unassuming but welcoming barand restaurant is located in Praça da Bandeira, a neighborhood of Rio best known for its rock bars, but the food attracts patrons of all musical tastes. The menu is a good representation of traditional Brazilian food in all its hearty, satisfying glory. There are daily set plates, along with a la carte choices, with typical options including sun-dried beef served with potatoes, rice, farofa (seasoned manioc flour) and black beans. On Saturdays, this is a good place to try the national dish, feijoada, which is a feast of beans and various cuts of meat.