Rio de Janeiro - a typical bar/cafe
Several days every week, while in Rio, we have lunch at the ubiquitous bar/cafes, botecos. One of these is along our Sunday route from the Hippie Fair in Ipanema back to our apt. in Copacabana, Sindicato de Arpoador. This type place is on practically every block and is really inexpensive. We generally share something like the frango Milanese in the photo and a 600ml beer. I don't like beer but like their Antarctica, mainly cause they store it in a colder fridge. I'm happiest when it actually has ice chunks in it :) This particular place has become a bit tarted up in the last few years. They have a printed menu rather than just a blackboard and there was a mom with two small children there last time. Usually just worker types and us. In addition to the dishes that always include rice, beans and French fries, they frequently have pizzas. A typical lunch as described above and plenty of food for two will generally cost between $5 and $8. A beer is about $2. These are open to the sidewalk kinda places with plastic tables and chairs. There might be men (only men!) out front playing checkers. The wine here is total swill so it's beer or hard or soft drinks. These are generally locals and a fun place to eat and drink. They're generally a bit to a lot run down at the heels but well worth the stop.
Here's their menu which is pretty big for this type of place but it gives you an idea of the kinds of foods you can expect.
c oliver glad you are getting around to posting some of your Rio visits (I had a medium length layover in Galiao but it wasn't long enough for a trip into town and I am longing to make it to Rio Centro to look for some used books and eat at a botequim). Looks like the kind of place I cculd be very happy with a caldo de mocoto, some bolinhos de bacalhau, and a porcao of carne seca. As you mentioned it does look a bit more upscale than a lot of RdJ pe-sujos but that is a good thing to get hounds trying these kind of foods.