My Top 10 Foodie Things to do in Rio de Janeiro
As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for two months in the fall while my husband played for the Fluminense Water Polo Club. We had the time of our lives exploring the city and finding our favorite destinations. Here is a list of my Top 10 Foodie Things to do in Rio:
1) Stroll the cobblestone streets of the charming bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood and pause for an Agua de Alentejo (pineapple, coconut water and creme de menthe blended with ice served in a coconut dusted with cinnamon) on the terrace of Aprazivel, with spectacular views of the city. On your way out grab a beer at the local hangout Bar do Mineiro and check if they happen to be serving their famous feijoada (Brazilian bean stew with smoked meat).
2) Sit in an elevated wooden ‘treehouse’ chair overlooking the Lagoa and sample the diverse caipirinha flavors -think graviola com canela (tropical fruit with cinnamon)- at Palaphita Kitch. And why not order the delicious Pai D'egua (cheese from the north with basil fried in flaming cachaca) while you’re at it?
3) Drink caipirinhas and order bolinhos de bacalao (spicy fish balls), pasteis (pastries stuffed with shrimp and catupiry cheese), and other appetizers at one of the local bars in the Lapa neigborhood, then go samba dancing at Carioca da Gema or Bar Semente.
4) Indulge in a typical Brazilian brunch under a giant mango tree at the Café Botanica in the Jardin Botanico (Botanic Garden). You’ll love sampling the fresh breads, ham, cheese, papaya and melon amidst such peaceful scenery.
5) Take a samba class at the Jaime Aroxa Studio in the Botafogo neighborhood and then sip a glass of cava or prosecco at Ovelha Negra, a champagne focused bar and restaurant a few blocks away. Ovelha is only open during the week until 11PM, but has a really cool industrial interior and a fun vibe with live music.
6) Have a dinner of moqueca (Brazilian fish stew) and a Vale Verde cachaca at the Cachacaria Mangue Seco in Lapa and then cross the street to dance to a live band at Rio Scenarium (an eclectic old mansion replete with baroque images, oratorios, a large stage and plenty of room to samba).
7) Get an Caipira Magnifica (orange, ginger and Cachaca Magnifica) and an escondidinho (“the little hidden one”—a dish of shredded beef jerky, mashed cassava and curd grated cheese) at the Academia de Cachaca—a fun local bar in the Leblon neighborhood that specializes in the national drink.
8) Eat a traditional meal at Botequim Bar and Restaurant in Botafogo. Don’t miss the bobo de camarao, a Brazilian dish of shrimp in a puree of cassava meal, coconut milk and spices.
9) Stuff your face at Porcao in the Ipanema neighborhood, one of my favorite traditional Churrascarias (typical Brazilian steakhouses). Make sure to say ‘yes’ to my favorite- picanja with cheese.
10) Drink a fresh coconut from a stand while watching sunset at Arpoador Beach, and then have them cut it open so you can scoop out the delicious white meat.
3) Order a tigela (bowl) of Acai with crushed cashews and sliced bananas at Bibi Sucos in the Copacabana neighborhood.