Wondering who is the hottest chef in town? Look no further than Roberta Sudbrack, whose eponymous restaurant placed at number 10 in Latin Americas’s 50 Best Restaurants. Inside this large red house next to the Lagoa, Sudbrack and her team weave a form of culinary magic.
With an ever-changing tasting menu, you’ll be served a procession of beautiful little dishes, sometimes arriving on a single spoon. Expect surprises and flavour sensations, such as creamed corn topped with sour banana dust. The vast sets of cutlery will be matched by a vast bill, but this is your chance to taste the creations of one of Brazil’s most important chefs.
Rua Lineu de Paula Machado, 916
Tel: +55 21 3874 0139
Station: Bus no. 574, 584, 570
Antigamente allows you to get up close and personal with the music that makes Rio tick. On Tuesdays from 19:00, and Saturdays from 14:30, a band takes over one of the tables outside this little restaurant and plays samba or choro to the delight of the diners.
Situated on Rua do Ouvidor, a pedestrianised alleyway dripping with history and charm, Antigamente offers Brazilian classics like Oswaldo Aranha – fillet steak with crispy garlic topping, and Costela no Bafo – slow-cooked beef rib. Owner Carlinhos, a bohemian who is passionate about samba, is often around to look after his clientele. Other lively bars nearby add to the festive atmosphere on Saturdays. Closed Sunday.
Rua do Ouvidor, 43
Tel: +55 21 2507 5040
Take a bite out of history in Confeitaria Colombo, Rio’s grandest tea room and café. Founded in 1894, this was the place for writers, composers and politicians to rub shoulders in early 20th century Rio. The beautifully preserved interior was modelled on the grand European cafés of the Belle Époque, with huge mirrors, marble counters and an impressive stained glass skylight.
Around lunchtime the main tearoom gets busy with foreigners and locals alike. Take your time ogling the mouth-watering pastries in the long glass counters, there are over 40 varieties – including Portuguese classics and Brazilian creations such as the creamy, lemony ‘Pastel de Caipirinha’. Closed on Sundays.
Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32
Tel: +55 21 2505 1500
Vegetarians look away, now it’s going to get meaty! With its white tiles and red leather banquettes, CT Boucherie is a carnivore’s paradise setup by legendary French chef, Claude Troisgros. Is this the best steak in town? That’s a tough call, but you’d certainly be hard pushed to find anything better than the Prime Rib Especial, an eye-wateringly luscious piece of beef, served on the bone.
Once your choice of meat is served, a delicious selection of accompaniments is continually brought to the table by the waiting staff. This type of luxury dining will hit you in the pocket, but for an unforgettable experience – it’ll be worth it.
Rua Dias Ferreira, 636
Tel: +55 21 2529 2329
Station: Bus no. 162, 523, 124
Adega Perola is not a formal place, so don’t expect starched table clothes and elaborate sets of cutlery. Instead you’ll find hoards of lively locals crowding around the fixed tables or standing at the bar, enjoying tapas-like dishes and ice cold draft beers.
Opened in 1957, this unpretentious bar is dominated by a long glass counter running down the side of the room. The walls are crowded with shelves of rough wine, but ignore that and choose from the dozens of tasty dishes displayed under the glass counter – the seafood vinaigrette is divine, by the way. With hard-working but friendly staff, this permanently busy bar is undoubtedly one of Rio’s finest.Rua Siqueira Campos, 138
Tel: +55 212255 9425
Station: Siqueira Campos