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Three days in Rio

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Hi all: Stopping over in Rio on way back from a biz trip to Porto Alegre. I will be alone. First time in town. Would love current recommendations for:
--pastry shop/breakfast cafe
--bar with good food for relatively quick but good meals
--lunch places on beach

I am staying at Mar Ipanema, if that helps. Thanks in advance.

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  1. My husband and I were in Rio for 2 days a month ago and enjoyed breakfasting at Terzetto Cafe (Ipanema, just across the General Osorio Park) and Confeiteria Colombo (both downtown and at the Copacabana fort). The original downtown location has also a sumptuous belle epoque decor that is worth seeing.

    My blog post of Confeiteria Colombo: http://lafemmemange.wordpress.com/201...

    1. We don't have restaurants on the beach in Rio. You would have to cross the beach avenue and then you will find many options. At the beach you will have the kiosk and the beach vendors. They will have sandwiches, salgadinhos (Brazilian savory snacks), queijo coalho (a type of cheese), kibe (lebanese beef pattie) and other snacks. Some can be quite good.

      Some good options for lunch:
      Celeiro (Leblon)
      Alessandro & Frederico (Ipanema)
      Gula Gula (Leblon and Ipanema)
      Belmonte (it's a bar, multiple locations, would work for both lunch and casual dinner)

      Another very good option for lunch is one of the many juice bars for juice and sandwiches. My favorite is Polis Sucos at Maria Quiteria and Visconde de Piraja (Ipanema).

      Also, if you spot a tapioca cart (Brazilian yuca crepe) you should definitely try it. A couple of them would make a good lunch or breakfast.

      You should also try one of the many "kilos" for lunch. These are very popular lunch place, you pay by the weight and they will range from very simple and inexpensive to more sophisticate, with Brazilian barbecue and more expensive. There are 2 good ones at Praca General Osorio in Ipanema: Fazendola (less expensive) anf Frontera (more expensive).

      I have posted many suggestions for Rio in the past, so if you do a search you should be able to find them.

      1. In Brazil, usually breakfast is included in the room price. You should double check at the hotel.
        If not, I think there's a Casa do Pão de Queijo where you can get a pão de queijo (cheesy bread) and coffee or juice for breakfast or snack near your hotel (head on the main street, Visconde de Pirajá against the car traffic, towards Leblon. it should be on your left hand side).
        A common place to go for breakfast is Cafeína at Farme de Amoedo (between Visconde de Pirajá and Prudente de Morais).
        You should definately enjoy the juice shops around town. They have tons of different fruits (some are made from frozen pulp from fruits from the Amazon area, but it is still good) that you won't find elsewhere aside from the traditional fruits. Those places will usually have sandwiches and salgadinhos (Brazilian savories) too.
        I personally hate "por quilo" food, but it is a good option for a quick bite. It is not necessarily a cheap option - the better ones are more expensive and you may be able to get cheaper food at regular restaurants with "menu executivo"(lunch menu) depending on the amount of food you eat.
        There's Da Silva, a portuguese per kg place at Praça Nossa Sra da Paz in Ipanema and at Rio Design Leblon. Or Le Coin II restaurant at General San Martin or Bracarense bar in Leblon for lunch specials (not necessarily great food, but ok places for "prato do dia"(daily specials).
        There is really no restaurants by rhe sand. There are kiosks at the sidewalk by the sand or if you are at the beach, there are lots of street vendors carrying food and selling them on the beach (I never had the courage to eat the shrimp because I don't know how long they've been under the hot sun) - I usually get queijo coalho (it's a Brazilian cheese on a stick), biscoito Globo (it's a crunchy snack), empadas (savory), cuscuz (topped with condensed milk)...
        You can go to Astor by Arpoador - it's a bar/restaurant across the beach avenue (Vieira Souto) and their food is ok and the drinks are really good. But it may be a little more than you want to pay. Another place with the beach view but more upscale is Bar d'Hotel at Leblon (Delfim Moreira @ Bartolomeu Mitre) - it's on the second floor of Hotel Marina. Fancy food and great drinks.
        At Garcia Dávila there is an ice cream shop, Mil Frutas, that usually serves a quick lunch (salad and quiche type). You should try their fruit ice creams (you can always ask for a sample first).
        I have also posted about great typical food places in the past.
        Hope it helps. Have a great time in Rio!
        ps: are you planning to go to Pão de Açúcar? if so, I recommend that you head into Urca and have a Picanha na chapa at Garota da Urca or some seafood or pastéis at Bar Urca (both have a nice view of the Guanabara bay and Corcovado in the back).

