Top 10 Rio de Janeiro Restaurants by Specialty

The only way to handle Rio de Janeiro's vast array of good restaurants is by writing several lists. This one is based on two of the most prestigious sources of travel and entertainment information in Brazil: Guia Brasil Quatro Rodas and Revista Veja. Here, you will find links to some of Rio's top restaurants, ranging from upscale to casual, in different food categories.

  • 01 of 10
    Two couples having dinner in restaurant, laughing
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    Category: Portuguese
    This traditional restaurant is credited with bringing Portuguese cuisine, one of the staples of the Brazilian food heritage, to an enhanced level that benefits both from fine dishes such as Bacalhau a Lagareiro -- a signature codfish recipe -- and from the serene ambiance based on antique furniture (hence the restaurant's name).
    Price Range: $$$$$

  • 02 of 10

    Category: Brazilian
    Located in a charming, hilly neighborhood -- Santa Teresa -- Aprazivel (which means "pleasant", as in relation to a place) has a casual, rustic feel and a menu that explores the bounty of Brazilian vegetable gardens.
    Price Range: $$

  • 03 of 10

    Category: Buffet
    This restaurant in Leblon features the buffet system known in Brazil as restaurante por quilo, or "kilo restaurant". Plates are weighed and you just pay for what you get. It features organic choices and a great variety of light dishes.
    Price Range: $$

  • 04 of 10

    Category: Italian
    Gero belongs to the Fasano Group, a Brazil household name in upscale restaurants and now also in hotels. The Leblon location follows the style of the original restaurant, in Sao Paulo. Among the many highlights is Gero's fresh-made pasta.
    Price Range: $$$$$

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Category: French
    Located near the Botanical Garden, the restaurant belongs to one of the best chefs in Brazil: Frenchman Claude Troisgros, who has a flair for incorporating Brazil's culinary traditions into his art.
    Price Range: $$$$$

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    Category: French
    Another French restaurant makes the list: Guia Brasil Quatro Rodas 2008 has nominated Roland Villard 2007 Chef of the Year.
    Price Range: $$$$$

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    Category: Brazilian Steakhouse
    Unabashedly named Big Pig, Rio's most famous churrascaria de rodízio, or all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurant, has locations in Miami and New York as well.
    Price Range: $$$

  • 08 of 10

    Category: Contemporary
    Chef Roberta Sudbrack's place in the Botanical Garden area. Her style is known for its mix of classical and daring recipes.
    Price Range: $$$$$

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Rio's wealth of seafood restaurants finds its highest expression both in the note-perfect sophistication of Fasano al Mare and in the unaffected abundance of Off-Barra eateries.

  • 10 of 10

    Category: Pizza
    Named after one of the neighborhoods in Sao Paulo where waves of Italian immigrants settled around the beginning of the 20th century, the Braz location in the Botanical Garden area features the same pizzas that brought well-deserved fame to the original Sao Paulo restaurants.
    Price Range: $$