Rio de Janeiro Restaurants and Dining

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Picture of cafe tables on the beachThe cuisine of Rio de Janeiro has been influenced by the many different cultures that have shaped the city. Africans, French Indians, Italians and Portuguese have all left their stamp on the cuisine, which has ensured that those dining out at restaurants within this city will experience a cuisine unlike anywhere else in the world.

Rio de Janeiro is home to a host of restaurants which cover the whole spectrum of taste and budget. Beach side dining is especially popular, as is upscale international dining at the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.

Beachfront photo

When to Eat / Opening Hours

Most restaurants, especially where the locals frequent, are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Restaurants often open their doors early, in time to catch the crowds heading to work and some stay open until the last customer leaves at the end of a night.

The busier dining establishments in the centre of Rio de Janeiro often close over lunchtime, reopening for dinner. If you are thinking of dining out at a popular restaurant, it is always wise to book in advance, especially at weekends. Eateries often stay open until late at night, serving wine and food until customers are full. As eating out is such an important part of Brazilian culture, customers are rarely rushed to leave.

Photograph of al fresco cafe

What to Eat

Traditional Brazilian cuisine focuses entirely on meat. There are a number of restaurants throughout the city which serve only meat, with a limited choice of side dishes. 'Feijoada' is the national dish of Brazil and consists of beans, sausages and rice.

Other local delights include 'salgadinhos' - small savoury pastries, and of course, Brazilian barbecues. Staple foods include beans, coconut and palm oils, dried shrimps and rice.

Further view of the beach

Where to Eat

Dining on the beach is popular with most people who visit Rio de Janeiro. Copacabana is home to a great deal of different beachfront restaurants, serving up a selection of seafood and meat buffets. At most buffets you are charged by the weight of your plate, which makes them suitable for people of every budget.

For something more local, the best bet is to head slightly out of town into the residential areas, where you will find a wide choice of local eateries serving up meat, rice, beans and a few local treats. If international fare is what you are looking for, you will not need to travel further than Ipanema, as this is the heart of international cuisine, with restaurants from all around the world serving up their delights here. For something cheap and cheerful, far from what you would consider to be fine dining, Rio de Janeiro's countless food stalls offer a wide range of snacks and light meals.