        1. I forgot to mention the Zona Sul supermarket on Visconde de Pirajá almost across from the hotel. They probably have breakfast served there, since they serve pasta dishes (I Never went inside that branch, the one at General Ozorio have breakfast, pasta & pizza served inside).
          I also never ate at Market, but heard it is nice for breakfast and light fare. It is on Visconde de Pirajá next to a pharmacy through a narrow entrance.
          Around the hotel neighborhood, Osteria dell'Angolo is a good option for Italian food. But it is a regular restaurant on Prudente de Morais & Paul Redfern. It may be pricier but good food.

          1. Thank you, everyone, this is all incredibly helpful. Clearly, three days will not be enough!

            1 Reply
            1. re: janeer

              Janeer, most of the suggestions above are for what you requested in your hotel neighborhood, but not necessarily for being the best typical food in Rio.
              I normally have breakfast at home. I like Toot's suggestion of Polis Sucos in that neighborhood.
              I haven't been to Ipanema's Belmonte in a long while. To be honest, I only like the original one in Flamengo (I think it's the one with the best kitchen and service from all the branches). Try their pastel de camarao com catupiry (catupiry cheese and shrimp fried patties).
              If you don't mind venturing a little further away from your hotel, I would suggest that you go to both Academia da Cachaça at Conde de Bernadote, Leblon for some shots of cachaça or drinks made with cachaça like cocadinha gelada (coconut drink) and don't miss out on the traditional escondidinho (dried beef hidden in manioc puree and requeijao cheese on top) and Chico & Alayde at Bartolomeu Mitre at the corner of Dias Ferreira, also in Leblon for icy cold chopp (Brazilian draft beer), caipirinhas (lime with cachaça or other fruits with vodka), and savory bites (salgadinhos) such as bolinho de tutu (black bean stew paste fried in dough). It is an easy walking distance from your hotel, but be careful crossing Jardim de Alah (park dividing Ipanema and Leblon) on foot (Cruzada is a building complex in the area that is like a vertical slum, so kids from there may try to rob foreigners walking by themselves.) in the dark.
              A quick bite place popular in Rio are the temaki(hand rolled sushi) places such as Koni at Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema (Maria Quitéria) - I personally don't like them because they are not for sushi connaisseurs... IMHO, there are no good sushi places in Rio. I wait until I go to NY to have my sushi fix!

            2. When you coming, Jane?
              Cafeina has multiple locations for breakfast.
              Terzetto has a great bakery BUT is one of the finer restaurants in the city. 2 doors down from the bakery.
              Too much to list. Been here for 10 years now and am happy to give advice daily.
              riodon@gmail.com

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robe_Warrior

                This is a really helpful list. I too should be in Rio for New Year's...so a long time yet but I would love some indication on the pricing at these places?

                I will be on a serious backpacker budget so any indication of good cheap places would be really really appreciated! Thank you!

                1. re: ShekhaV

                  copahostel is a very nice one but may be booked already.
                  Nothing's cheap for NY and Carnaval.
                  Eating can be cheap as I've been here long enough to eat with the locals.

                  1. re: ShekhaV

                    Robe_Warrior is correct: nothing's cheap for Reveillon (NY) and Carnaval...
                    You can find cheap places to eat depending on the neighborhood you are, but it may be hard to find good and cheap at the same place... If you are on a budget, you may want to buy food at the supermarket instead of eating out every meal.
                    Your budget will also be affected on the exchange rate at the time of your trip (there was a time that USD$1 was worth R$1 and another that was worth close to R$4... Rates have increased in the past few days, but not sure if it will keep up until New Year's...)
                    If you are travelling with a friend, keep in mind that some Brazilian restaurants will have portions big enough to share.
                    And refuse the couvert (bread, butter, etc) in general because in most places it will be costly and not worth it - unlike places in US that offer free bread and tap water, waiters in Rio will bring a basket of bread and a tray with some butter, pate, etc as soon as you sit down (again, they are not free and not cheap either).
                    At lunch time, lots of places (usually closer to business areas) will offer "almoço executivo" which would be like "lunch specials" in US. Also, look for places that offer "PF"s(prato feito) which would be hearty meals for workers.
                    I think most of the places listed above are not good for a budget meal (exceptions being Polis Sucos (juice and sandwich place), Le Coin that offers "almoço/prato executivo" and large portions, Belmonte when ordering a meal usually big enough to share(unless you don't eat much, if you plan to get full eating pastéis, your bill may be expensive). I think most places listed above were based on location (Ipanema & Leblon).

                2. Best pastry shop I've found is Padaria Ipanema on Rue Visconde de Piraja No 325. It's huge and has the largest selection of pastries by far. Turnover is high so they are always cranking out fresh pastries throughout the day. The place is packed in the morning and the coffee is delicious. Most pastries and meat pies (frango is my favorite) are 3R.