The JT Insider Food Guide: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Internationally esteemed chef Felipe Bronze of the award winning restaurant Oro gives us his expert opinion on where to head for the tastiest food and best vibe in Rio de Janeiro.
Three to try
‘Everyone should try the two-bite version of the national classic dish Feijoada [black bean and pork stew] called Bolinho de Feijoada, at Aconchego Carioca. Try the açaí at BB Lanches and Picadinho [a traditional beef dish] at Roberta Sudbrack, which is only served during lunch each Friday. These give a good overall look into our food culture.’
Top spot for feijoada
‘You should try to experience the local samba community to understand the whole picture of this national dish, as feijoada is a part of the samba and carnival culture.’
Where you’d take a friend
‘I’d take a friend to have a fantastic dinner at Olympe or Lasai, to make sure he understands that Rio’s gastronomy scene goes far beyond its bar food.’
‘There’s this place called Bira, in Barra de Guaratiba, which has an amazing view and good traditional Brazilian seafood dishes. It’s also nice to eat pasteis [pastries] with beer at Bar Urca. These are two awesome ways to experience Rio’s beauty.’
‘Jardim Botanico, where three of the best award winning restaurants in town – Olympe, Roberta Sudbrack and Oro – are located, and Botafogo, which has the two great restaurants, Lasai – a new place owned by former Mugaritz chef Rafa Costa e Silva – and Irajá by chef Pedro de Artagão. If you’re into relaxing and people watching, go to Leblon on Dias Ferreira.’
Oro, Rua Frei, Leandro, 20, Jardim Botânico. Olympe, Rua Custódio Serrão, 62, Lagoa. Roberta Sudbrack, Avenida Lineu de Paula Machado, 916, Jardim Botânico. Lasai, Rua Conde de Irajá, 191, Botafogo. Irajá, Rua Conde de Irajá, 109, Botafogo.
Blowout dining experience
‘It’s hard to choose, but I would say that Lasai and Olympe are two must-go-to restaurants in town.’
Authentically local dining experience
‘Aconchego Carioca, which is a truly “Carioca” [native Rio] experience for sure.’
Aconchego Carioca, Rua Barao de Iguatemi, 379, Praça da Bandeira.
A lazy Sunday hangout
‘A walk on Leblon, followed by eating at Pipo is a fantastic way to spend the weekend and try Brazilian food.’
Pipo, Rua Dias Ferreira, 64, Leblon.
Latest food trend
‘Local ingredients, fresh food and the best suppliers.’
A chef worth checking out
‘Claude and Thomas Troisgros of Olympe, Rafa Costa e Silva of Lasai, Pedro de Artagão of Irajá, Roberta Sudbrack of RS and Katia Barbosa of Aconchego Carioca are the stars of our constellation.’
Olympe, Rua Custódio Serrão, 62, Lagoa. Lasai, Rua Conde de Irajá, 191, Botafogo. Irajá, Rua Conde de Irajá, 109, Botafogo. Roberta Sudbrack, Avenida Lineu de Paula Machado, 916, Jardim Botânico. Aconchego Carioca, Rua Barao de Iguatemi, 379, Praça da Bandeira.
Over and under-hyped restaurants
‘We do have a few over-hyped restaurants in Dias Ferreira, Leblon, and a few under-hyped places in Copacabana, like Azumi, which is a good traditional Japanese place.’
Azumi, Rua Ministro Vivieros de Castro, 127, Copacabana.
Taking culinary classes
‘There are a few courses around, but Chez Manu offers a nice hands on experience.’
Chez Manu, Copacabana. (22) 99566 6446.